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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Yorks and Lancaster Regt


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I was wondering if there are any experts on the Yorks and Lancs out there that might ne able to point me in the right direction.

In researching the 5th Connaught Rangers I came across a number of men from the Rotherham area serving with the battalion with very similar serial numbers. On closer inspectation (ie from Soldiers Died) it appeared that many have formerly served with the Yorks & Lancs.

So is anyone aware of any large scale transfers from the Y & l to the Rangers. This would have occurred in the early spring of 1915. The Y & L serial numbers are mainly concentrated in the early 13000 range and the 15100s. The 10th battalion is a good candidate but any info would be welcome.

The reason I'm interested is that my great-great uncle was kia with the Rangers, his number is very close to that of many of the former Y & L lads. (Yes I know a trip to the PRO would be worthwhile, but I'm not too local and had a couple of unrewarding encounters with researchers, so I'm trying the unconventional approach). Trying to see if he might have transferred.

Thanks Jim

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks Rob,

I appreciate the offer. Someone has very kindly gone to the PRO since I posted the original message, and checked for me.

They found Charlie but it only showed service with the Rangers, so another dead end there. Also showed his date of entry into the theatre as August 28th 1915, but as he fell on the 27th it appears to be a clerical error. I'm pretty sure he arrived at Mudros with the 5th Battalion July 28th 1915.

I'm having some difficulty trying to find out why he served with the Rangers. He apparently volunteered in mid August 1915, so I would have thought he'd had a choice regiments (most of the local Rutland lads appear to have joined the Leicesters or Lincolns, the local units). I also came across a reference that some Catholics preferred to serve in Southern Irish units, but he was Anglian, so no luck there.

There was a suggestion he might have been either regular, or reserve due to his serial number, (low 3000s) but given his age (22) and profession (plate layer) I don't think its too likely.

I hoping to go back to the UK next year and spent a day at the local library, they apparently have the local newspaper on microfilm, so maybe there's soemthing in there.

I appreciate your generous offer and although I'm very much a "newbie" please let me know should I be able to offer you any assistance in your research.


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Just a thought (unfortunately I don't have the encyclopaedic knowledge of some members and I am on holiday without my books so it can't be more than a guess but here it is for what it's worth).....

As to why he was sent to the Connaught Rangers, this is probably because that regiment needed every man it could get. Connaught had the lowest rate of recruitment in Ireland, due to a mixture of political and economic reasons. If memory serves, there is something in Michael Hickey's book on Gallipoli about the transfer of English troops into the 10th (Irish) Division in order to make up the numbers. You might also check the following book which has a chapter about that division:

eds. Adrian Gregory & Senia Paseta, "Ireland and the Great War: A War to Unite Us All?" (Manchester University Press, 2002)

(I'm not sure whether this will have anything to help you because I haven't read it yet myself, but it could be worth a look.)

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Most of the Southern Irish Regiments sufferred from low enlistment rates, the Rangers in particular, (their 1st and 2nd battalions were joined early on in the war). I seem to remember seeing something about the Jersey militia providing a complete company to a Irish unit battalion in the 10th Division. So transferring men to bring them up to strength doesn't seem to be too uncommon.

It is certainly understandable that English (or for that matter Scots or Welsh) troops to be serving in Irish regiments, especailly if they were transferred on masse as a draft. What I'm having difficulty with is how Charlie, who apparently was a very early volunteer (Aug 1914) came to be with the Rangers, having no apparent service with any other unit. Furthermore most of the lads I'm come across that had similar regimental numbers to him were Yorkshire men some of which were formerly Yorks & Lancs men.

As you can tell I'm quite new to this and am having some dificulties getting my head around some of the issues involved. I appreciate the lead about the book, I'll try to get my hands on a copy.

I have ordered the history of the 5th Connaught Rangers from Naval Press and eagerly await it. Perhaps it'll shed some light on these questions.

Have a great christmas,


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  • 2 weeks later...

This probably doesn't help a lot, but I've come across an August 1914 volunteer who joined the Y&L but was quickly posted off to the Royal Munster Fusiliers (2nd Bn) with which he served until his death near Passchendaele on November 10th 1917.

My suspicion is, as already suggested, that regiments who did well with volunteers were perhaps 'encouraged' to re-route some men to regiments having less success, particularly in Wales and Ireland.

All the best,


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