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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

8th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment

Nick Thornicroft

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Several different publications give either Tidworth Barracks or Horfield Barracks (in Bristol) as the place where the 8th Battalion was raised. Does anyone have the conclusive answer? Horfield was the Bristol HQ of the Glosters, & by the time the 8th Battalion was formed in September 1914, Kitchener recruits were being sent from Horfield for training at Tidworth, even though a number of sources state the 8th did not reach Tidworth until March 1915. ('British Regiments 1914-18' by Brig. E.A. James, for example). Any clues?

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Morning Nick,

Of the top of my head the 8th were raised at Horfield Barracks as K2.

I think the 7th (K1), 9th (K3) and maybe 10th (K3) were also raised at Horfield. Tidworth I believe was a major

training area and it is possible recruits were attested at Horfield and sent home until required for training.

Sorry I cannot be more decisive as away from material


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8th Bn was formed in Bristol and then immediately sent to Perham Down (Tidworth). As a K2 battalion the initial flood of recruits would have been handled by the Depot in Bristol, and as the necessary numbers built up they would be sent to their respective battalions - 7th (Service) Bn at Tidworth, 8th (Service) Bn at Perham Down etc. The Depots had to shift the men out to any available barracks (vacated by the units that went to the BEF) or temporary accommodation as they simply could not cope with the numbers. To be clear Perham Down is the high ridge that overlooks Tidworth, so the locations are part of the same garrison town.

British Regiments 1914-18 show Perham Down as the location before it was moved to Tidworth in March 1915. The two are only two miles or so apart.

The weekly returns* show the 7th (Service) Bn with 1,245 all ranks and the 8th (Service) Bn with over 1,096 all ranks on the 19th September 1914. At the same time the Depot had another 1,337 all ranks of which 795 were surplus Kitchener recruits who would shortly form the 9th (Service) Bn. The system was full of men. MG

* WO 114

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Many thanks for your replies. In the book 'Bristol & The Great War' (published just after the conflict) it states that the 8th Battalion was raised at Tidworth, after 2,000 soldiers had been sent from Horfield to form the 7th Battalion, with the remainder being assigned to the 8th. There seems to be some uncertainty as to whether the 8th was formed in Bristol & then sent to Tidworth, or it was formed upon its arrival. I think there is a tendency with some authors of printed sources to copy other printed sources without looking a little deeper, but the consensus of opinion is that Bristol was the location.

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