Re-enlistments in 1919

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.

337676Biggin, Charles5327804753902341
2312398Laughton, Charles5947804743902340
1797717Hayes, James610380322
3137072Morris, William718680089
4774590Williams, John723082436
325719Betts, Alfred Edward738280147
4311316Sullivan, Daniel779680257
2167138Jones, Matthew789480417
1033963Cross, William Charles8327804313904366
4413174Thomas, William Henry8606803713902258
1566958Harper, Alfred866582702
2213361Keefe, James Hardy8777822353902557
1280888Gadsby, Charles William9030827873903023
350144Bird, Arthur Ernest9069804223902298
2918305Marks, William Robert9175804233902299
5315358Franklin, Harry9239804303904365
2093275Jenkins, John9287827883903024
2089777James, John929780320
5136856White, William930980256
4868280Woods, Charles959680404
4694420Wells, John969480392
1478617Griffiths, Septimus Rosser979280378
3902783Smith, Arthur John10195824863902783
2251641Kiley, Patrick1025680243
4398668Thomas, Abraham10387827063902958
2260382King, Francis1061082241
1674226Doran, Arthur Coates10732824513902755
982477Cowdery, Henry William Frank10829824783902776
1109254Davies, Arthur1104080428
901853Collins, Daniel1118280253