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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

TF Renumbering Prior to 1917


jim_davies

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Myself, Messrs Bramley and Bailey have recently been looking at what appears to be two major groups of Lincs Terriers who were renumbered in 1916 with 5 digit numbers. I wonder if other TF researchers have experienced similar "renumberings" in 1916.

The first group are in the 20*** range, and the best we can work out were used to signify that a men had transferred between Lincs Territorial battalions. Presumably to make sure there wouldn't be two men in the same battalion with the same number. Seems to have occurred in early 1916. While we are not 100% on this renumbering the above seems to be best we come up with.

The second range is in the 40*** range and includes both new recruits and wounded returnees. After being renumbered they went in batches to various service battalions. Appears to occur in July/August 1916.

The second transfer appears in a period of mass transfers for the Lincs TF with large batches of men also going to the Royal Lancs, Warwicks and Royal Sussex.

Has anyone come across similar transfers in the regiments they're looking at? And can anyone spell out the process that would resulted in the TF men being renumbered and transferred between battalions, and indeed regiments?

Jim

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Jim,

This response is based on fact but also a lot of speculation so please accept or disregard as you see fit.

My Uncle(1/8 Royal Scots) went to France in 1914 with a 2 figure Number.

He was re-numbered in 1917 and when killed in 1918 had a 6 figure Number.

His Victory and War Medal,however,record a 4 figure Number(His 1914 Star shows the 2 figure Number).

According to Jack Alexander's Book(McCrae's Battalion) on the History of the 16th(Service) Battalion Royal Scots, following their losses on the Somme in July 1916 a draft of Men from the I/8th Battalion was transferred to the 16th Battalion to help bring it back up to fighting strength.

There is no evidence to suggest that my Uncle was a member of this draft(I do not know if the 4 figure Number would equate with a Number in the 16th Battalion).

In answer to your question,though,the History of the 16th Royal Scots clearly demonstrates that there was movement between TF and Service Battalions to make up losses in July/August 1916.

George

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Jim,

Probably the sort of evidence you're needing is located here with the A.B.64(Soldiers Pay Book for Active Service), which formerly belonged to 6102 Pte William Albert Hare 'B' Coy, 4th Bn, Lincolnshire Regt(T.F.). He was subsequently renumbered 40742 and transferred to the 6th Bn, Lincolnshire Regt, which was a New Army battalion of the Lincolns.

William was obviously a conscript as you will note in the blue indelible pencil someone has wrote Group 1 Farm Lab (S). He was attested on 21st June 1916 and aged 19yrs on enlistment. The A.B.64 is opened on 31/10/16, but the first payment of 5 francs "in the field" doesn't appear until 11/11/1916 and the last entry being 18/1/1918.

Anyway Jim hope this of use to you and your pals. Obviously he was a late entrant to the T.F., and on being posted overseas was drafted to a N.A. unit, probably not by choice, but there again not unusual.

Graham.

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George and Graham,

Thank you both for your replies. I'm sure that somewhere in the bowels of the NA (or the forum!) are the answers to these questions.

Graham-i'm working on a database of the 4th Lincolns, so very happy for the additional information on Hare.

Jim

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Jim,

In the Will section of the A.B.64 he leaves all to his mother Mrs J. Hare, West Street, Folkingham, Lincolnshire.

Graham.

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Try the TF study group - it covers this in expert detail.

It is a "sub" site of the Long Long Trail. I think to get to it, one has to go through to the page that lists all the regiments of the British Army, and the find the TF section at the bottom. (I think). Its primary aim is the 1917 renumbering, but really is the best start point for TF numbers.

Well worth reading for this kind of detail.

regards

doogal

the link: TF Website

Edited by doogal
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Doogal,

Have read the TF notes and find them very interesting, unfortuantely the emphasis is on the 1917 renumbering, which I feel (probably incorrectly) that I understand pretty well.

I was hoping that one of the TF experts might see this thread and clear up the 1916 business!

Cheers,

Jim

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As far as I know there was no wholesale renumbering of the TF with 5 digit numbers. I believe it happened on an ad hoc basis regiment by regiment.

