Friday, 1 August 2014

The Halifax Territorials in Camp



Local territorials were given a good send off to camp on Sunday morning, parents, relatives, and friends assembling to watch the march to Halifax station shortly before eight o'clock. ...  There would be between 500 and 600 men in the 4th battalion [of the Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment)], very few being left behind to join the camp in the second week.
At Marske they found wet weather, and it was not till Tuesday that the conditions were good.  They have had good training during the week.

Excitement reigned after breakfast on Thursday by a rumour that the Territorials had to go to Grimsby for mobilisation.  This rumour lessened to the effect that it was only the Imperial Service men.  When all came out the Special Reserve department of the Battalion were ordered to fall in, and were not allowed to parade with the other men for the morning's drill.  Later in the day the Special Reserve were served with two days' rations and entrained for Walham and Grimsby.  This has caused much excitement at camp, and many men are anxious to know how they can join the Special Reserve.

... for next week interesting schemes are being arranged.  The battalions will have outpost duty until late one night.  It is not intended to have any of the troops out in the open throughout the whole night, but on Thursday and Friday the brigade will be engaged in field operations in the vicinity of Eston Moor.  On Saturday, the day before the men leave for home, there will be a ceremonial parade on the beach at Marske.  

(Halifax Courier, 1st August 1914.)

[The camp was scheduled training for the Territorials - at the start of the war, most of the Territorial units throughout the country were in camp, to coincide with the August Bank Holiday. The Territorial Reserve had been formed a few years previously and was intended for home defence, but amongst them, the Imperial Service men were those who had signed up for service overseas in the event of war.  It seems that by 'Special Reserve', the reporter means the Imperial Service men, although the Special Reserve was actually something quite different, I'm told.  Marske is on the North Yorkshire coast. ]  

Imperial Service badge worn by territorials

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