Old Ledbury - World War One Territorial Army - 1st Battalion Herefordshire Light Infantry - 'C' Company and the National Reserve

World War One Territorial Army - 1st Battalion Herefordshire Light Infantry - 'C' Company and the National Reserve

World War One Territorial Army - 1st Battalion Herefordshire Light Infantry - 'C' Company and the National Reserve




Kington / Newent Reporter Newspaper and Ledbury Guardian Newspaper 08-08-1914

Orders by Colonel M. J. G. SCOBIE, C. B., Commandant

1. In view of the present crisis all members (who have not already done so) should at once communicate with their local secretaries, in order to sign the new cards for the several classes, viz :-

I. Officers and other ranks (any branch of the service) under 42 years of age, fit to join a combatant unit for service in the field at home or abroad.

II. Officers, Warrant Officers and Sergeants under the age of 55, and rank and file under the age of 50, fit to join a combatant unit for home defence or for duty in fixed positions, or for administrative work at home.

III. (a) Officers and other ranks qualified for Classes I. and II. who have not undertaken an honourable obligation to serve.

(b) Officers and other ranks not qualified by age for Classes I. and II ; otherwise fit.

2. The names of the local secretaries are detailed in the recruiting posters issued.

3. Officers and other ranks under 42 years of age at present in Classes II. or III. should (if fit) take this opportunity of signing on to Class I.

4. It is the duty of all National Reservists to act as recruiters for their own Service, and also for Regulars, Special Reserve and Territorials.

C. K. WOOD, Colonel.

Secretary Herefordshire Territorial Force Association.


On Tuesday night shortly before eight o'clock the proclamations calling up the Army Reservists and the Territorials were received by Supt. WILLIAMS at Ledbury and were at once posted. On Wednesday reservists in the Ledbury district left home to report themselves at their depots, and on Tuesday night numbers of the members of " C " ( Ledbury ) Company of the lst Battalion the Herefordshire Regiment attended at the Drill Hall, where Captain A V HOLMAN, Sergeant-Instructor A CRANE and Col.-Sergt. E G MORRIS were present for the issue of kit. On Wednesday men from the country detachments came in to report them-selves, and the Drill Hall was probably the busiest spot in Ledbury. The Company paraded at 4 p.m. in the Drill Hall in full kit, and when the roll was called it was found that out of the 83 men in the Company 79 were present. The four absentees were all accounted for, however, one being at Blackpool, another at Rhymney, a third at Aberystwyth, and a fourth out in the country working with a steam roller and did not get his notice until late on Wednesday night. All four turned up, however, and left yesterday ( Thursday ) to join the Regiment...
" C" Company were timed to leave Ledbury at 5 p.m., and long before that hour crowds of people assembled all along the route from the Drill Hall to the Railway Station. The newly-formed band of the Company, under the conductorship of Mr C W JESSETT, was present, and the Bugle Band of the 1st City of Westminster Troop of Boy Scouts, who are camping at Bosbury, attended to take part in the march to the station. The two bands headed the Company, who were followed by motors, bearing flags and printed cards bearing the motto, " Good luck to the Terriers." On each side of the men, who marched four deep, crowds of people marched, and nothing so spontaneous could be imagined as the turning out of the people of Ledbury to witness the departure of her soldier sons. All along the route there was a brave show of flags, and people looked on the scene from the upper storey windows of houses along the route and waved their handkerchiefs and flags to the men who had so quickly responded to the call in the nation's hour of her need.
At the Railway Station the Bugle Band of the Boy Scouts took up a position on the up platform and played during the interval of waiting. The Territorials were drawn up on the down platform two deep, and took leave of their relatives, and in but few instances were there any tears shed. The Company went away gladly, and for the most part without demonstration. Just as the " right away " was given came the first cheers, and the train steamed out for Hereford to the accompaniment of a fusilade of " Hurrahs" and the stirring call of the Bugle Band.
It was a scene which will live long in the memory of those who were present. Many of the leading residents of the town and district assembled along the route, or at the station to witness the departure of the " Terriers " and wish them " Good luck."

