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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

CHAPLAINS


anthony

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Hi,

Interested to know how many Chaplains a battalion would have- was it one of each of the main Christian denominations or is that too simplistic?

Thanks,

Anthony

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Hello Anthony

Chaplains were not actually attached to battalions, although yu will find many cases of one chaplain staying with a particular battalion for a long period.

The actual allocation was four chaplains to each infantry brigade: one C of E, one RC, one Free Churches, and a second one of the denomination to which most of the men belonged. There were four battalions in each brigade (three, from Feb 1918) so it made sense to attach one padre to each battalion for the pastoral side of their duties, and the men would go to the appropriate denominational services on Sundays.

There were also five chaplains with each division for the artillery, engineers etc: four as above plus a third chaplain of the majority denomination.

Hospitals and casualty clearing stations had three chaplains: one C of E, one RC and one Free Churches.

Ron

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One of the copious number of changes to War Establishments.

The larger hospitals may have had more than three chaplains, though.

Ron

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anthony,

You need to be aware that the figures given by Ron, only apply later on the war. In the original BEF of August 1914. Chaplains were attached to the Field Ambulance and not the Infantry Brigades as such.

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anthony,

You need to be aware that the figures given by Ron, only apply later on the war. In the original BEF of August 1914. Chaplains were attached to the Field Ambulance and not the Infantry Brigades as such.

I understand that Chaplains were commissioned. Which units would they have been commissioned into?

TIA

David

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Whilst on a thread about Chaplains, amongst Arndre Caillot's collection is a complete set of badges (cap badge, collar dogs etc) for a New Zealand Jewish Chaplain.

How many of them could there have been???

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I understand that Chaplains were commissioned. Which units would they have been commissioned into?

The Royal Army Chaplains' Department. They held equivalent ranks, as follows:

Chaptain to The Forces 1st Class = Colonel

ditto 2nd Class = Lieutenant-Colonel

ditto 3rd Class = Major

ditto 4th Class = Captain.

Ron

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The Royal Army Chaplains' Department. They held equivalent ranks, as follows:

Chaptain to The Forces 1st Class = Colonel

ditto 2nd Class = Lieutenant-Colonel

ditto 3rd Class = Major

ditto 4th Class = Captain.

Ron

Thanks,

Do I understand that the Royal Army Chaplains' Department was a department of the War Office?

David

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No, it was a Corps of the Army in the same way that the RAMC or Army Pay Dept were.

Ron

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The Royal Army Chaplains' Department. They held equivalent ranks, as follows:

Chaptain to The Forces 1st Class = Colonel

ditto 2nd Class = Lieutenant-Colonel

ditto 3rd Class = Major

ditto 4th Class = Captain.

Ron

No! They were members of ARMY CHAPLAINS' DEPARTMENT, it did not become Royal until 1919. It was the only all officer Department in the British Army.

A

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