Renumbering of the Territorial Force Yeomanry in 1917

Men serving in the Territorial Force got new numbers in 1917 and a great deal can be determined about their service from these numbers. This page should help you understand what it all means.

Background

The renumbering of the Territorial Force in 1917

Detail from the campaign medal index card of Albert Abbott of the 1st County of London Yeomanry.  Crown copyright. Abbott's card shows his new number, issued in 1917.

Detail from the campaign medal index card of Albert Abbott of the 1st County of London Yeomanry. Crown copyright. Abbott’s card shows his new number, issued in 1917.

Renumbering the Yeomanry

The renumbering of the TF Yeomanry was promulgated in Army Council Instruction 381 published on 3 April 1917. As in the other arms, ACI 380 also dealt with changes in the arrangements for TF records, pay and other administrative matters. These arrangements were to take effect from 1 April 1917.

It also set out the affiliation of Yeomanry units serving overseas to particular Reserve Cavalry Regiments, which were to act as reinforcing and rejoining units for them and it stated that soldiers serving in the Mounted Brigade Signal

Troops were to be renumbered in the block assigned to the Yeomanry Regiment from which the troop was originally drawn. Under the Corps Warrant, Yeomanry units belonged to either the Cavalry Corps of Dragoons, Lancers or Hussars (as did regular cavalry units). By the time this ACI was published a number of Yeomanry units had already been converted to infantry. ACI 381 emphasised that Yeomanry renumbering did not ‘apply to personnel of the Yeomanry who have ceased to be Yeomen in consequence of their unit to which they belonged having been organised on an infantry basis, 3rd line Yeomen who have been transferred to Reserve Infantry Battalions, nor those transferred to Reserve Cavalry Regiments’.
Those soldiers treated as regulars for renumbering retained their existing number as long as they served in the same Cavalry Corps, even if subsequently posted to a TF unit of that Corps or to another regular unit of that corps. If they were transferred to another Cavalry Corps they received a regular number in their new corps, even if posted to a TF unit.

From date of renumbering the only men who could join Yeomanry units and be dealt with as TF were:

  • Men directly enlisted who did not come under the provisions of the Military Service Act
  • Men serving on TF attestations who were transferred from other arms of the TF
  • Men directly posted to Yeomanry units, as their first units, from Army Reserve Section B

The allocation of numbers to Yeomanry units

Corps Regulars TF
Lancers Below 30001 Above 30000
Dragoons Below 70001 Above 70000
Hussars Below 200001 Above 200000

The detailed allocation of numbers to TF Yeomanry units, together with their affiliations to Reserve Cavalry Regiments and other details, are shown in this table:

