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2/5th South Lancashire Regiment


alecmunro
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I have a unit photograph which includes my grandfather. He enlisted in the 2/5th Battalion SLR. He came from Ashton-In-Makerfield very close to Haydock Park Racecourse. Apparently D Coy of the 2/5th were billeted at Haydock so I am guessing that this photograph is of D coy but I'm not sure. It is a 3.2mb download so broadband is best. If anyone would like a copy I'm happy to email it to them.

post-37338-1219666612.jpg

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Alec,

I would be interested to see a copy in glorious full broadband; I will send you my e-mail address by PM. The units of the 57th (Second West Lancashire) Division seem to have gone through a frenzy of group photo-taking in January 1917 before going to France. Is there any evidence of snow on the ground as there is in many of them? You may find a matching photo when you get to Fulwood.

Several of the second line King's Liverpool battalions seem to have gone for having the whole battalion drawn up on parade as per the drill book and then smiling for the camera. It must have taken an age for the RSM and the Adjutant to sort out if those old style school photos are anything to go by. You may find there is a similar one for 2/5 SLR on which it will be possible to identify D Company

Is there evidence that this photo was taken at Haydock?

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Alec,

I would be interested to see a copy in glorious full broadband; I will send you my e-mail address by PM. The units of the 57th (Second West Lancashire) Division seem to have gone through a frenzy of group photo-taking in January 1917 before going to France. Is there any evidence of snow on the ground as there is in many of them? You may find a matching photo when you get to Fulwood.

Several of the second line King's Liverpool battalions seem to have gone for having the whole battalion drawn up on parade as per the drill book and then smiling for the camera. It must have taken an age for the RSM and the Adjutant to sort out if those old style school photos are anything to go by. You may find there is a similar one for 2/5 SLR on which it will be possible to identify D Company

Is there evidence that this photo was taken at Haydock?

Ian,

Further to the upload. I could kick myself on this one. The photographers name is embossed at bottom right. Gale & Polden. Which I know are still in existence today or where when I was stationed in Aldershot! So, this means it's not Haydock, it's more than likley to be Blackdown where they were billeted prior to moving to France. So we can date it to within a month or two. The details are to be found in the war diaries of the 2/5th.

As I mentioned previously it looks too big for a Coy and too small for a Battallion. You could look at the officers and speculate that we have the CO, OC and three platoon officers. In which case it could be a Company photo. What do you reckon?

Alec.

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Separate reply by e-mail included with thanks for the picture (full size) but here are public thanks!

As mentioned in a separate e-mail, I suspected that this would be Aldershot area which fits in with 'Gale and Polden'. The 57th Division were obviously going snap happy around New Year 1917 prior to goping overseas. I wonder what happened to all their plates?

As mentioned the establishment for a company on the 1914 establishment was 227 men which approaches the numbers on your photo. If we were to add on an element that would be left as first reinforcements at the base (100 for the entire battalion including a few storemen and not included in the establishment figure just quoted) but might at that stage be attached to companies, you might be expecting nearly 250 in your company photo (if there were not people peeling spuds, in the guardroom or on leave).

The RSM is in your photo as well as the CSM and I think the three officers kitted out with leggings for riding are likely to be the company commander with guest appearances from the CO and the Adjutant who I reckon is the very dashing chap with the smart riding boots and the hunting whip (can't imagine there were too many stragglers on a route march with him whipping-in). The number of good conduct stripes is interesting as is the complete absence of medals except for the officer in the centre with a single ribbon. Can't see any wound stripes either (although introduced in mid-1916 and retrospective) so perhaps there are few soldiers in the battalion who had already had an oveseas tour.

Ian

PS We may be outside the parameters of discussion for this section of the Forum ('Document repository'), especially since others can't see the full size version!

