Thursday, 13 February 2014

Army Form E.594 - Volunteer Force, Form of Enrolment

 
Here's a relative rarity: Army Form E.594, used for the enrolment of Volunteers into the Volunteer Force. The majority of these forms do not survive, however it is still possible to find examples tucked away in WO 363 and WO 364, online on Ancestry.  This example, for the 1st Volunteer Battalion, Border Regiment (which, in 1908, would become the 4th Battalion (TF) Border Regiment) dates to 1903. Interestingly, both residential and business addresses are recorded.

 
The second note is worthy of remark here.  It states:
 
"Men who are slightly ruptured may, if provided with a truss, be accepted for Infantry, but in no case for Artillery corps", testament to the fact that hernias were presumably commonplace, or at least common enough to warrant further clarification on Army Form E.594.
 
Here too, the regimental number does not appear on side one of the enrolment form but almost as an afterthought at the bottom of page two.

All document images reproduced on this post are Crown Copyright, The National Archives. Service and Pension records can be searched and downloaded from Ancestry and Findmypast. Both companies offer FREE 14-day trials.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Army Form E.501 - Territorial Force attestation

 
Introduced in 1908, Army Form E.501 was to be used for men who were not serving members of the Volunteer Force or Imperial Yeomanry; men who wished to serve with the newly formed Territorial Force for a period of four years. Unlike later incarnations, the pre-war E.501 form is packed with useful questions for today's military historian: Name, place of birth, residence, employment details, physical characteristics and next of kin name and address are all included.
 
 
Page 3 has sections for preliminary training and annual training and so we can see in Laxton's Boyall's case (above) that he attended training on four consecutive years between 1909 and 1912 inclusive and also where that training took place.
 
Here's a later version of this same form from 1914:
 
 
 
All document images reproduced on this post are Crown Copyright, The National Archives. Service and Pension records can be searched and downloaded from Ancestry and Findmypast. Both companies offer FREE 14-day trials.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Army Form E.611 - Re-engagement for the Territorial Force


Here's John Charles Allen again, an erstwhile Volunteer who joined the Territorial Force for a period of one year on 7th April 1908.  Form E.611 is his re-engagement form; a commitment to further periods of service.  On the example above (right click, then save and then view as a decent-sized image) we can see that he re-enlisted for one year on 7th April 1909, for a further year on 7th April 1910 and for two further years on 7th April 1911. The re-enlistment was approved on 11th June 1911.

John Allen's record survives in WO 364.  All document images reproduced on this post are Crown Copyright, The National Archives. Service and Pension records can be searched and downloaded from Ancestry and Findmypast. Both companies offer FREE 14-day trials.

Army Form E.502 - Territorial Force attestation

 
 
I like Army Form E.502.  It was to be used "only for Imperial Yeomanry or Volunteers, enlisted or enrolled before the 1st April, 1908, enlisting in the Force." That "Force" was the new Territorial Force, formed on 1st April 1908 and E.502 was for men who had formerly served with the Volunteer Force or Imperial Yeomanry.  The joy of these forms is that former Volunteer Force or Imperial Yeomanry service is recorded and so we can see in the example above that John Charles Allen who joined the 1st (City of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) on 7th April 1908 had formerly served with the 1st Volunteer Battalion, Royal Fusiliers. And further into his papers we see more detail:
 

Here, in the top quarter of the form we see that he joined the 1st Volunteer Battalion on 20th November 1900, and below that, details of his annual training periods with the 1st London Regiment are also given. 

The detail on these forms can vary tremendously.  Sometimes the locations of training camps are given; in other pages, further evidence of service with the Volunteer Force, including a regimental number, may also be noted.  Either way, if your man attested using Form E.502 you know that he was a part time soldier before the Territorial Force was formed.

John Allen's record survives in WO 364.  All document images reproduced on this post are Crown Copyright, The National Archives. Service and Pension records can be searched and downloaded from Ancestry and Findmypast. Both companies offer FREE 14-day trials.