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The London Regiment (TF) - Recruiting and Demographics.


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Inspired by Col D and his Hackney Gurkha debate, it has rekindled a long term interest in the London Regiment (TF), particularly with regards to the underlying demographics and recruiting. Inevitably this thread will be made up of strands focusing on different aspects. The areas that I am interested in (and by no means should this be read as an exclusion to other aspects) are Recruiting and Demographics.

 

1. Recruiting. Most (all?) County Associations of the Territorial Force were fiercely protective over their delineated recruiting districts. If Loamshire County TF wanted to recruit in neighbouring Daleshire County, they would need the latter's permission. There are examples of regiments recruiting (pre War) in neighbouring counties (Derbyshire/Cheshire) as well as separate County Associations having sub units of different Regiments in the same town (North Riding and East Riding - Yorkshire Regt and East Yorkshire Regt).

 

When we look at London, it seems very slightly more complex. Aside from the occasional movement of Headquarters and drill halls, the relationship between Battalions and their recruiting areas seems less straightforward. Firtsly the London regiment bifurcated into the City of London Battalions (1st- 8th) and the County of London battalions  (9th-25th plus 28th) in addition to the Honourable Artillery Company (HAC) and Inns of Courts (later an OTC) who refused to come into line. I believe there is even an amendment to an Act of Parliament preventing the property and chattels of the HAC being transferred to the Territorial Force, such was their resistance to toe the line. Two Battalions (14th London Scottish and 18th London Irish) had qualifiers of defined ethnicity and a number were defined along profesional/artisnal lines viz 8th Post Office Rifles, 15th Civil Service Rifles and 28th Artists Rifles. The remainder were either nominally centred on boroughs or district - 10th Hackney, 11th Fisnbury, 13th Kensington, 16th Westminster, 17th Poplar & Stepney, 19th St Pancras, 20th Blackheath & Woolwich with the remainder loosely linked to military subgroups : Rifle Brigade, Rifles, Rangers, Queen's etc. Added to this the first four Battalions were all affiliated to the Royal Fusiliers, although their connection to the RF is complex. Ditto the multiple links between the KRRC and RB (there is a separate thread). It is all rather complex. What is clear is that recruitment was not necessarily done along lines drawn on a map. Interestingly none of the City of London battalions were headquartered within the "walls and liberties" of the City of London. One wonders about the Livery Companies. 

 

Social Class (as defined by the Victorians and Edwardians in their seemingly endless desire to measure and categorise everything) played a major role in the Rifle volunteer companies raised from 1859 that were consolidated in the 1880s and eventually became the various battalions of the London Regiment TF. Some battalions developed exceptionally strong barriers to entry that required genetic celtic qualification (Scots or Irish) or social-economic qualification; Class, education, school, profession etc..and some required both. The easiest way of excluding people on a class basis was to charge an entry fee. Some did, which created a financial hurdle that some poorer men simply could not afford or justify. Some battalions became socially exclusive and members would have to apply and be approved, rather akin to joining an exclusive golf club. The corollary of this 'exclusion' was the inevitable labelling of some battalions being less 'socially fashionable'. Some battalions were so successful at social exclusion that they became full of 'gentlemen rankers'. That the 28th Artists Rifles was turned into an OTC speaks volumes as the Rank and File largely fitted Edwardian ideas about the qualities required of an Officer; Officer recruiting was initially restricted to men who had attended certain Schools. The list famously did not include the school attended by R C Sherriff of Journey's End fame. Clearly the Artists Rifles had some form of recruitment bias. Even then it is not cut and dried as some battalions had Companies drawn from different professions or labour markets (read subdivisions of the social pecking order). recruiting was therefor multi-factored: partly geographic, partly social class and partly along ethnic lines. There are probably other factors I have not yet addressed. I will doubtless make some incorrect assumptions. 

 

I am trying to unravel this bird's nest; what type of men joined which battalions and why? 

