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Postcards


trenchtrotter
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No soldiers in this one, but the typed caption is interesting. The liner SS Bermudian was taken off its pre-war route to Bermuda at the start of the war for employment more useful to the war effort. This visit would therefore have been more remarkable. Not immediately obvious why this is significant to the 2/4 Bn. East Yorkshire Regiment.

1917 SS Bermudian 2019-05-04.jpg

Edited by aodhdubh
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50 minutes ago, aodhdubh said:

No soldiers in this one, but the typed caption is interesting. The liner SS Bermudian was taken of its pre-war route to Bermuda at the start of the war for employment more useful to the war effort. This visit would therefore have been more remarkable. Not immediately obvious why this is significant to the 2/4 Bn. East Yorkshire Regiment.

1917 SS Bermudian 2019-05-04.jpg

The battalion had been sent to become the Bermuda standing garrison in November 1916.  The refuelling station enroute was usually Hamilton, Ontario, and as it was January 1st I imagine that they anticipated picking up their Christmas mail there, which might perhaps have arrived ahead via a fast passage steamer undertaking the mail run.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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On 10/09/2022 at 15:12, FROGSMILE said:

The battalion had been sent to become the Bermuda standing garrison in November 1916.  The refuelling station enroute was usually Hamilton, Ontario, and as it was January 1st I imagine that they anticipated picking up their Christmas mail there, which might perhaps have arrived ahead via a fast passage steamer undertaking the mail run.

Yes...I suppose the explanation is as simple as she was bearing mail, at least some of which was doubtless Christmas letters and parcels for the battalion. I wonder if the card was produced for the battalion? The battalion had arrived in November, as you wrote, at the Royal Naval Dockyard along with Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps soldiers invalided from the Western Front aboard the SS Metagama, and were transferred to the town of Hamilton by the former gunboat HMS Ready, marching from there to the neighbouring Prospect Camp.

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23 hours ago, aodhdubh said:

Yes...I suppose the explanation is as simple as she was bearing mail, at least some of which was doubtless Christmas letters and parcels for the battalion. I wonder if the card was produced for the battalion? The battalion had arrived in November, as you wrote, at the Royal Naval Dockyard along with Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps soldiers invalided from the Western Front aboard the SS Metagama, and were transferred to the town of Hamilton by the former gunboat HMS Ready, marching from there to the neighbouring Prospect Camp.

Yes I suspect it was probably arranged to have some Christmas cards made.  The authorities had long recognised the importance of morale and the part that mail played, along with observing festivals of national importance wherever possible. Obtaining sufficient cards from normal commercial sources would probably have proved challenging and risked leaving some men out.  

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Royal Artillery Sergeant with Crossed Swords above his rank insignia.

Physical Training Instructor ? Or did they signifying another proficiency ? 

1351998433_RASergeant.jpg.a322636ee92f1cf8f5fc6356c9bca932.jpg

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1 hour ago, morrisc8 said:

Just bought this, i think it`s late war RFC/RAF and a mix of cap badges + a French officer. from my collection.

ww1 raf rfc.png

Yes agreed.  RFC/RAF uniform mixed.  Late in the war I think and seemingly outside a French chateau or public building.  The French officer appears to be an aviation liaison officer as he wears an old style RFC staff officers brassard.

1CA056F0-4BE0-401C-8D11-FDC9B360B502.jpeg

Edited by FROGSMILE
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3 hours ago, ianjonesncl said:

Royal Artillery Sergeant with Crossed Swords above his rank insignia.

Physical Training Instructor ? Or did they signifying another proficiency ? 

1351998433_RASergeant.jpg.a322636ee92f1cf8f5fc6356c9bca932.jpg

Physical training instructor (aka ‘fencing and gymnastics’ for mounted arms) when above rank stripes Ian.  For fencing (swordsmanship) a competency prize badge (skill-at-arms) lower arm**.

**Household and line cavalry.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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2 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:

Physical training instructor (aka ‘fencing and gymnastics’ for mounted arms) when above rank stripes Ian.  For fencing (swordsmanship) a competency prize badge (skill-at-arms) lower arm**.

**Household and line cavalry.

Many thanks.

I had not appreciated that the concept of a 'Unit PTI' ie non Army Physical Training Corps extened back to WW1.

