Army Number Block Allocations

Discussion in 'Service Records' started by Geoff Reeves, Jan 12, 2006.

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  1. Geoff Reeves

    Geoff Reeves Junior Member

    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
     
    Owen, ramacal, dbf and 2 others like this.
  2. Geoff Reeves

    Geoff Reeves Junior Member

    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).
     
  3. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

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

    wasman Member

    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.
     
  5. Geoff Reeves

    Geoff Reeves Junior Member

    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
     
  6. wasman

    wasman Member

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

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    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.
     
  8. CROONAERT

    CROONAERT Ipsissimus

    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
     
  9. hedwig06

    hedwig06 Junior Member

    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.
     
  10. GPRegt

    GPRegt Senior Member

    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.
     
  11. hedwig06

    hedwig06 Junior Member

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

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    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
     
  13. CROONAERT

    CROONAERT Ipsissimus

    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
     
    Owen likes this.
  14. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

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

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

    CROONAERT Ipsissimus

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

    Capt.Sensible Well-Known Member

    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
     
  17. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    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
     
  18. the_historian

    the_historian Pillboxologist

    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!
     
  19. handtohand22

    handtohand22 Senior Member

  20. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    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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