MILITARY POLICE REGIMENTAL NUMBERS
On the formation of the Military Mounted Police in 1877 a regimental number roll was created. Sergeant Major William Silk, MMP was issued with the regimental number 1.
1 April 1878 Sergeant Major William Silk became the Quartermaster of the Military Mounted Police. London Gazette No. 24585, page 3244, dated 24 May 1878.
12 March 1881 The record shows Quartermaster William Silk promoted from Assistant Provost Marshal at the Curragh, to be Provost Marshal at Aldershot. London Gazette No. 24949, page 1150, dated 11 March 1881.
Military Mounted Police numbers had reached four figures by August 1914.
MMP and MFP who re enlisted in 1914 retained their old MMP or MFP Number. See No. 862 A/Sgt W Stretton, MFP.
On the formation of the Military Foot Police on 1 August 1882 a separate regimental number roll was created. Sergeant Major R S Robinson was issued with the regimental number 1.
It will be seen from the above that a soldier in the Military Mounted Police could have the same number as a soldier in the Military Foot Police, indeed they could have the same name and same number.
In August 1914 both the Military Mounted Police and Military Foot Police started a joint regimental number roll, all the numbers being prefixed with P/. Sgt Arthur James Toole, Military Mounted Police was issued with the first number, P/1. He was killed in action in France on the 21 October 1914 in France and is named on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.
A rough guide to date of issue of P/ numbers: P/1 - August 1914, P/1000 - February 1915, P/2000 - August 1915, P/3000 - December 1915, P/4000 - December 1915, P/5000 - October 1916, P/6000 - January 1917, P/8000 - April 1917, P/9000 April 1917, P/10000 - May 1917, P/11000 - June 1917, P/ 12000 - July 1917, P/13000 - August 1917, P/14000 - January 1918, P/15000 - April 1918, P/16000 - August 1918, P/17000 - July 1919, P/18000 - August 1919, P/19000 October 1920.
P/ numbers continued until August 1920 when army order 338,
August 1920 issued a list of continuous numbers which were divided into blocks for each regimental record office. The Military Mounted Police and Military Foot Police were issued with numbers 7681001 to 7717000. Sgt A McGaw, Military Mounted Police was issued with the first number 7681001. His previous number was no. 499, Military Mounted Police. Soldiers kept this number throughout their service even if they transferred to another Regiment or Corps. The Military Mounted Police and Military Foot Police amalgamated into the Corps of Military Police on the 27 February 1926. This did not affect the numbering system.
Numbers ranging from 18118 to 10020 have been found on world war one medal cards and medal rolls without the prefix P/ presumed to be late war. Also numbers ranging from 800’s to 1900’s these appear to be soldiers who re enlisted in the MMP MFP in 1919 and 1920, some have previous P/ numbers and have been discharged and re enlisted in 1919-1920 and given the 800 numbers.
In late 1919 early 1920 a new set of 3 or 4 figure numbers were introduced only to be replaced in August 1920 with the block numbers beginning with 7681. See P/18517 A/Cpl A E J Dallimore, who enlisted with this number 11/9/19 and this number was replaced 7/1/20 with the No. 768, then replaced with No. 7681612 in August 1920. All to no avail when he received 56 days imprisonment with hard labour for 5 counts of forgery on 22/9/20. He had seen war service as a BQMS in the Royal Garrison Artillery. These numbers range from 1300 to 1800. They were also used by MMP and MFP pre 1914.
The above system continued until 1943 when General Service Numbers were issued . These consisted originally of 8 digits e.g. 13049538 Cpl L J Ball, CMP. died 28 December 1944 and is buried in Kortrijk, Belgium. These numbers were issued to soldiers in training centres regardless of their regiment, so it is not possible to ascertain from the number what regiment they originally joined. Between 1945 and 1950 blocks in the 14xxxxxx, 16xxxxxx, and 19xxxxxx were used
In 1950 new numbers were issued starting with No. 22000000; these were in use until 2007. It is possible to ascertain the month and year the soldier enlisted from these numbers.
The last National Serviceman to join the Royal Military Police was 23815640 Lance Corporal D Roof who left the Royal Military Police Depot & Training Centre on the 23 March 1961.
In April 2007 a tri-service numbering system was introduced starting 30000001.