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Army Number Block Allocations

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#1 Geoff Reeves

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Posted 12 January 2006 - 06:52 PM

The following list might be of some use, hopefully. These are the number blocks allocated to the British Army in the pre-war years but was used right through to war's end. It can be used to identify with which unit a soldier first served. However, it does not mean that soldier served the entire war with that unit - or even for any great length of time. For instance, a soldier volunteering in 1939 might be assigned to The Queen's Royal Regt and given a number within their block. However, before he begins training the Army decides that he's better suited as a Royal Engineer and is transferred. That soldier would still retain his number from The Queen's. Nevertheless, it can be a start when researching a soldier's career as you can tell their initial unit upon enlistment - and also have a guess at when he or she actually joined (depending on where their number falls in sequence within that block).

Royal Army Service Corps 1 - 294000 and 10660001 - 11000000

The Life Guards 294001 - 304000
294001 to 299000 1st Life Guards
299001 to 304000 2nd Life Guards

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)
309001 to 386000 Lancers
386001 to 528000 Dragoons
528001 to 721000 Hussars

Royal Artillery (Field, Coastal & Anti-Aircraft) 721001 - 1842000 and 11000001 - 11500000

Royal Engineers 1842001 - 2303000

Royal Corps of Signals 2303001 - 2604000

Grenadier Guards 2604001 - 2646000

Coldstream Guards 2646001 - 2688000

Scots Guards 2688001 - 2714000

Irish Guards 2714001 - 2730000

Welsh Guards 2730001 - 2744000

Black Watch (The Royal Highland Regiment) 2744001 - 2809000

Seaforth Highlanders 2809001 - 2865000

Gordon Highlanders 2865001 - 2921000

Cameron Highlanders 2921001 - 2966000

Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders 2966001 - 3044000

Royal Scots 3044001 - 3122000

Royal Scots Fusiliers 3122001 - 3178000

The King's Own Scottish Borderers 3178001 - 3233000

Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) 3233001 - 3299000

Highland Light Infantry 3299001 - 3377000

East Lancashire Regiment 3377001 - 3433000

Lancashire Fusiliers 3433001 - 3511000

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 Welch Fusiliers 4178001 - 4256000

Royal Northumberland Fusiliers 4256001 - 4334000

East Yorkshire Regiment 4334001 - 4379000

The Green Howards 4379001 - 4435000

Durham Light Infantry 4435001 - 4523000

West Yorkshire Regiment 4523001 - 4601000

The Duke of Wellington's Regiment (The West Riding) 4601001 - 4680000

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

Gloucestershire Regiment 5172001 - 5239000

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

Northhamptonshire 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 Army Medical Corps 7245001 - 7536000

(Royal) Army Dental Corps 7536001 - 7539000 and 10510001 - 10530000

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 Ordnance Corps 7574001 - 7657000 and 10530001 - 10600000.

(Royal) Army Pay Corps 7657001 - 7681000 and 10400001 - 10500000.
(Locally enlisted staff Middle East 10500001 - 10508000)

(Royal) Military Police 7681001 - 7717000

Military Provost Staff Corps 7717001 - 7718800

Small Arms School Corps 7718801 - 7720400

(Royal) Army Education Corps 7720401 - 7732400

Band of the Royal Military College 7732401 - 7733000

Corps of Military Accountants 7733001 - 7757000 (Disbanded 1925)

Royal Army Veterinary Corps 7757001 - 7807000

Machine Gun Corps 7807001 - 7868000 (Disbanded 1922)

Royal Tank Regiment 7868001 - 7891868

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)

Intelligence Corps 10350001 - 10400000

Reconnaissance Corps 10600001 - 10630000

Army Catering Corps (Royal Corps of Food Poisoners) 10630001 - 10655000

Army Physical Training (Staff) Corps 10655001 - 10660000

(Royal) Pioneer Corps 13000001 - 14000000

The Lowland Regiment 14000001 - 14002500

The Highland Regiment 14002501 - 14005000

General Service Corps 14200001 - 15000000

Indian local enlistments 15000001 - 15005000

Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers 16000001 - 16100000

Non-Combatant Corps 97000001 - 97100000

Auxiliary Territorial Service W/1 - W/500,000

Voluntary Aid Detachments W/500001 - W/1000000
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Geoff Reeves
Pro Rege et Patria

In memory of my relatives who served and died in World War Two:

S/6076192 WO1 W.G. REEVES, DCM - The Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regt) and The Royal Army Service Corps. Died on active duty 16 January 1940. Grandfather.

