Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A V Martin

A V Martin - Albert Victor Martin

The other day, when remembering Chailey's men at Loos, I noticed that I hadn't added detail about Private A V Martin's army number. Army numbers can often tell you a lot about a soldier, which is why I've dedicated many hours to working on a separate Army Service Numbers project.

In A V Martin's case, his number L/10421, indicates that he joined up in August 1914 and joined as a career soldier with the Royal Sussex Regiment. That is to say, he joined up for a period of seven years with the Colours and five on the Reserve. We know this because that particular number sequence for the Royal Sussex Regiment was reserved for men who wished to enlist as career soldiers. Had Albert Martin joined up for war-time service only, his number would have been prefixed with SD/ (if he'd joined the 11th, 12th or 13th (the 1st, 2nd and 3rd South Down) battalions, and if the SD/ number series had reached as high as 10421 - which it didn't), or G/ if he'd joined another Royal Sussex Regiment service battalion.

The links I've given in the last paragraph will take you to posts that give more detail on numbering in these Royal Sussex Regiment battalions. Albert Padgham of Chailey (seated above) also joined the Royal Sussex Regiment under regular enlistment terms and you can read more about him by clicking on his name.

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