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On 13/09/2022 at 20:43, ianjonesncl said:

Many thanks.

I had not appreciated that the concept of a 'Unit PTI' ie non Army Physical Training Corps extened back to WW1.

It seems to have really taken off (expanded) during the Great War, largely due to the need to harden for battle masses of conscipts at the base depots before men went up the line, but also to help reach a stage of basic physical fitness before that in the system of Training Reserve battalions in Britain.  The Army Gymnastics Staff was tiny before the war (similar to the military police) and largely focused on Swedish Drill (callisthenics) together with bayonet fencing.  The war required sufficient NCOs to be trained to establish instructors at these new training establishments but also to have additional men within the field units themselves.  A massive scheme of train-the-trainer was launched using a system devised by the headquarters gym at Aldershot where the most experienced men and officers were based, assisted by an influx of sportsmen who had enlisted both as volunteers and subsequently as conscripts.  Short but intense courses were run focusing on battle fitness, assault courses, bayonet fighting, and milling, all leavened with sport requiring minimal equipment, especially football.  Priority was given to the infantry but additional places were provided for cavalry and artillery.  As well as Aldershot additional courses were run at other principal U.K. garrisons, Etaples and various training hubs in the main theatres of war.  AGS instructors were issued with off white wool jumpers and regimental instructors had jumpers with red and dark blue hoops that became ubiquitous and synonymous with the fittest men in a unit.  All the Dominions forces established their own schools based on the same syllabus and with similar dress and distinguishing insignia.  

3AE70BFD-D475-4FCB-B615-96835D4034A8.jpeg

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Edited by FROGSMILE
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12 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:

It seems to have really taken off (expanded) during the Great War, largely due to the need to harden for battle masses of conscipts at the base depots before men went up the line, but also to help reach a stage of basic physical fitness before that in the system of Training Reserve battalions in Britain.  The Army Gymnastics Staff was tiny before the war (similar to the military police) and largely focused on Swedish Drill (callisthenics) together with bayonet fencing.  The war required sufficient NCOs to be trained to establish instructors at these new training establishments but also to have additional men within the field units themselves.  A massive scheme of train-the-trainer was launched using a system devised by the headquarters gym at Aldershot where the most experienced men and officers were based, assisted by an influx of sportsmen who had enlisted both as volunteers and subsequently as conscripts.  Short but intense courses were run focusing on battle fitness, assault courses, bayonet fighting, and milling, all leavened with sport requiring minimal equipment, especially football.  Priority was given to the infantry but additional places were provided for cavalry and artillery.  As well as Aldershot additional courses were run at other principal U.K. garrisons, Etaples and various training hubs in the main theatres of war.  AGS instructors were issued with off white wool jumpers and regimental instructors had jumpers with red and black hoops that became ubiquitous and synonymous with the fittest men in a unit.  All the Dominions forces established their own schools based on the same syllabus and with similar dress and distinguishing insignia.  

Many thanks for the information, something I had not appreciated, and another one of those vital components of ensuring men were combat ready.

Great photos.

 

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2 hours ago, ianjonesncl said:

Many thanks for the information, something I had not appreciated, and another one of those vital components of ensuring men were combat ready.

Great photos.

 

I’m glad they were of interest Ian.  The uppermost photo shows “arm strengthening exercises” known to the troops as “pokey drill” (coz yer pokes yer bundook dahn, up, ra’nd-n-ra’nd like a bloomin merry’-g’ra’nd).  These exercises were the remit of the AGS/APTC but sometime after WW2, together with bayonet fighting the responsibility was passed to the Small Arms School Corps and inserted in a section at the end of the rifle pamphlet.  This was a big shift as the skill was essentially a physical one but required every gym to have dummy rifles and equipment.  Some bright spark thought that as the implements required were rifles and ancillaries why not combine them with rifle training rather than physical training thus at a stroke removing the need for dummy equipment. Sadly it led to the demise of the very necessary strengthening, and reduced the ‘bayonet fencing’ to an exercise in screaming with a ferocious face and sticking a few dummies.  In essence it is now but a pale shadow of what it was and the strengthening exercises (pokey drill) element has been completely abandoned the last time I looked.   See also: 

And:  