Ledbury Guardian Newspaper 08-08-1914
The news that war had been declared was received amidst the greatest excitement in Ledbury, as was the case in other places. For some days past, every newspaper has been eagerly ????? up and every scrap of news is eagerly sought after. Throughout the week " war " has been the sole topic of discussion, Home Rule, which a few days ago provided food for discussion, has been almost entirely forgotten. The word " war " has been tingling in everybodys ears to the exclusion of everything else. All kinds of properties are being made as to the ultimate issue of the present trouble and the remarks made about Germans have been of a very uncomplimentary character. Every evening people can be seen strolling the streets until nearly midnight in the hope that more news will be forthcoming. The result of the war is already being felt in the town and there has been a general increase in the price of foodstuffs. many people managed to lay in a stock of goods before there was a rise in the prices and there was in consequence a great demand made upon grocers, etc, all of whom have been kept very busy of late. According to the statements appearing in the Press, however there is no reason for householders to become panic stricken at present at any rate.

Remarkable scenes of enthusiasm were witnessed in Ledbury on Wednesday, when " C " Company, 1st Battalion Herefordshire Regiment left the town for Pembroke Dock for defence purposes. It is undoubtedly safe to say that such enthusiastic scenes had never been seen in the neighbourhood before, not any rate, within the recollection of Ledbury's oldest inhabitant. Local residents made a splendid response to the appeal made to them to give the Ledbury territorials a hearty send off. The majority of the business and private houses in the town displayed flags, and the scene witnessed when the Territorials were making their way to the station, will live long in the memory of every inhabitant in the town of Ledbury. When it became known on Tuesday that the local Territorials had to report themselves at headquarters for duty, the greatest excitement prevailed and up to a late hour people could be seen standing in bunches at the street corners eagerly discussing the situation. A noticeable fact was the cheer-fullness with which our local men received the call. There was not one of them who was not willing to don the uniform and go where duty called them. The territorials were timed to leave the Drill hall at 4.30 p.m, for the station, in order to go by 5.20 p.m. train to Hereford en route for Pembroke Dock.
Before their departure there was a lot of preliminary work to be gone through. When the names were called out, only four men were absent out of eighty three on the books. The absentees were working away from the town and could not get here in time to leave with their comrades. Since Wednesday, however, three out of the four absentees, have left for Pembroke Dock. The baggage, ammunition, ????, was got off expeditiously and there was not a hitch in the whole proceedings. Toward 4 o'clock people began to make their way to the Drill Hall where the men were formed up waiting for the signal to depart, Capt. A V HOLMAN being in command. Everyone will agree that the men presented a smart appearance in their khaki uniform. their military bearing was favourably commented upon, in fact, their general appearance created surprise among many people who had not realised previosly that " C " Company comprised such a fine body of men. It was pleasing to note that the number of men who wore on their breasts the Imperial Service Medal which signifies their willingness to go to any part of the country and take part in actual warfare if the call is made upon them. The wearing of such a medal is obviously something to be proud of and a fact which the public of Ledbury seemed to generally appreciate.

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When everything was in readiness for their departure the men marched out of the building, outside of which they had their photograph taken. The band of the 1st City Westminster troop of Boy Scouts were approached to play the Company to the station, which they kindly consented to do. Later on, however, it was decided to have a brass band also, with a result that a number of local musicians were got together on the way to the station, both bands played in turn. When the word was given by the Commanding officer to proceed to the station, hundreds of people lined the streets. Motor cars could be seen decorated with flags and placards bearing the words " Good luck to the Terriers " and the town presented an animated appearance. Although many people lined New Street, the crowd was nothing in comparison to the number of people who awaited the procession at the Upper Cross and in High Street. People could be seen leaning out of windows, standing on walls etc, and at every point of vantage. Flags were waved and cheer after cheer rent the air. Had, the men been proceeding at once to Belgium, or to any other part of the country where fighting is going on, they could not possibly have received a better send off. In the Homend the crowd reached large dimensions and the scenes were equally enthusiastic. For the time being the street was impassable and all traffic had to fall behind the procession. So dense was the crowd that it was impossible to break through.

