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November, 19 14 

Photograf>h\ln- Horace W. N'uholh 







Lieut, and Assistant Adjutant 










IT is regretted that exigencies of space have made it impossible to print all 
the matter — pictorial and otherwise — written and offered for this volume. 
For the same reason it was decided not to publish a list of those who have 
joined the Corps from its formation. Such a list, owing to deficiencies in some 
of the earlier records, could be neither complete nor accurate, and would 
necessarily include the names of hundreds of men who stayed but a short time 
and took little interest in the Corps. 

I have had much advice and assistance from Major Crombie, Major Perman 
and Captain Quin in the selection and arrangement of matter ; and thanks are 
also due to the Proprietors of " Punch," "The Sketch," and the " Daily Sketch," 
to Messrs. Bassano, Mr. Stoll-Bailey, Mr. Messenger and Mr. Steggals, for kindly 
placing photographs, and in the case of " Punch" articles, at our disposal. Most 
of the remaining photographs are the work of Mr. Horace W. Nicholls and the 
Topical Press Agency. The excellent cartoons of Mr. J. H. Dowd and Mr. Rex 
Osborne have been a great asset to us. Unfortunately very few photographs of 
the Battalion taken during 1917 and 1918 have been available. Owing to the 
stringent regulations against the use of cameras during the latter years of the 
War, and the fact that as our work became useful and more strenuous so it 
ceased to be spectacular, hardly any photographs were taken. 

I find that I have omitted from the "Record" any reference to the select 
band of men who, during 1916 and 1917, performed the thankless duty of 
escorting military prisoners — a work that not only consumed much time but 
required a good deal of moral courage and tact. This duty was undertaken by 
about sixteen men, but the brunt of the work fell upon some six or seven — Private 
(afterwards Sergt.) W. H. Bond, Private (afterwards Lieut.) C. Taylor, Private 
(afterwards Lieut.) L. W. Harris, Lance-Corpl. S. J. W. Scott, and Privates G. 
Thomas, Lawson Wright and A. H. Stoll-Bailey, while C.Q.M.S. Ford undertook 
the unexciting duties of orderly-sergeant. On one occasion Privates Taylor and 
Thomas, with the help of handcuffs and other persuasive methods, succeeded 
in conducting and handing over a really refractory prisoner who had already 


escaped from more than one Guards' escort ; while, on another occasion, Sergt. 
Bond and I escorted to the Tower a gunner and his dog, an Irish terrier of sorts, 
who had followed his master from France and refused to be parted from him in 
his home troubles. 

Should any members of the Motor Squadron feel aggrieved at the absence 
of photographs of the squadron, they must lay the blame on their own members 
who, having good pictures in their possession, have failed, notwithstanding 
repeated requests, to place them at my disposal for this book. 

E. P. 




I. A Tribute. By Lieut-Col. J. G. Gordon Casserly i 

II. The Battalion. By Major A, E. Crombie . , 4 

III. A Record. By Lieut. E. Potton 7 

IV. Guards and Anti-Aircraft Duties. By Corporal F. Sulley — 

I. Guards in General 28 

II. Hyde Park Corner 29 

III. Grosvenor Road Bridge 32 

III. Anti-Aircraft Work 39 

V. The United Arts Overseas. By Capt. W. H. Ansell, M.C 49 

VI. The Light Side of the United Arts. By C.Q.M.S. Charles Emanuel . . . 51 

VII. A Very Lamentable Ballad of a Camp at Churt. By Private Walter Jerrold . 61 
VIII. Fantasies from " Punch." By Lieut. J. Fayrer Hosken— 