This would have come into force in 1916 with the Military Service Acts of 1916 which effectively removed the legal distinction between the TF and the Service/Regular battalions. The Acts allowed the transfer of TF men into service battalions which usually (?) seem to have had 5 digit numbers (often?) prefixed by G/ or another letter. The TF men would have been allocated a 5 digit number to fit in with their new units.

In the case of the London Regiment which had no regular or service battalions the individual Battalions were affiliated sometime in 1916 to various regiments in London and the Home Counties. (The TFSG article explains this further).

For example the 19th Londons were affiliated to the Middlesex Regt and a small number of 19th men ended up with 5 digit numbers. However, it seems to have been much more common for Middx Regt men to have come into the 19th in 1916/17 (because of the weakness of the 19th recruiting in late 1915) and in the Medal Rolls these show up with 6 digit numbers.

Charles

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Jim,

Have to agree with Charles on this one, there is no particular pattern and it seems to differ from regiment to regiment. The Northumberland Fusiliers are no different and recently I've come across a batch of lads from the 32nd(Reserve)Bn,N.F.(North Eastern Railways, Pioneers), being transferred to the 1/4th Bn,N.F. and gived a four figure T.F. number with the prefix 4/ only to be renumbered with a five figure number at a later date.

Graham.

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Charles and Graham,

Thanks for the additional information. Don't really know much about the Military Service Act, will have to do some additional research.

It seems that about 1000 men of both the 4th and 5th Lincs were transferred to Regular/Service battalions (of both the Lincs and a few other regiments) in the timeframe we're looking at.

Unfortuantely so far I've drawn a blank with the service records for the lads renumbered in the 40*** range. Those transferred to the Royal Lancs at the same time have the following notation "A.O. 204 of 1916 & A.C.I. 1499" where it refers to their transfer (Thanks for your help on the other thread with this Graham!).

Thanks again.

Jim

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  • 4 years later...

Jim,

Probably the sort of evidence you're needing is located here with the A.B.64(Soldiers Pay Book for Active Service), which formerly belonged to 6102 Pte William Albert Hare 'B' Coy, 4th Bn, Lincolnshire Regt(T.F.). He was subsequently renumbered 40742 and transferred to the 6th Bn, Lincolnshire Regt, which was a New Army battalion of the Lincolns.

William was obviously a conscript as you will note in the blue indelible pencil someone has wrote Group 1 Farm Lab (S). He was attested on 21st June 1916 and aged 19yrs on enlistment. The A.B.64 is opened on 31/10/16, but the first payment of 5 francs "in the field" doesn't appear until 11/11/1916 and the last entry being 18/1/1918.

Anyway Jim hope this of use to you and your pals. Obviously he was a late entrant to the T.F., and on being posted overseas was drafted to a N.A. unit, probably not by choice, but there again not unusual.

Graham.

Jim/Graham

I've just discovered this old post. Pte William Albert Hare was my wife's grandfather. I've been struggling to find his service records and I know is that he fought in France then later served in India. Jim, if you're still building your database of the 4th Lincolns I'd be interested in the info you have on Bill Hare. He said little of his experiences but still has two daughters I can speak to about any specifics for your d/base.

Paul

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Jim

I can go by what happened in the Royal Berks which I suspect will be similar in other regiments.

Our territorial series had reached just over 2200 when war broke out and the Territorials recruited men and simply continued the 1908 series until it had reached around 8000 by 1917. This 4 digit series was used for men who were recruited by the TF and who were transferred to a TF Battalion from another regiment. Considerable numbers of men were also transferred from other battalions in the Royal Berks and they were all numbered from 20001 upwards on transfer. This distinguished men in TF battalions between those who had joined on territorial terms of engagement and those that hadn't

When it came to the 1917 renumbering the 20000+ men simply tagged onto the end of the 4 digit men and received their six figure numbers in strict order of those who were still on the TF books around August 1916 and beyond.

regards

John

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This is really interesting. There also appears to have been a re-numbering of Royal Engineers TF in late 1915 with five figure numbers. I have not got to the bottom of this yet, but this has prompted me to return to the subject.

TR

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