When did my ancestor enlist? With which battalion did he serve? On what date did he join his regiment?
A soldier's regimental number can tell you a lot about when a man joined and even which battalion he served with. And with so many service records from the First World War destroyed during World War Two, often a soldier's regimental number may provide the only clue as to what he did and where he fought.
I have made an extensive study of British Army regimental numbers and published much of my research on another blog: Army Service Numbers 1881-1918. If you are researching a soldier and you know his regiment, have a look at the Army Service Numbers' index.
A man would generally enlist once - and be given a service number - or army number - on joining his regiment. If he joined another regiment he would be given a different number. He could even be given a different number if he joined another battalion of the same regiment. In all probability this number would not be unique and could be repeated in various battalions and regiments throughout the British Army.
If you are still struggling and need help, I offer a research service which starts at just £12. Have a look at the Research tab on this blog - or click the link: Find my WW1 soldier.