I. Sentry-Go 63 

II. The Bridge-Builders 66 

III. Our Whitsun Camp 68 

IV. A Surprise Visit 70 

V. Camp Quartermastering 72 

VI. Our Regimental Sports 76 

VII. The Use of the Rifle 78 

VIII. Manual Exercises and other Incidents 81 

IX. Night Operations 83 

IX. Roll of Honour 86 

X. A Nominal Roll of the Staff and United Arts Companies, ist County of 

London Volunteer Regiment 87 


The Unshrinkables Frontispiece 

Battalion Staff, November, 1918 facing page viii 

Lieut.-Col. J. G. Gordon Casserly, Lieut.-Col. C. L. Willoughby Wallace, 

Capt. H. G. Shears 2 

Cartoon from " Punch " />• 3 

Major A. E. Crombie 4 

The Lord Desborough, K.C.V.0 6 

Lunch at Taplow Court 8 

A Consultation at Earl's Court (Sir Arthur Pinero, Major-Gen. Sir A. Turner and 

Mr. Gerald du Maurier) 8 

Inspection at Earl's Court, 5th October, 1914 10 

Field Days in Richmond Park, November, 1914 12 

Our Colonel's First Sight of Us (Colonel G. S. Ommanney) 14 

" Cover that Rear Rank ! " (Captain A. Holmes Gore) 14 

Inspection in Regent's Park, 25th July, 1915 16 

Motor Squadron at Headquarters, July, 1915 16 

Entrenching Work at Woldingham, 1915-1916 18 

Lord French's Inspection, Hyde Park, 17th June, 1916 , 20 

Breakfast, Epping, 9th September, 1917 22 

Cover of Concert Programme, New Theatre, 13th January, 1918 (Bernard Partridge) 24 

Our Sergeant-Major 26 

R.Q.M.S. Kinman 26 

" 1914, 1915, 1918" (S. Strube) p. 27 

Rex Osborne's Cartoons — 

The CO.; Our Adjutant, 1915-1916; Our Adjutant, 1916-1918; Orderly 

Room ; Bombing 28 

A Sheepshooter ; "D" Company; "B" Company; Art Militant; A U B" 

Company Stalwart 30 

Otford Camp 32 

Group of Officers, Otford, August, 1916 34 

Range Party, Chevening 34 

Otford : "A" and " B " Companies ; •' D " Company and Motor Squadron ... 36 

Epping, September, 1917: Hotchkiss Gunners ; A Morning Wash 38 


facing page 

R.S.M. A. R. Utting; C.S.M. F. Hudson 40 

Bivouac, Epping, September, 1917 40 

C.S.M. A. J. Driver ; C.Q.M.S. Walter Ford ; Sergeant C. L. Harding ; Sergeant 

C. E. Southwell 42 

Four Original " D " Company Stalwarts : C.S.M. Kendrick ; C.Q.M.S. Emanuel ; 

Sergeant Babb ; Sergeant W. H. Bond ........ 44 

C.S.M. Allen Gill; Sergeant Witherspoon ; Sergeant F. A. Towle ... 46 

" Not very United Artists " (H. M. Bateman) p. 48 

" Exploits of the U.A.V.R." (S. N. Babb) 50 

Inconveniences of Military Life (J. H. Dowd) 50 

Entrenching Work : Woldingham and Churt 52 

"Some of the Big Guns": Sir John Lavery, A.R.A. ; Sir Frank Short, R.A. ; Sir 
George Frampton, R.A. ; Sir F. R. Benson; and Arthur Hacker, R.A. (J. H. 

Dowd) 54 

Entrenching at Epping, 1917 56 

Tadworth Camp, August, 191 7 58 

A Great Advance at Taplow Court (J. H. Dowd) p. 60 

Academy Days (J. H. Dowd) • p. 62 

Churt, August, 1915 ; Major Gordon Casserly ; Battalion Parade 62 

Churt: Group of Officers 64 

"Gentlemen, the King!" 64 

Bridge Building 66 

Drumhead Service 68 

"D" Company Quarters 68 

Field Operations and Route Marches 70 

The Camp 72 

Officers and N.C.O.'s 74 

Battalion Sports 76 

Camp Life 78 

Camp Kitchen; The Rifle Range 80 

"A" and "D" Company Groups 82 

"B" and "D" Company Lines 84 

Officers: Staff and Right Half Battalion, November, 1918 88 

Test Route March, 19th May, 1918 90 

No. 2 Platoon "D" Company (Pharmacists), Winners of Cup Competition, 1918 90 

" Memories" (E. Wallcousins) p. 92 



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f. viii 



indian army (retired) 

