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Liverpool battalions


geraint
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Could a knowledgable Liverpool pal help me with some info on the 1914/15 and TA battalions? London had at least two London Welsh Kitchener battalions, and I would like to know as to whether Liverpool had the same sort of connection; specifically regarding the large numbers of Welshmen living or working there in 1914-5. Was there one service battalion associated with the Welsh? I know from a previous thread, that Sniggery Barracks had an association with training RWF battalions until Bodelwyddan and Kinmel Camp came on line.

Thanks in advance

Geraint

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Hi geraint,

yes, lots of Welsh and second-generation Welsh in the Merseyside area generally - a logical place to move to, in the same way as south Walians gravitated to London. Just think of the Owen Owens Department Store in L'pool (one of his descendants was an officer in WW1).

I have quite a few "Anglesey" casualties who were in fact resident in Liverpool, Bootle, Wallasey etc., and likewise there were non-Welsh from that area who had second homes on Anglesey and are commemorated at Rhosneigr and other places.

There was a pre-1914 Squadron of the Denbigh Hussars Yeomanry based at Birkenhead, if memory serves, but I can't think of a specific L'pool Welsh unit offhand. The idea of a "Liverpool Welsh" battalion was raised in 1914, but it was squashed by Lord Derby, who saw anything like that as competiton for his Pals outfit.

LST_164

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Diolch!

The Denbighshire Hussars certainly had squadrons in the Merseyside area, but I was thinking more about the impact on recruitment in the immediate aftermath of declaration of war in August 1914. There are three Liverpool Regiment deaths recorded on this town's War Memorial, and at least another 9 survivors were enlisted in the Liverpool Rifles. They all had a work connection with the city. Your info on Lord Derby is new to me; and seems most likely under the circumstances. Though didn't Owen Thomas and John Williams hold recruitment meetings in the Welsh chapels of Liverpool?

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I wouldn't be surprised if Owen Thomas and John Williams "Brynsiencyn" (who had once held a Calvinistic Methodist pastorate there) spoke at Welsh-oriented recruiting meetings in Liverpool, though I can't say I've come across accounts of these.

Again, my Anglesey roll has a number of 5th/6th L'pool Rifles casualties, but equally men in the L'pool Pals and other battalions of that regiment. No single unit has stood out, however. The publication "His Majesty's Territorial Army" (1911) doesn't specify Welsh companies, say, of the TF battalions (which it did for the old 16th (Queen's Westminsters) London Regt., whose predecessor unit had a "Royal Welsh" company in about 1900).

Happy to be enlightened on this point.

LST_164

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This is something I'd often wondered about. There was a battn of Liverpool Irish (8th) and Liverpool Scottish (10th), and so why no Liverpool Welsh? It would have been a sixth different cap badge on headstones! With the benefit of no hard facts, I would have thought that the Welsh population of Liverpool was greater than the Scottish.

Incidentally, I now know of at least three men buried under the wrong headstones...usually just the ordinary KLR stone, rather than that of the Liverpool Rifles. I guess the IWGC engravers must have blessed Scousers.

Bruce

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There was a Liverpol Welsh Corps of Rifle Volunteers raised circa 1859 but that unit lost its individual identity shortly after being raised.

The 40th ( KIngs ) Royal Tank Regiment raised a duplicate unit the 46th ( Liverpool Welsh )RTR in April 1939.

Although many Liverpool non regular units contained many welshmen in WW1,I am not aware of any Liverpool units that had a specific welsh connection.

P.B.

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Thanks to all three of you. Even 'negative' comments are positive in that it seems that there was no specific unit allocated a Welsh identification. Does strike me as being odd; especially with the massive influx from Wales into Liverpool at the turn of the century. Thanks again.

Geraint

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Geraint,

There were quite a few Welshmen in the Liverpool Scottish (must have been the Celtic connection) and there is an interesting album in the National Library of Wales at Aberystwyth of press cuttings that are relevant to a number of them. I can't remember the reference but they belong to the papers of a gentleman who was a minister in Caernarfon if memory serves correctly. Try searching the catalogue for 'Liverpool Scottish'.