8514D04E-7940-4B50-B5EF-736007967801.jpeg

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F012F066-EC54-4C9C-86AB-67B8B4D75DC8.jpeg

Edited by FROGSMILE
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A Bedfordshire Yeomanry trooper. He wears an Imperial Service tablet above his right breast pocket so dating it to early WW1.
He is posing next to buildings associated with The Three Cranes Public House, Turvey, Bedfordshire. Now Cranes Close.

image.jpeg

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1 hour ago, Raster Scanning said:
A Bedfordshire Yeomanry trooper. He wears an Imperial Service tablet above his right breast pocket so dating it to early WW1.
He is posing next to buildings associated with The Three Cranes Public House, Turvey, Bedfordshire. Now Cranes Close.

image.jpeg

He is still equipped with the obsolescent 1890s pattern line cavalry sword, whose stock was transferred to the Army Service Corps, so this photo could be as early as 1911-1913.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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9 minutes ago, Raster Scanning said:
He wears an Imperial Service tablet above his right breast pocket so dating it to early WW1.

I think the Imperial Service tablet was around in 1912, maybe slightly earlier, which ties in with Frogsmile's dating of the equipment.

Nice photo by the way. 

Edited by Alan24
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1 hour ago, Alan24 said:

I think the Imperial Service tablet was around in 1912, maybe slightly earlier, which ties in with Frogsmile's dating of the equipment.

Nice photo by the way. 

You learn something new every day. I have just read up on this for future reference. Thanks

1 hour ago, FROGSMILE said:

He is still equipped with the obsolescent 1890s pattern sword, whose stock was transferred to the Army Service Corps, so this photo could be as early as 1911-1913.

Interesting to know. Thanks

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3 hours ago, Raster Scanning said:

You learn something new every day. I have just read up on this for future reference. Thanks

Interesting to know. Thanks

The Yeomanry were the last to get the new sword and there might well be something in the regimental history (or records) about when the Bedfordshire’s received theirs.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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Mixed group in France. West Yorkshire Regiment, Ox & Bucks, and Manchester Regt?

West Yorkshire.jpg

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5th Queen's, Royal West Surrey Regiment.  The first two cards are by Press Photo Co. 75 Havelock Rd. Brighton: the other by Amphett & Parker Ilford has been addressed; I think it is to " Miss G. Morgan, Loxwood, Brighton", but the sender has then written over the address making it very hard to read. 

 "Dear G.  Was very pleased with parcel it arrived alright one or two squashed. ask M if I may go (crossed out) Volunteer to go abroad I ve put my name down. of course we may not go into the firing line I should like to go Sorry I forgot Js birthday Love all. We are billeted here in allen Rd + we are with some young married people No mistake we get well looked after we get our rations 1 lb meat 1 loaf 1/2 Jam tea + sugar peas + potatoes served out to every billet we've had 3 hot dinners Meat pudding Meat pie + Stew with Plum Tart Stewed Plum + custard"

 

5th Queens (3).jpg

5th Queens (5).jpg

5th Queens (4).jpg

image.jpeg.4a553eb16ff8482ee5ec2d4b0adec23f.jpeg

 

Edited by GWF1967
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13 hours ago, GWF1967 said:

" Miss G. Morgan, Loxwood, Brighton", but the sender has then written over the address making it very hard to read. 

I think you will find that it is Miss Gertrude Horder The Grange Loxwood Billingshurst Sussex

1911 Census shows Gertrude b.1886 elementary school teacher

If you have access to FMP https://www.findmypast.co.uk/transcript?id=GBC/1911/RG14/05285/0185/4&expand=true

and then the cherry on top there is a service record for Stephen Charles Horder same address enlisted in the 1/5 Queen's 1910 and re-enlisted for one year in July 1914

1209/240087 b. 1888  according to his diischarge certificate which would appear to be her brother who is listed as Charles, b.1889 in the 1911 Census (Stephen Charles was the father)

He was promoted Corporal on the 5th October 1914 and later Sergeant. He appears to have gone to India with the Battalion and landed at Basrah on the 10th December 1915.  He was wounded in action on the 29th September 1917

Again record on FMP https://search.findmypast.co.uk/record?id=gbm%2fwo363-4%2f007384674%2f00531&parentid=gbm%2fwo363-4%2f7384674%2f24%2f530

Presumably on Ancestry too

I wonder if that is him in front of his section (?)

