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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

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I have an relative who was Killed in Action in the Great War. a Robert John Steel who was with the 5th Scottish Rifles. his number was 202357 being changed from 1901. i know he was at one point 4046 in the Royal Scots and would dearly love to find what battalion he originally enlisted in but to date have drawn a blank!!.

I would have thought his medal card would have mentioned his Royal Scots number as well but it doesnt

is there any reason for this or is this sometime the norm?

any one with advice on trying to find the battalion he was in the Royal Scots would be greatly appreciated


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The Medal Index Cards only record those units a man saw war service with. His first war service appears to have been with the 1/5th Bn Cameronians, who were a territorial battalion. The territorial numbers were changed to six digit numbers in 1916...hence his Cameronians number changing from a four digit to a six digit one. His original four digit number for the Royal Scots indicates that he was probably in either a territorial or regular battalion (of which there were in excess if sixteen or so) of that regiment. The regular and territorial battalions generally had their own numbers commencing from 1. Most service battalions (raised for war service) used five digit service numbers . Unless his service papers exist, or you are able to find some mention of his original battalion elsewhere, I am afraid the chances of identifying his original battalion are probably fairly slim. I would suggest obtaining copies of the Medal Rolls...you never know your luck..and also trying local newspapers and Royal Scots Museum.



Tim D

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