The return to the colours!!!

“Almighty Lord God, the Father and Protector of all that trust in thee,
we commend to thy fatherly goodness the men who through perils
of war are serving this nation, beseeching the to take into thine
own hand both them and the cause wherein the King and country
send them. Be thou their strength when they are set in the midst of
so many and great dangers. Make all bold through death or life to
put their trust in thee, who art the only giver of victory and can save
by many or by few; through Jesus Christ our Lord – Amen
– Form of Intercession 1914” (Sadler & Serdiville, 2013, p. 18)

It is known that the men were on the reserve when war was announced and it is possible to work out roughly what category they fell in.  This also appears to have played a part in when they were sent to the front which will be revealed in the next post.

The Long, Long Trail website at http://www.1914-1918.net/ is invaluable in helping understanding about the time period.  The page on Reserves and Reservists[1] gives us the following:-

Army Reserve – This was a pool of men who had already completed a term of service with the regular army. It was organised into three Sections:

Section A Reserve – For men who had completed their service in the regular army and who undertook to rejoin, if required, in an emergency that did not require general mobilisation. A man could serve no more than two years in Section A. Pay was 7 shillings a week in addition to the reservists earnings as a civilian. He had to attend twelve training days per year.

Section B Reserve – The most common form of army reserve service. For men who had completed their service in the regular army and were serving their normal period (typically of five years) on reserve. Section B reservists could only be called upon in the event of general mobilisation. Pay was 3 shillings and 6 pence a week.

Section D Reserve – For men who had completed their time in Section B Reserve. They could choose to extend for another four years and were placed in Section D Reserve. terms, pay and training was the same as Section B.“

However, to find out what category the men fell into it is essential to have an idea on when they originally served, it is presumed that each man joined the Army for 7 years followed by 5 years on the reserve[2].

The next part of this post will give information about when they joined the Army originally, where they are last found with the Army, when it is presumed they left, what category they are likely to have fallen into for the Reserves and finally where they were to be found in early August 1914 when the call up was announced.

Frederick George DAY

Frederick originally joined the Army in 1905 prior to the 11th May and before the outbreak of war the last time he can be linked to the Army is on the 2nd April 1911 when he is known to be with the 2nd Hampshire Regiment in Wynberg, Cape of Good Hope, South Africa[3] as a Private (Unfortunately the census for 1911 just states “Mauritius and South Africa” as its location, however the National Archives does give a clearer answer[4]).  It is likely that Frederick had left the Army by the middle of 1912, which would most likely make him a Section B Reserve.  At the outbreak of war Frederick was to be found in his home village of St Mary Bourne.

Sidney GUNNELL

Sidney originally joined the Army in 1905 prior to the 11th May and before the outbreak of war the last time he can be linked to the Army is on the 2nd April 1911 when he is known to be with the 2nd Hampshire Regiment in South Africa[5] as a Private (the census and The National Archives does not give a clear indication of where in South Africa Sidney was at the time of the census). It is likely that Sidney had left the Army by the middle of 1912, which would most likely make him a Section B Reserve.  At the outbreak of war Sidney was to be found in his home village of St Mary Bourne.

Edwin PIKE

Edwin originally joined the Army late 1899/early 1900 and before the outbreak of war the last time he can be linked to the Army is on the 3rd Dec 1904 when he is known to have served with the 1st Hampshire Regiment in Somaliland[6] as a Private (There is no indication of where he actually was at the time or that he had left the Army). It is likely that Edwin left the Army either late 1906 or early 1907, which would most likely make him a Section D Reserve on the outbreak of war.  At the outbreak of war Edwin’s location is not clear, the Andover Advertiser gives it as Woking, and his entry in the London & South Western Railway wages book has him working as a Porter at Templecombe, Somerset with no indication that he returned to a location near Woking.  It is possible he travelled to Templecombe for his job on the train each day but at the time of writing there is no clear picture.   There is an entry for the 8th August 1914 stating that Edwin had been called up as a Reserve.

