These are reasonable assumptions, but not concrete proof.
I have not looked at the Worcestershire Regiment before but the battalion structure for WW1 is given on The Long Long Trail. There appear to be 4 Regular battalions (1st thru 4th), 2 (original) Territorial Battalions (7th and 8th) and then 2 Reserve Bns (5th & 6th). These were then supplemented by Service Battalions (Kitchener's New Army) (9th upwards).
My hypothesis for how these were numbered is:
- One series numbered 1 upwards covering all 4 Regular battalions at once (so there is no duplication within the Regulars);
- One series numbered 1 upwards covering the 7th Territorials (later covering all of 1/7th, 2/7th and 3/7th in a single series);
- One series numbered 1 upwards covering the 8th Territorials (later covering all of 1/8th, 2/8th and 3/8th in a single series);
- One series numbered 1 upwards covering both the 5th and 6th Reserves in a single series.
I am seriously uncertain about the Reserves - that's less of a hypothesis and more of a guess.
The result of all that (ignoring the Reserves) is that there could be three soldiers in the Worcs numbered 1234 at the same time. One Regular, one Territorial in the 7th (or 1/7th, etc.) and one Territorial in the 8th (or 1/8th, etc.)
When the Kitchener Service battalions came along, so far as I can see, they were usually numbered in the same series as the Regulars. And in fact, Paul Nixon confirms this happened for the Worcs - "When Britain went to war in August 1914, men joining the new service battalions were issued with numbers from the same series in use by the four regular battalions"
If all my weasel words of "generally" and "usually" hold true, then there could be three 24446 soldiers in the Worcs and three 24447. In which case it is possible that you could be seeing just a coincidence. However, in my limited experience, I have never seen 5 digits numbers that high in Territorial units. If this feeling holds true, (more weasel words) then there would only be one 24446 and one 24447.
In which case, the last bit of hypothesising is - how are those numbers allocated? Well, generally not in the recruiting office but back in the office controlling the unit. My usual explanation is that the numbers are allocated not in the order that the recruiting officer signed them up, but in the order that they land on the admin clerk's desk. So the signed attestation papers for 24446 were immediately next to the signed attestation papers for 24447 on the clerk's desk. While it is perfectly possible that 24446 and 24447 were recruited from opposite ends of the county, knowing as you do that the two brothers both served in the MGC, we are, I suggest, getting into the realms where the most reasonable explanation is that the 2 of them went down to the recruiting office together, signed up together, and their papers went off together in the same stack to be allocated consecutive numbers.
Is there a way to check up on my hypothesis of the numbering? Yes, basically by using Paul Nixon's methods of looking in the surviving service papers of the Worcestershire Regiment. You need to search for soldiers with a regiment Worc* (because the bureaucracy isn't always consistent in it naming) and for soldiers with a regimental number of 244** (say). (At this point you probably discover that Ancestry just doesn't do wild-cards on numbers but FMP does.) So, on FMP, you need to examine regiment Worc*, number 244**, record set "British Army Service Records" and examine what you get to discover what the number and battalion combinations look like. NB - I wrote 244** but it will probably find 2440, 24400, 244000 etc under that "pattern". Look for the closest numbers to your guys and take note of when the close guys joined as with any luck you'll bracket your guys' joining dates.
If close numbers are all over the place, have a look at the battalion ids as this could be evidence that there were Territorials (or Reserves) with numbers that high.
I'm sure I've missed bits out but it's all basically logic.
Just in time... Have a look at this database of all who served in WW1 in the Worcs. I have no idea how it's been compiled but if you search on army number 2444, you see your guys and no duplicates for their numbers.