Honorary Commandant ist Batt. (United Arts Rifles) County of London 

Volunteer Regiment 

j4 T the clamour of the bugle in that fateful August of 1914, the artists of 
/ % London were among the first to answer the dread call. The sculptor 
JL- J^ flung aside his chisel, the painter his brush, the writer the pen, the 
musician his instrument, the actor the buskin. They held out their empty hands 
for rifles and flocked to learn the soldier's trade which hitherto they had almost 
despised. Those too old to join the colours would not be denied the right to 
defend their country and banded themselves together in one of the earliest-formed 
Volunteer Corps, the United Arts Rifles. In it many a singer, sculptor, artist, 
author and actor, first got the military training that fitted him to uphold the 
honour of his country on many a bloody battlefield the world over. In Gallipoli, 
in Mesopotamia, in Flanders and in France sleep for ever men who first learned 
their drill at Earl's Court or Burlington House. They did credit to the corps in 
which they were first enrolled. Yet their older comrades who never left the 
shores of England served the Empire as truly and guarded it well in the tragic 
days when the fate of the world hung in the balance and a Hun invasion seemed 

To me as one who had played at being an actor, an author and a journalist, 
the United Arts Rifles appealed strongly; and I gladly offered my help to the 
Corps in the early days of its existence. And I look back on the years of my 
association with it with feelings of pride and affection — pride in its efficiency and 
its record of good work, affection for my friends in it — and they number, I hope, 
every comrade of mine in it. In my long service in the British Isles, in India 
and China, I have done duty with many corps ; but never have I known one in 
which the discipline was so perfect, so willing and so intelligent as in the United 

Arts Rifles. In many months' active command of it I had only one case for 
orderly-room, and that a trivial one. Accustomed to Regular regiments com- 
posed of young and strong men, I used to marvel, nevertheless, at the spirit 
that animated and upheld all ranks of the Battalion in long and toilsome 
marches and manoeuvres. Elderly, nay, undoubtedly old, men whose most 
strenuous exertion for years had been a round of golf, who ordinarily would 
not walk five hundred yards in London if a taxi-cab were available, swung along 
like boys in a twenty-miles' march or breasted the sandy slopes above Frensham 
Pond with the vigour of youth. Members of the best London clubs, used to 
every comfort and luxury, they took their turn cheerfully in camp in performing 
the most servile tasks and slept uncomplainingly in barns and stables and on the 
stone floor of Churt schoolhouse. Men long past military age — despite their 
assertions to the recruiting-officer — like cheery Dalhousie Young and the popular 
Sir Frank Benson, found duty in England too tame, and, denied the privilege 
of fighting, went abroad to succour the wounded of our Allies under fire — one 
to experience the horrors of the Serbian retreat, the other to win the Croix de 
Guerre on the battlefield. 

With sorrowful pride I recall the heroic self-denial of younger members of 
the Corps. Of one who came to me in 1915, to explain apologetically that he had 
been unable to join up at the outbreak of war, having a wife and child dependent 
on his earnings, but that now, having at length secured their future, he wished to 
enlist — and did so, only to fall in action shortly after. Of another with his foot 
on the ladder of success, the heir to a peerage and Parliamentary secretary to a 
Cabinet Minister, having, too, a charming wife and child, who put everything 
aside to join the Army. Of poor Holmes Gore who used to come to me every 
night straight from the Haymarket Theatre to be coached up in military subjects 
until two or three o'clock in the morning to fit him to take a commission — poor 
Gore, destined to be killed in Gallipoli four hours after landing. 

Every calling represented in the Corps paid the toll of blood — architect, 
journalist, actor ; Alwyn Ball, Watson, Trevor Roper, all fell in battle. Men of all 
professions did credit to the United Arts. A Royal Academician, Solomon J. 
Solomon, achieved perhaps the quickest promotion on record— one day a private 
in an unrecognised volunteer corps, the next a lieutenant-colonel in the Royal 
Engineers. An actor, Basil Foster, in three years rose to be Lieutenant-Colonel 
and General Staff Officer in the Royal Air Force. Nor was Commerce far behind. 
Of the men who worked hard all day in the City Offices and then came to drill 
in the bitter cold of winter nights, Crombie succeeded me worthily and efficiently 
in the command of the Battalion as a major, and Perman became a capable and 
highly-thought-of Volunteer Staff Officer. 




