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Remembered Today:

Distribution of the army - monthly returns


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On 18/08/2021 at 08:35, bootneck said:

Whether the Commander in Chief and War Office: Distribution of the Army Monthly Returns 1859-1950 held at Kew in WO 73 would be any help I couldn't say. Those for 1914 can be found in WO 73/96-98 with WO 73/97 covering May to August 1914. I recently had a cursory glance at both WO 73 & 114 for 1901-2 while trying to get a fix on something and decided it that I would need more time to study these records in more detail.


On the back of last month's informative comment on a thread about GARBA type data, I thought I would take a look at this, for the sake of curiosity. There were a few items that piqued my interest, so I took some pictures but did not photograph all the pages for the month of July 1914.

It would appear that the British Army had a financial and planning year that ran from September to October. Given that the MOD has an accounting year from April to March, and that the Victorian pay musters to the 1880s run from April to March, I was not expecting to see the existence of a different accounting year, but I guess it makes sense if the financial year marks the start of the trooping season. 






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Two pages of returns for line infantry






"Colonial and Indian Native Troops" in colony garrisons


Grand totals ("Recapitulation")



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Summary of troop types "at Home" and in Northern India


"Summary - Colonies and Egypt", "General Summary - Home & abroad"



Subsequent two pages

Abstract - All Ranks, Abstract - horses & mules


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33 minutes ago, Keith_history_buff said:

It would appear that the British Army had a financial and planning year that ran from September to October.

Should that read 'October to September'?

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The last six pages

Part V

Men transferred to the Army Reserve




Men transferred to the Army Reserve (cont'd), Increase/decrease of the Army Reserve as measured in June and communicated in the July report




Increase/decrease of the Army Reserve
As reported each month 
For the [financial?] year 1913-14 (01 Oct 1913 to 30 Sep 1914)

Army Reservists with permission to live abroad


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At the beginning of Part IV there is a statement of the strength of the Britiish army on 1st of the month with the changes that occurred during the previous month. You will find a 'theoretical' state for 1st August 1914 and the increases/decreases for July 1914.  

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Thanks for mentioning that, I think that is noteworthy, and I hope others become aware of this, who are looking to get a feel for the high level of data.

Taking an interest in a lower level of granularity, I did not photograph the two pages of Part IV.

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Keith, years ago I copied the Army returns from  August 1758 until 1804 then, there is a gap until 1826 upto 1902, gap 1914 -1921, gap 1939 then on & of until 1949.

Also the Volunteer Corps returns 1891 - 1907.

Territorial Force returns 1908 - 1913.


Don't ask me why, I think I was bored in my Naafi break.


The psychiatrist and nurses said I'm better now and I can go home.


Edited by themonsstar
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  • 4 weeks later...

It seems likely that the late Martin Gillott could well have been using this primary source

Part two, Page 27 


RWF had a total of 1,351 regular reservists (held on its books as supernumeraries) on 31 July 1914, fifty four men of Section A, 914 of B and 383 of Section D. Only the Essex of all the two–battalion regiments had more reservists to call on

I wish to acknowledge the immense help and encouragement given by Martin Gillott, who provided most of the National Archive material, and whose ability to analyse and arrange data has been invaluable.

If we take a look at page 166, we see the similar info of 
RWF had a total of 1335 regular reservists (held on its books as supernumeraries) on 30 June 1914, fifty four men of Section A, 896 of B and 385 of Section D


Stand To! 101 September 2014
British Line Infantry Reserves for the Great War - Part 2: A Case Study of the Royal Welch Fusiliers by David Langley

The above is accessible to members of the Western Front Association.

Quotation reproduced on a fair use basis.

David Langley and the late Martin Gillott have the right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988, to be identified as the authors of the aforementioned work.

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