As regards Bruce's comments regarding headstones, almost all the Liverpool Scottish casualties are buried under the 'standard' KLR White Horse; there are very few with the Liverpool Scottish bonnet badge on them. The CWGC did say that if I sent them a list ... and when the stones needed replacing ... . I might eventually do some of the cemeteries.

Ian

I am not really monitoring the GWF at the moment (and for the next two weeks) until I get a substantial job out of the way so am unlikely to pick up any replies. This one just caught my eye.

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Geraint

In over a thousand 'Arfon' casualties around 20 Kings Liverpool and spread around the battalions. Like LST with his Anglesey casualties I would have expected this area to be heavily represented if there was a Welsh Battalion. Not all are inputted yet but Iwouldn't expect a great change from the above.

Hywyn

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Further to my earlier reply, attached is a picture of the cross belt plate of the 39th ( Liverpool Welsh ) Rifle Volunteers.

The best source of published information on this unit appears to be the article on the Corps by Dennis Reeves ( Curator of the Liverpool Scottish ) in the MHS Bulletin of February 1974.

Dennis says the Corps was raised following a meeting of the Welsh Literary Society on 16th November 1859 at the Liverpool Insitute.The Corps ceased to have a seperate existance on 8th March 1862 and became part of the 5th (consolidated battalion ) Corps known as the Liverpool Rifle Brigade.

The 39th Corps was struck off the War Office record but membership was kept up as No.5 Company (Welsh Company) of the 5th Lancashire Rifle Volunteers and " for many years the Welsh Company retained their national identity,as the prize lists of the Liverpool Rifle Brigade records show " There is no infomationas to when the "Welsh Company" might have lost its identity.

The 5th Lancs RVC eventually became the 2nd Volunteer Battalion of the Kings Liverpools and 6th TF battalion ( Liverpool Rifles ) in 1908.

I have not come across any references to any welsh company in respect of the 2nd V.B. or the 6th Liverpools. One company of the Liverpool Rifles had a fair number of ex Merchant Taylors School (Crosby ) pupils in its ranks so I wonder if members of other companies might have had some sort of background in common but that is pure speculation on my part.

Nothing in Richards to help.

P.B.

post-63-1253958044.jpg

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Peter,

Off topic but I was interested in your note about a company of the Liverpool Rifles having a 'fair number' of Old Crosbeians (old boys of Merchant Taylors' School, Crosby for the uninitiated). I knew that the rose and bugle, the black buttons and the red and black (maybe they were very dark green!) rank stripes that I wore in the CCF came from the Rifles (although I had to find out that for myself) but I did not know why the MTS CCF was affiliated to a battalion long gone (at least it was when when I was in it) until this morning, when I can at least surmise.

All and Peter,

On topic - Helen McCartney in Citizen Soldiers, which looks at the roots of the Territorials of the 6 KLR and 10 KLR, makes no mention of any Welshnicity in any of the companies of 6 KLR and I think it is certainly a point that she would have picked up on. Perhaps the matter could be tested by using Soldiers Died to look up casualties for 1915 in KLR by Territorial (or other)battalion and seeing if any has a significantly greater proportion of Welsh origins (as noted by place of birth). It might need some careful statistical handling.

Ian

I will let DR know he has been quoted

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Thanks Ian, I was talking to D.R. yesterday.

On topic,

I was looking through my copy of Standing Orders of the 2nd V.B. K.L.R. no mention of any particilar company connections but ironically the Adjutants name Captain L.M. Jones

Off topic,

Merchants as you will probably know also wore red on rifle green cloth shoulder titles.

I have some correspondence from a fellow collector from years ago, he had recieved some info from school on affiliations of the schools cadets which were as follows:

Pre 1954 6th Kings Liverpools

From 1955 573 HAA Regt.

From 1958 287 Med Rgt

From 1963 5th Kings

From 1967 Lancastrian Vols

From 1969 to ? Kings

Peter

post-63-1253966637.jpgpost-63-1253966648.jpgpost-63-1253966664.jpg

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... and there was me trying to phone DR all yesterday

I had forgotten the shoulder titles. Thanks for sight of the others; we did not wear a red backing though the officers wore the red button with badge (? - can't remember the proper name) on SD cap. ... continued by PM

Ian

Back to the last 1000 words of the dissertation.

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