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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Mobilisation in first two months of war - London Sept 1914

Wendy Moore

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I'm trying to find out whether there were any troops likely to have been moving through London - specifically Victoria Station - in  September 1914, especially on 15 September. I realise that the bulk of the army - the BEF - were already in France by that stage.  But there were obviously recruiting offices enlisting more men plus the Reservists and Territorials still in Britain at that time. So would there have been uniformed troops moving through London stations either heading for France or for training camps in England in mid-September? Really trying to paint the scene in Victoria Station on 15 Sept when the Women's Hospital Corps set off for Paris. Any sources/books which might hold the answers would be welcome.

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On September 11 The Times reported the first detachment of the ‘Public Schools Special Corps’  (at least 500 men in mufti) marched from Hyde Park to Victoria Station to their camp on Epsom Downs.  Men were on the move all the time, Royal Engineers going to Chatham, officers and men joining other units, sailors on way to the coast.  The following week three trainloads of women who had been stranded in Germany arrived.



It’s worth noting there was a surge in recruitment in September following lurid propaganda reports of ‘The Rape of Belgium’.  There would have been a trickle of refugees coming in which turned into a flood in the following weeks.  



Edited by kenf48
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Thank you! That's very helpful and fits with what I had surmised so far. Much appreciated.

On 4/7/2014 at 12:54, dagsr said:

Several years ago i came across an internet article by Jennian about Endell St doctors when i was trying to find out more about my grandmother Dr Winifred Kindness. SHe was a feisty Aberdonian who i believe worked at Endell STreet. My father also thought she had worked in France, maybe driving medical vehicles as he thought he had seen a photo of her in this situation. He has now passed away and nothing appeared in his papers etc to support or deny this. WIth the WW1 exhibitions etc this year I am trying to find out more about her medical work. Can anyone help?

I live in Scotland and on a recent visit to London was disappointed as the IWM was closed so I couldnt find out what records/information might be held there.

Thanking you in advance



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