p. 2 

In the old days the muster roll of the Corps was almost a copy of the Roll 
of Fame of English Art. What celebrated names it held ! Sir John Lavery, Sir 
George Frampton, Lieut.-Col. Solomon J. Solomon, Sir Frank Short, Bernard 
Partridge and the late Arthur Hacker; those after-dinner " Rivers of Eloquence " 
Shannon and Tweed (those who were present at a dinner given to Lieut.-Colonel 
Willoughby Wallace and me at the Chelsea Arts Club will understand the 
allusion), Derwent Wood, George Lambert and others of the Chelsea Arts Club 
platoon. Actors like Sir Frank Benson, Bourchier, Allan Aynesworth, Godfrey 
Tearle, Huntley and Fred Wright, Nelson Keys; musicians and singers like 
Thomas Dunhill, Plunket Greene, Howard Jones, Dalhousie Young, Allen Gill ; 
poets like Emile Cammaerts; novelists like Arthur Applin, Temple Thurston and 
Keble Howard— why, it reads like a " Who's Who " of the artistic and literary 
professions ! 

Perhaps the need for Volunteer Corps has really passed and the United Arts 
Rifles may never fall in again on parade— on earth. But while life lasts let the 
memory of the Corps and its friendships endure ! And while I live I shall never 
forget the Battalion of which I am proud to be the Honorary Commandant. 

Sergt.-Instructor : " What's yer name ? " 

Sir Angelo Frampington, R.A. : " Frampington.' 

Sergt. : " Well, 'old yer 'ead up, Frampington." 

By permission of the Proprietors of " Punch: 




Officer Commanding ist Batt. (United Arts Rifles) County of London 

Volunteer Regiment 

THIS book is not intended to be an official history, but a collection of 
articles and photographs of a more personal nature, which it is hoped 
will form a souvenir of considerable interest to all who have been on 
the Roll of the United Arts Rifles. 

It is not perhaps the proper place for these remarks, but I make no apology 
for taking advantage of this, the only opportunity of recording my appreciation 
of certain facts and services which, although not always in the limelight, con- 
tributed very largely to whatever success the Battalion may have achieved. 

Foremost among these I wish to put the esprit de corps which invariably 
pervaded all ranks, and which was especially noticeable during those reorgan- 
izations of platoons and companies unavoidably necessary on more than one 
occasion. The contraction of four companies into three and again into two, 
naturally tends to cause a certain amount of friction. In our case it entailed 
reduction in rank for some and loss of all prospect of promotion for others ; 
nevertheless, the spirit in which this was accepted by those most affected and 
the undiminished keenness with which they " carried on " with their job, is to my 
mind one of the finest things in the history of the Corps. I was obviously 
precluded from making much comment at the time, and I welcome this chance 
of expressing my sympathy and recognition of their sportsmanlike attitude. 

I had almost uncanny good luck in the selection of Staff, and of " specialist " 
Officers and N.C.O.'s. They seemed to revel in hard work, and they made a 
name for themselves not only in the Brigade, but at London District H.Q. For 
the time and money spent on the Volunteers the Government not only expected, 
but took steps to ensure that it received, full measure of services in return. 
The A.C.I.'s and other Orders and Regulations grew and flourished like the 
green bay tree — even the apparently simple process of enrolling a recruit eventually 

From j painting by Sydney Kendrick 


became swathed in tangles of red tape, although it was nothing to the process of 
getting him discharged, should he afterwards apply for discharge for good and 
sufficient reasons. Clothing, arms, equipment, mobilization and instructional 
Stores, arrived in an unending and ever increasing stream, and as for the number 
of "returns required in triplicate "—well, I am truly thankful I was not the 
Adjutant or the Quartermaster. 

It may be news to some that a complete mobilization scheme was worked 
out for the Battalion which provided for every foreseen eventuality until we 
reached our appointed rendezvous in Essex or Surrey, as the emergency 
might require. The exact roads by which we were to march from H.Q. were 
known, halting places appointed, and billets and other necessary accommodation 
surveyed and fixed ; and (by permission of the respective managements) our billets 
and Coy. H.Q.'s for the first nights were arranged for in the Albert Hall and 
Royal College of Music. Officers and men for special duties, guards, piquets, 
escorts (even the names of the fatigue party, the exact hour and minute of the 
day, and the conveyance in which they were to collect the reserve ammunition 
from Hyde Park Magazine) were selected and their orders ready for them in 
writing. All mobilization equipment and stores, with the sole exception of 
gas masks, were in the actual possession of the Battalion. Horses and 
transport were earmarked, and a scheme was evolved by means of which the 
whole of the Battalion could be warned for mobilization within a few hours by 
merely telephoning or telegraphing a single code word to half a dozen individuals. 
What a far cry from the early days in 1914 and 1915, when we clamoured in vain 
for "recognition," with but little idea of its full meaning ! All these arrangements, 
together with the organization of guards, anti-aircraft and other duties, obviously 
entailed a vast amount of work of a clerical and monotonous nature on the part 
of those officers and other ranks responsible, and I wish to place on record the 
cheerfulness and amazing energy with which they coped with its ever-increasing 
volume during 1916, 1917 and 1918. 

