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ddycher

TF Recruitment Office in Tavistock

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ddycher

All

 

Trying to find more details on the recruiting office in Tavistock at the start of the war. Can anyone help ?

 

Regards

Dave

 

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Kath

There is an article in Western Times 09 September 1914.

Here is first paragraph:

image.png.f2c742379b8814d2a6a6aefcfcf2449e.png

I expect there are more articles in the war years..

Kath.

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Uncle George

I have Gerry Woodcock’s ‘Tavistock: A History’: I’ll try to dig it out and see if there’s a mention. Meanwhile, you could try our local history society:

 

https://www.tavistockhistory.co.uk/about-us

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Uncle George

I can find no mention of this in Gerry Woodcock’s 2008 ‘History’. I’ve attached a couple of pages which may be of interest:

 

 

02A5F78C-1807-44B6-8CDB-D70A9E7C1BC5.jpeg

BCAF3749-79B4-4CAF-AAFA-75EFFA1B102D.jpeg

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voltaire60
Posted (edited)

Was there a TF  base in Tavistock before the war????     Cannot see a mention of it above-but it would seem likely -especially under the old militia,as the Bedfords liked everything in pukka order-which is why Tavistock remains such a nice "model" Bedford Estate town.

     There sis recruitment in Tavistock- zapping "Tavvy" on SDGW as a keyword brings up a fair few  whose place of enlistment is given as Tavistock.- I suppose one has to slog through any surviving service records to see if any of them enlisted on TF terms

Edited by voltaire60

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Uncle George
28 minutes ago, voltaire60 said:

Was there a TF  base in Tavistock before the war????     Cannot see a mention of it above-but it would seem likely -especially under the old militia, ...

 

Gerry Woodcock’s tells us that during the Napoleonic Wars, “A number of Tavistock men had served in the army and the navy, and 400 of them had responded to the call to form a unit of the Volunteers. This infantry corps, under the command of Colonel William Bray, a member of an illustrious local family, was trained to confront a Napoleonic invasion. Disbanded in 1815, it was re-constituted in 1859 and remained active until, in 1908, it was absorbed into the newly formed Territorial Army [sic].”

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clive_hughes

In 1914 the Territorials at first ran as a separate recruiting body to the Regulars/Special Reserve/Kitchener.  Civilians or retired Territorials often acted as recruiters.  There might well be two recruiting offices in the town, and they may not even have been situated at a Drill Hall/Barracks. Going by the situation in north-west Wales, adverts in the local newspapers listed towns and villages where there was a recruiter, and where to find him (or her - in one seaside town it was a lady florist who filled the post).  Different adverts were placed by the TF and the New Army.  In either case, schoolrooms, shops, banks, and other unlikely premises quickly accommodated offices where initial enquiries could be handled and some paperwork completed (eg. giving the men a rail warrant to the nearest unit HQ where the medical and attestation might take place).  

 

Clive

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Steven Broomfield
2 hours ago, voltaire60 said:

Was there a TF  base in Tavistock before the war????    

 

According to Ray Westlake's The Territorial Force 1914, there was a Drill Station of A Squadron of the Royal North Devon Hussars, it was the base of the 3rd Devonshire Battery of the 4th Wessex Brigade, RFA, and A Company of the 5th (Prince of Wales's) Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment.

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voltaire60

 Thank you  Stephen.  In addition it seems to have had  C C, 3rd Devon Volunteers-taken from a Tavistock directory of 1917

 

 

image.png.5a7950f1668a77f27f4cc22c27492dd1.png

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Uncle George

From Woodcock’s ‘Tavistock: A History’:

 

 

B89BE524-8AAB-4C73-88A5-AAA7A713CC34.jpeg

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ddycher
Posted (edited)

Many thanks Everyone

 

I know that recruiting had jump started at Tavistock during the precautionary period. Capt Charles Spooner the OC of the Tavistock half of A Coy, 5th Devons was accepting men although they didn't complete the process until the beginning of September. From mid August Spooner and ex-Col.Sgt Ernest Williams were enlisting at Tavistock and this continued until mid September when Spooner returned to the unit. I assume but have no ref's to confirm it that this was at the HQ at 58 West St. Could equally have been at Bedford Square. Voltaire I have long struggled between what actually happened in West St. vs Bedford Square. One of those black holes I have never been able to resolve.

 

Spooner then headed to Perham Down to rejoin the 5th Devons on the Plain (he embarked with them to India on 9th October). I believe he returned to the Bn on 9th September after despatching a group of 34 recruits to the Plain on the 7th. Ernest Williams continuing to recruit with J.J. Alexander the local magistrate. Recruiting for the 5th Devons at Tavistock continued to be very strong and another 50 recruits left for the Plain on the 14th September. Recruitment hitting a peak with 50 men recruited between the 14th and 16th of September.  Recruiting was legally problematic though, still not clear why, and men were re-attested and renumbered on arriving at Perham Down. By the end of September men who were going to India were back in town on embarkation leave. Ernest Williams disappears off the scene after the Bn embark and staff from the Depot in Millbay are witnessing attestations at Tavistock by mid October.

 

Kath I know the Urban district council formed a recruiting committee on the 20th August. Cant find any details on who this contained yet but there are ref's to a Col. Brittleton of Ashleigh but there are no subsequent ref's to hand. The Joint Recruitment Committee wasn't formed until December.

 

George - thanks for the snippets above. I will join the Society.

 

Clive the switch from Spooner and Williams to TBD is what I am chasing down. Ernest Williams was a mainstay in the Coy in the transition from the old Vounteers to the TF up until his retirement in 1913. 

 

All in all for me, whilst having some glimpses into events, the early days in Tavistock remain a bit of a mystery.

 

Regards

Dave

Edited by ddycher

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ddycher

Scrolling back through ref's on hand I have a ref to James Spurway (late Sgt.Inst. of the 2nd VBDR at Tavistock) being appointed the district recruiting officer. I don't know when. I do know he was appointed before the Derby Scheme as he was present at the then Recruiting Station at the Town Hall during November attestations.

 

Regards

Dave

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