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When the station was reached everybody made a rush for the platform, but only a few people were allowed to go past the booking office doors. A number of people got over the railings, so eager were they to get on to the platform. The arrival of the train was the signal for a terrific outburst of cheering, and when the men took their seats there were many hand-shakes and good-byes, and numerous were the wishes expressed for the speedy return of our young townsmen in the town and district. When the train steamed out of the station a big rush was made for the platform, everyone being anxious to witness the departure of the train. Handkerchiefs were waved in hundreds and the cheering was louder than ever. When all was over many tears were shed by the relatives and friends of the men who had gone. Ledbury certainly done well on this occasion and the enthusiasm displayed was remarkable. Everybody seemed to want to take part in giving the men the warmest send off possible, and they succeeded in their endeavours. August 5th will truly be a day long to be remembered and one that can be looked back upon in years to come with feelings of pride.
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Ledbury Guardian Newspaper 22 08 1914

ROLL OF HONOUR - In response to numerous appeals made to us to compile a list of men who have gone from Ledbury and district to serve their country at this crisis, we have pleasure in publishing the names, which comprise of " C " Company, 1st Battalion Herefordshire Regiment, who departed from Ledbury a few days ago.

[1st Battalion Herefordshire Light Infantry - 'C' Company]

Ledbury Guardian Newspaper 29 08 1914

Mrs W.B. WOOD-ROE, of The Slatch, Bosbury, wife of Major WOOD-ROE, issues an appeal for clothing for "C" Company of the 1st Battalion the Herefordshire Regiment.

The latest official news of the regiment can be obtained by friends of Territorials at the Drill Hall, Ledbury, on Tuesdays, between 2.30 and 4pm. Any information or advice will be given.

Ledbury Guardian Newspaper 05 09 1914

Sidney Francis ALLEN, of The Talbot Hotel, Ledbury, makes an appeal to all owners of fruit trees, to send him fruit which he will be pleased to forward to C Company 1st Battalion Hereford Regiment.

In addition to the pipes, tobacco, cigarettes, pouches, etc., given to the men, as announced at the meeting, a present of tobacco was sent to each man by Lady Agneta MONTAGUE ( sister of Lady Elizabeth BIDDULPH )
Mr A R ROWDEN also paid for each man's dinner before they entrained for Hereford.
We are informed that only three or four of the above men failed to pass the doctor at Hereford. Credit is due to them, however, for volunteering to serve.
We shall be pleased to publish the names of those who are at present serving if relatives and friends of the men will kindly send us their names and addresses.

Ledbury Guardian Newspaper 12 09 1914

Sidney Francis ALLEN, of The Talbot Hotel, Ledbury, thanks donators, he is still pleased to receive fruit on behalf of "C" Company, 1st Battalion the Herefordshire Regiment, at present billeted at Northampton.

Ledbury Guardian Newspaper 19 09 1914

Sidney Francis ALLEN, of The Talbot Hotel, Ledbury, thanks donators and assures all senders of fruit that it is very acceptable by all the local men. He is still pleased to receive fruit on behalf of "C" Company, 1st Battalion the Herefordshire Regiment, at present billeted at Northampton.

Ledbury Guardian Newspaper 26 09 1914

Sidney Francis ALLEN, of The Talbot Hotel, Ledbury, thanks donators and assures all senders of fruit and nuts that it is very acceptable by our local men. He is still pleased to receive fruit on behalf of "C" Company, 1st Battalion the Herefordshire Regiment, at present billeted at Northampton.

Ledbury Guardian Newspaper 10 10 1914

The Mayor of Hereford gratefully acknowledges the receipt (through Mr. C.B. MASEFIELD) of blankets for the Territorials.