 

Starting with the City of London which nominally supported 8 battalions albeit they were physically headquartered without the "walls and liberties" of the City of London. The population of the Square Mile* in 1911 was just 19,657. The 1911 Census realised that the City had a massive working population who commuted into the City daily. To capture this, it commissioned a second Census, on 25th April 1911 three weeks after the proper Census. Some 364,061 people were enumerated, a +1,752% increase over the Census population for those residing overnight. Over a third of a million people. That is not a typo. It is clear that the addressable market for recruits was not limited to those who resided in the City. It is not difficult to see how similar dynamics may have impacted the City of Westminster and the areas immediately adjacent to both Cities. This might help explain a more diffuse recruiting base for some Battalions. We shall see.

 

It is noticeable that the Headquarters of three of the City of London battalions drifted towards the West, coincidental with more affluent neighbouroods such as Bloomsbury (1st Bn), Westminster (2nd Bn), St Pancras and Paddington (3rd Bn) while the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Battalions remained closer to their origins on the periphery of the City walls. I wonder if this reflected social exclusion within these three Battalions that effectively led to the battalions relocating their Headquarters to where their recruit base resided; it would be an unusual case where the gravitational pull was towards a class of recruits. My speculation as yet unproved. 

 

In order to better understand the geographies of the Boroughs, the dispositions of the Battalion Headquarters and the surrounding populations, it is worth looking at the Census data as an underlay: the immediately available stocks of manpower. Against this using early (1914-15) CWGC and SDGW data we can begin to build large samples of the men's place of birth, residence and where they enlisted. This sampling should provide an indication of the 'gravitational pull' of various Battalions relative to geography (if indeed there is any relationship). I will post the census date in the next post. In the meantime here is a map of London with the various battalions pinned, also showing the borough boundaries.

 

Appendices.

 

Appendix 1. Maps Some extremely useful links to relevant maps

London Map 1911  It is interactive and by clicking on the maps it will enlarge each sub-section. It is the nearest map I can find to 1914 

London Map 1897

London parish and Population Map 1877 . ditto. While older, this gives some idea of the population densities. The parents of the men who went to war.

 

Appendix 2. Reference Books. This list will grow. 

England's Last Hope: The Territorial Force 1908-1914 by K W Mitchinson

The Territorial Force at War 1914-1916 by K W Mitchinson

Defending Albion: Britain's home Army 1908-1919 by K W Mitchinson

 

1st Bn 

2nd Bn The 2nd City of London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) in the Great War by W E Grey

3rd Bn

4th Bn History of the 4th Bn Ciy of London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) 1914-1919 by F Clive Grimwade

5th Bn History of the London Rifle Brigade by Sir Frederick Maurice

           Gentlemen and Officers: The Impact and Experience of War on a Territorial Regiment by K W Mitchinson

           The London Rifle Brigade in the Great War etc by Gilbert Nobbs

6th Bn Cast Iron Sixth: A History of the 6th Bn City of London Regiment (City of London Rifles) by Capt E G Godfrey

7th Bn

8th Bn History of the Post Office Rifles: 8th Bn City of London Regiment 1914-1918 by "One of the Battalion Commanders"

9th Bn History and records of the Queen Victoria's Rifles 1795 -1922 by Maj C A Cuthbert Keeson VD

10th Bn

11th Bn

12th Bn The Rangers' Historical Records from 1857 to the Conclusion of the Great War by Capt A V Wheeler-Holohan and Capt G M G Wyatt

13th Bn The Kensingtons: 13th Bn London Regiment by O F Bailey

14th Bn The London Scottish in the Great War by Martin Lloyd

15th Bn History of the Prince of Wales Own Civil Service Rifles by various authors

16th Bn War History of the Queen's Westminster Rifles 1914-1918 by J Q Henriques

17th Bn The Poplars: What life was like on the Western Front in the Fisrt World War as experienced by the 1/17th (Poplar & Stepney) Bn the East End Regiment by Ron Wilcox

18th Bn 1/18th (County of London) Bn London Regiment (London Irish Rifles) in the First World War by Sidney F Major

             Signal Corporal: The Story of the 2nd Bn London Irish Rifles in the First World War by Ernest May

19th Bn

20th Bn

21st Bn War Record of the 21st London Regiment (first Surrey Rifles) by ???

