For several years, I was puzzled as to why several of the men I was researching had a “newer” army service number in the 80,000 series. Some subsequent analysis showed this related to 1919.
At the time when the campaign medals were being issued, in some instances the “current” number was in the 80,000 series. As a consequence, this is recorded on the medal index card.
It was upon reading a thread on the Great War Forum that picked up upon a higher than usual five digit service number to an infantryman, that I realised this related to postwar re-enlistment. Men who had “served their time” and were no longer serving with the colours were eligible to re-enlist for a shorter term of service, and to get a bounty for it.
There is an informative page about this on the definitive website for anyone doing WW1 research on a soldier of the British Army, Chris Baker’s excellent longlongtrail
In some cases, these men were still serving as of August 1920, when the seven digit renumbering took place, and in a few cases I have been able to identify this.
|325719||Betts, Alfred Edward||7382||80147||–|
|1033963||Cross, William Charles||8327||80431||3904366|
|4413174||Thomas, William Henry||8606||80371||3902258|
|2213361||Keefe, James Hardy||8777||82235||3902557|
|1280888||Gadsby, Charles William||9030||82787||3903023|
|350144||Bird, Arthur Ernest||9069||80422||3902298|
|2918305||Marks, William Robert||9175||80423||3902299|
|1478617||Griffiths, Septimus Rosser||9792||80378||–|
|3902783||Smith, Arthur John||10195||82486||3902783|
|1674226||Doran, Arthur Coates||10732||82451||3902755|
|982477||Cowdery, Henry William Frank||10829||82478||3902776|