Ledbury Guardian Newspaper 24 10 1914
Departure of National Reservists
Upwards of 20 men belonging to the National Reserve left Ledbury on Thursday morning in response to their country's call. They were played to the station by the band attached to "C" Company, 1st Herefordshire Regiment, and their appearance was very creditable to the town. Their departure to Hereford was witnessed by Rev. F.W. CARNEGY, Rev. F.C. LYNCH, Mr. W.A.H. MARTIN, Mr. T.S.S. GARDNER, Mr. R. LAWRENCE and others. Before they left the town two boxes of cigarettes were presented to them by Mr. C. H. BASTOW, and the men immensely appreciated the gift. The names of the men are as follows - Messers H.J. POWELL, G. CHANDLER, T. BROOKES, H. BAYNHAM, W. OWENS, H. CALE, T. DAVIES (DAVIS ), S. JONES - THOMAS, R. HODGETTS, T. WILLIAMS, W. WALKER, F. SMITH, J. JONES, W. MANSELL, G. BAYLISS. The last named was in charge. The men were given a hearty send off.

[1914 National Reservists]
National Reservists leaving Ledbury October 22nd, 1914

My Grandad Thomas DAVIS is second row right hand side lookin at photo with beard. Grandad went to enlist but he was turned down...BH

Second left front row looks a lot like Thomas DANCE...JL

This is a picture of my Great Grandad George James GWILLIAM (front, second from the left). One of many National Reservists waiting to leave Ledbury Station October 22nd 1914

In connection with the fund inaugurated for supplying tobacco and cigarettes for soldiers at the front.

Ledbury Guardian Newspaper 07-11-1914
Territorials Leave Hereford
On Tuesday morning 146 Territorials left Hereford for Northampton to join the Service Battalion of the Herefordshire Regiment. They were given a very enthusiastic send off by the people of Hereford.

Ledbury Guardian Newspaper 14 11 1914

Last evening (Thursday) a special meeting of the Ledbury Urban Council was held at the Barrett-Browning Institute to consider the question of the proposed billeting of troops at Ledbury

Ledbury Guardian Newspaper 21 11 1914
The Territorials in the Reserve Battalion of the Herefordshire Regiment are now being trained in night operations, and are undergoing a course of real hard training.
On Tuesday the area of operations was north of Hereford, stretching up to Norton Canon and Canon Pyon from the city, and bounded by the Midland line to Hay and the G.W.R. line to Leominster. An attacking (Blue) force of cavalry, represented by 70 cyclists, with a supposed strength of three times that number, was in the northern district mentioned at 7 p.m. They were under Captain SPEER, whose object was to find out the dispositions of the enemy, a Red force consisting of the remainder of the battlin (sic) under Major GREENLY. This force was defending the city, and for that purpose had established an outpost line from Credenhill to Moreton-on-Lugg, arcoss (sic) Burgsill. The defenders took up a second out-post line from Stretton Sugwas to Pipe and Lyde Church. This line was merely a 'blind' or decoy, the idea being first to deceive the enemy as to the actual outpost line, and then to enable the defenders to prevent the return of the reconnoitring party. A section of the defending force, under Mr. HOOPER, with a colour-sergeant and twelve men, was also told off to locate and, if possible, capture the enemy"s commander and staff.

There were seven companies on outpost duty under the following officers:-
Sec. Lt. ASHTON, Sec.-Lt. Sec.-Lt. W. L. CARVER, Sec.-Lt. EVELYN, Sec.-Lt. G. MILLYARD, Mr. BACON, Mr. CROSSLEY, and Mr, Stewart ROBINSON. This force left the Drill Hall at 5 p.m. The officers under Captain SPEER"s Blue force were - Sec.-Lt. LLOYD, Mr. A. DAVEY, Mr. BERNEY, Mr. DUFF-GORDON, and Mr. DIXON. Acting as umpires were Lt-Col. W. B. WOOD-ROE, Lt.
( The article abruptly finishes here)