James PIKE

James originally joined the Army in 1905 prior to the 11th May and before the outbreak of war the last time he can be linked to the Army is on the 2nd April 1911 when he is known to be with the 2nd Hampshire Regiment in Wynberg, Cape of Good Hope, South Africa[7] as a Bandsman (Unfortunately the census for 1911 just states “Mauritius and South Africa” as its location, however the National Archives does give a clearer answer[8]).  It is likely that James had left the Army by the middle of 1912, which would most likely make him a Section B Reserve.  At the outbreak of war the Andover Advertiser tells us that James was in Yorkshire, this may be accurate or may not be as it is known that James had a wife living in Darlington, Co. Durham (according to his CWCG memorial entry) which is close to the Yorkshire border.

Walter SIMS

Walter is a little more confusing than the others, as he had previously joined the Hampshire Militia (1897) and the 3rd Hampshire Regiment (1899), for the purpose of this post only his regular Army service of use.  He joined the 2nd Hampshire Regiment late 1899 and before the outbreak of war the last time he can be linked to the Army is on the 22nd April 1903 when he is known to have served with the 2nd Hampshire Regiment in South Africa[9] as a Private (There is no indication of where he actually was at the time or that he had left the Army). It is likely that Walter left the Army either late 1906, which would most likely make him a Section D Reserve on the outbreak of war.  At the outbreak of war Walter was to be found in his home village of St Mary Bourne.  He left St Mary Bourne on the 5th August 1914 the day of his father’s funeral to re-join the Army because of the call up of the reserves.

14AUG1914-1

Extract from the Andover Advertiser, Friday 14th August 1914

With the exception of Edwin and Walter it is not known on what date the others left to re-join the Colours, presumably this will have been quite quickly after the call.  Certainly by the time the article above was published all of them had gone, along with many others from the village of St Mary Bourne.

At the time war was announced the 1st Hampshire Regiment were based at Colchester so it is presumed that the men would have made their way there likely after some instruction in the call up process and upon arrival would have been issued with fresh uniforms and kit.  At some point during August the battalion moved to Harrow it is from here that they started their journey to the front.  Note: The 1st Hampshire Regiment as part of the 4th Division were originally planned to be part of the original British Expeditionary Force, however a last minute decision was made not to send them and they stayed in Harrow until later in the month[10].

The Home Front

Before the end of this post it is also worth looking at the effect this was having on the home front, the newspaper article below shows immediately the loss of men just from the calling up of the reserve and the territorial’s had an immediate effect as many men it seems were engaged in making cress-beds and it was harvest season.  It also shows that despite the world events at the time life in the village went on as normal. However the article above shows that immediately war broke out and men left the village the remaining villagers too mobilised in their own way, at the church the choice of hymns (see below for an instrumental version with lyrics of “O God of love, O King of peace”) and the singing of the National Anthem reflect the feelings of time and the mention of a ‘relief fund’  show thought has gone into how the village may help.

 

07AUG1914-1

 

Extract from the Andover Advertiser, Friday 7th August 1914

Find out more about their time in Colchester and beyond in “The return to the colours (Part 2)!!! – Colchester to Harrow

NOTE:

The Army Service Numbers 1881-1918 website has been used to work out when the men joined up originally as there is no surviving service records for any of them to give an exact date.

Works Cited

Sadler, J. & Serdiville, R., 2013. Chapter 1, Your Country Needs You, 1914. In: Tommy At War, 1914-1918 The Soldiers’ Own Stories (eBook). London: The Robson Press, pp. 1-35.

[1] http://www.1914-1918.net/reserve.htm
[2] http://www.1914-1918.net/recruitment.htm
[3] Ancestry.co.uk – 1911 England Census, Class: RG14; Piece: 34976; Page: 10.
[4] http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C11339186.  Note: Error location stated as “Lynberg” should say “Wynberg”
[5] Ancestry.co.uk – 1911 England Census, Class: RG14; Piece: 34977; Page: 8.
[6] Ancestry.co.uk – UK, Military Campaign Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1949. WO 100; Piece: 100
[7] Ancestry.co.uk – 1911 England Census, Class: RG14; Piece: 34976; Page: 10.
[8] http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C11339186.  Note: Error location stated as “Lynberg” should say “Wynberg”
[9] Ancestry.co.uk – UK, Military Campaign Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1949. WO 100; Piece: 332.
[10] http://www.1914-1918.net/4div.htm

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