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Service Number

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A Service Number is issued to all military personnel. This page concerns only Army numbers, as the Crabs and Andrew have (until recently) their own system.

As part of our Walting With Confidence program, here are all the possible ranges of Service Numbers the Old and Bold could possibly need to ensure that they are not outed by the first clued up squaddie they meet. Further research will be necessary to defeat the Waltenkommando however.

There were 3 old numbering systems in use prior to 1950.

First, prior to 1920 each regiment had its own system of regimental numbers (each starting at 1). If a soldier transferred to another regiment he got a new number.

The second system was introduced in 1920 under Army Order 388 with each regiment allocated its own block of numbers:

  • Royal Horse Guards 304001 - 309000
  • Cavalry of the Line 309001 - 721000 (Inclusive 558471 to 558761 allocated to the Royal Armoured Corps extraordinary to the block of numbers later allocated)
  • Royal Artillery (Field, Coastal & Anti-Aircraft) 721001 - 1842000 and 11000001 - 11500000
  • Black Watch (The Royal Highland Regiment) 2744001 - 2809000
  • Seaforth Highlanders 2809001 - 2865000
  • Cameron Highlanders 2921001 - 2966000
  • Royal Scots Fusiliers 3122001 - 3178000
  • Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) 3233001 - 3299000
  • Highland Light Infantry 3299001 - 3377000
  • East Lancashire Regiment 3377001 - 3433000
  • Manchester Regiment 3511001 - 3589000
  • Border Regiment 3589001 - 3644000
  • The Prince of Wales' Volunteers 3644001 - 3701000
  • The King's Own Royal Regiment 3701001 - 3757000
  • The King's Regiment 3757001 - 3846000
  • The Loyal Regiment 3846001 - 3902000
  • South Wales Borderers 3902001 - 3947000
  • Welch Regiment 3947001 - 4025000
  • The King's Shropshire Light Infantry 4025001 - 4070000
  • Monmouthshire Regiment 4070001 - 4103000
  • Herefordshire Regiment 4103001 - 4114000
  • Cheshire Regiment 4114001 - 4178000
  • Royal Northumberland Fusiliers 4256001 - 4334000
  • East Yorkshire Regiment 4334001 - 4379000
  • Durham Light Infantry 4435001 - 4523000
  • West Yorkshire Regiment 4523001 - 4601000
  • The King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry 4680001 - 4736000
  • York & Lancaster Regiment 4736001 - 4792000
  • Lincolnshire Regiment 4792001 - 4848000
  • Leicestershire Regiment 4848001 - 4904000
  • South Staffordshire Regiment 4904001 - 4960000
  • Sherwood Foresters 4960001 - 5038000
  • North Staffordshire Regiment 5038001 - 5094000
  • Royal Warwickshire Regiment 5094001 - 5172000
  • Worcestershire Regiment 5239001 - 5328000
  • Royal Berkshire Regiment 5328001 - 5373000
  • Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry 5373001 - 5429000
  • The Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry 5429001 - 5485000
  • Hampshire Regiment 5485001 - 5562000
  • Wiltshire Regiment 5562001 - 5608000
  • Devonshire Regiment 5608001 - 5662000
  • Somerset Light Infantry 5662001 - 5718000
  • Dorsetshire Regiment 5718001 - 5763000
  • Royal Norfolk Regiment 5763001 - 5819000
  • Suffolk Regiment 5819001 - 5875000
  • Northamptonshire Regiment 5875001 - 5931000
  • Cambridgeshire Regiment 5931001 - 5942000
  • Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Regiment 5942001 - 5998000
  • Essex Regiment 5998001 - 6076000
  • The Queen's Royal Regiment 6076001 - 6132000
  • East Surrey Regiment 6132001 - 6188000
  • Middlesex Regiment 6188001 - 6278000
  • The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) 6278001 - 6334000
  • Royal West Kent Regiment 6334001 - 6390000
  • Royal Sussex Regiment 6390001 - 6446000
  • Royal Fusiliers 6446001 - 6515000
  • The Inns of Court Regiment 6802501 - 6814000
  • Honourable Artillery Company (Infantry) 6825001 - 6837000
  • The King's Royal Rifle Corps 6837001 - 6905000
  • The Rifle Brigade 6905001 - 6972000
  • Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers 6972001 - 7006000
  • Royal Ulster Rifles 7006001 - 7040000
  • Royal Irish Fusiliers 7040001 - 7075000
  • Royal Dublin Fusiliers 7075001 - 7109000 (Disbanded 1922)
  • Royal Irish Regiment 7109001 - 7143000
  • Connaught Rangers 7143001 - 7177000 (Disbanded 1922)
  • Leinster Regiment 7177001 - 7211000 (Disbanded 1922)
  • Royal Munster Fusiliers 7211001 - 7245000 (Disbanded 1922)
  • Royal Guernsey Militia and Royal Alderney Artillery Militia 7539001 - 7560000 (Discontinued in 1929)
  • Royal Militia of the Island of Jersey 7560001 - 7574000 (Discontinued in 1929)
  • Royal Army Pay Corps 7657001 - 7681000 and 10400001 - 10500000. (Locally enlisted staff Middle East 10500001 - 10508000)
  • Band of the Royal Military College 7732401 - 7733000
  • Corps of Military Accountants 7733001 - 7757000 (Disbanded 1925)
  • Machine Gun Corps 7807001 - 7868000 (Disbanded 1922)
  • Royal Armoured Corps 7891869 - 8230000 also 558471 - 558761
  • Militia 10000000 - 10350000 (Army Numbers were allocated in accordance with Regulations for the Militia [Other than the Supplementary Reserve], 1939, paras. 11-13)
  • Reconnaissance Corps 10600001 - 10630000
  • The Lowland Regiment 14000001 - 14002500
  • The Highland Regiment 14002501 - 14005000
  • General Service Corps 14200001 - 15000000
  • Indian local enlistments 15000001 - 15005000
  • Non-Combatant Corps 97000001 - 97100000
  • Auxiliary Territorial Service W/1 - W/500,000
  • Voluntary Aid Detachments W/500001 - W/1000000


