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Remembered Today:

Inns of Court OTC


Chris_Baker

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Is anyone able to tell me what a recruit to the Inns of Court OTC actually did, while they were at Berkhamsted. I know that the vast majority were eventually commissioned. I presume the time was taken with learning drill, etc, and no doubt various courses and rides but can anyone be more specific? Thanks in advance.

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I used to live in Hemel Hempstead (just down the road from Berkhamsted)

They did dig 13 linear miles of trenches (according to the local paper) - partly as fitness training, partly as part of the Northern defences of London and partly as training for more senior officers in the design and layout of trench systems.

Presumably they had to fill them in again afterwards.

Ashridge Forest is a fantastic area for military training

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charlesmessenger

Chris

Up until September 1916, the Inns of Court provided basic and officer training at Berkhamsted. The subjects covered were drill, musketry (although limited by a shortage of suitable ranges), entrenching (but little in the way of trench warfare, apart from bombing), map reading, field exercises in open warfare (designed to instil leadership and initiative), and lectures, which covered a whole range of subjects from sanitation, through tactics, to the history of the war.

In September 1916, the officer cadet (as opposed to basic training) companies were formed into No 14 OC Bn, which moved to Catterick in January 1918, its place being taken by a school of instruction for officers posted to OC bns. This meant that the remaining Inns of Court companies concentrated largely on basic training, although some of the instruction was designed to prepare men for the OC bns.

There was also an Inns of Court cavalry squadron, which moved to Maresfield Park near Uckfield in December 1916 and then to Tidworth in February 1917. It was charged with supplying potential officers to the Cavalry Cadet squadrons at Kildare and Netheravon.

Charles M

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Guest Trenchwire
Is anyone able to tell me what a recruit to the Inns of Court OTC actually did, while they were at Berkhamsted. I know that the vast majority were eventually commissioned. I presume the time was taken with learning drill, etc, and no doubt various courses and rides but can anyone be more specific? Thanks in advance.

Hi Chris should anyone contact you,please could you let me know as i would love to take a vist, i have been to the camp at potton end, but its a golf course now, so not much to see other than the memorial many thanks Alan

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The Inns of Court O.T.C. Squadron (Cavarly) had its own magazine (War Record) 1914-19. by H.I. Merriman Esq, it covers Berkhamsted, Maresfield Park, Tidworth, Casualties, KIA DOW, Died, Wounded, Prisoners, Decorations, Foreign Decorations, MID & Register of Horses. & lots of photos.

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Hi Chris can you let me no where in Berkhampstead they were based, i would love to take a vist
Alan - just behind the castle there is a large field called 'Kitchener's Field' which is now owned by Berhamsted School. Many of the photos of the OTC appear to have been taken there. There used to be the remains of some trench systems to the left of the road that goes up to the memorial from the town. (At least there were when I did exercises there with the school CCF in the early 80s.)
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Alan - just behind the castle there is a large field called 'Kitchener's Field' which is now owned by Berhamsted School. Many of the photos of the OTC appear to have been taken there. There used to be the remains of some trench systems to the left of the road that goes up to the memorial from the town. (At least there were when I did exercises there with the school CCF in the early 80s.)

Thank you Charles i will go and have a look asap

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Recently I was shown some items belonging to man who trained with the Inns of Court OTC in 1915/16 (Allan Chapman - later of Lancs Fusiliers). Included in this was a photograph of Camberley Staff College. Although not made absolutely clear, the implication was that the officer cadet did serve some time at Camberley. Would anybody be able to throw light on this ?

Steve

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And at the foot of the memorial,It says "near this spot lies the ashes of lieut col f.h.l Errington cb md who served the corps for 36 years".

Anyone know anything about him.

post-8421-1176727124.jpg

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Hi,

does the memorial include individual names of Inns of Court OTC men killed in the war.

I'm interested in 2Lt WH Dawson ex Pte no. 8854 Inns of Court OTC who was 2Lt in West Yorkshires kia 20.7.18

Rgds

Peter

:D

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With the mention of Errington above, I'm surprised nobody has mentioned his book (perhaps too obvious !):

Errington, FHL, 1920, The Inns of Court Officers Training Corps during the Great War, Printing Craft Ltd., London.

I see that this book, and its shortcomings, are discussed on another IoC OTC thread in 'Soldiers'

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does the memorial include individual names of Inns of Court OTC men killed in the war.

No it doesnt. I'm going to the Inns of Court drill hall for a dinner in December. I will see what they have there.

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Is anyone able to tell me what a recruit to the Inns of Court OTC actually did, while they were at Berkhamsted. I know that the vast majority were eventually commissioned. I presume the time was taken with learning drill, etc, and no doubt various courses and rides but can anyone be more specific? Thanks in advance.

From Errington, 1922, The Inns of Court Officers Training Corps during the Great War, (p14)

The Sandhurst system of putting boys under the harrow, so as to enable the good seed to be sown in their future regiments was unthinkable when dealing with older men of considerable knowledge of the world, and whose critical faculties were developed; nor was there time for such leisurely training, nor, when they joined their regiments, would the new officers find the old regimental atmosphere, or the time to learn their duties. The period of training was not likely to exceed three or four months, and to spend it on the barrack square would be a crude absurdity. Success could only come from determining the most essential quality in an officer, and concentrating on its development. That quality is undoubtedly
moral
, and in the case of an officer is almost synonymous with character …

On Amazon you find the reprint - it will provide much fuller answers to your question.

David

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I'm researching the boys of my old school who died in WW2 (the school only opened in 1914 with junior boys), however 2 boys served in WW1, one saw active service in France and the other, the only one to die, died of pneumonia whilst at Berkhamsted.

His name was Cyril Holbourn. http://www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_detail...casualty=402176

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I have just posted this up on flickr and was looking for more info on the Inns of Court OTC, and found this thread.

An unknown, and very youthful cadet. At what age could you join the OTC?

And interesting uniform. Can anyone shed any light on it? I thought they would have worn regular OR's service dress? Did cadet have to provide their own uniform?

5088836575_e473e2ec27.jpg

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And also this is relevant -

3010344994_38d11c2791.jpg

(There are six pages, please click on the letter to see the rest)

The RFC chap in my signature, Oliver Charles Pearson, trained with the Inns of Court OTC. I have a selection of letters written home to his mother during the war and one is from Birkhamstead in October '15, and gives a good account of the life of a cadet.

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Have just come across this post and was reminded of a map in my collection titled "Map of the Country round Berkhamstead Scale 1/40,000 Prepared by Permission from the Ordnance Survey for the exclusive use of the Inns of Court Officers Training Corps". This appears to be an enlarged version of the one-inch Third edition map with the addition of a military style 1000 yard grid and "Instructions as to the use of the squares."

If it is of interest I can scan and post a section of the map and would be happy to donate it to any member of the Forum with a particular interest in this subject.

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Simon_Fielding

Where's the best place to begin looking for Inns OTC officer pictures? Were 'class portraits' common?

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Have just come across this post and was reminded of a map in my collection titled "Map of the Country round Berkhamstead Scale 1/40,000 Prepared by Permission from the Ordnance Survey for the exclusive use of the Inns of Court Officers Training Corps". This appears to be an enlarged version of the one-inch Third edition map with the addition of a military style 1000 yard grid and "Instructions as to the use of the squares."

Mike, I'm a member of the Berkhamsted Museum and local history society. I would be very interested in seeing a copy of the map you mention. We are currently preparing a book about the town in the Great War.

Kind regards, janice

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