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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Kitchener's Men


stevem49
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The first 100,000 men enlisted in August 1914 and I was wondering which Battalion was the first to take part in the war.

Units of 33rd Brigade entered the Helles trenches on 20th July 1915. The 9th Sherwood Foresters were the first to land at Suvla Bay in August after their few days at Helles.

I would think that other 'Kitchener' Battalions would have been sent to the Western Front and entered the war earlier than that.

Anyone have any ideas of Battalions and dates?

Steve M

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12 Div, or certainly a large part of the formation, arrived in France on 1 June - having sailed on 31 May.

6/RWK part of 37 Bge part of 12 Div, went into immediate training at Meteren until 21 June, and then had several days of specific instruction in trenches including shifts in holding part of the Line (alternate Companies), before actually taking a full turn in trenches around Plugstreet on 25 June.

I dont know if this makes them the first.

Regards,

Jonathan S

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14th Division landed in France on the 21/5/15, or most of the division, or 8th Division as it originally was until renumbered.

8th Rifle Brigade from 29/5/15 to 5/6/15 under instruction in the trenches (alternate companies)

30/5/15 1st man of the battalion wounded.

7/6/15 took over trenches from 5th Brigade in the La Clytte area.

Andy

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In the Royal Sussex Regiment the first wartime enlistees who joined at Chichester in August 1914 (pre-dating Kitchener's call for volunteers by a few weeks) went to France as re-enforcements for the 2nd Battalion in January 1915. These must have been some of the first voluntarily enlisted men with no previous military service to die on active service on the Western Front.

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Paul,

There must have been quite a few of the early volunteers that went out considerably earlier than with the Divisions. There are quite a few of the Z-Prefix men in the RB that went out very early indeed, some 70 or 80 of them received 1914 stars with quite a few more going out in Jan and Feb 1915, very few had any previous military experience, enlisting as Special Reservists.

Andy

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Paul,

There must have been quite a few of the early volunteers that went out considerably earlier than with the Divisions. There are quite a few of the Z-Prefix men in the RB that went out very early indeed, some 70 or 80 of them received 1914 stars with quite a few more going out in Jan and Feb 1915, very few had any previous military experience, enlisting as Special Reservists.

Andy

My own Great Uncle was an early volunteer (opposed to a Reservist or Territorial) & he landed in France on 9th December 1914 as part of a draft to the 1st RSF.

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Thanks all.

Interesting. I suppose I presumed that despite the losses in 1914 and early 1915, Kitchener men would have been kept in their 'Service' Battalions and not used as reinforcements.

Chris, I think the Divisons 'arrived in' info does not always give the exact dates. 11th Div is given as Aug 1915 but some of its units landed in July.

steve

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