Great War regimental numbers

Does anyone know why regimental numbers in the Great War (I'm thinking specifically of those from the Manchester Regiment) could be from 4 to 6 digits long.

A stupid man might assume that the later you joined, the higher your number. I make no assumptions, me, however, it would be nice to have some idea of the difference in enlistment dates, or battalions served in, for the numbers 2075 and 9499.

I'm trying to work out why a branch of my family tree seems to have no members after 1902, and think that maybe Gallipoli and the Somme may have something to do with it.

If you go to there are countless chaps on there with shedloads of info on WW1 history. Some specialise in various Regiments incl the Mancs. Just post a question and wait for the replies, they are all very kind.

Failing that go to it`s a similar site.

Either or these sites will help you or at least point you in the right direction. Good luck, Billy


Thanks gents, esp. Mr Monsstar, I've had my questions answered by the nice people at the Manchester Regt forum.
oldbaldy said:
Plus read how the numbering system changed in 1916 from a Regimental number to an Army number:

Under the old system if you changed regiments you got a new number.
Wasn't that a change from Bn number to Regiment number, pretty certain GGF Polar went from Territorial Notts & Derbys Bn number to Regimental one, then in 1918 it changed again when he joined 2/6 DLI
^Are you sure? My GGF service also starts at 1908 (also with a low number), that coincides with the Territorial Bns becoming part of Regular regients and the creation of the TA. 50% chance he was a 'Leeds Rifleman' in that case, unless I've got DWR and PWO confused (they had very similar titles then)
During the Great War they were REGIMENTAL numbers.
Members of the first battaliion would be 1 - 999
22nd Battalion would be 22,000 - 22,999

A soldier could in fact have several numbers during their service (such as my Great Grandfather did), by transfer, or amalgamation.

Similar threads

New Posts

Latest Threads