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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Soldiers prefix on Number


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I apologise to readers as I feel sure that a similar query was posted recently.

Can anyone please explain the Z prefix to his number and would I be correct in assuming that this soldier would be a pre War Regular?

There is a S/9140 Herbert Scothern RIF BRIG: listed in the MIC.What would the S prefix signify here?

Apart from Service details at Kew,assuming that they existed there is no way to link these two soldiers with such little information.


Bob Norman

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Hi Bob ,

Z prefix for Rifle Brigade was for men enlisting as Special reservist for one year and men on three year short service enlistments .

S/ was for New Army men and ran from S/1 to S/37999.

Scothern served with the 7th RB and was KIA 28/4/1917.


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Hi Bob

On Ancestry there is a Herbert Scothern in the 1901 census. He is a Private in the Kings Royal Rifles in the ‘New Barracks’ at Alverstoke, Hampshire. He is 24 years old, single and was born in Walkley, Yorkshire. He is the only Scothern listed who was born in Walkley.

Only a guess, but there is a George Scothern in the census, born about 1895, living with parents Herbert and Elizabeth, living in Featherstone, Yorkshire. So they may be brothers.

You could order Herbert’s birth certificate for £7 from the GRO online service. If you go to http://freebmd.rootsweb.com/cgi/search.pl and search for the birth of Herbert in the December quarter of 1877 you find a suitable candidate.


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Bob ,

Going by the other S/ numbers around H Scothern he enlisted in early March 1915 .

Many thanks to all you kind folk who added this information.It has been most useful


Bob Norman

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