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BikerBill

Army Service Numbers

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BikerBill

I am interested in the methodology of how British Army service numbers were allocated during WW1.  I thought that each Regiment were given "blocks of numbers" but...

 

My Great Grandfather had the number 4333 ( 12th Btn Manchester ) and he enlisted in Bury in 1914.  A chap named William Connolly ( same regiment ) was 4332 but enlisted in Sheffield.  

Does anyone know how two men could have consecutive numbers but be enlisted in different towns?  Similarly , a soldier named James  Dutton had 4325 ( quite close to the other two ) but enlisted in Manchester.

 

Also, I always understood that a soldiers service number was unique but if I search the CWGC website for 4333 it returns with 321 soldiers with that number - and that is only the ones that were killed !  There may also be others that survived.   A search for 4332 ( William Connolly's number) gives 354 names with the same number.

 

Any answers to this would be gratefully received.

 

Bill

 

 

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Michelle Young

Welcome to the forum Bill. 

http://armyservicenumbers.blogspot.com/

 

I found this blog, written by forum member Paul Nixon, it might assist you.

Michelle 

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tullybrone

Hi,

 

The WW1 Regimental Number system was replaced by Army Service Numbers in 1920 and the block allocation of numbers to Army Regiments/Corps was introduced at that time. An Army service number was unique and remained with the soldier throughout his service even if he was transferred out of his Regiment of enlistment.

 

General Service Corps Numbers were introduced in 1942 when all recruits had initial training and aptitude tests before being allocated to a Regiment/Corps for further training. They retained the same number throughout their service.

 

Steve

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ss002d6252
11 hours ago, BikerBill said:

I am interested in the methodology of how British Army service numbers were allocated during WW1.  I thought that each Regiment were given "blocks of numbers" but...

 

My Great Grandfather had the number 4333 ( 12th Btn Manchester ) and he enlisted in Bury in 1914.  A chap named William Connolly ( same regiment ) was 4332 but enlisted in Sheffield.  

Does anyone know how two men could have consecutive numbers but be enlisted in different towns?  Similarly , a soldier named James  Dutton had 4325 ( quite close to the other two ) but enlisted in Manchester.

 

Also, I always understood that a soldiers service number was unique but if I search the CWGC website for 4333 it returns with 321 soldiers with that number - and that is only the ones that were killed !  There may also be others that survived.   A search for 4332 ( William Connolly's number) gives 354 names with the same number.

 

Any answers to this would be gratefully received.

 

Bill

 

 

As a quick and basic explanation (and in the army way, not always applied exactly like this) - each regiment had a range of numbers they used for the regular battalions (and sometimes for the special reserve). Each territorial battalion with the regiment each had their own range.(So, as an example, you could have regular as 100, a special reservist as 3/100, and territorial as 4/100 5/100 and 6/100 with in a regiment - prefixes were not always applied...).

 

Craig

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Open Bolt

... and the number may not have been issued on the day they enlisted, so they could join up in different cities and have consecutive numbers.

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fellop

No real help to the OP but the case ran true when I enlisted in 1964. There were forty eight in my intake arriving at the Training Depot on the same day all enlisted into the same Corps. On the third day there we were lined up single file in alphabetical order. The platoon sergeant came along the line handing each man in turn a slip of paper with our regimental number on it, all in numerical order. My [new] friend from Hull has one digit different to me and I came from Kent, because he was stood next to me. So the whole of my intake have sequential numbers over forty eight men.

 

Sorry off on a slight tangent but a memory anyway.

 

Regards

 

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BikerBill

Many thanks for all these replies they have helped tremendously and have answered the question about how two men can enlist in different places but have consecutive ( or nearly consecutive numbers) .  I had always assumed that the men were allocated their regimental service number at the time and place they enlisted - seems not.

Coincidentally my Great Grandfather ( 4333) was killed on the same day that Pte William Fellows was killed.

Many thanks.

 

Bill

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