22nd Bn

23rd Bn

24th Bn

25th Bn

28th Bn Artists Rifles: regimental Roll of honour and War Record complied by S Stagoll Higham 

 

 

I am interested in collating material, anecdotes quotes, etc that will help shed light on this arcane subject. 

 

Please note 8th Bn QVR should read 9th Bn QVR.

London regiment Battalions shown in yellow, Hackney Bn in red (subject of the other tread) and neighbouring Essex Regt to the East separated by the River Lea is shown in orange. 

I may update these images with other TF Regimenst such as the Middlesex Regt TF to the North etc...

 

* Actually 675 acres, some 35 acres larger than a statutory square mile. 

 

 

London Boroughs 6.JPG

London Boroughs 7.JPG

London Boroughs 8.JPG

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If someone had asked me if London's population had expanded or contracted between 1901 and 1911 I would have bet a rather large sum that it had expanded...and lost. The extract from the 1911 Census below makes for interesting reading and may help partly explain the continental drift of the London Regiment's battalions away from the City of London. The growth differentials across the various Boroughs are huge;

 

1911 Census London 0.jpg

 

 

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There was an article, many moons ago, in Stand To! which tabulated GW-period commissions from the Ranks, using those figures as a measure of social standing. I may have a copy somewhere; I'll see if I can find it. From memory (never a safe thing) it was rather interesting.

 

I can't speak for the 18th, but the 14th Battalion (I suspect) was located where it was because a large number of its men came from the various ministries in Westminster and legal establishments not too far away. 

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I have several family members (maternal grandfather) who emigrated from the Wiltshire brickfields to Hackney (in 1860) subsequently becoming Carmen with a few evolving into house demolishing then the building trade. Most of these who served  in WWI did so overseas with a large group doing so in the Royal Artillery either joining at Stratford or at Woolwich, their knowledge of horses presumeably playing its part. Of the others, one joined the 5th Battalion Seaforth Highlanders dying at Mametz Wood on 30.7.1916 (shell exploding in dump of mortar bombs belonging to the 6th Batt, Seaforth's) ) and another in the 2nd Battalion of the Scots Guards dying in the Miltary Hospital, Clapton of Influenza on 25.11.918, one other served in the Royal Naval Air Service mainly in the UK.

 

regards

 

Indefatigable

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3 hours ago, Indefatigable said:

I have several family members (maternal grandfather) who emigrated from the Wiltshire brickfields to Hackney (in 1860) subsequently becoming Carmen with a few evolving into house demolishing then the building trade. Most of these who served  in WWI did so overseas with a large group doing so in the Royal Artillery either joining at Stratford or at Woolwich, their knowledge of horses presumeably playing its part. Of the others, one joined the 5th Battalion Seaforth Highlanders dying at Mametz Wood on 30.7.1916 (shell exploding in dump of mortar bombs belonging to the 6th Batt, Seaforth's) ) and another in the 2nd Battalion of the Scots Guards dying in the Miltary Hospital, Clapton of Influenza on 25.11.918, one other served in the Royal Naval Air Service mainly in the UK.

 

regards

 

Indefatigable

 

Thank you. This is interesting as Hackney men appear to have been used to fill gaps in some Lowland Scots units pre-war in disproportionate numbers. Something that  cant resolve.It is an anomaly in the broad data. 

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Excellent - thank you. 

 

You will probably know that there are separate books about the two battalions of 18th Bn, both accessible at the Imperial War Museum reading room.

The text of both has been transcribed and can be read on the LIRAssn website (now updated below).

 

1/18th Bn - 

IWM link;  http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/1500014463

Transcription link: http://www.londonirishrifles.com/first-world-war/118th-regiment-in-the-first-world-war

 

2/18th Bn - 

IWM link: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/1500034609

Transcription link: http://www.londonirishrifles.com/first-world-war/signal-corporal

 

In terms of recruitment profile (but not quite relevant to this thread), I'm always amused to see that out of the original members of the Regiment in Dec 1859, there were 27 Viscounts, Earls, Dukes and Lords (including Lord Palmerston). I suppose the move to the Duke of York's in 1908 was heavily influenced by their then Honorary Colonel (since 1871), the Duke of Connaught. 

