Thursday, 11 November 2010

It just doesn't add up!

A couple of posts ago I wrote:

For services rendered during the Great War there were more than 14,000 RRCs both 1st and 2nd class issued ...

However, I was wrong. The RRC Register starts at number 1, and proceeds sedately through 2, 3, 4, 5 and onwards relentlessly. There were about 250 pre-WW1 awards, and if you browse through to the end of the Great War awards, you arrive at (roughly speaking) number 14,350. But silly of me to assume that signified the total number of wartime awards, as someone at the War Office was not too hot on what could loosely be termed 'numeracy.' All is well until award number 3,199 is reached. What follows 3,199? Can I hear you shouting '3,200'? Wrong. 3,199 is followed by 4,000, thus missing out 801 numbers. Anyone could be forgiven for a slip like this, but unfortunately it's not unique.
Award number 4,099 is followed by number 5,000; 5,099 is followed by 6,000; 6,099 is followed by 7,000 ... you get the idea. In the first two volumes this type of mistake happens seven times, resulting in the 'loss' of thousands of awards. Adding up the actual totals, it seems that there were just under 8,000 Great War awards of the Royal Red Cross - that is, of course, if I've counted correctly.

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