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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Regimental Service Numbers

Paul Johnson

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Whilst researching a medal today I found an MIC with 5 different Regimental Service Numbers on it, to the same man.

He was Private John Whitney and his MIC reads:

Royal Fusiliers Pte 39380

Middx Regt G/27096

Labour Corps 62290

Royal Engineers 254433

Labour Corps 423785

Royal Engineers 254433

I am sure there is a logical explanation, such as Wounds or Sickness, to explain the movements but does anyone know why he would have been given a different Service Number for each period in the Labour Corps.

Also, has anyone seen a larger amount of service numbers.

Just Curious.


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No but can match it:

Company Sergeant Major Edwin Griffin Garrison Bn Northamptonshire Regt.

21044 Northamptonshire Regt.1st Garrison Bn.

48680 Suffolk Regiment

41244 Northamptonshire Regt

122 Royal Fusiliers

122 Suffolk Regt.1st Garrison Bn.

Strangely his number apparently wasn't changed {on the MiC anyway} on the Royal Fus/Suffolk R. Change

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Not this amount, but I have seen MICs which even mention Training Reserve Battalion. I know of late war conscripts (1918) who served in no less than four different units/battalions up to armistice (and then yet another unit if they re-enlisted or were sent to serve in the army of occupation!)

So the record possibly belongs to some old time regular (imagine an old reservist, joining his old regiment, being wounded and then serving as training staff in the Uk, then back again to a fighting front, being wounded again and submitted for non-combat service to ASC, RAMC or Labour Corps... being "combed out" in a moment of dire need of manpower, etc...)


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Hello Paul,

I can also equal it. According to SDGW, Alfred Thomas Bailey was:

28249 Wiltshire Regt. (kia 03/09/1918) formerly,

303521 Manchester Regt.

37662 Royal Lancashire Regt.

27202 Corps of Dragoons.

5767 Welch Regt.

Another chap who got around,



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My entry:

Medal card of Bellairs, P

Corps Regiment No Rank

Middlesex Regiment 94063 Signaller

Royal Signals 6192026 Signaller

25th Recruits Battalion TR/9/52328 Signaller

Labour Corps 6192026 Signaller

Middlesex Regiment L/21939 Signaller

Middlesex Regiment 2316254 Signaller

Though the interim late/post-war numbers might be considered cheating...

(and another one with a repeated number in a different Corps)


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Thanks everyone for taking the trouble to reply.

Looks like I will have to try and find out a bit more about this soldier. Sadly, no service record survives.



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