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Remembered Today:

Royal Marines??? at Tidworth, 1919


Moonraker
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The back of this postcard has "Tidworth  Salisbury S'Plain 1919" on the back in contemporary-looking ink, as opposed to a dealer's pencilled annotations which I view with caution. In fact the vendor described the card as showing "Royal Marine Light Artillery Pals". The last three words appear curious, and should have led me to have doubts about the Royal Marines attribution. The open-necked uniforms do give a nautical air, but of course Royal Marines are not sailors. And what would Royal Marines be doing at Tidworth - though sailors were there in 1921 when miners and railwaymen went on strike. Government action included mobilizing Royal Navy stokers to look after the coal-pits and pumps. This led to the unusual presence of sailors at Tidworth Barracks, where they spent several weeks in case they needed to be sent to trouble-spots.

 

Image 1 - Royal Marine Light Artillery Pals at Tidworth, Salisbury Plain 1919. RP.

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Definitely not RMLI. They are naval ratings. Not RND, who would have been in khaki and disbanded in 1919. The 1921 strikes seem a good possibility but it could also be a post-war 'miscellaneous' course at Tidworth which had some RN attendees.

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Thanks for that speedy reply, Horatio. In 1919 there was unrest five miles down the road at Bulford and Sling (and at many other military bases, due to delays in demobilisation and repatriation) and possibly the sailors had been brought in as a reliable force to maintain order.

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The 1919 unrest seems more likely when helmets are worn in the barracks area, as if they are about to enbus somewhere.  The backdrop is one of the barracks gymnasiums, often used for pro tem accommodation via army camp beds on the floor.

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