 

best wishes

Edited by RichardOS
typo - added "of"...added links.
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The 1/1 London Brigade R.FA (280 Brigade) Headquarters were in

Handel St
, Bloomsbury, and included a RidingSchool and stabling for 13 horses.

I do not know where the 1/2 London Brigade RFA (281 Brigade) had there HQ but they were mobilised out of Woolwich. 

Bob

 

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3 hours ago, QGE said:

Thank you. This is interesting as Hackney men appear to have been used to fill gaps in some Lowland Scots units pre-war in disproportionate numbers. Something that  cant resolve.It is an anomaly in the broad data. 

 

Firstly an apology, I may have been a little disingenuous with data for the Seaforth man. His birth mother died when he was 5 and his father remarried a year later as he had 3 children all under 6 to bring up. By the time he was 9 a second step-sister had been born, so shortly after he left home and was living on the streets. He was found and brought before a Magistrate who sent him to an Industrial School which turned out to be in Leicestershire. By the time he was 15 he was back in London with employment as a Brass Finisher and living in the St John's Wood area in a home provided by the organisation "Homes for Working Boys in London". At the time of the 1911 Census he was free from any Industrial School ties and had returned to live in Hackney with cousins for a while before finally settling in Islington. Whilst in Leicestershire it is believed he and some friends from the Industrial School had seen the Seaforth Highlanders parading so at some point before the summer of 1915 he and friends joined the Seaforths as they had liked what they had seen. It is not known where he enlisted as his papers have been lost. Most of this information being taken from the surviving records of the Industrial School which are held by the Leicester Council. The school itself has been demolished.

 

Regarding the Artillery men, those that I have records for I have not totally managed to decipher but for some I have managed to extract the following information, not many I know but the project is ongoing but put to one side for the time being:-

 

Man in 332th Siege battery and 146th Siege battery serving in Dardanelles and France.

Man in unknown unit serving in France in 1915 and Mesopotania in 1916.

Man in 19th DAC in France 1916. He was 5' 9" tall.

Man in  83rd Brigade and then 18th DAC . He enrolled at St Paul Churchyard 1.9.1914. He was 5' 4" tall.

 

regards

 

Indefatigable

 

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   Can I check this- Hackney men used TF for  Scots regiments BEFORE the war???   Or just at the beginning?  If the latter, then the general background has already come up here.

 No - Regular Scottish Battalions particularly Lowland Scots often recruited far and wide and in England. London was well represented and within the London recruits Hackney seems well represented. See separate thread on Demographics..

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 Dear 13-could you give us his name and service number to have a look at??

I prefer not to, it will not serve any purpose on this thread and as it is part of my family history I want to keep it private.

 

regards

 

Indefatigable (post 13)

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London TF Battalions: Clubs within Clubs. If is difficult to read the histories of the various TF battalions of the London Regiment without thinking they appear to have the dual characteristics of clubs and military units. The legacies of Rifle Clubs is still tangible. Starting back in the 1850s most appear to have existed in various forms, changing titles and renumbering on a few occasions as well as consolidating. Westlake's work on the Rifle Volunteers has been exceptionally useful in unravelling their complex past and highlights the number of RVC (later Volunteer Battalions  - of the KRRC and RB in the main) which eventually formed the 26 Battalions of the London Regiment on the creation of the Territorial Force in 1908.

 

The 'clubby' characteristics seem exceptionally strong in most of these units and the 'qualifications' (for want of a better word) seemed complex. For example, while Post Office workers were consolidated into units that eventually became the Post Office Rifls, a separate unit consolidated senior managers of the Post Office in two Companies of the 12th Middlesex RVC (later the Civil Service Rifles)- something quite separate from the Post Office Rifles.This hints at subtle class divisions even within one single Government employer (the GPO) to the extent that management wishing to serve in the Rifle Volunteers (later VB and later TF) would deliberately want to serve in a different battalion to 'rank & file' of the GPO or as Westlake calls them "lower grades of postal workers". Social exclusion taken to another level perhaps.