Every serving soldier was allocated a new number in this system and the soldier then kept this number for the rest of his army career. Thus 4611078 Pte Mitchell enlisted in The Duke of Wellington's Regiment but later transferred to the ASC and kept the number.

The third system was introduced during WW2. Large numbers of men were being conscripted and sent to a central depot where they had their medicals and were allocated a number BEFORE being posted to a regiment. It was too much of an admin cluster for the central depots to administer the old regimental numbers so a single system of army (as opposed to regimental) numbers was introduced. These numbers were allocated in blocks in the 14xxxxxx, 16xxxxxx and 19xxxxxx series. It was this process that was rationalised into the 1950-2007 numbering system.

A Rough Guide - 1950 to date

Army Number Date of Issue

22000000 to 22199408 Until October 1950

22199409 to 22460786 Until February 1951

22460787 to 22562759 Until July 1951

22562760 to 23052500 Until June 1955

23052501 to 23188252 Until October 1955

23188253 to 23479123 Until May 1956

23479124 to 23845071 Until October 1960

The final intake of National Servicemen was on 31st December 1960. The last National Servicemen left the Army in 1963 with 23819209 Private Fred Turner, of The Army Catering Corps, attached 13th/18th The Royal Hussars, being the final conscript discharged on 7th May 1963.

23845072 to 23969619 Until April 1964

23969620 to 24033484 Until October 1964

24033485 to 24057159 Until April 1965

24057160 to 24076468 Until December 1966

24076469 to 24182226 Until April 1969

24182227 to 24262662 Until September 1971

24262663 to 24302033 Until September 1972

24302034 to 24315610 Until January 1973

24315611 to 24322198 Until February 1973

24322199 to 24355527 Until August 1974

24355528 to 24369281 Until September 1975

24369282 to 24475540 Until May 1978

24475541 to 24520161 Until March 1979

24520162 to 24579860 Until August 1980

24579861 to 24587118 Until March 1981

24587119 to 24753060 Until December 1985

24753061 to 24854044 Until November 1988

24854045 to 25012465 Until January 1992

25012466 to 25027818 Until July 1993

25027819 to 25065603 Until July 1997

25065604 to 25130600 Until February 2001

25130601 to 25136865 Until August 2001

25136866 to 25139703 August 2001

25139704 to 252xxxxx to March 2007

There'll be a little 'wiggle' room in those dates as numbers used to be allocated to the individual Manning and Records Offices in blocks.

Thus a lower number may post date a higher number.

From Apr 2007 new tri service all ranks system thanks to JPA starting at 30000001.

Thanks to Sandy Boots.


The Army number is part of the combination that makes up a Zap Number