The announcement that the 1st Battalion Herefordshire Regiment are to go on Indian service has caused a great deal of interest locally. It will be remembered that Lord Kitchener stated definitely that no foreign service unit would be dispatched abroad until the corresponding home defence unit was made up to strength. As a result of the recruiting efforts made, the Reserve Battalion is now satisfactorily filled, and the 1st Battalion is therefore free for foreign service. The Herefords, Monmouths and Cheshires have recently been engaged in coast defence works, but last week they returned to Northampton. The announcement that the Herefords were to go on foreign service greatly delighted the men, all of whom were eager to go. The 48 hours leave which was granted officers and men on Monday was of course preparatory to the final arrangements for departure to India and to give the men an opportunity to say good-bye to their friends and relations. A special train had been chartered to convey the men to their destination early in the evening, but before their departure, however, the order was cancelled. Of course the men were greatly disappointed. The reason for the cancellation of the order may be due to some important change in military directions, but the order certainly would not have been cancelled but for some special reason. The information that the order had been cancelled caused much disappointment in Ledbury. However, it is to be hoped that if the men leave for India on Monday next a few hours leave will even at this late hour be granted them, if it is at all possible.

When the news leaked out the local Territorials were going to India it was felt that some effort should be made to present each man with a suitable gift to mark his departure. It was with this object in view that Mr. W. L. TILLEY and Mr. H. THACKER set about collecting subscriptions, and nearly £20 has been collected wherewith to purchase a quantity of cigarettes, pipe, pouch and tobacco for each man, which it was thought would probably be more acceptable than anything else. Mr. TILLEY and Mr. THACKER have worked hard to get the necessary funds together, but the hearty response which was given to the appeal lightened their task considerably. Sufficient money has been obtained to provide each man with a parcel containing a pipe, pouch, tobacco and cigarettes. As it seems improbable that the men will be allowed leave to come home, the parcels will be forwarded to them.

The following letter has been received by Mr. W. L. TILLEY from Captain A. V. HOLMAN (officer commanding C Company 1st Batt. Herefordshire Regiment) -
Dear Mr TILLEY, -
Thanks for your letter. Excuse my writing in pencil, but I have twisted a muscle in my back and am laid up for a day or two.
I have 123 N.C.O.'s and men in my company, 100 of whom are going to India.
It.'s awfully good of the Ledbury folk to get up this fund for them. Personally, I think pipes would be better than cigarettes. They nearly all smoke pipes nowadays. If you send the parcels to myself, care of Col.-Sergeant MORRIS, I will see they are distributed. All leave is stopped, otherwise my boys would have been home for 48 hours from yesterday.
Please thank all subscribers on behalf of the company, who very much appreciate the gift.
We expect to sail on the 23rd.
Yours sincerely

Ledbury Guardian Newspaper 28 11 1914
We are informed that the order given to the 1st Herefordshire Regiment to proceed to India next Monday, has been cancelled. The movements of the regiment at present are unknown.

Ledbury Guardian Newspaper 05 12 1914
In a letter to Mr. W. L. TILLEY, the Rev. J. L. MONEY-KYRLE (Vicar of Much Marcle), said, in reference to the recent presentation of tobacco, etc., to the members of "C" Company 1st Herefordshire Regiment: "It happened that I was fortunate enough to be present at the distribution to the men of "C" Company of the very handsome gifts I understand the men owe to your initiative and to the generosity of your fellow townsmen. Could you have heard the nice things which were said in appreciation of your kindness by the men you would have felt more than repaid for all your generous efforts. "

On Monday afternoon, it was reported in Hereford that the 1st Herefordshire Regiment had departed that day from Northampton for somewhere on the East Coast, and that the objective of their departure was more trench digging. Last week the men were served out with helmets, presumably for service in India but next day these were recalled. On Monday we understand, the men had received orders to parade at 2.30 prior to their departure.

Lady COLVILE is desirous of thanking those who so very kindly helped her to collect shirts and socks for the above.

1914 - 1919 Ledbury Guardian Newspaper - Herefordshire History
1916 Tilley's Almanack
1958 Tilley's Almamack
1963 Tilley's Almanack
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