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Remembered Today:

KRRC recruitment march (pic)


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post-10810-1152865223.jpg

Hi - thought you might like to see this picture of the K.R.R.C. on a recruiting march through London, in November, 1915.

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Thanks for the picture. Two of our pupils enlisted in the KRRC in July 1915, in Essex, so I suppose there is a remote chance that they could have been there. Interesting to note the lack of rifles. Was there a shortage, or could the men not be relied on to bear arms?

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Thanks for the picture. Two of our pupils enlisted in the KRRC in July 1915, in Essex, so I suppose there is a remote chance that they could have been there. Interesting to note the lack of rifles. Was there a shortage, or could the men not be relied on to bear arms?

No equipment either, just a blanket roll.

This post card was re-issued as part of a collectors set in the 1990s. You got the cards plus a box to keep them in, and cards to divide into category.

I looked at this card under a glass back then. IIRC there is mention of Charles Hawtrey on a poster on the wall. This is not the "Carry On" fellow, who was only born around that time, but Sir Charles Hawtrey - no relation.

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Hi - yes - these are part of the Nostalgia Series (Iris Publishing). Photos provided by the Hulton Picture Co, wonder if they are still about and have an archive? I also search the posters in these era pics, looking for Acts of the time, or ads for the early Play 'Hobson's Choice' (slightly off topic here I know) - also wonder if anyone has ever found a familiar face on such cards and pics?

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  • 2 years later...

QUOTE (DaveBrigg @ Jul 14 2006, 11:36 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks for the picture. Two of our pupils enlisted in the KRRC in July 1915, in Essex, so I suppose there is a remote chance that they could have been there. Interesting to note the lack of rifles. Was there a shortage, or could the men not be relied on to bear arms?

Pals,
For info this picture is 20th (Service) Battalion (British Empire League Pioneers) KRRC - the KRRC pioneer battalion raised by the British Empire League in August 1915.

The wording on the placard on the cart at the rear reads:

BRITISH EMPIRE LEAGUE

RECRUITS WANTED

PIONEER BATTALION

FALL IN NOW

The recruits were mainly drawn from the London area, especially the East End around Woolwich, with some significant contigents from Durham (mainly miners) and Somerset.

The first recruit to the battalion attested on 10th September 1915, but recruiting proved slow and it was mid October before the battalion numbered over 100. Momentum picked up in November and there were 800 men by the end of the month. The battalion arrived in France on 31st March 1916.

Apart from a very short spell in Wellingborough, the battalion spent this time in the London area. Parades were held at [EDIT (Aug 2015) Took me six years to spot this mistake!] Devonshire House in Piccadilly Somerset House in the Strand, followed by drill in Green Park and Hyde Park. The battalion transport was assembled at Woolwich.

Trench construction training took place on land owned by the Great Western Railway - presumably somewhere west or north west of Paddington.

All this would suggest a date for the photo of some time between mid October 1915 and mid February 1916.

You commented on the lack of rifles ...

Due to war shortages, the battalion had particularly serious problems acquiring their rifles, so much so that they arrived in France with hardly any! While at Wellingborough - supposedly completing the arms drill and musketry training which they had been unable to do in Central London - they had even been ordered to hand in the few rifles they had managed to assemble!

On arriving in France they were deployed to Poperinghe in the Ypres Salient for their trench familiarisation - still without arms.

They were particularly upset when a rumour started that these newly arrived unarmed pioneers were actually Conscientious Objectors! They were working well forward in the fighting area despite being completely unarmed. mellow.gif

Luckily they were fully equipped within 8 or 9 days after arrival!
Cheers,
Mark[/center]

Edited by MBrockway
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Two of our pupils enlisted in the KRRC in July 1915, in Essex, so I suppose there is a remote chance that they could have been there.

Dave,

As this is 20th KRRC who did not exist in July 1915, this is impossible!

Much more likely is that your pupils enlisted in 18th (Service) Battalion (Arts & Crafts) KRRC, which was raised in Gidea Park, Essex in June 1915 or into 17th (Service) Battalion (British Empire League) KRRC, which was raised (also by the BEL) in London a month earlier.

Do you know their names? From their Service Numbers we may be able to confirm whether 17/KRRC or 18/KRRC are probables.

Cheers,

Mark

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  • 2 weeks later...

Pals,
A special request to any Pals within easy reach of Central London ...

I have a theory that this photo is taken from near Holborn tube station looking south down Kingsway.

That would be consistent with a circular march based on Somerset House where the battalion held parade.

