» Site Map
» Home Page
» Find Friends – Search Old Service and Genealogy Records
» QAIMNS for India
» QAIMNS First World War
» Territorial Force Nursing Service TFNS
» WW1 Soldiers Medical Records
» Field Ambulance No.4
» The Battle of Arras 1917
» The German Advance
» Warlencourt Casualty Clearing Station World War One
» NO 32 CCS Brandhoek - The Battle of Passchendaele
» Chain of Evacuation of Wounded Soldiers
» Allied Advance - Hundred Days Offensive
» Auxiliary Hospitals
» War Graves Nurses
» Book of Remembrance
» Example of Mentioned in Despatches Letter
» Love Stories
» Autograph Book World War One
» World War 1 Letters
» Service Scrapbooks
» QA World War Two
» Africa Second World War
» War Diaries of Sisters
» D Day Normandy Landings
» Belsen Concentration Camp
» Voluntary Aid Detachment
» National Service
» Korean War
» Gulf War
» Op Telic
» Op Gritrock
» Royal Red Cross Decoration
» Colonels In Chief
» Chief Nursing Officer Army
» Director Army Nursing Services (DANS)
» Colonel Commandant
» Matrons In Chief (QAIMNS)
Follow us on Twitter:
» Grey and Scarlet Corps March
» Order of Precedence
» QA Memorial National Arboretum
» NMA Heroes Square Paving Stone
» NMA Nursing Memorial
» Memorial Window
» Stained Glass Window
» Army Medical Services Monument
» Recruitment Posters
» QA Association
» QA and AMS Prayer and Hymn
Former Army Hospitals
» Army Chest Unit
» Cowglen Glasgow
» CMH Aldershot
» DKMH Catterick
» Duke of Connaught Unit Northern Ireland
» Endell Street
» First Eastern General Hospital Trinity College Cambridge
» Hospital Ghosts
» King George Military Hospital Stamford Street London
» QA Centre
» QAMH Millbank
» QEMH Woolwich
» Medical Reception Station Brunei and MRS Kuching Borneo Malaysia
» Military Maternity Hospital Woolwich
» Musgrave Park Belfast
» Royal Chelsea Hospital
» Royal Herbert
» Royal Brighton Pavilion Indian Hospital
» School of Physiotherapy
» Station Hospital Suez
» Ghost Hunt at Tidworth Garrison Barracks
» Ambulance Trains
» Hospital Barges
» Ambulance Flotilla
» Hospital Ships
» TPMH RAF Akrotiri
» Bowen Road
» Mount Kellett
» Wylie Road Kings Park
Overseas Old British Military Hospitals
» BMH Malta
» Camp Bastion Field Hospital and Medical Treatment Facility MTF Helmand Territory Southern Afghanistan
» TA Field Hospitals and Field Ambulances
Army Service Numbers
The history of the British army service numbers and the P and Q prefix for the QAIMNS and QARANC
British army service numbers, that were in use until fairly recently, were introduced post WWI in August 1920 (Army Order 338). For other ranks this was originally a seven digit number and then increased to eight. Prior to this time army personnel would have a number unique to their Regiment with a prefix. For example the Royal Army Medical Corps had "WE". This former long numbers system was introduced in 1857 for regular and emergency reserve officers.
We think members of the Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service had the letter P as a prefix due to their officer status which was granted in 1926, though rank was not introduced to the QAIMNS until 1941. The National Archives have records for these under class reference WO 339 (War Office) April 1922, though sadly some records were destroyed by enemy bombing in World War Two. This new system was known as the Personal or P Number system while other ranks retained ‘service numbers’. There is an example of the P number for nursing sister Lt Rigby from her war diary and picture on D Day Normandy Landings.
With the recent introduction of the Tri-Service ‘Joint Personal Administration’, recruits to any branch of any service, irrespective of rank, received their number in the same format, originally starting with 300XXXXX. The roll out JPA within the Army commenced on 1 April 2007. Service numbers were being drawn from the same source for the first time in its history.
Follow us on Facebook, Google+, Instagram and Twitter.
Burnt Vengeance - How will a dying patient in a hospice take his revenge? What are his final wishes and what will his solicitor reveal when she reads out his Last Will and Testament?
5-star author C.G. Buswell brings another story from his dark, tempestuous mind. Burnt Vengeance will have you screaming for the light and grappling with your imagination as you try to quell your fear.
If you like this page and would like to easily share it with your friends and family please use the social networking buttons below:
Modern day non commissioned ranks female members of the Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps were given the Q number in 1950. Details of the first Private and her serial number can be found on the QARANC junior ranks page.
The Territorial Army nurses were also given the Q prefix number.
When male Other Ranks and Officers rebadged from the RAMC to the QAs in 1992 they retained their army numbers, eight digits for junior ranks and the P numbers for Officers.
We are seeking clarification that the information about the army number system is correct since it is not something we know much about. If you can help with corrections or additions then please contact me.
