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Remembered Today:

Who was responsible for recruiting men?


Ashleigh
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Hi

I have a couple of questions.

My grandfather's war records show that he enlisted in July 1915 at Gateshead (this is near Newcastle upon Tyne and would have meant a train journey into the city area from the county's outlying areas). He was living up in the Ingram Valley region near Powburn at the time. His brother's enlistment details also shows this. He enlisted a few days after my grandfather. However, a cousin (cousin in law) also enlisted and this shows Alnwick as the recruitment centre. He lived nearer Berwick than Alnwick. Powburn is much nearer to Alnwick than Gateshead. None of the regiments they were sent to were local to the area. All three would have had similar working backgrounds - farm labouring.

Q1) I wonder if anyone knows if particular regiments set up recruitment centres in a given area?

My grandfather's family were all Scottish and had just migrated to Northumberland about three years previous to this. I wonder if they were hoping for Scottish regiments.

Q2) Who would have been given the task of recruiting men and what would he have done once the recruitment exercise was completed (ie was he a fighting man who would be sent out to the war too?)?

Q3) Who at the centre would make the decision about who he sent to each regiment?

Thank you

ASHleigh.

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1. Regiments usually set up recruitment centres in major towns in the given area. Thus if you lived in Cornwall, the DCLI would have had recruitement centres in most Cornish towns. However, there was nothing to stop you crossing over the border and into Devon and joining up with the Devonshires if that was your preferred option and they were happy to take you. Thus your grandfather may have preferred to join a Scottish regiment.

2. Serving members of the regiment manned the recruitment centres. Other local 'big wigs' would also have role in 'encouraging' men to sign up. Any new recruit would have to undertake basic training before being shipped out. If he signed up in August 1914, he was unlikely to be on the western front until the spring of 1915.

3. I'm not sure what you're asking here. You signed up to a regiment, not the army as such, so if you signed up in Cornwall for the DCLI then you wouldn't be sent to another regiment - not at the start anyway.

Hope this helps.

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Hello Stuart

Thank you for the reply.

I was wondering why my grandfather was assigned the Army Service Corps, but think now that it was because he needed dental treatment. I had been wondering who it was in a given regiment that was sent to assign the recruits.

ASHleigh.

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It may be to do with bad teeth, but these sorts of things could be overlooked by one recruitment sergeant, but not another. It may also of course depend on his age.

Many men either too old or too unfit (medically) often ended up in versions of the Home Guard (Royal Defence Corp) or in Labour Battalions.

I have a feeling that one of my Great Grandfathers was in the ASC, but I also know that by 1916 he was not quite an 'old' man, but not exactly in the first flush of youth! More information can be found here:

http://www.1914-1918.net/asc.htm

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Don't forget that men could also end up in something like the ASC as they may have had a specific skill that they could offer - drivers for example or experience with horses.

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There were different grades of medical pass. A man could be passed as fit for service but not frontline active service. It would also depend on need for recruits. Service corps were essential and so they would receive a proportion of recruits. It could simply be a matter of luck. Recruiters before the war and at the beginning, before conscription, were generally sergeants with long service. It was a cushy number to fill in the last few years before being pensioned off. On a prewar recruiting drive, an officer and several senior NCOs would set up in the Town Hall or some appropriate venue while the regimental band played or perhaps the regiment performed a march past or ceremonial parade. During the war, a captured gun might be exhibited and speeches made to encourage men to enlist.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi Stuartd

Sorry that it has taken such a long time to reply - I don't get notification of any post replies and have just found this again.

My grandfather (gf) was only 21 years at the time. His father was a cattle dealer and moved about a lot. He eventually ended up doing any sort of farm work and is last known to have been a shepard. My grandfather, Matthew, had a brother, James, who was about 19 or 20 at the time and his records show that he enrolled about three days after Matthew. They were both assigned the same ASC company. My gf's records tell me that he is 5 foot 6 inches and has a chest expansion in the 30 inches with 3 inch expansion on deep breathing. However, his weigh is about 10 stone and a half - not very weighty for a working man - he was the only survivor of twin boys and so may have had some medical problems if he was born underweight.

ASHleigh

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  • 1 month later...

According to SDGW, a man from Dewsbury (then in the West Riding of Yorkshire) enlisted in Darlington, Co. Durham. He was originally in the KOYLI then transferred to the Lancashire Fusiliers.

Was there such a recruiting process in Darlington ?

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