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Either it is an amendment to the original and keeps the original application number as well, or else the applicant is submitting fresh material and is starting from scratch.
In this case, 0517653 was amended by 0602169 but kept the original number.
The free Espacenet database has PDFs of most British patents from about 1893 onwards.With each publication the earlier numbers and dates will be cited on the front page. Before then there was a single publication stage without As or Bs.The practice of using annual application numbers followed by a published number has occurred since 1916.The patents to 1915 are cited in the format GB190507239, again with zeroes if necessary to make 5 digits after the year.Before October 1852 (which was when the Irish, Scottish and English offices combined) there is a single sequence of numbers for English numbers, 1 to 14,359.
Those published numbers began with 100001 and are still being occasionally added to in a 1600000 range.