 

The units that eventually formed the Civil Service Rifles illustrates the extent to which one's civilian employment was used to carefully delineate the various Companies within a Battalion; Originally the 12th Middlesex (Civil Service ) RVC to consolidate the various Corps from Govt departments, the companies on the eve of the formation of the TF as follows

 

A Coy - Audit Office

B Coy - Post Office

C Coy  - Post Office

D Coy - Inland Revenue

E Coy - Inland Revenue

F Coy - London County Council

G Coy - Whitehall

H Coy - Admiralty

I Coy - London County Council (Cyclists)

K Coy - Bank of England

 

The table above appears to be a fairly rigid structure. It is clear that this particular Battalion's recruitment was based on profession or Govt department rather than geography. The same would be true of some of the other Battalions. 

 

Schools also seemed to have been critical links for recruiting. Most had strong ties with various schools. These historical links may well have provided the necessary gravitational pull in later years when the alumni felt the desire to join a TF battalion. The 4th City of London RVC formed two companies from ex-pupils of the Grocer's Company School in Clapton, part of the Borough of Hackney. This formation disbanded in 1905. What remained was absorbed into the 1st RVC later the 5th Bn London Regiment (LRB). It illustrates how convoluted some of these associations were and again help explain the diffuse recruiting base of the London TF. One wonders if the 10th Bn (Hackney) re-formed in 1912 managed to re-establish these ties.

 

The City Of London Battalions. One area that has become clear is that the City of London Battalions didn't necessarily start their existence in the City of London. It was a later construct when the first eight Battalions of the newly formed London Regiment were designated as 'City of London' for administrative purposes - the remainder being County of London. The paradox being that some City of London Battalions were Headquartered further from the Square Mile than some County of London Battalions..

The implications again are the location of the Headquarters and the source of recruits were not necessarily determined by geography. 

 

The locations of the headquarters of these units moved on an infrequent basis and their location on the formation of the TF were legacies of former mergers and amalgamations of a disparate group of RVCs. While some could trace their roots back to the Tower Hamlets, the 'City of London' element seems less linked to history than I had previously understood. This again seems to help explain why London TF battalions appear to have little correlation with geographic recruiting areas and were more likely to recruit along artisnal/professional lines. In some cases these artisan or professional criterai were linked to certain areas (westminster for Civil Servants for example) or Printers (2nd City of London RVC, later the 6th Bn London Regiment.

 

Working Men's Colleges. One aspect that I had not been aware of was the links between Working Men's College and one of the RVCs which later became the 10th Bn London Regiment (Paddington) TF - later disbanded in 1910a. This proto- Adult Education institutions had close links clearly acted as a recruiting ground. Aspirational men from working class background wanting to improve their education, job prospects and status were prime targets for the TF. perhaps closely linked were teacher training colleges. The 10th Bn was re-raised, this time as the 10th Bn (Hackney) which appears to have had strong ties with local teacher training colleges. Again the ties between civilian institutions and military units seemed to be more streamlined and used to funnel potential recruits into particular battalions.

 

Freemasons. Westlake's work on the RVCs reveals strong links with Freemasons. Many RVCs that later formed the core of the Tf Battalions had their own Lodges: 

 

1st Middlesex RVC (Victoria), later the 9th Bn London Regt had within its ranks the Victoria Rifles Freemason Lodge No. 1124 (later 822)

2nd Middlesex RVC (South Middlesex) later 10th Bn Middlesex Regt TF  - South Middlesex Lodge No. 1160 (later 858)

7th Middlesex RVC (London Scottish) later 14th London Regiment (London Scottish) included the London Scottish Rifle Freemason Lodge No. 2310

8th (South West Middlesex) RVC later 8th Bn Middlesex Regt TF included the Gosling Murray Freemason Lodge No. 1871

13th Middlesex (Queen's) RVC later 16th Bn London Regt (Queen's Westminster Rifles) incorporated the Queen's Westminster Freemason Lodge No. 2021

16th Middlesex (london Irish) later 18th Bn London Regt (London Irish) included the London Irish Freemason Lodge No. 2312

18th Middlesex (Paddington) RVC later 10th London Regiment (Paddington) included the Paddington Rifles Freemason Lodge No. 2807