Another option could be along The Strand heading towards Green Park/Hyde Park, but I don't remember any trees in The Strand.

Any chance that a Pal could go and take a recce to see if we can ID the location?

Cheers,

Mark

Edit: Having realised that the battalion paraded not at Somerset House, but at Devonshire House in Piccadilly (roughly where Green Park tube station now is), much of the speculation above is no longer relevant. The Duke of Devonshire was the President of the British Empire League and allowed both the BEL-raised KRR battalions, 17/KRRC and 20/KRRC, to parade at Devonshire House.

Edited by MBrockway
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  • 5 months later...

7thkingrrl.jpg

This is an undated picture postcard of the 7th KRRC marching through High Barnet, North of London

I came across this when looking for KRRC information (My Great Uncle Wilfred Hutchins served in the 8th Bn and was killed at Ypres 5th July 1915). I now live in Barnet which adds to my interest.

I found one or two references, which don't really shed much light:

'There are barracks in the High Street and also a depot of the seventh battalion King's Royal Rifle Corps.'

From: 'Parishes: Barnet', A History of the County of Hertford: volume 2 (1908), pp. 329-337. Which is strange as I thought the 7th Bn wasn't formed until 1914:

7th (Service) Battalion Formed at Winchester on 19 August 1914 (http://www.1914-1918.net/krrc.htm)

Although one Corporal Yeomans of the 7th Kings Royal Rifles Corps was appointed as the first Musical Director of Barnet Brass Band at the first Commitee Meeting in February 1889.

Can anyone with any more detailed knowledge clear up the conundrum? (have had a look on the Web but not found anything else so far)

Anyway, I thought this may be of interest...

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  • 6 years later...

7thkingrrl.jpg

This is an undated picture postcard of the 7th KRRC marching through High Barnet, North of London

I came across this when looking for KRRC information (My Great Uncle Wilfred Hutchins served in the 8th Bn and was killed at Ypres 5th July 1915). I now live in Barnet which adds to my interest.

I found one or two references, which don't really shed much light:

'There are barracks in the High Street and also a depot of the seventh battalion King's Royal Rifle Corps.'

From: 'Parishes: Barnet', A History of the County of Hertford: volume 2 (1908), pp. 329-337. Which is strange as I thought the 7th Bn wasn't formed until 1914:

7th (Service) Battalion Formed at Winchester on 19 August 1914 (http://www.1914-1918.net/krrc.htm)

Although one Corporal Yeomans of the 7th Kings Royal Rifles Corps was appointed as the first Musical Director of Barnet Brass Band at the first Commitee Meeting in February 1889.

Can anyone with any more detailed knowledge clear up the conundrum? (have had a look on the Web but not found anything else so far)

Anyway, I thought this may be of interest...

Sorry Adam to reply to a very cold topic! I missed this first time around.

Your postcard is almost certainly of the 2nd Royal Rifle Regiment of Middlesex Militia also known as the Edmonton Royal Rifles

From 1881 to 1908 they were the 7th Battalion of the KRRC.

They were a militia battalion affiliated to the KRRC in 1881 under the Childers Reforms.

By 1908, they had been re-numbered as 6/KRRC and their role became that of a Special Reserve battalion supplying reservists as reinforcements in times of need. This was their role in the Great War, though they relocated to Sheerness.

They were finally disbanded in 1953.

Kelly's Directory has the HQ at 14 Union Street, Barnet, which is just off the High Street about 200yds in the background of your post card.

Contemporary maps however show 'Militia Barracks' on Stapylton Road/Salisbury Road, pretty much where the modern Spires Shopping Centre now sits. The barracks were shared with a number of other units from the ASC, the Middlesex Regiment and the Yeomanry. Union Street may have been an administrative address.

Here's an aerial photo from 1925 with my annotations: http://www.britainfromabove.org.uk/image/epw013420

See also the excellent drill halls project entry here: http://www.drillhalls.org/Counties/Hertfordshire/TownBarnet.htm

Cheers,

Mark

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Remarkably several of the buildings survive today (though there seems to be a bit of 30s infill), this https://goo.gl/maps/W0IY2 should take you to Google streetview of pretty much the same location. You can just see the church top left which has very distinctive decoration.

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Remarkably several of the buildings survive today (though there seems to be a bit of 30s infill), this https://goo.gl/maps/W0IY2 should take you to Google streetview of pretty much the same location. You can just see the church top left which has very distinctive decoration.

Yep- it was using Streetview that I identified the location myself! I've never been to High Barnet :thumbsup:

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