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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Calling All South Staffords Experts


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I know that a number of people out there are interested in the Territorial Battalions of the South Staffords.

Do any of you know the significance of a very low (3-digit) service number, given to a man in the 5th Battalion? Does it imply pre-war service?

Any help gladly received.

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Hi Chris

The 5th Battalion of the South Staffords had a different series of numbering from the 6th Battalion. The 6th Battalion's numbers commenced from 1 on the creation of the Battalion as part of the Territorial Force in April 1908. The 5th Battalion, however, retained the sequence used by the 2nd Volunteer Battalion. Therefore, a new recruit for the 5th Battalion who joined in 1908 was given a four-figure number, which makes things very confusing I think you will agree!

By December 1914, on the allocation of the regimental number 9999, recruits for the 5th Battalion were given numbers beginning from 1 onwards. Soldiers with 3 digit numbers start to appear in the 1/5th Battalion by the Autumn of 1915 when they were drafted to the unit from the 2/5th Battalion.

As it happens, Chris, I have a nominal roll for the 1/5th Battalion at home, so if you let me know who this chap is I can have a look to see if he is mentioned in there.

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