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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Interpretation of Service Records

Northern Soul

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It's not a subject I know much about so please forgive what may be obvious (to the initiated) questions. I have been fortunate enough to find among the released Pension Records the service papers of a man who was a pre-war soldier. He must have re-enlisted as his service in the Army Reserve expired 6 days before war was declared! However, having completed his original period of service both in uniform and in the Reserve he was entitled to a pension.

I note that his Attestation Form (Army Form B 217) shows the Attesting Officer as having signed it at Newcastle on Tyne on 29 July 1902. His papers then go on to say that he joined the Leinster Regiment at Birr on 31 July 1902. His service number was 6694.

Move on to WW1...............

His entry in Soldiers Died indicates enlistment at Birr and he was killed with the 2/Leinsters in 1918; his service number was 68.


Is Attestation, strictly speaking, the same as Enlistment? The sequence would imply that he had indicated a willingness to join the Army and expressed a preference for a regiment at Newcastle but wasn't formally enlisted into the Leinster Regiment until he got to Birr two days later (presumably shipped there by the Army).

For his WW1 service, SGDW indicates his place of enlistment as Birr. Would I be correct in thinking that for his second period of service, the same rationale applied, i.e. he attested somewhere other than Birr (more or less immediately on outbreak of war) which is why his second Service Number is so low? I can't imagine him actually living at Birr (or near it).

If I am correct, then the place of Enlistment - as indicated in Soldiers Died - may not necessarily always be the place the man actually Attested in the first place?

Best wishes.


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