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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

L/Cpl Sage 18212 13th Glos Reg. Duties of a Groom?


Volitans
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Good afternoon all,

 

Looking to do a bit more research into my Great Grandfather John/Jack Sage.  Specifically, what the role of a groom for the CO's horse would be in a pioneer battalion?  Obviously looking after the horses would be the primary role, but would they be stationed with the CO? Would he have taken part in front line duties?  Any information you can provide will all be gladly received.

 

I've attached below some more information that was written about him in the regimental magazine in the 60's, and also a picture of him on horseback in Malvern.

 

 

IMG_20190803_153817.jpg

IMG_20190803_153829.jpg

IMG_20190803_153855.jpg

 

aai0gJcH.jpeg

Edited by Volitans
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The CO of an infantry battalion, including a pioneer battalion, was allowed two riding horses and two soldier servants. One, the batman, would look after his kit and the other, the groom, would look after the two horses. On the move, the groom would also ride one of the horses, the CO riding the other. The last photo above illustrates this nicely.

 

The horses would normally stay with the wagon lines, some distance behind the front line, when the battalion was in the trenches or close to it. The groom would not normally see front-line service himself unless the battalion was withdrawing in the face of an enemy attack, as happened during the Germans' spring offensives in 1918.

 

Ron

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Thank you Ron.

I was told by a researcher in the past that he might have been involed in big pushes when man power was needed (Somme?) especially given his experience as a career soldier. I imagine the shelling took place as you say at the wagon lines. 

 

Sadly he died 30 years before I was born and didn't speak much about his past to anyone. 

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The classic example of an action in which all possible available men were pressed into service was the German attack on 21 March 1918 when even battalion cooks were pressed into the defence.

 

On occasions like 1 July 1916 he might well have accompanied the CO in the attack but such times were usually more carefully planned than the improvisations forced by resisting a powerful attack.

 

Ron

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Hi Ron,

 

Sounds about right. The diary for 22nd and 23rd March 1918 reads "Battalion moved to redeploy as infantry, the Green Line E of Templeux la Fosse" then "Fought a rear guard action retiring to Peronne + Clery, taking up positions near Herbecourt"

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