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Remembered Today:

Home Defence Army Cyclist Company


Graham Stewart
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Just bought some really nice paperwork to a lad who was discharged from the 2/25th(Cyclist)Bn, London Regt in February 1919 and among it was typed letter from the "Orderly Room, H.D. Army Cyclist Company, att'd G.H.Q. Forces", to whom he was attached for some 15months.

The lad involved has written on the reverse of his "Certificate of Employment(A.F. Z.18)", that he "Has been employed upon intelligence duties for G.H.Q., Great Britain(I) since October 1917". The dates being 10/10/1917 to 12/1/1919.

I have references to just about every unit in the British Army during the Great War, but this is one, (the "Home Defence Army Cyclist Company") that doesn't appear anywhere and was wondering if any of our members could enlighten me as to exactly who they were and what they did regarding "Intelligence" work??

Graham.

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Graham,

Possibly aligned with the RDC. As at 5th April 1918 there were 2000 RDC soldiers employed in Military Intelligence and Specialist Military Areas (like GHQ).

HD would certainly have been involved in "the Irish problem" as well as counter-espionage etc.

Your going to need a trip to fish out the details in WO 32 methinks.

Go on, you know you want to :D

Kind Regards,

SMJ

post-7376-1183507008.jpg

Just bought some really nice paperwork to a lad who was discharged from the 2/25th(Cyclist)Bn, London Regt in February 1919 and among it was typed letter from the "Orderly Room, H.D. Army Cyclist Company, att'd G.H.Q. Forces", to whom he was attached for some 15months.

The lad involved has written on the reverse of his "Certificate of Employment(A.F. Z.18)", that he "Has been employed upon intelligence duties for G.H.Q., Great Britain(I) since October 1917". The dates being 10/10/1917 to 12/1/1919.

I have references to just about every unit in the British Army during the Great War, but this is one, (the "Home Defence Army Cyclist Company") that doesn't appear anywhere and was wondering if any of our members could enlighten me as to exactly who they were and what they did regarding "Intelligence" work??

Graham.

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Simon,

Many thanks for that as I was unawre of the scale of numbers regarding G.H.Q.'s Intelligence Section and further delving may be required. This lad never served overseas, so isn't entitled to any medals, but it was fascinating to find an Orderly Room stamp to unit I'd never even heard of. I know there is an ORBAT for UK units it's just finding the time to get down there and search through the NA for it.

From his documents I've more or less established his period of service, although some dates on the documents don't tie in with the formation of units. For instance;-

Enlists - 9/2/1916 for the 9th(East & West Kent)Yeomanry Cyclist Regiment. Which doesn't tie in as this unit wasn't formed until November 1916, when the East & West Kent Yeomanry's amalgamated.

He then goes onto serve with the 2/1st R.E.K.M.R., which is the Royal East Kent Mounted Rifles. In my opinion this is the unit he joined in Feb 1916, which re-established it's identity as a Yeomanry Cavalry unit in March 1917.

He then seems to have been transferred to the 2/25th(Cyclist)Bn, London Regiment and from there attached to the H.D. Army Cyclist Company, or attached to them after the 2/1st R.E.K.M.R. moved to Ireland and then transferred to the 2/25th at the end of the War, while still attached H.D.A.C.C.???

Either way a fascinating bit of personnel history and I'm pleased I picked them up.

Graham.

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...some dates on the documents don't tie in with the formation of units. For instance....

Graham.

:ph34r:

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Interesting... I will keep an eye on this thread.

The 2/1st REKMR was formed up in Ashford on 1st September 1914 and almost immediately was tasked with home defence duties throughout Kent and the Medway defences. I have seen reference to the area near Camber too in East Sussex. In July 1916 it became a cyclist unit. In March 1917 it was redesignated a second line Yeomanry (cavalry) unit although most of the time the troopers served dis-mounted as infantryman in the Woodbridge area of Suffolk. There is reference to the regiment serving in Ireland for a short while before returning to the mainland in Kent. In April 1918 the regiment was sent to County Mayo in Ireland where it remained until 1919.

More is known about the 1/1st REKMR (1st line territorial force / yeomanry unit).

I understand that most home defence cyclist units served in the Woodbridge area of Suffolk during the war (engaged in the Thames/Medway defences).

Interesting the GHQ / intelligence work. Perhaps more likely to be in Ireland connected to the troubles / uprising?

Good luck.

Neil

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  • 11 years later...

12 years on...I have identified to date 3 officers and 18 men who served with the unit between its formation in 1916 and its disbandment in July 1919 . At least one officer was with MI 5 throughout his time with the unit. None of the men I have identified  fits with your mans details so I would be very interested in his name and number. Many of the men were recruited from second line yeomanry units in November 1916. Five men from the unit served with the Intelligence Police with Syren Force in Russia in 1919. The IWM holds an internal memo asking one of the outstations for report on Bolshevik activists in army units around Newcastle. 

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