429410 LAC Sydney Hogarth STARMER, RAAF. Killed in training accident with 5 SFTS 19 August 1943 at Collingullie, aged 19. Great Uncle

QX8001 Lt Alexander Cunningham STARMER, MC - 2/15th AIF - older brother to Sydney, died 1980. Great Uncle

#2 Geoff Reeves

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Posted 12 January 2006 - 07:18 PM

To illustrate an example of retaining one's original service number when transferring to other units within the Army, I will use my Grandfather as an example. He served with The Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regt) from 1906-1938. His original regimental number was 8846 - changed to L/8846 during the Great War (to indicate that he was a pre-war regular). Sometime in the 20's or 30's (I'm still working on nailing that down) he received service number 6076192 - which from the above list you can see is a very early number within the Army number block allocation for The Queen's (it went by seniority and he was an RSM). When the war started he rejoined the colours but his health was not good but the Army still needed experienced NCO's. He was transferred to the RASC to be the RSM of a supply depot - the only change to his number was the addition of the prefix "S" so he was S/6076192 - which was an RASC prefix denoting supply (as opposed to transport).
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Geoff Reeves
Pro Rege et Patria

In memory of my relatives who served and died in World War Two:

S/6076192 WO1 W.G. REEVES, DCM - The Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regt) and The Royal Army Service Corps. Died on active duty 16 January 1940. Grandfather.

429410 LAC Sydney Hogarth STARMER, RAAF. Killed in training accident with 5 SFTS 19 August 1943 at Collingullie, aged 19. Great Uncle

QX8001 Lt Alexander Cunningham STARMER, MC - 2/15th AIF - older brother to Sydney, died 1980. Great Uncle

#3 Owen

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Posted 12 January 2006 - 10:12 PM

Thanks for that Geoff that is going to be really useful. I shall be referring to that soon.
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#4 wasman

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 11:14 PM

I have a group of medals to a man serving with the pioneers in 1945, his service number was 1693413, how does this fit into the list, cheers wasman.
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#5 Geoff Reeves

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 01:27 PM

Hi Wasman: it looks like your man's initial enlistment was in the Royal Artillery (721001 - 1842000). Not sure about the year - if you forced me to guess I'd say 40-42, but that is a purely (and fairly uneducated) guess.

cheers,
Geoff
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Geoff Reeves
Pro Rege et Patria

In memory of my relatives who served and died in World War Two:

S/6076192 WO1 W.G. REEVES, DCM - The Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regt) and The Royal Army Service Corps. Died on active duty 16 January 1940. Grandfather.

429410 LAC Sydney Hogarth STARMER, RAAF. Killed in training accident with 5 SFTS 19 August 1943 at Collingullie, aged 19. Great Uncle

QX8001 Lt Alexander Cunningham STARMER, MC - 2/15th AIF - older brother to Sydney, died 1980. Great Uncle

#6 wasman

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 10:45 AM

Many thanks for the info Geoff,
cheers
Wayne
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#7 Owen

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Posted 04 February 2006 - 09:58 PM

Just referred back to this on the chaps on the St Philip's Church war memorial ,Swindon,
It has helped alot.
Lads from GSC to Wilts and Lanc Fus,
Wilts to RA and Sussex,
Royal Warks to RA.
Good stuff. Thanks again.
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#8 CROONAERT

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 11:13 PM

and also have a guess at when he or she actually joined (depending on where their number falls in sequence within that block).


Bear in mind though that these numbers started in 1920 (and ran like this until about March 1950). Also, any soldier serving through the number change might have enlisted many years earlier (what I'm trying to say here, is that, for example number 3377001 didn't necessarily join the East Lancs in 1920 - he could have initially joined, say, the Loyal North Lancs in 1910 and just happened to be in the ELR during the number change).

For most of the WW2 numbers though, it is as Owen describes, but it's unlikely that many of the lower numbers in the blocks will be encountered by 1939 (unless there was a huge influx of long-service soldiers in 1920!!:biggrin: )

Dave
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#9 hedwig06

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Posted 17 May 2008 - 05:11 AM

Hi,
I have been directed to this forum from another I was wondering about a service number : 15313294, He had GNR before his name also.

Can anyone tell me a regiment from this number, I was guessing Artillery, and Gunner.

But a 2nd opinion would be great.
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#10 GPRegt

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Posted 17 May 2008 - 09:13 AM

Hi,
I have been directed to this forum from another I was wondering about a service number : 15313294, He had GNR before his name also.