It is impossible to over-estimate the debt which the Battalion owes to the 
enthusiasm and "intensive culture" bestowed upon it by Lieut.-Col. Gordon 
Casserly, happily since appointed our Honorary Colonel. Though unfortunately he 
had to leave us towards the end of 1915, the traditions which he created and the 
high standard of efficiency set by him, left an indelible hall-mark on the Corps 
and have been of inestimable benefit to it during the final three years. 

The thanks of the Battalion are due to the Council of the Imperial College 
Union and to their courteous Secretary for the kindness and hospitality shewn to 
us during four-and-a-half years. The free use of these Headquarters was a great 
asset to us, and at times our presence must have caused much inconvenience. 

We also owe a debt of gratitude to our President, Lord Desborough ; to 
our Chairman, Sir Arthur Pinero, and to many other prominent members of the 
dramatic, artistic, and musical professions, for their practical interest in the 
Battalion from the time of its formation. 

Our task is done, and although happily it never became necessary for us to 
resist an attempted invasion, we have the satisfaction of knowing that what we 
set out to do we in great measure accomplished. I have no hesitation in saying 
that in the autumn of 1918 we were (apart from physique) a more efficient 
fighting unit than many of the Battalions sent to France in the earlier days of 
the war. Our anti-aircraft units saw real service, and our guard duties and other 
emergency work at all events saved considerable expense to the country. 

On looking back, an outstanding feature is the great number of good fellows 
one has met in the Battalion and the many firm and lasting friendships for which 
it is responsible. Every effort has been made to provide means of meeting and 
some place where all may keep in touch. What final shape this may take I 
cannot say, but at present two very successful steps in this direction are in the 
large number of members who have joined the Camera Club (particulars obtain- 
able from E. Potton, The Camera Club, 17 John Street, Adelphi, W.C. 2), and in 
the United Arts Lodge, No. 3817 (Secretary, Chas. Edwards, Belle Vue, Chiswick 
Mall, W. 4). 

It was my intention at the outset to mention no names, but I feel I must 
make an exception in the case of the compiler of this book. The compilation of 
the "Record" in Chapter III and the collection, editing, and general arrangement 
of the other matter, is due to the assiduous and unaided labour of one man. 
Thanks, praise — or blame — must be meted out to our old friend Potton. 


A 6 






THE UNITED ARTS CORPS does not claim to be pre-historic : it 
cannot even allege a pre-war origin (and in that it is no worse than the 
New Army), but it can claim that it was formally brought into being at a 
meeting held thirteen days after War was declared, and that it existed in embryo 
at least ten days before that date, requests to join the committee having been sent 
out by Mr. Raymond Roze on the 5th or 6th of August, 1914. It was born in the 
early days of war, before enthusiasm had given place to the grim determination 
of the subsequent years of the struggle ; when men of all ages and conditions, 
even though they could not for various reasons then join the Army, were bent on 
doing something to help their country in its need. Like other similar organizations 
which sprang up then, or shortly afterwards — for the United Arts was possibly the 
first, certainly one of the first, Volunteer Corps to be formed during the War — 
it persisted and survived, having outlived the knocks which it had to encounter 
in the inception of the movement. 

Towards the end of August, 1914, squads of strange looking men of all ages 
in white (at any rate they were supposed to be white) sweaters, and often without 
hats, could be seen drilling and marching in the grounds of Earl's Court Exhibition. 
Their drill was poor, and they made all sorts of mistakes, but so few people visited 
the Exhibition at that time that their earliest efforts were for the most part 
mercifully hidden from the public gaze. Later in the autumn, in October, a 
move was made to the Royal Academy. In effect the curtain was then up, and 
the white sweaters and their owners were more or less in the public view. From 
that time onwards, on almost any afternoon, a long trail of men could be seen filing 
out of the Royal Academy quadrangle. Collectively, they still did not know much 

