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Missing from 1901 Census

Tracing my great grandfather John Sanders b.1879, Bloxwitch, Staffs.
Cannot find him on the 1901 census.
I know that before the 1st WW, he was in the 1/5th South Staffordshire Regiment a ,TA battalion. Would it be possible for this unit to be overseas at the time of the census and, would they have had too keep a census record. I know the Royal Navy did so for the men on ships.
I've heard that the 1 in front of the 5 means this unit could be sent overseas and, the men knew this when joining, the 2 in front of the 5 means that this was a home unit and,would be stationed at home all the time ( untill WW 1 ). Anyone know if there is any truth behind that.

Cheers Iain

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