Numbers were then a maximu… The second system was introduced in 1920 under Army Order 388 with each regiment allocated its own block of numbers: Royal Army Service Corps 1 - 294000 and 10660001 - 11000000. It was used on all of his paperwork, so all of his records carry it. A surviving document which is often found within the family is an Army Book 64 Soldier’s Service and Pay Book and an example is shown below. Commissioned officers did not have service numbers until 1920. 1950 onwards: Soldiers in the British Army are currently given an eight-digit Service Number. Army numbers often appear on both the envelopes and letters sent by and to the soldier. However, if the soldier you’re researching served in an infantry regiment and you know they served in Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Egypt or Sicily etc., then you can often identify the war diaries you need to check relatively quickly. When searching for a soldier by their name bear in mind that some first names are recorded as initials only. For example, if you know they were wounded in Sicily serving with the Devonshire Regiment or they were taken prisoner at Dunkirk in 1940 while serving with the Royal Artillery, there won’t be many possibilities, even for common surnames. However, it has a number of downsides. British army. If you’re researching a soldier who served in the inter-war period, then a regimental journal may hold the key to finding their army number. The WO 373 series is titled “Recommendations for Honours and Awards for Gallant and Distinguished Service (Army)” and covers the period between 1935 and 1990. It can be difficult to tell which is an army number and which is a regimental number. Many of the records can only be found with any certainty if you know the number, unless the man had an uncommon name. Scotland, Ireland and Wales, Militia Attestation Papers, 1800-1915, index - at Ancestry.com ($) This database contains a listing of World War II British prisoners of war. If you believe that somebody is posing as an Army Service Person, trying to fraudulently obtain money from you, we would strongly advise you to cease communication, to not send any money/gift cards and to contact Action Fraud, the UK's national reporting centre for fraud and cyber-crime. Each year, a shortlist of books is considered by ten judges, Regular and Reserve. The medal rolls are divided by regiment/corps. When my great-grandmother died while my great-grandfather was serving abroad, his army number was recorded on her death certificate. While the Ministry of Defence will search for a soldier if you know their date of birth, many recruits gave a false one. From this information, hopefully, you’ll be able to work out if you have found the correct person. Soldiers in the British Army are given an eight-digit number, e.g. Nearly every man of the regiment appears at least once, as they record appointments, training courses and men going on leave. The casualty lists can be searched on FindmyPast which offers a free trial. The casualty lists are most useful for those who were wounded or went missing. Email me if you’re not sure attaching a copy of the Medal Index Card and I’ll let you know whether you’re looking at an army number. A Notification of Impending Release, a document relating to demobilization also frequently survives. One of the most important is Army Form A.3009 Field Return of Other Ranks. They’re indexed by Service Number, Rank, Full Name and Date of Birth – you’ll need to provide as much of this information as possible, together with your relative’s Regiment or Corps if it is known, to help locate service records. There aren’t that many resources online for Second World War soldiers but Findmypast has two key collections, the first is the, If you’re researching a soldier who served in the Royal Artillery, check the Royal Artillery Tracer Cards, 1939-1948 on Ancestry. In some armies, the fire teams are called squads, making up a section. Regimental/corps’ museums often have a set, the Imperial War Museum has a reasonable collection but your best bet is to visit the British Library in London. With this information, you can often work out the correct soldier or at least narrow it down to a couple of possibilities, unless you’re looking for a John Smith! If the soldier you’d like to research died between 3 September 1939 and 31 December 1947, then you can search for them on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) website. Includes army numbers from 558,471 to 558,761, allotted to personnel enlisted for the … You can search for the journals on the main catalogue, however, you will need a reader’s pass to view them. Army numbers are usually recorded on official documents issued during a soldier’s service. However, they are only useful if the soldier in question joined the Royal Artillery prior to April 1942 (when the General Service Corps was formed) or one of the regiments which made up the Royal Tank Corps between 1919 and 1934. Despite these problems, it is still a very useful database. In all probability this number would not be unique and could be repeated in many battalions and regiments throughout the British Army. Another document which frequently survives within a family is a Notification of Impending Release, which relates to their demobilisation. These books list the army number of those who were tried for a variety of crimes/offences e.g. When a soldier got married during the war, had a child or their wife died, information relating to their military service was often recorded on the certificate. This important database contains the army numbers of soldiers who served in the British Army past 1920 and were born prior to 1901 whose service records are still held by the Ministry of Defence. During the Second World War, each soldier who served in the British Army was allotted a unique army number, usually on the day they joined or shortly after. Unfortunately, journals are quite difficult to find. British Army Service records can tell you a lot