about drill or tactics, but their mistakes were not then so obvious, they were all 
keen to learn, and their drills and long marches were making them fit. There 
were many opinions as to their identity; curiosity sometimes prompted brass hats 
to look into the Academy Quadrangle to see the very latest thing in War, and they 
left — amazed. Some people said that these men were German prisoners, others 
thought they might be convicts. There were even suggestions that they were 
boy scouts, a subtle compliment which some of the older men possibly appreciated. 
But no one suggested that they might be soldiers ! On Sundays these men often 
marched fifteen to twenty miles. Sometimes they took bands with them, but not 
the same band, for any self-respecting band that had been on one march never 
wanted to try another. Again, the white sweaters could be seen — or felt — in 
Hyde Park after dark. Their night work was then truly wonderful and thrilling, 
and the park chairs and seats scattered here and there provided many opportunities 
for casualties. The bone of contention was generally the Serpentine Bridge, and 
some of the after-armistice discussions as to whether the attacking or defending 
force had been successful, though justifying the epithet of the Corps as thinkers, 
threatened to outlive the War itself. 

These men in white sweaters (hence the title of " the Unshrinkables ") drilled 
with outlandish weapons — any bit of old iron they could find — attended lectures 
and marched and doubled and tired themselves out, little recking of the good- 
natured amusement and some ridicule which they encountered from the people 
who throw cold water on any movement of which they are not themselves a part. 
But to say more of this epoch would be to poach on Mr. Emanuel's preserve. 
Besides the simple chronicler is — or should be — confined to a record of solemn 
facts ; and statements of fact are generally dull, even though — possibly because 
— they are truthful. 

Mr. Roze's original idea was to form a Home Defence Unit composed of 
men engaged in any of the artistic professions who were ineligible or for good 
reasons unable to enlist in the New Army or Territorial Force. The title 
suggested for the Corps was " Home Defence Corps — Artists' Battalion," but 
it was at once pointed out by the Officer Commanding the Artists' Rifles that 
this title was misleading and infringed a name which that Battalion had borne for 
upwards of fifty years. In order to meet these criticisms the title was changed to 
" United Arts Force," a name by which the Corps was known until it became a 
recognised Volunteer Battalion in January, 1915. 

Mr. Roze's letter to the papers bore immediate fruit. Offers of service poured 
in from artists, musicians, actors, architects, sculptors, authors and journalists. 
Many eminent members of these professions enrolled, all expressing willingness 
to drill and make themselves efficent for home defence. 



September, 1014 

[Of the members in this group, at least four — Col. Ommanney, Capt. Holmes Gore, 
Capt. Trevor Roper and Raymond Roze — are dead.] 



October, 1914 




A Committee was formed and a circular issued, containing " an urgent appeal 
to all the Members of the Dramatic, Musical, Literary and Artistic Professions to 
get themselves into a state of military efficiency, so that a prepared unit may be 
ready to come forward when the War Office calls upon the services of every able- 
bodied man for Home Defence. 

" The Force is open to all Members of the Professions mentioned, including 
Art Students and the Staffs of Theatres, who from professional or other unavoid- 
able reasons are at present unable to join the active or Territorial Forces, and is 
to afford facilities for drill and rifle practice under fully qualified Army instructors, 
until final instructions have been received from the War Office." 

Matters progressed so well that the Committee was able to hold the Inaugural 
Meeting of the new Corps at the Bath Club on 17th August, 1914, Lord Desborough 
presiding, the other members of the Committee present being Sir Arthur Pinero, 
Sir Thomas Brock, R.A., Sir Edward Elgar, O.M., Mr. (afterwards Sir) John Lavery, 
A.R.A.,and Messrs. Bertram Mackennal,A.R.A., Henry Arthur Jones, Oswald Birley, 
John Coates, H. V. Esmond, Harrington Mann, William Nicholson and Raymond 
Roze. Sir Arthur Pinero was elected Chairman and Mr. Raymond Roze Hon. 
Secretary and Treasurer. A letter from the War Office was read expressing sincere 
thanks for our "generous and patriotic offer" but regretting that official sanction to 
the Force could not be given until the 100,000 men for whom Lord Kitchener had 
appealed were raised. When that had been accomplished, the War Office promised 
" their serious and immediate attention " to the offer. As the result of a personal 
interview with the Secretary of the Army Council, permission was given to enrol 
members and to drill and carry on rifle practice on certain conditions, the main 
thing being that nothing should be done to prejudice the success of Lord 
Kitchener's appeal for recruits. It was also announced that Mr. H. Payne had 
offered the use of the Earl's Court Exhibition as headquarters and drill ground for 
the Force. 