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<br />Separate reply by e-mail included with thanks for the picture (full size) but here are public thanks!<br /><br />As mentioned in a separate e-mail, I suspected that this would be Aldershot area which fits in with 'Gale and Polden'. The 57th Division were obviously going snap happy around New Year 1917 prior to goping overseas. I wonder what happened to all their plates? <br /><br />As mentioned the establishment for a company on the 1914 establishment was 227 men which approaches the numbers on your photo. If we were to add on an element that would be left as first reinforcements at the base (100 for the entire battalion including a few storemen and not included in the establishment figure just quoted) but might at that stage be attached to companies, you might be expecting nearly 250 in your company photo (if there were not people peeling spuds, in the guardroom or on leave).<br /><br />The RSM is in your photo as well as the CSM and I think the three officers kitted out with leggings for riding are likely to be the company commander with guest appearances from the CO and the Adjutant who I reckon is the very dashing chap with the smart riding boots and the hunting whip (can't imagine there were too many stragglers on a route march with him whipping-in). The number of good conduct stripes is interesting as is the complete absence of medals except for the officer in the centre with a single ribbon. Can't see any wound stripes either (although introduced in mid-1916 and retrospective) so perhaps there are few soldiers in the battalion who had already had an oveseas tour.<br /><br />Ian<br /><br />PS We may be outside the parameters of discussion for this section of the Forum ('Document repository'), especially since others can't see the full size version!<br />
<br /><br /><br />

Ian,

I find this photo facinating. By a process of elimination I'm fairly convinced it was Dettingen Barracks in Blackdown. It seems that uniformity in those days wasn't a priority, possibly because they were a second line territorial force. If your analysis of the officers is correct who commanded the platoons? From left to right we have a what appears to be a Lt then a Lt Col a Capt, another Lt then it seems a Maj? So is it a Pl Comd, the CO, the Adjt, another Pl Comd and the OC?

Uniforms of that era are something I know little about. I am guessing that the good conduct stripe is the inverted chevron on the sleeve. Not seen on this picture on anyone above L/Cpl. I'm not familiar with wound stripes where are they worn? Sam Brown's seem to be worn by Warrant Officers. Commisioned Officers Sam Brown's and uniforms as usual seem far more elaborate. Below the rank of Capt seem to wear badges of rank on their sleeve. Maj and above, shoulder only. Johdpurs seem obligiatory, putees or riding boots optional!

For a Terriotorial unit there seems to be some old experienced sweats there. Did these units have a cadre of regular officers and SNCO's much as todays TA?

Alec.

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Alec,

I am just off to take my mother to have some teeth out (more of a trauma for me than her, I suspect) and Wednesday is taken up with moving a large chunk of a museum into storage. I'll try and get back to your post on Thursday but, in passing, GC badges (the inverted chevrons left sleeve) were only awarded to Ptes and LCpls and were only extended to Territorials in mid 1916, apparently. Indeed Grumpy is posting authoritatively on the subject at the moment and I have suggested that he contacts you for a copy of the photo (I did not think it was for me to post him a copy of your photo directly)

Ian

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Alec,

I am just off to take my mother to have some teeth out (more of a trauma for me than her, I suspect) and Wednesday is taken up with moving a large chunk of a museum into storage. I'll try and get back to your post on Thursday but, in passing, GC badges (the inverted chevrons left sleeve) were only awarded to Ptes and LCpls and were only extended to Territorials in mid 1916, apparently. Indeed Grumpy is posting authoritatively on the subject at the moment and I have suggested that he contacts you for a copy of the photo (I did not think it was for me to post him a copy of your photo directly)

Ian

Many thanks Ian. Grumpy will be most welcome!

Alec.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Further to the above photo and after delving through the records at Fulwood Barracks I am now fairly certain that this photograph is indeed of D Company. Probably taken at Dettigen Barracks, Blackdown Camp just prior to them moving to France. I did find an Operation Order listing my grandfather as a guide to take up a patrol to a listening post. His regimental number is given and his company as 'D'.

Alec.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Alec,

I too would like a copy of the photo as my great uncle was in 2/5th. Perhaps he's on the photo. I will send you my email by PM.

thanks Dave

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