Can anyone tell me a regiment from this number, I was guessing Artillery, and Gunner.

But a 2nd opinion would be great.



That's a RA number. So he would have been a Gunner. Unfortunately, the actual Regt can't be determined from the number.

Steve W.
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#11 hedwig06

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Posted 17 May 2008 - 01:59 PM

Thanks for the 2nd opinion.
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#12 PsyWar.Org

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Posted 17 May 2008 - 03:56 PM

Of my two grandfathers that served in WWII, one I know his service very well as I was brought up on his war stories which led to my passion for WWII history.

My other grandfather I never knew, apparently he rarely spoke about his experiences during the war, never claimed his campaign medals and there is no scrap of evidence of his service. He didn't keep anything, not his service book or discharge certificate even. All I know was that he was a Despatch Rider in the Royal Artillery.

Anyway not so long ago I was surprised to discover that his service number was written on my father's birth certificate. The number corresponds with the Royal Artillery using the above list.

Was it common practice for servicemen to add their service number to their childrens' birth certificates?


Lee
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#13 CROONAERT

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Posted 23 June 2008 - 07:53 PM

In case it's of any interest, and to continue the number blocks, here're the service numbers (pre-1920 Army -they were regimental numbers , 1920-1950 army - they were Army numbers and post 1950 - they became Service numbers) and approx dates for post 1950 to present (army number system scrapped in March(?) 1950 and replaced with 8 digit numbers beginning at 22000000 - issued in order of enlistment and the number stays throughout service)...

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 *
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 onwards Still being issued


Edited by CROONAERT, 23 June 2008 - 11:03 PM.

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#14 Owen

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Posted 23 June 2008 - 09:30 PM

24587119 to 24753060 Until December 1985
24753061 to 24854044 Until November 1988

I was 2476****
Blimey was it that long ago, I'm old.

Edited by Owen, 22 September 2008 - 12:21 PM.

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#15 CROONAERT

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Posted 23 June 2008 - 11:00 PM

I could have told you that without looking at numbers Owen!:P
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#16 Capt.Sensible

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 07:41 AM

I was 2476****
Blimey was it that long ago, I'm old.

24475541 to 24520161 Until March 1979...you young pup, you!

H aka 24515222

Edited by Owen, 04 January 2009 - 06:19 PM.
deleted my last 4

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#17 Smudger Jnr

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 06:17 PM

Can anyone explain to me the Army numbering system as when I look at my late fathers number of 14633362, it is longer than some that I have seen.

Can anything be interpreted from the Army Number?

:sign_help:

Tom
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#18 the_historian

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 06:59 PM

Oh, this could be a university degree in it's own right! In the British Army in WW2, certain blocks of numbers were used to denote certain corps etc. My old man's Royal Corps of Signals no. was 2576186, where I think the '257' was the Signals. I've got a book somewhere with a list of all the WW2 ones.
There are guys in here who could give you chapter & verse on WW1 army nos, but they're braver men than me!
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#19 handtohand22

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 07:24 PM

That number belongs to the block allocated to soldiers who initially joined the General Service Corps. He could have changed units after initial enlistment but the number remains his.

Check out this thread

http://www.ww2talk.c...llocations.html
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#20 Tom Canning

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 07:58 PM

Tom -
the numbering system as outlined by both Hand to hand and Geoff Reeves - is correct for the General Service Corps - it was about the end of '41 - beginning '42 when all recruits were inducted to the GSC in order to have six week Infantry training initially to make them into soldiers plus having tests to see where they could be best suited within the army....your Father was obviously best suited for armoured then recce. Your Father's number however is one digit too many - only seven digits !
Cheers
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#21 sapper

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 08:03 PM

No oner should give their service numbers...Ever!
Sapper
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#22 Mr Grinch

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 08:07 PM

Here's another one for you then Tom ;)

My Great grandfather apparantly had 58616 as a service number. I have been unable to verify this so any pointers would be great. He was a pre war territiorial and ended up at Dunkirk.

Regards
James
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#23 CROONAERT

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 08:12 PM

#. Your Father's number however is one digit too many - only seven digits !



8 digit number block allocations prior to Oct 1950...

