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Remembered Today:

Pre WW1 Middlesex Regiment Cadets


Pauline Pisters

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I have recently found a photo I believe to be of my great grandfather as a young teen wearing WW1 uniform with the Middlesex Regiment cap badge in a group of four boys. He is possibly 12-14 years old in the photo. He went on to serve in the East Surrey Regiment as an adult. Is there any information available about young cadet groups pre WW1 or does anyone know anything about them? I also have a photo of him as an older teenager in uniform wearing Middlesex Regiment Shoulder badges. He grew up in Edmonton if that is helpful at all.

 

Regards,

 

Pauline Pisters

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hello

welcome to the forum

he could have been a boy soldier rather than in a cadet group

 

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if you post his name etc we might be able to tell you more

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He was William Thomas Wade born 14/11/1896. He enlisted in 1915 at 18 years old into the East Surrey Regiment with Regiment number 3318. The photos of him wearing Middlesex Regiment badges are both from pre WW1. 

BB544F9A-6BF3-48D5-893F-FF0E4A433157.jpeg

14657A59-038A-467D-81AC-12A1F1E6400C.jpeg

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The 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Cadet Battalions were formed in 1916.

 

Their shoulder titles were  C/1/MIDDLESEX, C/2/MIDDLESEX, C/3/MIDDLESEX AND C/4/MIDDLESEX.

1/C/MIDDLESEX was worn by Tottenham Grammar School Company of the 1st. Battalion.

 

Other cadet units were the Christ's College Cadet Company of Finchley which was formed in 1912, affiliated to the 7th Battalion (TF) and absorbed into the 1st Cadet Battalion in 1916.

 

The John Lyon School,Cadet Company of Harrow was formed in 1915, affiliated to the 9th Battalion (TF) and absorbed into the 3rd Cadet Battalion in 1916.

 

Source: Collecting Metal Shoulder Titles (Ray Westlake).

 

This previous thread may be of interest:

 

https://www.greatwarforum.org/topic/216458-cadet-uniform-1916/

 

Dave

Edited by HERITAGE PLUS
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Thank you so much! This is wonderful information. Tottenham would have been the most likely area cadet group as by far the closest to where he lived. My uncle discovered a number of photos in a hidden drawer in his fathers chest of drawers after he passed away and we are trying to figure out the stories behind them to the best of our ability as he rarely spoke of his family. 

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3 hours ago, Pauline Pisters said:

He was William Thomas Wade born 14/11/1896. He enlisted in 1915 at 18 years old into the East Surrey Regiment with Regiment number 3318. The photos of him wearing Middlesex Regiment badges are both from pre WW1. 

 

BB544F9A-6BF3-48D5-893F-FF0E4A433157.jpeg

 

14657A59-038A-467D-81AC-12A1F1E6400C.jpeg

 

Difficult to be certain with the first photo, but with the second photo despite the Middlesex Regiment badges the date must be post March 1916 and not pre-WW1, as all the soldiers are wearing the soft version of the Service Dress cap (commonly known among collectors as a "trench cap") that was not introduced until then. Easily distinguishable from the multiple rows of stitching around the peak. I suspect the first photo is also similarly dated:

 

British Army Uniform and Equipment 1914-18 | Football and the ...

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8 hours ago, Andrew Upton said:

 

Difficult to be certain with the first photo, but with the second photo despite the Middlesex Regiment badges the date must be post March 1916 and not pre-WW1, as all the soldiers are wearing the soft version of the Service Dress cap (commonly known among collectors as a "trench cap") that was not introduced until then. Easily distinguishable from the multiple rows of stitching around the peak. I suspect the first photo is also similarly dated:

 

British Army Uniform and Equipment 1914-18 | Football and the ...

Thank you very much Andrew! In that case the photo of four boys doesn’t contain my great grandfather as he was already 19 at that point. There is a pen X under one boy who looks a lot like him so possibly one of his younger brothers instead. Do you know how long that combination of WW1 uniform and that style of cap was used? That might help narrow down who the mystery boy could be.

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I'm not by any means knowledgeable about uniforms but would the slip over shoulder titles on the 2nd photo indicate anything not already mentioned (bottom right). The others wear brass Middlesex titles as far as I can tell. I doubt this has any bearing but there appear to my amateur eye to be two different shapes of collar, could anyone explain ?

If I had to pick one of the 5 to be the same person as in the top photo I'd say the middle one at the back.

 

Simon

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Given the post 1916 date it seems probable that the group are from the 102nd Young Soldier (YS) Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment that was formed by retitling the erstwhile 28th Battalion which had been raised in Dec 1915 at Northampton, but became a YS (age restricted) unit, at Aldershot, with effect from 1st September 1916.  In a final change all YS battalions were numbered as 53rd for their respective regiments as part of a centrally organised Training Reserve (TR).  At this latter point regimental badges were swopped for a single general service button worn centrally on the cap.  The cloth, slip ons for shoulder titles were adopted during the transition period to TR.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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  • 1 year later...
  • 4 months later...
On 15/02/2022 at 16:42, Ian Clark said:

Thought you would like to see this badge... 

P1090031 (2).JPG

Ian that is definitely a cadet battalion badge rather than anything to do with the Training Reserve (TR).  Between the 2nd Boer War and end of WW1 a great many infantry regiments encouraged the raising of cadet battalions**, but unlike TR units these boys attended weekly and weekend drill sessions and otherwise lived at home and went to school.  They were entirely separate from the Junior Division Officer Training Corps (OTC) cadet units sponsored by public (private) schools.  To make their administration practical and manageable to achieve they were not sponsored by the Regular Army, but instead affiliated to Territorial Force (TF) units under the TF County Associations.  During their existence they appeared in the officially (war department) issued annual Army List alongside each infantry regiments TF contingent.  After the war and into the 1920s, as the war department had its funding increasingly slashed whilst the state adjusted to return to a peacetime economy, the cadets lost their funding and with very few exceptions were obliged to disband as a result.  They had in any case become less popular among many parents struggling to put memories of the slaughter of WW1 behind them.

NB.  Discrete cadet unit insignia is exceedingly rare and commands a premium accordingly.

**whose original genesis was under the direct influence of social reformer Octavia Hill.

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31465ECE-AF9D-482B-A690-D0D57F28050C.jpeg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks all for all this information. Its the history of all this militaria that keeps me coming back for more. Am struggling to remember where I picked up this badge. How did it end up down here in Brisbane, Australia? Am sorry to have to report I have since sold it and it has gone off back to the UK!   

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Mate,

Before the war the British had intro Universal Service into the Commonweath 

That meant cadets and citizen soldiers had to do Military Training for a number of years 

The Milita are well known (light Horse and such) but he cadets are not

Each Military district formed Cadet Bns, based on the Infantry Regts of that district

Brisbane had the 2nd Bde 6th Bn two Companies, 7th Bn two companies 8th Bn three companies

3rd Bde, 9th Bn with three cadet Companies (lettered A B C).

Ipswich had two companies of the 10th Bn and Toowoomba had two companies 11th Bn and Warwick the 3rd Company 11th Bn

Brisbane suburbs are general, like North and South as well as West Brisbane

So many such units the Brisbane area.

My list does not mention a where these were but schools seams the logical places

S.B

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