Regiment numbers Help wanted please.

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by tiggy1970, Oct 3, 2009.

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  1. Hi my name is Alison,
    i am new to this site, It was recomended to me by a family member, and i was hoping someone maybe able to help me.
    I have been researching my family history, one side of it is very military, and i am having problems fitting it all together.
    So was hoping i could throw a couple of questions at you.

    could someone tell me if a soldier had served in the first world war, then been discharged and then re enlisted for the 2nd world war, would he have been given a new regiment number, or would they of been re enlisted on thier old number. As i have found alot of military records for this period, the soldiers often had more than 1 number, or records can be found for what appears to be the same person, and the the numbers don't tally up. Hope that question makes sense.

    Also i have been researching a soldier who served in the 19th Hussars. I have his reg number and can find nothing on him. No papers at all.
    I have searched a lot of sites, QSA, 19th Hussars, boer war 1899- 1902 to name a few and I am stuck!
    Ancestry, National Archives display nothing for his Reg number, can anyone shread any light on this.
    Being new to this site, not sure if i am in the right place to ask this, but if I throw the details at you that I have please would someone be able to help me.
    The soldier was William Oakley, Lc.Cpl 3182 !9th Hussars. He had a son born in Secunderabad in 1897, So it is possible he was there himself in this period, or would it be his family was there and he was somewhere else.

    Thanks in advance for any help anyone can offer.

  2. Sympathetic_Reaction

    Sympathetic_Reaction LE Book Reviewer

    I believe that he regimental numbering system was changed between the wars....originally you would have had a proper regimental number...i.e. one given to you by the regiment, it would change if you moved regiments etc. By WW2 the system was an army number, i.e. issued from the top and stayed with you throughout your time in the military.

    Unfortunetly a lot of the WW1 records were lost in WW2 (fire I think) so you have to be lucky to find something from then.

    I'm not 100% sure on all of this, but there are better people here who I am sure will turn up at some point to correct my ramblings.

  3. Many of the ww1 records were destroyed during the blitz.

    As for regimental numbers if a soldier re-enlisted in either the Regular Army, the TA or the Supplementary Reserve they kept their original number. They were only issued a new number if the re-enlisted into the Militia which was formed in April 1939. The Militia was merged with the Regulars, TA and Reserve into the British Army in Sept 1939.
  4. Alison,

    The regimental museum of the 15th/19th Hussars may be able to help.

    Museum web page

    Regarding regimental numbers, they changed during WW1 from regimental numbers to service numbers, then again sometime before WW2, so the whole system becomes very confusing.

    Also, you have to think about the statement that your relative was in WW1 & WW2. If he was 20 at the end of WW1, he'd have been 40 at the beginning of WW2. Might not have joined the regulars, might have been LDV/the home guard or some other reserve unit.
  5. Alison;

    From the Regt number you've supplied it would seem that Wm Oakley was a pre-war (WW1) regular, but if his date of birth is right he would have been to young to have joined and served prior to 1914. In Aug 1914 the regiment (19th (Queen Alexandra's Own Royal) Hussars were based at Hounslow with their Depot in Bristol. Are you sure that you have his full name, DoB, and regimental number right? William may well have been his middle name; it was very common for people to be known and called by their middle name with the first name reserved for Sunday or official days.
  6. Thanks for all your help so far.

    Stoppage. William was born 1870, it is his son who was born 1897. Both were military men .
    Do you know if the Hussars were in canterbury in 1901.

    It is his son whom i think may of served in both 1ww and 2ww.
    Thanks for the info on the Hussars museum, i did contact them and they came up with nothing.

    Does anyone know how to check military records if the soldiers were living in India at the same time british census's were taken.
    I have tried the Fibis site and come up with nothing.

    I am thinking i may have to visit Kew, but am hoping the records i am looking for are not the ones distroyed in the blitz.
  7. There are 143 William Oakley listed for WW1


    Just read your post again.
    Was his son called william too?
    The father would have possibly been too old for WW1

    In answer to your question about army numbers.
    There was a new numbering system introduced in 1920 after the war so all soldiers got a new number. Another system was introduced in 1942.
  8. Hi Sunray minor his son was called Albert Edward Oakley, I dnn't know much about his military background, other that he was a prisioner of war in Turkey? I think he served in both 1ww and 2nd.

    Thanks for your help on the regiment numbers that explains why some of the records have 2 numbers.

    I will go have a look at the link you posted.

  9. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    Hi Alison,

    The 15/19H Museum is just that, a museum, maintained by Home Headquarters, The Light Dragoons, just around the corner. Contact the Regimental Association of The Light Dragoons (19H merged with 15H to become 15/19H in 1922 and they in turn merged with 13/18H in 1992 to become The Light Dragoons) at:

    You won't be the first descendant of a 19H to contact them about a forebear: one lady even wrote a book (available in genealogical circles - my niece was given a copy by the author and my niece sent it to me - I cannot lay my hands on it right now) about her search. I am sure you will be pleased with the help you get.



    It's even worse nowadays: if the computer says my name is William, it must be right - I have tried and tried to fight it. I could use the nickname Neil-Actually. I wear a name badge that says Neil: the look on faces when they see William on the form is almost worth it. On one occasion my GP crossed out WILLIAM from my notes and wrote NEIL. Next time I called, there was still no Neil on their system and the receptionist had crossed out NEIL and restored WILLIAM.

  10. Only one Albert Edward Oakley listed for WW1

    Medal card of Oakley, Albert Edward
    Corps Regiment No Rank
    Royal Field Artillery 204873 Driver
    Date 1914-1920
    Catalogue reference WO 372/15

    However 15 Albert E Oakley so one of these 16

  11. Hi thanks for your replies, not been able to get on line for a while.
    Sunray minor, thsnks for the reference for Albert Edward Oakley, i had pin pointed that one as being on the right track, as next of kin is listed as a William Oakley (father). ( although i know thats a bit of a shot in the dark)

    Please can you tell me if the Royal Horse Artillary would of been combined with the Feild Artillary? It believed Albert served with the Royal Horse Artillary.

    Sorry for all the questions, but i am not up on military knowledge, although i am on a good learning curve of it.

    Alison x
  12. This could have created a lot of walts

    Name: Albert Edward Oakley
    Estimated Birth Year: abt 1896
    Age at Enlistment: 19
    Document Year: 1915
    Regimental Number: L20406
    Regiment Name: Field Artillery (Camberwell) Royal Horse And Royal Field Ar??
    Number of Images: 17