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Remembered Today:

Were numbers given to recruits immediately when they enlisted?


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A question for anyone. Were numbers given to recruits immediately when they enlisted?

 

Of interest the 3 gentlemen below all lived in Thurlstone a small town in South Yorkshire, all worked at the same local factory - Hoylands Umbrella Factory & all enlisted in the  King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (KOYLI).

 

Serial No.20834 Luther Beardsall - Killed in Action, 27th February 1917.
Serial No.20836 John Fletcher - Killed in Action, 2nd July 1915
Serial No.20837 Herbert Jagger - Wounded in Action

 

Were the three of them in the queue together when they enlisted?

 

Serial No.20835 was Frederick Ernest Crowther who enlisted in the 1st battalion KOYLI and was discharged on 30th June 1916. He was a casualty during WW1 and hospitalised at Oakdene Hospital near Liverpool. I don’t know if he came from the same area or not.

 

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55 minutes ago, chrisjagger said:

A question for anyone. Were numbers given to recruits immediately when they enlisted?

 

Of interest the 3 gentlemen below all lived in Thurlstone a small town in South Yorkshire, all worked at the same local factory - Hoylands Umbrella Factory & all enlisted in the  King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (KOYLI).

 

Serial No.20834 Luther Beardsall - Killed in Action, 27th February 1917.
Serial No.20836 John Fletcher - Killed in Action, 2nd July 1915
Serial No.20837 Herbert Jagger - Wounded in Action

 

Were the three of them in the queue together when they enlisted?

 

Serial No.20835 was Frederick Ernest Crowther who enlisted in the 1st battalion KOYLI and was discharged on 30th June 1916. He was a casualty during WW1 and hospitalised at Oakdene Hospital near Liverpool. I don’t know if he came from the same area or not.

 

 

The system of number allocation changed with time & place, (especially so earlier in the war) and it was not always a case of next in line gets the next number. You cannot therefore say for certain.

 

Craig

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One of my family had the number 21202.

Twenty years later I was asked by a friend if I could find out anything about her grandfather in WW1, it turned out he was 21204.

I wondered if they were next door but one in the queue or perhaps even knew each other. I asked a similar question to yours and (from memory) I think the bones of it were at larger recruiting centres (towns and citys) it wasn’t so much who was next to who in the queue, but in which order the paperwork landed on the clerks desk.

The 2 service numbers I mention were both in the  Manchester Pals but entirely different Bttn.

i can’t find my original topic as I’m using a phone screen, haven’t got my specs with me and am close to “sailing 3 sheets to wind”.

This is only my thoughts but I imagine that in smaller settlements recruitment would have been more Regiment specific.

Early in the war recruits had a level of choice as to which regiment/service they preferred, when the grim truth emerged as to how many men would ultimately be required the recruits may have trained with one regiment and on completion would be transferred to whoever needed men to bring them up to strength.

Of course, I could be wrong but at least it may provoke discussion.

 

Simon

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Forgotten to mention that changing Regts would give the soldier a different number, my 21202 started with a 3 digit service number until his military career was cut short after about 30 days when the KRRC chucked him out so it was back to work shovelling coal in to a furnace 6 days a week.

He was an acceptable recruit for the Mcrs weeks later. After Passendaele I suspect he would have been happier and healthier shovelling coal !

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yes it is Kath, got my specs on now and not squinting at my phone screen! Thanks.

 

Simon

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Its great to see the answers on this topic & the link to the other thread as I have researched three recruits with numbers 6832,6834 & 6835, who all worked for the same company in London, and all joined the Lancers of the Line in 1914.

 

Two were descended from Irish families & were later transfered to the Munster Fusiliers.

Edited by travers61
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Hello Chris

 

The quick answer to your question is "not necessarily". Enlistment was a process with many stages, including a medical examination, and once accepted and posted to a regiment or corps each man's paperwork was forwarded to the relevant Record Office for processing. The numbers were allocated serially at the Record Office.

 

It is also probable that more than one officer was handling recruits as each recruitment office, so "the first three in line" would not necessarily be seen by the same officer.

 

Ron

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I most cases they would have been given at their reporting depot. There were some exceptions it would appear and that was the locally raised units in 1914-1915.

 

TR

 

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