After six weeks of further negotiation and organization, during which drill 
was carried on assiduously at the Earl's Court Exhibition, another Committee 
Meeting was held at the Bath Club on 29th September, when Lord Desborough, 
the Chairman, was supported by Sir Edward Poynter, Sir Thomas Brock and 
Messrs. Arthur Bourchier, R. P. P. Rowe, Alan Francis, John Lavery, Dion 
Boucicault, William Nicholson, Vereker Hamilton, James B. Fagan and Raymond 
Roze, together with Major-General Sir Alfred Turner, Major Willoughby Wallace, 
and Messrs. J. D. Langton and J. Wilson - Taylor, who were not members of the 
Committee. It was announced that 689 members had been enrolled, most of 
whom were painters, musicians, actors and journalists. Special squads had 
been formed by the Chelsea Arts Club, H.M. Office of Works and the Queen's 

Hall Orchestra. There was a feeling among some members of the Committee, 
headed by Mr. Gerald du Maurier and Mr. Cyril Maude, that a purely Home Defence 
Force did not quite meet the case, and efforts had been made to form a separate 
unit for Active Service among members of the dramatic profession. These 
efforts, however, were without result, and the formation of a special service 
section of the United Arts Force was found to be impracticable and unnecessary. 
Any member wishing to join the Army could do so, and already more than 
twenty members were reported to have joined up, after going through a certain 
amount of drill with the Force. The Signalling Section was stated to be pro- 
gressing under the instruction of Mr. Dalhousie Young. 

The Force grew in numbers and by the beginning of October was 900 strong. 

On Sunday, 5th October, Major-General Sir Alfred Turner inspected the 
Force at Earl's Court. There were about 450 men on parade and a very 
creditable march past was followed by an address by Sir Alfred Turner. 

The Council of the Royal Academy having placed part of the building at the 
disposal of the Force, the headquarters were duly transferred, and the next 
Meeting was held at the Academy on 27th October, Lord Desborough again 
presiding, the Chairman, Sir Arthur Pinero, being also present. 

It was stated that Colonel Ommanney, lately Commanding 2/3 Q.A.O. 
Gurkhas, had been offered the command of the Force, and Major Willoughby 
Wallace, late of the 1st Royal Irish Rifles, the Adjutancy. The appointment of 
a Finance Committee, consisting of Mr. (afterwards Sir) Alfred Butt, Messrs. J. D. 
Langton, Dion Boucicault and J. Wilson Taylor was also announced. Thanks 
were given to the Royal Society for the use of some of their rooms in addition 
to those lent by the Royal Academy, and Colonel Ommanney reported that the 
membership of the Force had increased to 1605. He called attention to the route 
marches and Sunday camps being held at Taplow Court, by permission of Lord 
Desborough. Another item announced at this Meeting was that formal per- 
mission had been given to drill in the Green Park, Hyde Park and the quad- 
rangle of the Royal Academy. 

Colonel Ommanney commanded the Corps for a very short time, he having 
been appointed to the command of a battalion of the New Army. 1 At the General 
Committee Meeting held on 6th November, his retirement from the Corps was 
referred to with regret, and a special vote of thanks to him was passed on the 
motion of Lord Desborough. On Colonel Ommanney's retirement, the Adjutant, 
Major Willoughby Wallace, took over the acting command of the Corps. 

The members of the Corps had now been drilling for more than two months 
and the War Office had so far given no definite indication as to its view of our 