 

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19 minutes ago, kenf48 said:

I think you will find that it is Miss Gertrude Horder The Grange Loxwood Billingshurst Sussex

 

Many thanks for your help Ken. My compliments to your optician. 

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On 13/09/2022 at 21:52, FROGSMILE said:

It seems to have really taken off (expanded) during the Great War, largely due to the need to harden for battle masses of conscipts at the base depots before men went up the line, but also to help reach a stage of basic physical fitness before that in the system of Training Reserve battalions in Britain.  The Army Gymnastics Staff was tiny before the war (similar to the military police) and largely focused on Swedish Drill (callisthenics) together with bayonet fencing.  The war required sufficient NCOs to be trained to establish instructors at these new training establishments but also to have additional men within the field units themselves.  A massive scheme of train-the-trainer was launched using a system devised by the headquarters gym at Aldershot where the most experienced men and officers were based, assisted by an influx of sportsmen who had enlisted both as volunteers and subsequently as conscripts.  Short but intense courses were run focusing on battle fitness, assault courses, bayonet fighting, and milling, all leavened with sport requiring minimal equipment, especially football.  Priority was given to the infantry but additional places were provided for cavalry and artillery.  As well as Aldershot additional courses were run at other principal U.K. garrisons, Etaples and various training hubs in the main theatres of war.  AGS instructors were issued with off white wool jumpers and regimental instructors had jumpers with red and dark blue hoops that became ubiquitous and synonymous with the fittest men in a unit.  All the Dominions forces established their own schools based on the same syllabus and with similar dress and distinguishing insignia.

A pair of photographs from Bermuda.

Bermuda - Fencing.jpg

1915 RCR bayonet fighting team.jpg

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3 minutes ago, aodhdubh said:

A pair of photographs from Bermuda.

Bermuda - Fencing.jpg

1915 RCR bayonet fighting team.jpg

Excellent photos that are very evocative of both subject and period.  Thank you for posting them.

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On 16/09/2022 at 20:54, GWF1967 said:

5th Queen's, Royal West Surrey Regiment.  The first two cards are by Press Photo Co. 75 Havelock Rd. Brighton: the other by Amphett & Parker Ilford has been addressed; I think it is to " Miss G. Morgan, Loxwood, Brighton", but the sender has then written over the address making it very hard to read. 

 "Dear G.  Was very pleased with parcel it arrived alright one or two squashed. ask M if I may go (crossed out) Volunteer to go abroad I ve put my name down. of course we may not go into the firing line I should like to go Sorry I forgot Js birthday Love all. We are billeted here in allen Rd + we are with some young married people No mistake we get well looked after we get our rations 1 lb meat 1 loaf 1/2 Jam tea + sugar peas + potatoes served out to every billet we've had 3 hot dinners Meat pudding Meat pie + Stew with Plum Tart Stewed Plum + custard"

 

5th Queens (3).jpg

5th Queens (5).jpg

5th Queens (4).jpg

image.jpeg.4a553eb16ff8482ee5ec2d4b0adec23f.jpeg

 

Excellent photos of a TF battalion that in common with many styled itself as rifles in a nod to its lineage as a volunteer rifle corps, hence the black buttons and cap badges/shoulder titles, etc.

 I particularly like the photo showing the hand painted sign of the Queen’s paschal lamb insignia, and the lettered flag.  The sign would almost certainly have been placed on a temporary stand outside the battalion headquarters tent at annual training camp.  The flag indicates F company and establishes that the battalion was configured in an eight company structure (A to F), as was standard for TF until 1915.  They had been reluctant to change as the old organisation matched the dispersal of their drill halls.

Regulations for tented encampments laid down that each company’s tented lines were to be marked with a lettered ‘camp flag’, commonly in different colours.  There were similar camp flags for the headquarters, quartermaster and medical tents.  This commonality was like signposting and ensured that in brigaded encampments everyone could find their way around.  At night the principal tents were marked by different coloured lamps, again with a standard configuration common to all.

Bugle calls for routines of the day commenced with each battalion’s discrete call (a few notes) followed by the purposeful element, in order to ensure that there was no mix up between units.

 

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Edited by FROGSMILE
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