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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Photo: Dorsets - Gillingham and Sherborne Platoons' Field Day


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This is marginally outside the date range of the forum, but I hope you kind folks will allow me to post these questions.

This photo is from my grandfather's collection [Major R.E. Partridge, MC, Dorsetshire Regiment].

The annotation on the back reads: "Gillingham and Sherborne Platoons' Field Day at Melbury Abbas, 20th May 1923."

Would these have been regular platoons of the Dorsetshire Regiment? If so were platoons always given town names? Or could these have been some form of training or cadet platoons?

What typically did a Field Day involve?

Any familiar faces? [I think the rum jars are nearly empty.]


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Their shoulder titles are of territorial battalion. Platoons of TF battalions often were named as such in association of their local drill hall.

Nice to see such a fantastic image.

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Pre Great War there was only the 4th Battalion of the Dorsetshire Regiment that was Territorial Force, and I suspect post-war that was what it shrunk back down to.

Several of the men appear to be wearing not only the ribbons for the Victory Medal & British War Medal, but also either the 1914 Star or the 1914/15 Star, (ribbon was the same). However no-one who served pre-1916 with the 4th Battalion would have been routinely entitled to the Star - the 1/4th were on garrison duty in India until they landed in Mesopotamia in February 1916. https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/the-british-infantry-regiments-of-1914-1918/dorsetshire-regiment/

It's come up on the forum before about men with units on garrison duty in India throughout the war, so normally only qualifying for the British War Medal, but who were part of details that went to Mesopotamia as convoy escorts, (piracy was a problem) and return as prisoner escorts, so qualifying for the Victory Medal. But I've never come across it extending to the 1914/15 Star.

So a little mystery - were they wartime volunteers who then moved onto the TF or Regular Army on secondment to the TF as instructors.



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