We sought clarification from Sue Light at Scarlet Finders who specialises in the nurses of the Great War. She kindly replied with:
There were no official service numbers for QAIMNS until after 1940, so they had 'a number' for official purposes, but not a service number as later. From 1902 they were allocated a 'candidate number' which was later used for identification purposes - just a four digit number, e.g. 1234.
During WW1 the system was changed, and each service was given a series number. The regular QAIMNS were given a '2 series' number depending on the first letter of their surname, so:
2/D/xxx for a surname beginning with 'D'
2/A/xxx for a surname beginning with 'A' - just as an example Katharine Allsop was 2/A/100.
The QAIMNS Reserve women had a similar 2 series number, but in the form 2/ResD/xxxx or 2/ResA/xxxx
The TFNS (Territorial Force Nursing Service) had '9 Series' numbers in the form 9/NursesD/xxxx for a nurse with surname beginning with 'D' and so on.
I have hundreds of nurses' files here, and on checking them, these numbers were used for identification and correspondence purposes right up until they died - certainly into the 1960s in many cases. And looking at WO25/3956 which has details of all nurses joining QAIMNS up until 1926, the '2 Series' was still being used.
So if there was ever a 'P Series' it didn't start until after 1926, but even if it did, it was only an identification number for War Office purposes and not a service number. So it was only when relative rank was introduced in 1941 that numbering started, and even then, there was never any prefix number, even in the very early days of numbering. I would suggest it as used to denote members of the permanent service as opposed to inter-war Reserves.
Going into WW2; I don't have any mentions of 'P' numbers, but I do have evidence here that VADs attached to QAIMNS during WW2 were allocated 'W' Series numbers followed by six digits, and QAIMNS NCOs were allocated 'Q' Series numbers followed by seven digits starting at 1000001 from the fifties. However, at the same time, the actual QAIMNS officers had six figure numbers without a prefix (as per London Gazette), so definitely not them. So it must have referred to a group of 'someone' during (or after) WW2, but I can't fit it in with QAIMNS unless the P/ was used unofficially for QAIMNS officers.
I'm not sure I'm right either as it's only by these sort of queries cropping up that it's possible to learn things, but I have got lots of documentation here to back up the pre-1926 numbering, i.e. the 2 Series and the 9 Series.
Forces War Records
Forces War Records are a genealogy site where you can find military records of over 6 million British Armed Forces personnel cross matched with over 4000 Regiments, Bases and Ships. This link includes a free search and a special discount of 40% off membership offer for visitors who use the discount code AF40 if they decide to become a member.
Search Now. A unique feature is their WW1 Soldiers Medical Records section.
If you would like to contribute to this page, suggest changes or inclusions to this website or would like to send me a photograph then please e-mail me.
» Poppy Lottery
» The Grey Lady Ghost of the Cambridge Military Hospital Novel - a Book by CG Buswell
» The Drummer Boy Novel
» Regimental Cap Badges Paintings
Read our posts on:
» Army Discounts
» Help For Heroes Discount Code
» Commemorative Cover BFPS 70th anniversary QARANC Association
» Become An Army Nurse
» Junior Ranks
» Officer Ranks
» Service Numbers
Ministry of Defence Hospital Units
» MDHU Derriford
» MDHU Frimley Park
» MDHU Northallerton
» MDHU Peterborough
» MDHU Portsmouth
» RCDM Birmingham
» Army Reserve QARANC
» Florence Nightingale Plaque
» Why QA's Wear Grey
» TRF Tactical Recognition Flash Badge
» Greatcoat TFNS
» Lapel Pin Badge
» Army School of Psychiatric Nursing Silver Badge
» Cap Badge
» Corps Belt
» ID Bracelet
» Silver War Badge WWI
» Officer's Cloak
» QAIMNSR Tippet
» QAIMNS and Reserve Uniform World War One
» Officer Medal
» Hospital Blues Uniform WW1
» Armed Forces Day
» Match For Heroes
» Recreated WWI Ward
» Corps Day
» Freedom of Rushmoor
» Re-enactment Groups
» Military Events
» AMS Carol Service
» QARANC Association Pilgrimage to Singapore and Malaysia 2009
» Doctors and Nurses at War
» War and Medicine Exhibition
» International Conference on Disaster and Military Medicine DiMiMED
» QA Uniform Exhibition Nothe Fort Weymouth
» Dame Margot Turner
» Dame Maud McCarthy
» Lt Col Maureen Gara
» Military Medal Awards To QAs
» Moment of Truth TV Documentary
» Sean Beech
» Staff Nurse Ella Kate Cooke
International Nurses Day
» Site Map
» Other Websites
» Walter Mitty Military Imposters
» The Abandoned Soldier
We are seeking help with some answers to questions sent by readers. These can be found on the Army Nursing page.
» Find QA's
» Personalised Poster
» Poppy Badges
» Teddy Bears
» Pin Badges
» Wall Plaques
» Fridge Magnet