Rank of Recruit

#1
Just a general curiosity.
Within the CWGC database you can search on rank. Although some of the ranks used are more appointments at times, it can throw up some curious avenues.

On the search of "recruit" brings up over a thousand hits and mostly confined to the Indian Army, so I take the punt there they used the title as a rank. No issues there. However if you tick Uk only it brings up six hits.
Results

Four of these are RE, two are line infantry, with the death dates straddling the army service act and have service numbers.
Unlucky men brought down between attesting and even seeing another soldier?
 
#2
Interesting, might shed some light on the enlistment process.
In the case of the RE, my first thought was whether Sapper was the universal term for a private soldier or whether, like the RA they had other ranks depending on trade, like Driver or Saddler and until the job/rank was determined, they would have the neutral rank of recruit.
But that's only guess work and of course wouldn't apply in the case of the infantry examples.
 
#3
I'd be guessing, but perhaps these were people who were called up or enlisted but then died before they could be inducted into the training organisation. edit - sorry, I see the OP had offered that idea
 
#5
Looking at the numbers, I imagine that would be a reasonable indication of men who joined up but died of disease during basic training. Men in UK were generally well-screened, but these few might be unkown heart conditions, etc. The Indians, of course, had malaria and dozens of other diseases that they might be susceptible to.
 
#6
Looking at the numbers, I imagine that would be a reasonable indication of men who joined up but died of disease during basic training. Men in UK were generally well-screened, but these few might be unkown heart conditions, etc. The Indians, of course, had malaria and dozens of other diseases that they might be susceptible to.
Basic training normally listed as private(or variations of) as there a lot of established cases of death by a wide range of causes including suicide. The in from the cold project found a few. Hence out of five million men we have six recorded as recruit. Paperwork anomaly or as above random deaths whilst still technically a recruit?

Edit. Had a quick search around. CWGC does not have any soldier linked to any recruit distribution battalion yet the Medal Index cards have medals issued to 4th recruit distribution battalion to privates.
Never heard of the recruit distribution battalion and a quick search of the internet brings up noting.
Even more confused now.

@jimmy25 found another big rabbit hole here.
 
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#8
Surely the actual rank is Pte/Gnr/Dvr/Spr/Rfn etc, and "Rct" is only an appointment like sergeant majors, master chefs & drivers etc?

I would have thought that if Rct appears on CWGC documents for the British Army, it was just an error at the time by a clerk, notifying casualties. May well be wrong, but I don't think Rct is an actual rank.
 
#9
Surely the actual rank is Pte/Gnr/Dvr/Spr/Rfn etc, and "Rct" is only an appointment like sergeant majors, master chefs & drivers etc?

I would have thought that if Rct appears on CWGC documents for the British Army, it was just an error at the time by a clerk, notifying casualties. May well be wrong, but I don't think Rct is an actual rank.
Indeed highly likely to turn out to be a quirk of the clerk but to me another insight into the monster that is British Army admin.
Will look the deaths up on weekend to see if the theory they never even seen another soldier in a working capacity holds water.
Have a play around with the rank search on CWGC, some odd titles do appear. A lot of people (including forces) still don't get the rank/appointment thing.
 

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LE
Kit Reviewer
#10
Welch Man, pse check PMs.
 
#12
I'm not seeing anything unusual here but maybe I'm the one misunderstanding something. I'm also not a military historian so maybe that's the problem. Anyway, follow my logic...

Modern Regular soldiers will have waited for a date when they, along with a merry band of like-minded individuals, turn up to begin their recruit training. They'll do their Phase 1, then their Phase 2, then join their units.

When I joined the TA, things were a bit different. You went straight to your unit, applied, had a cursory medical, then attested. You had to have been in for a year and passed your Recruits' Camp before you were classed a trained soldier. Some might do the Camp straightaway then have to wait a year before losing the "Recruit" status. Others, like me, may wait a year to go to Camp, then be classed as a trained soldier straight after the Pass Off Parade. In both cases, during that year, you'd train with your unit.

It might seem odd timing but while I was waiting to go to Recruits' Camp, I managed to get qualified as a Platoon Signaller. Being a recruit wasn't necessarily a bar to doing grown-up stuff.

In the case of the UK WW1 recruit casualties, could it just be that they were TF soldiers who hadn't yet done their full first year and died during training? Or perhaps they even reached the battlefield while still, technically, a recruit (i.e. doing the grown-up stuff).

I don't know whether the TF had the same procedure whereby they had to be in for a year before being "promoted" to Private but the idea must have originated somewhere.

Maybe the distinction was merely that they (and including the Indian troops) were on a lower pay band than Private and were killed or died during their initial training.
 

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LE
Kit Reviewer
#13
#14
Conscripted RAF recruits were frequently attested locally and then ordered to parade with their local ATC unit until being called forward to a training unit. Might there have been a similar scheme in the Army, whereby men were attested locally and then left hanging around while waiting to be posted?
 
#15
@Welch Man, you have definitely had something gone wrong, as tagging me in post #6 did not flash up on my Alerts, and I have only just spotted this thread.

On topic, only in the TV series (multiple) about RM Cdo training have I ever seen/heard anyone referred to or announcing themselves as 'Recruit Bloggs'. As a kid with a certain amount of access to Depot The Welch way back in the early '50s, my observation was that recruits were always referred to as 'Private', and when I joined R Signals, from day one, even those who had not yet been allocated numbers were taught to announce themselves on demand as, "NYA Signalman Snooks".
 
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