about your military ancestors. They can tell you where they were dispatched to, what battles they fought in, awards … I have seen plenty of army numbers on certificates so it’s by no means rare. To find a mentioned in despatches, you’ll need to search a soldier’s name on the London Gazette. If you have concerns relating to past or present incidents please do not hesitate to contact the Safeguarding Unit. All Army Numbers were scrapped from March 1950 and replaced by the new Service Numbers, which are allocated sequentially, starting at 2000000. I have a separate page explaining what an army number was and how to find a personal number, the officers’ equivalent. War diaries are often your best chance of finding a soldier’s army number. This search tool can match army numbers from the 1920's to the end of World War 2 which was based on the regiment that a soldier joined initially, and the post war numbering system which is army wide. This is a fee-paying website that offers a free trial period and you’ll be taken to the site if you click on the banner below. This section is useful if you’re researching a soldier who became ill and was sent away for medical treatment, as they don’t appear in casualty lists. The Ministry of Defence still has these service records and they usually contain First World War records as well. The British Army is made up of the Regular Army and the Army Reserve. There will be a paragraph recording which despatch the men were mentioned in. The army has a single command structure based at Andover and known as "Army Headquarters". From the later Middle Ages until the English Civil War, when a foreign expeditionary force was needed, such as the one that Henry V of England took to France and that fought at the Battle of Agincourt(1415), the army, a professional one, was raised for the duration of t… The downside is that you’re going to have to know that the soldier in question got into trouble during their service, had a Field General Court-Martial and then spend a lot of time looking through the books. Army Book of the Year 2020. In 1920, the way the army issued numbers changed. During the Second World War, the British Army published casualty lists recording officers and other ranks who had lost their lives, were wounded, went missing or were confirmed as prisoners of war. After training, they were allocated to their new cap badge, with this same training centre allocated service number. You’ll often find them when a unit is about to embark for overseas service with the nominal roll below appearing in the war diary of the 2nd Battalion Welsh Guards and recording those heading for Boulogne to take part in the defence of the port. If you’re researching a relative, ask family members if they have any documents or letters relating to the soldier. They are Royal Artillery Attestations 1883-1942 and Royal Tank Corps Enlistment Records 1919-1934. The British Army was renumbered in 1920. The Salvation Army is committed to preventing, identifying and responding to the abuse of children and adults. When you contact the Army, we have a staff of individuals ready to talk to you. The British army is on course to miss its targets for the number of recruits it should have by 2020. The extract below was taken from The Crossbelts, The Journal of the VIII King’s Royal Irish Hussars: Volume 3: No.1: 1935. [77] [78] Deployable combat formations consist of two divisions ( 1st Armoured and 3rd Mechanised ) and eight brigades. Royal Horse Guards 304001 - 309000. The army’s 2020 strategy, published in 2015, aimed to have 82,000 army … Around 1929, the Royal Artillery’s attestation book changes the information which was recorded and only a soldier’s full name and army number are guaranteed to appear. Call (DSN) 699-3735 or (866) 771-6357 (toll free). On Reginald’s register entry for the CWGC, it was recorded that he was the “son of Henry Charles and Alice Panton, of Chatham”. Even for common surnames like Smith and Jones, you can often find the correct soldier providing you know some information about their service. If you’re trying to find a soldier who served in the Royal Artillery or Royal Army Service Corps and that’s all you know, then there’s very little chance of success. Army service records are held in Glasgow. Rise in number of British soldiers being sacked for drug use. I’ve never seen an army number appear on a 1914 or 1914/15 Star Medal Roll, though that’s not to say none exist on these documents. Unfortunately, you will need to know a bit about the soldier’s service to know which war diaries to check. The Devonshire Regiment was allocated numbers 5,608,001-5,662,000. I have found this collection to be very hit or miss. Regimental orders are great documents in this respect, though only found in a small number of war diaries and usually only for units serving in Britain. Unfortunately, a lot of them have been left blank. If you’re researching a soldier who died during the war and trying to find their army number, use the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website instead. For example, if you’re looking for the number of an Andrew Boast who was wounded with the Devonshire Regiment in Burma your task will be considerably easier than finding a John Smith who you think may have served in the Royal Artillery. Enlistment books … Unfortunately, these are few and far between. What was an Army Number or Personal Number? For other ranks this was originally a seven digit number and then increased to eight. If the soldier you’re researching was awarded a gallantry medal, for example, the military medal or distinguished conduct medal, you can search their name in the WO 373 Series on the National Archives’ catalogue. The most useful medal rolls are those for the General Service Medal with clasps Palestine 1945-48 and S. E. Asia 1945-46 due to the large numbers of Second World War soldiers qualifying for them. Army tank brigade equipped with Valentine tanks lined up in Britain. 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