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17th November 2003Special Service Corps
By Steven Sass
Can anyone suggest where I may find a list of the regiments that contributed to the Special Service Corps for the 1896 Ashanti Expedition? I believe the West Yorkshire Regiment was the only one that functioned as an independent body.

I apologize for straying a bit but this one has really frustrated me and I had no choice but to tap the 'throbbing brain' of Victorian Military knowledge that exists on this forum.


18th November 2003Martin Everett
Dear Steven,
You could invest in Britsh Battles & Medals by Spinks.

Maj Gen Sir Francis Scott's force consisted of detchments from RA, RHA, RE, ASC, AMC (incl 3 nursing sisters); 2 West Yorks only complete battalion (total 420)
Composite Battalion:
2nd Gren Gds (18), 2nd Colds Gds (16), 1st Scots Gds (19), 1/5F (26), 2/11F (26), 51F (1), 3/60F (26), 4/60F (1) 80F (26), 85F (26), 89F (26), 100F (26), 2 RB (26), 2/WIR (403); Hausa Force (837); Gold Coast Constab (18)

Medals to 2nd West Yorks were issed named (expense of the CO) other unnamed.
18th November 2003Martin Everett
Dear Steven,

I forgot to mention - assume you have someone in mind - there might a complete medal roll although if the medals are issued unnamed this may not be the case). If you require the reference at Kew, then try

Then go to the PROCAT - type in Ashanti and see what you get. You would have to visit Kew to ascertain the names actually on the roll.
18th November 2003Steven Sass
Dear Martin,

Thank you, you've helped to restore my sanity. Actually you're spot on regarding me having someone in mind. I do have an unnamed medal but with the initials W. I. and the number 83 engraved on the reverse of the cross. I had assumed it would be a simple process by finding said chap with appropriate initials in the 83rd. However as the 83rd appears not to be a contributor, I'm kind of at a loss.

However, what you provided was more than I could find in months of searching. Thank you again.

18th November 2003Mike McCabe
You could be closer than you think, 2/WIR being the 2nd West India Regiment? So WI=WIR? They probably had a 'Regimental' system of serial numbering their soldiers, there not being a centralised and standardised Army-wide system at that stage in the 19th century.
18th November 2003Mike McCabe
It's me again. provides more clues
18th November 2003Steven Sass
Hi Mike,

Thank you as well. I'm simply awed at how much great information I've received in one day after a fruitless and frustrating period. I'll have to report back if I come to any relatively certain conclusion.

All the best,