19th Middlesex (St George's Bloomsbury) later 9th Bn London Regiment (queen Victoria's Rifles) included the Bloomsbury Rifles Freemason Lodge No. 2362

 

At least six Battalions of the London Regiment and two of the geographically close Middlesex Regt (TF) had links to Freemasons. It is unclear if the links to Freemasonry transcended the formation of the TF; or how widespread membership of the Freemasons was within the Battalions and how influential they were, but it appears to provide further evidence of 'clubs within clubs' which may have increased barriers to entry as mechanism to create a selection process. It may also have provided stronger bonds between the men who served in these battalions. 

 

I suspect the 'clubs within clubs' atmosphere can be directly linked to the wider Victorian and Edwardian ideals of education and self improvement. I sense I am only scratched the surface in trying to undertsand this arcane group of units. The more I research the London Regiment TF the more complex it appears to be. I am largely convinced that where a man lived had little bearing on which Battalion he might join, with perhaps a few exceptions. Class, education, profession, employer, patronage, celtic genes, membership of another civilian institution or sports club and freemasonry appear to have been some of the many factors that determined the make-up of the various battalions. 

 

If anyone can shed light on the above, it would be gratefully received. I will doubtless have made some errors or incorrect assumptions. 

 

Post Script: Livery Companies. One obvious blind spot is the relationship between the ancient Livery Companies of the City of London and TF recruiting. As the prototype institutions that created barriersto entry and protected their members, they appear to have similar qualities to some if the TF battalions. I have never seen any mention of  a link, but I would be surprised if there were no links. I recall seeing a maquette of on of Jagger's sublime figures for the RA Memorial at Hyde Park in one of the livery company dining rooms and wondered about any potential connection. Jagger served at Gallipoli in the Worcestershire Regiment having first served in the Artists Rifles. MG

 

Martin

 

Heavily indebted to Ray Westlake's excellent volume on the Rifle Volunteers. 

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The London Scottish Rifles Lodge 2310 is still going strong. There are also The Glenworple Highlanders (a group of, I think, about 30 members, self-selected) and The Ancients (open to members of the Sergeants' Mess), both of which also pre-date the GW.

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19 minutes ago, Steven Broomfield said:

The London Scottish Rifles Lodge 2310 is still going strong. There are also The Glenworple Highlanders (a group of, I think, about 30 members, self-selected) and The Ancients (open to members of the Sergeants' Mess), both of which also pre-date the GW.

 

Thank you. It at least confirms the Freemasonry links transcended the formation of the TF and two world wars. I would hate to think what the venn diagram of subset membership looks like. My Scottish grandfather was a Freemason as were his six sons however I know next to nothing about them. The London TF links seems strong and almost universal. 

 

Clubs within clubs within clubs. rather like a Matryoshka. The London TF is "a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma".

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     Apparently "Yes" -  Although there are lots of scanned copies on Tinternet, I tend to use my trusty hardbound copy of the "Army List" for October 1914 as a starting point- which has  for 10th London-  "Cadet Unit affiliated. London Regiment Cadet Corps"

 My trusty and rather battered May 1915 copy has under the 10th Bn (Hackney):  10 bn Lond R Cadet Corps and Rutland School LCC Cadet Corps. 

 

11th Bn - Blank

12th Bn - Polytechnic Schools

13th Bn - Kensington and Hammersmith Navy League Boys Brigade  and St Peter's Cadet Company

 

I suspect some might be old established links and others possibly later or post declaration.   Worth researching as the links to subsequent recruiting and conscription my be tangible.  MG

 

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On ‎08‎/‎08‎/‎2017 at 15:21, QGE said:

Appendices.

 

Appendix 1. Maps Some extremely useful links to relevant maps

London Map 1911  It is interactive and by clicking on the maps it will enlarge each sub-section. It is the nearest map I can find to 1914 

London Map 1897

London parish and Population Map 1877 . ditto. While older, this gives some idea of the population densities. The parents of the men who went to war.

 

 

The best set of maps I know of for London are the wide range of OS maps digitised by the National Library of Scotland.  All can be viewed as an overlay on modern mapping.  See http://maps.nls.uk/os/ for a list of all the different series available.

