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Seaham Volunteers


Guest DrGerald
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Hi All

Following on my huge luck to meet Charles and Ivor here on the forum I would like to know if anyone has any info on the "Seaham Volunteers", which I believe was a TF unit raised from the men of Seaham prior to the Great War.

Regards

Gerry

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Hi Chris

This could well be. I have a photo of this group at carbine practise on the beach by Seaham, with a corporal in uniform (the rest are in civilian clothes). Unfortunately the uniform is not very clear. You can see the photo on http://www.marlab.dk/gendb then select "Family" and scroll down the list to #63 - 1867 - William Henry Davison. When you click on his name it takes you to his page and somewhere near the bottom is the photo of the "Seaham Volunteers". There cannot have been that many TF units in Seaham around that time, so perhaps you are right. It is worth looking in to.

Regards

Gerry

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Gerry

Judging by the dress in the photograph, especially the man in uniform, I think that it was taken well before 1908, when the Territorial Force was established. I believe that the unit was part of the Volunteer Movement, which was a home defence force established in 1859 as a result of a French invasion scare. Many Volunteer units were transferred to the TF in 1908 and the Seaham Volunteers could have then become part of one of the Durham Light Infantry Territorial battalions. There were Durham Volunteer artillery units, but I think that these were all based on Tyneside.

Charles

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Hi Charles

You may be right on the age of the photo. William Henry was born 1867 and if he is between 20 and 30 in the photo - which is difficult to tell - then that would indeed put the date around 1887-1897. Ok - in that case this subject does not belong to WW1 - so it is perhaps no longer relevant for this forum. Thanks for the help Charles. I guess I should begin digging around in the pre-TF forces.

Regards

Gerry

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Taken from His Majesty's Territorial Army.

The scanner/OCR is not very well at present so accept the occasional error or two.

Stuart

The 3rd Northumbrian (County of Durham) Brigade R.F.A. represents the late 2nd Durham R.G.A., with one battery from the late 4th Durham R.G.A. The Durham Artillery ranked high amongst the Volunteer contingents of the force, and the old 2nd Durham can point to a distinguished record. It was raised in 1859 at Seaham where the headquarters still are, and was one of the corps which exemplified the happy adaptation of the old feudal ideal to the territorial spirit, for its formation was chiefly due to the initiative and influence, "the energy and enthusiasm" of Frances Ann Marchioness of Londonderry. The first commanding officer was Earl Vane, afterwards the late Marquis of Londonderry, and the present holder of the title is Lieut.-Colonel of the brigade. The corps may be said to have leaped into distinction. At the famous Volunteer Review in 186o, the “Seahams “, as they were colloquially caled, were the only Volunteer Regiment present from the district North of Manchester, and elicited universal admiration by their bearing and equipment. The whole expense of their visit to London was, it is believed, defrayed by the Marchioness. The prizes won by the corps testify indisputably to the efficiency it attained. Amongst them - for a full list would be impossible here-were the National Artillery Prize, two Queen's Prizes,* the Prince of Wales' Prize, the Canadian Prize, and the Challenge Cup of Scotland. At one time the corps numbered twelve companies, and when its passing -bell tolled on the 3ist March 1908 consisted of ten Garrison Companies and a Heavy Battery.

Within two months from the institution of the Territorial Army, the 3rd Northumbrian Brigade R.F,A. recruited its full complement of men, and being the first to be recognised received the designation of the 1st Northumbrian R. F. A. But the term Northumbrian covers a large area; some of the Yorkshire and Northumberland corps, when formed into brigades, claimed the precedence which the parent corps held under the Volunteer regime, and the unit under consideration received its present numerical appellation of 3rd. As may be imagined, the change was not altogether appreciated by the descendants of the old "Seahams."

The brigade has never fallen short of its full strength, and possesses an equipment of twelve 15-pr. converted guns. It is believed that it set the example to other Artillery brigades in inducing the County Association to provide a certain number of horses permanently. At any rate the brigade have eighteen horses en permanence for training purposes.

The Licut.-Colonel of the brigade (on the Supernumerary List) is the Marquis of Londonderry, K.G., and the commanding officer Colonel F. J. M'Kenzie, V.D. The 1st and 2nd Durham Batteries are at Seaham, and the officers in command Majors J. 0. Clazey and F. H. Richardson respectively. The 3rd Durham Battery is at Hartlepool, the officer in command being. Captain G. T. Pearson. The 3rd Northumbrian (County of Durham) Ammunition Column is at Seaham, the officer in command being Major W. Warham Jun. The unit belongs to the Divisional Troops of the Northumbrian Division in the Northern Command.

* By a grim coincidence, amongst the injured in the memorable colliery accidents of 1871 and 1880, where “the no. 1’s of both the winning detachments of the Queen,s prizes.”

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Many thanks for the info Stuart ! It really sets things in perspective, especially since I myself am currently LT in HJVK 2113 (2113 coy Danish National Guard) here in Skive. Kind of makes one feel a part of history...

Regards

Gerry

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  • 15 years later...

For the attention of Guest DrGerald,

Hi Gerry,

I know it has been a long time since you commented on this topic but I wonder if you could help me. I am researching for a new book “The 2nd Durham (Seaham) Artillery Volunteers” which your ancestor was a member. The photograph you mention would have been the Artillery Volunteers at carbine practice on the North Terrace Beach at Seaham. It was not unusual for them to practice on the beach out of uniform.The target was placed on the Featherbed Rock. I would love to include a photograph of the 2nd Durham’s at Rifle practice in the book with your permission. I would of course attribute you and acknowledge you as the source of the photograph.

 

Best wishes,

Fred Cooper

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