From To allocated to … which was considered to be in the …
35001 40000 Lanarkshire Yeomanry Corps of Lancers.
40001 45000 City of London Yeomanry Corps of Lancers. (Includes men from London Mounted Brigade Signal Troop)
45001 50000 Surrey Yeomanry Corps of Lancers.
50001 55000 East Riding Yeomanry Corps of Lancers.
55001 60000 Lincolnshire Yeomanry Corps of Lancers.
70001 75000 Berkshire Yeomanry Corps of Dragoons. (Includes men from 2nd South Midland Mounted Brigade Signal Troop)
75001 80000 Derbyshire Yeomanry Corps of Dragoons. (Includes men from Notts & Derby Mounted Brigade Signal Troop)
80001 85000 Essex Yeomanry Corps of Dragoons.
85001 90000 Fife & Forfar Yeomanry Corps of Dragoons.
90001 95000 Glamorgan Yeomanry Corps of Dragoons. (Includes men from South Wales Mounted Brigade Signal Troop)
95001 100000 QO Royal Glasgow Yeomanry Corps of Dragoons.
100001 105000 Hampshire Yeomanry Corps of Dragoons. (Includes men from 1st South Western Mounted Brigade Signal Troop)
105001 110000 Herts Yeomanry Corps of Dragoons.
110001 115000 Duke of Lancs Own Yeomanry Corps of Dragoons.
115001 120000 County of London Yeomanry Corps of Dragoons.
120001 125000 Lothian & Borders Horse Corps of Dragoons. (Includes men from Lowland Mounted Brigade Signal Troop)
125001 135000 Lovat’s Scouts Corps of Dragoons. (Includes men from Highland Mounted Brigade Signal Troop)
135001 140000 Montgomeryshire Yeomanry Corps of Dragoons.
140001 145000 Norfolk Yeomanry Corps of Dragoons. (Includes men from Eastern Mounted Brigade Signal Troop)
145001 150000 Northamptonshire Yeomanry Corps of Dragoons.
150001 160000 Scottish Horse Corps of Dragoons.
160001 165001 Shropshire Yeomanry Corps of Dragoons.
165001 170000 North Somerset Yeomanry Corps of Dragoons.
170001 175001 Sussex Yeomanry Corps of Dragoons. (Includes men from South Eastern Mounted Brigade Signal Troop)
175001 200000 Yorkshire Dragoons Corps of Dragoons.
200001 205000 Ayrshire Yeomanry Corps of Hussars.
205001 210000 Buckinghamshire Yeomanry Corps of Hussars.
210001 215000 Cheshire Yeomanry Corps of Hussars.
215001 220000 Denbighshire Hussars Corps of Hussars. (Includes men from Welsh Border Mounted Brigade Signal Troop).
220001 225000 Royal 1st Devon Yeomanry Corps of Hussars. (Includes men from 2nd South Western Mounted Brigade Signal Troop)
225001 230000 Royal North Devon Yeomanry Corps of Hussars.
230001 235000 Dorset Yeomanry Corps of Hussars.
235001 240000 Gloucestershire Yeomanry Corps of Hussars.
240001 245000 East Kent Yeomanry Corps of Hussars.
245001 250000 West Kent Yeomanry Corps of Hussars.
250001 255000 Lancashire Hussars Corps of Hussars.
255001 260000 Leicester Yeomanry Corps of Hussars.
260001 265000 County of London Yeomanry Corps of Hussars.
265001 270000 County of London Yeomanry Corps of Hussars.
270001 275000 Northumberland Yeomanry Corps of Hussars.
275001 280000 Nottinghamshire Yeomanry Corps of Hussars.
280001 285000 South Notts Hussars Corps of Hussars.
285001 290000 Oxford Yeomanry Corps of Hussars.
290001 295000 Pembroke Yeomanry Corps of Hussars.
295001 300000 West Somerset Yeomanry Corps of Hussars.
300001 305000 Staffordshire Yeomanry Corps of Hussars. (Includes men from North Midland Mounted Brigade Signal Troop)
305001 310000 Suffolk Yeomanry Corps of Hussars.
310001 315000 Warwickshire Yeomanry Corps of Hussars. (Includes men from 1st South Midland Mounted Brigade Signal Troop)
315001 320000 Westmorland & Cumberland Yeo Corps of Hussars.
320001 325000 Wiltshire Yeomanry Corps of Hussars.
325001 330000 Worcestershire Hussars Corps of Hussars.
330001 335000 Yorkshire Hussars Corps of Hussars. (Includes men from Yorkshire Mounted Brigade Signal Troop)
Welsh Horse Not allocated new numbers ad the regiment had effectively ceased to exist by this time.

Tip: how do I use this table?
Taking note of the details above and especially what qualified a man for the renumbering, it would be reasonable to assume that he was serving in the unit to which his new number had been allotted. For example, Trooper 257111 Bill Smith would have been with the Leicestershire Yeomanry.

Tip: “my soldier was renumbered like that but had another number after that … why?”
TF soldiers retained their new number as long as they served in a unit of the same cavalry corps, even if posted to a regular unit of that corps. If they were transferred to another cavalry corps, they were transferred to a yeomanry unit of that corps, renumbered in that unit’s allocation, then could (if necessary) be posted to a regular unit of that corps. So for example if a soldier who had already been renumbered was subsequently moved from a Hussars regiment to a Lancers regiment he would be renumbered again.

Links

The renumbering of the Territorial Force in 1917

The Yeomanry regiments