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20 minutes ago, David_Underdown said:

 

The best set of maps I know of for London are the wide range of OS maps digitised by the National Library of Scotland.  All can be viewed as an overlay on modern mapping.  See http://maps.nls.uk/os/ for a list of all the different series available.

 

Quite brilliant. many thanks. What an outstanding resource. Thank you for flagging this David.

 

Martin

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Martin,

Jill Knight (formerly of this parish) gives an excellent analysis of the social/class breakdown of the CSR in her book The Civil Service Rifles in the Great War - 'All Bloody Gentlemen', particularly in Chapters 1 and 7.

 

Highly relevant to your researches here and strongly recommended.

Mark

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21 hours ago, johnboy said:

 

 

Johnboy - a very nice find. It must be the School. The implications (I think) are that Whitechapel and Stepney was therefore included in the 10th Bn designated recruiting area.(if such a thing existed). Thank you for posting the image. MG

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On the question of 'other links', my school's rifle club (open both to the pupils and old boys) routinely competed in a league against the FSR, QWR, London Scottish and 23/London's.  In terms of the 'league table' of London Regiment battalions in which our old boys served, these regiments are joint-first, second, third and joint-fourth.  The school was in Camberwell and the majority of old boys worked in the City, so the LS and QWR weren't particularly local.  There were both home and away matches, so there would have been regular visits to TF barracks to shoot.

 

The FSR also regularly provided instructors in bayonet fighting and fencing - pre-war - for the school's 'assault-at-arms' displays; but then, their HQ was just half a mile away, and their church just across the road.

 

 

- brummell 

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The 'Army and Navy Gazette' (an excellent publication) has a list of recognised T.F. Cadet Corps in the 10 June 1911 edition and the date they were recognised although it appears not all were affiliated at that date - http://search.findmypast.co.uk/bna/viewarticle?id=bl%2f0001394%2f19110610%2f031

 

Capture.JPG.86b0f45f651a83f0afacad991b639884.JPG

 

Craig

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If you've not seen this it's a must:  http://www.bcmh.org.uk/the-changing-character-of-the-london-territorial-force-1914-18/

 

Written by Charles Fair once of this parish,  quite a few 25th County of London Cyclist ended up in the 19th Londons, see one man's story here: 

https://summerstown182.wordpress.com/2016/05/21/never-forgotten/

 

Rev.Railton's "Union Jack" used for the unknown soldier is the mix there somewhere too.  Look for Charles Fair's explanation.   

 

Lt-Col Stephen Chart DSO, who wrote three chapters of the 12th Rangers history was from a Mitcham family, his brother Geoffrey was killed during Passchendale https://mitchamhistorynotes.wordpress.com/2016/11/18/private-geoffrey-chart/  Stephen Chart was a mere L/Cpl in the South African War.

 

Major Lewis Farewell Jones, 12th Ranges was another from Mitcham, declared missing on first day of the Somme at  Gommecourt: 

https://goo.gl/u6Mhyv

 

Pte. Harry Carruthers was another Mitcham man in the 12th Rangers, he suffered a terrible after after being taken prisoner on 8th May 1915,  

https://goo.gl/9Ns2vi

 

 

 

 

 

 

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     Martin-Beg to disagree?   Stepney is 17th London- Poplar and Stepney.   On our other little bit of literary civil unrest-Hackney Gurkhas, I have put in a reference to the 1oth Londons being amalgamated with cyclists in 1916.  Looks to me that there is a bit of a recruitment No Mans Land for Whitechapel and the area just north of the City- Spitalfileds and Shoreditch-which is why Rutland Street School is a very interesting problem to crack.  I have some letters of a 17th officer, Wilfred Ashton Piercy ,killed at Loos, which show that 17th drew on the Whitechapel end of Stepney-he was a teacher at Central Foundation School. I think there may be questions about Whitechapel and thereabouts which may have been a headache- disproportionate poverty ?  Disproportionate number of aliens? (To Middlesex battalions?).  