Militia
10,000,000
10,350,000
Army Numbers were allocated in accordance with Regulations for the Militia (other than the Supplementary Reserve), 1939, paragraphs 11-13.
Intelligence Corps
10,350,001
10,400,000

Royal Army Pay Corps
10,400,001
10,500,000
Title 'Royal' conferred in 1920. Also issued 7,657,001 to 7,681,000.
Middle East, 2nd Echelon
10,500,001
10,508,000
for issue to Allies locally enlisted.
The Army Dental Corps
10,510,001
10,530,000
Became Royal Army Dental Corps in 1946. Also allocated 7,536,001 to 7,539,000.
Royal Army Ordnance Corps
10,530,001
10,600,000
Received 'Royal' title in 1918. Also allocated 7,574,001 to 7,657,000.
Reconnaissance Corps
10,600,001
10,630,000

Army Catering Corps
10,630,001
10,655,000

Army Physical Training Corps
10,655,001
10,660,000
The Army Gymnastic Staff (AGS) became the Army Physical Training Staff after the Great War. Its title was changed to Corps on 16 September 1940.
Royal Army Service Corps
10,660,001
11,000,000
Also allocated 1 to 294,000.
Royal Artillery (Coast Defence and Anti-Aircraft Branch)
11,000,001
11,500,000
Also allocated 721,001 to 1,842,000.
Pioneer Corps
13,000,001
14,000,000
The Auxiliary Military Pioneer Corps was formed in October 1939. Title was changed to Pioneer Corps in November 1940. It became the Royal Pioneer Corps in 1946.
The Lowland Regiment
14,000,001
14,002,500
Formed September 1943.
The Highland Regiment
14,002,501
14,200,000
Formed September 1943.
General Service Corps
14,200,001
15,000,000
Formed September 1943.
India
15,000,001
15,005,000
for local enlistments into British Corps and Regiments. Formed September 1943.
Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
16,000,001
16,100,000

General Service Corps
19,000,001
19,200,000
Formed September 1943.
Non-Combatant Corps
97,000,001
97,100,000

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#24 CROONAERT

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 08:14 PM

My Great grandfather apparantly had 58616 as a service number.


if a post-1920 number, then is signifies initial enlistment in the RASC.

Dave
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#25 Mr Grinch

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 08:26 PM

Thanks Dave,
I seem to remember him mentioning driving trucks at Dunkirk so RASC sounds right i think. Does that number indicate a rough year of enlistment ?? He did serve in WW1 in the Tank Cops before being demobbed. Would that have any baring ??

Regards
James
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#26 Tom Canning

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 08:47 PM

Coonaert -
your 8 digit numbering system is entirely correct as checking my own number - it's 8 digit's !!! in 1942 was 1437**** - just getting short sighted as I am due a cateract operation soon !
Cheers
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#27 CROONAERT

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 10:38 PM

checking my own number - it's 8 digit's !!! - just getting short sighted as I am due a cateract operation soon !



At least you've an excuse, Tom - I recently had a form returned to me where I was supposed to put my old service number on (8 digit), but i put a 7 digit number that was nothing like it but seemed right when I wrote it! Turned out to be my dad's old number which , for some reason ,must have been lying there in a dormant bit of memory and came forth when filling in the form!!!:lol:

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#28 CROONAERT

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 10:45 PM

Does that number indicate a rough year of enlistment ??



It can do as they were issued consecutively. However, it'd help to know how many soldiers were in the RASC at the time of the number change in 1920 (which I don't!) and then work from there. As an educated guess (and roughly working off army intake numbers for the 1920's and 1930s), I'd say either between 1925 and 1930 or between 1930 and 1935. That is a completely rough estimation though and doesn't take into consideration enlistments into more popular units, etc, so may be way out!

His WW1 regimental number, unless he was still serving at the time of the number system change, would have no bearing on a number issued upon later re-enlistment.

dave
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#29 Drew5233

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 11:47 PM

Interesting......Anyone know at what point did it become just a numerical order (First come first served) and what number did they start at ?
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#30 Owen

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 07:18 AM

Interesting......Anyone know at what point did it become just a numerical order (First come first served) and what number did they start at ?


See Croonaert's post #13 on this thread.
http://www.ww2talk.c...llocations.html

CROONAERT posted
In case it's of any interest, and to continue the number blocks, here're the service numbers (pre-1920 Army -they were regimental numbers , 1920-1950 army - they were Army numbers and post 1950 - they became Service numbers) and approx dates for post 1950 to present (army number system scrapped in March(?) 1950 and replaced with 8 digit numbers beginning at 22000000 - issued in order of enlistment and the number stays throughout service)...

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 *
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 onwards Still being issued


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