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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Burying the Flag


myos

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Reading through the war diary of the 10th Loyal North Lancs Feb 1918 they held a parade to 'bury the flag'

Not being a military man I wonder if this happens every time a CO leaves.

Andy

"1. The Battalion formed up in a hollow square, flag in centre, mourners inside the square.

2. Battalion fix bayonets and present to the flag while the drums sound General salute.

3. Flag taken in procession round ranks, preceded by the Band playing the Regimental March Past, followed by all the officers.

4. The flag is buried and mourners 'Reverse Arms.'

5. CO delivers his farewell speech to the Battalion in a few well chosen words. The men are deeply affected for they realise the splendid work that their Commanding Officer has done in the past and how the interests of the Battalion have always come foremost in his thoughts.

6. Ceremony ends with Regimental Sgt Major marching the Battalion past the officers."

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At this time, the army was re-organised, units were amalgamated and some disappeared. I suspect the battalion was disbanded and the men dispersed rather than just the CO leaving.

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Indeed - Per LLT:

10th (Service) Battalion

Formed at Preston in October 1914 as part of K3 and attached as Army Troops to 22nd Division. Moved to Soith Downs and Eastbourne.

April 1915 : transferred to 112th Brigade in 37th Division.

1 August 1915 : landed at Boulogne.

4 Februray 1918 : disbanded in France.

Still puzzled about "burying" the flag - I thought this was avoided. The Barnsley Pals (13th and 14th Y&L - the latter disbanded in Feb 1918) laid up their standards in Barnsley IRRC.

David

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When I was no higher than a Hovis advert we moved to the outskirts of Preston. The local Church at Broughton had some sort of colours in it. They were found to be suffering from moth and worm so to speak and about to disintegrate. Some sort of military ceremony was held and they were buried with honours. So burying can be a means of finally disposing of colours.

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Yes, many thanks for your replies, I should have read my LLT!!!!

...or had I carried on reading the War Diary...

'We come under the administration of the 22nd Corps of the 4th Army as surplus troops available as reinforcements.'

and...

'It is notified that the 10th (S) Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regt becomes "Surplus" on the 21st February.'

Well I've learnt something today, though I would have thought they would have brought the colours home rather than burying them...or is 'burying' another way of saying the Battalion was being disbanded?

Andy

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Shoot this down if you like, but my understanding is that Service battalions like the 10th LNL didn't receive formal King's Colours (they didn't get Regimental Colours) till the end of the War - in time for the Allied parade through Paris. The Service Battn. colours laid up in churches are King's Colours (i.e., the Union Jack type). Regular and (most) Territorial Battns. had the full 'stand' of two.

That's not to say that some sort of flag could be used by them during the war. I know some WW1 units had banners of one sort or another, but not Government issue.

LST_164

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Well I've learnt something today, though I would have thought they would have brought the colours home rather than burying them...or is 'burying' another way of saying the Battalion was being disbanded?

Service Battalion's weren't authorised to bear Colours like their Regular counterparts so it wasn't those that they were burying.

This situation changed on December 2nd 1918 when General Routine Order 5734 announced ”...In the case of Battalions for which Colours have not hitherto been authorized, His Majesty King George V has been graciously pleased to approve of each Battalion (Rifle Battalions excepted) being presented with a Silk Union Flag to take the place of the King's Colour."

Regards

Steve

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So, if I understand correctly, Service Battalions carried a flag, but not the Regimental one, and when that Service Battalion disbanded the flag was discarded (buried).

But would they actually dig a hole and bury it?

Andy

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