     Rutland Street School is definitely on my list of "to-dos". I went to a country state grammar school which had its own cadet force (still does)-which was considered unusual for a stae school. I have never come across any LLC school with a acdet force-let alone a "3-decker" in a poor area.

GUEST,

I was not clear enough and that is my error. At risk of stating the obvious and repeating myself: my thesis is that the London regiment did not have defined recruiting areas similar to typical County TF Associations; the evidence being Class Corps and Regiments recruiting from defined ethic groups (Scots, Irish) or defined employers such as the Civil Service and Post Office Workers etc. For those regiments not defined by ethnicity, Class or workplace, I don't know if there was a defined recruiting area, hence my "if such a thing existed". To be clear, it is my view that this school is the one mentioned in the Army List, and therefore by extension I think it distinctly possible that Whitechapel was an area that 10th Londons could recruit in, regardless of the proximity of 17th London Regt. 

 

If you read the trail of posts, I make the point early on that some TF Assocaitions allowed recruiting from adjacent TF Associations and within TF Associations where there were more than one unit in the same Arm (Nottinghamshire with its two Yeomanry Regiments springs to mind) - the Derbyshire/Cheshire and North Riding/East Riding as just two examples. One might add Gloucestershire and Monmouthshire (RGHY had a Welsh Troop), Belfast and Dublin and a Highland Regiment (not widely understood) and probably half a dozen more. The point is that 10th Londons were demonstrably affiliated with a school in Whitechapel, and by extension this means (to me at least) that the County of London TF Association had to approve this, and again by extension this meant that 10th London's recruitment template expanded beyond the historical, ceremonial and ancient boundaries of Hackney.

 

Conjecture aside, it is fairly easy to demonstrate that 10th London's recruited men who were either born, resided or enlisted in Bethnal Green, Stepney (including Whitechapel, Wapping, Limehouse etc - now part of Tower Hamlets), Poplar (Bow, Millwall, Cubitt Town etc) and even beyond the Lea River into Essex. Quite a lot in fact, and before the MSA by quite a large margin. These are demonstrable fatcs and the Rutland School is just another small but important part of that complex mosaic. The implications are that 10th London's were not restricted to Hackney, and relating this to the Gurkha Hackney arguments means that if 10th London's were shorter than average, it would mean that a vast area of London was populated by men of shorter than average stature; something that I thinks is so unlikely as to be almost impossible. 

 

My error for not explaining what I thought was obvious. 

 

Martin

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The point I was making is that although an LCC school they seemed to have had a reasonable education so why be surprised that the school had a cadet force

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     No-mine for being slow on the uptake.  I find the mosaic that is London recruiting most interesting , when set against doing my 360-odd local casualties.  And I would like to get their back-stories right.   You are right (as always!!)  that formal local government boundaries count for very little and that men volunteering a little out of area are neither going to be discouraged nor turned away.  What I would posit is this-based on the quirk that I posted from the  breakdown of my casualties- that is, what the recruiting formulas were BEFORE 1914 didn't last long  AFTER the war began-I have a blip of men going to LRB. And that has to be more than a coincidence. I suspect that that LRB and HAC drew on their LOCAL areas as well as their class/occupation base pretty soon after the war began. With significant numbers commissioned up, they both needed PBI OR.  The more so when the 2nd battalions were formed up, let alone getting into the 3rd in 1915. A look at where HAC and LRB were based suggests strongly to me that the middle class/ City men that characterised both LRB and HAC at the very beginning of the war was filled out with a (slight) bias towards men from the immediate (ie close commutable) area around Bunhill Row and the Armoury. Just a thought...but anecdotally seems to be the case.

 

The simple fact that The City of London's population expanded by +1,700% every day with over a third of a million people commuting to work within the ancient boundaries - only to disappear at the end of the day, makes the City of London unique in 1914. I doubt any borough of any Metropolitan area in the UK came anywhere close. I suspect there were more people working in the City of London on a Monday midday than there were in the whole of Cornwall. 

 

The London TF (City and County) could clearly tap into this seething mass of humanity and draw on this huge resource..Add an overlay of Class and workplace defined recruitment quickly leads to a more complex recruiting model.

 

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