Jump to content
Free downloads from TNA ×
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Why this regiment


surreybee

Recommended Posts

Hello all,

My friends relative was born and lived in Yalding, Kent. They attested  (short service) in Maidstone on 6/7/15 for the KRRC. (HQ Winchester)  We are wondering why they didnt choose a local Regiment like the Royal West Kents. Would they have been given a choice? Or were particular Regiments recruiting in other areas? Or was it general recruitment and applicants were offered a range of Regiments?

Any help greatfully received

Best wishe

Gerry

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, surreybee said:

Hello all,

My friends relative was born and lived in Yalding, Kent. They attested  (short service) in Maidstone on 6/7/15 for the KRRC. (HQ Winchester)  We are wondering why they didnt choose a local Regiment like the Royal West Kents. Would they have been given a choice? Or were particular Regiments recruiting in other areas? Or was it general recruitment and applicants were offered a range of Regiments?

Any help greatfully received

Best wishe

Gerry

Gerry the two original regular rifle regiments (as opposed to two subsequent additions from Scotland and Ireland) were the King’s Royal Rifle Corps -KRRC (aka 60th Rifles) and Rifle Brigade -RB.  They were both designated national regiments that could recruit across the whole of Britain, although they each had strong association in particular with the City-of-London and County-of-London (which latter comprised sliced off suburban portions of Kent, Surrey and Middlesex).

Apart from the London Regiment, many of whose battalions came from those same areas, and which had for a period previously provided them with auxiliary (part-timer) volunteer battalions, the KRRC and RB had no associated Territorial Force units, unlike other infantry regiments.  They each already had 4 regular battalions, rather than the two that a majority of other regiments had, but also raised many additional, duration of hostilities only battalions during the course of the war, with recruitment from all over Britain.**

In addition to these overriding matters, after the ‘military service act’ (conscription) was passed by Parliament in early 1916, all soldiers were recruited under the same terms ‘for the duration of the war’, and the Army became administratively unified.  From that point men were sent wherever they were required regardless of their geographic origins.  By the end of the war most men who survived had served in several different regiments and corps.

**todays successor regiment, The Rifles, has inherited that national recruiting pool.

NB.  Another key factor is that prewar the KRRC and RB, famously dressed in dark green rather than scarlet when on ceremonial, were considered socially superior, elite regiments and had more aristocrats and wealthy officers than even the Guards.  This was particularly so with the KRRC.  That social cachet was used as a pretext by recruiters when ‘drumming up’ (as the term was) recruits. Soldiers in other units referred to the two regiments collectively as the ‘black buttoned barstewards’ (read between lines for last word).

03C379E3-73E5-42AE-BFCD-72016D1E920C.jpeg

11731B6A-EB5A-4AEA-9390-C3B305FBA238.jpeg

4102A03D-79C3-47C8-9414-CD4D28374B2E.jpeg

A6FC766D-4F6A-423A-AE0F-F7B7E1889AE1.jpeg

E1FEC766-10F6-449A-AF39-9AABDE368224.jpeg

Edited by FROGSMILE
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good morning!

Many thanks for such a helpful and fulsome response . I shall share it with my friend. The three boys of the family all joined up. One to KRRC, one to Royal West Kents and one to RFA/Labour Corps. Two survived. 

Thank you again for this response.

 

Best wishes


Gerry

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...