1 Colonel Ommanney died during the War. 



Earl's Court, 5TH Qctuber, 1914 

1. 10 

efforts. The foundations of a voluntary association, bought into existence for an 
unprecedented object, were necessarily not yet on a very secure basis. Without 
War Office recognition it was not at all clear what was to be the ultimate status 
or utility of the Force, and many of the younger spirits of the movement were 
already becoming restless. They simply wanted to " get a move on." Discussions 
took place as to the financial position of the Force and resulted in a petition 
signed by 150 members being presented to Major Willoughby Wallace, requesting 
him to ask the General Committee to appoint active members of the Force to 
serve on the Finance Committee. Steps had already been taken to carry this 
suggestion into effect, but in view of this and other matters upon which a full 
discussion was desirable, it was decided to call a General Meeting of the Members 
to discuss the whole position of the Force. This Meeting was held at His 
Majesty's Theatre on Sunday, 18th November. The theatre was packed, and for 
an ordinary performance would have resulted in a liberal display of " House Full " 
boards. The Chairman, Lord Desborough, was able to announce that the Army 
Council had appointed and recognised the Central Association of Volunteer 
Training Corps as the official controlling body of all Volunteer Corps in the 
United Kingdom. He then read the conditions under which the Army Council 
was prepared to give such recognition. The United Arts Force by its affiliation 
to the Central Association became a recognised unit, and the Commanding 
Officer, The Adjutant, Mr. Trevor Roper, Mr. Holmes Gore and Mr. J. D. 
Langton were appointed a Special Committee to draft rules to control and guide 
the military and civil departments of the Corps. 

Major Willoughby Wallace, who had been nominated to the adjutancy by 
Mr. Raymond Roze, was unanimously appointed Commanding Officer by the 
Meeting. But, unfortunately, Major Willoughby Wallace did not stay with the 
Corps long. The demand for capable officers for our rapidly expanding Army was 
pressing, and Major Wallace was appointed to the command of the 2/8th Battn. of 
the Hampshire Regt. (Isle of Wight Rifles). His retirement was announced at 
a parade held on Sunday, 20th December, and subsequently reported officially 
to the Committee Meeting on 29th December, which accepted the announcement 
of his departure with regret. 

Major J. H. Gordon Casserly, I. A., was appointed Acting Commanding 
Officer by Major Willoughby Wallace. Major Casserly happened to be in 
England on sick leave, and had for some time been helping the Corps to become 
militarily efficient. He has since told us that shortly after his arrival in England 
he had seen the Corps carrying out wonderful movements in a most unmilitary 
manner during one of our Richmond " stunts." Being attracted both by the 
strange appearance of the white sweaters and the obvious keenness of the men, 


he had taken steps to find out what particular breed of lunatics we were, and, 
being satisfied as to our respectability and comparative sanity, had come to us. 
A most fortunate chance meeting for the Corps. 

The "recognition" accorded by the War Office did not err on the side of 
liberality. It was hedged round with all sorts of reservations, but it was better 
than nothing, and the United Arts and all other Volunteer Corps had to make 
the best of it. No arms or equipment were then available for Volunteers, all the 
energies of the War Office being directed to equipping the New Armies. Thus 
the Corps was thrown upon its own resources and found the provision of weapons 
a formidable problem. From the outset the Force scorned the dummy rifles 
adopted by similar bodies. A photograph published in some of the papers of 
28th and 29th October, 1914, is labelled "The Arts Force get their new rifles." 
The " new " rifles were long, heavy and dilapidated enfields and sniders used for 
drill purposes. One member described them as " neolithic flintlocks." They 
were no light burden on the long marches undertaken by the enthusiastic 
" Unshrinkables " of that day, and were too clumsy for efficient manual drill. 
Moreover there were no bayonets. To overcome these difficulties and to 
suppress the jocular remarks of the man — and boy — in the street, who some- 
times suggested that we had raided a museum for our ancient weapons, efforts 
were made to obtain modern "303 rifles and bayonets, and at the Committee 
Meeting on 29th December, Mr. Raymond Roze stated he had a unique oppor- 
tunity of securing a large quantity of modern rifles, and had bought several 
hundred of these rifles on his own responsibility, together with 10,000 rounds 
of "303 ammunition. The all-important bayonet was still beyond our reach, 
being unobtainable at the time. 

The rifles obtained were "303 Martini carbines, and were either sold to the 
members outright at £2 10s. apiece, or lent to any member making a deposit of 
£2 2s. The ammunition was taken over and the £jo paid for it by Mr. Raymond 
Roze refunded to him by the Corps. A number of similar carbines were after- 
wards obtained from another source. These were hired by the men who were 
not already armed at 6s. a year, and with some bayonets subsequently acquired, 
formed the standard weapons of the Corps until the issue of Government arms. 

The desire for purely military control was gradually squeezing out the 
civil element ; this and Mr. Raymond Roze's own inclination led to the 
severance of his active connection with the Corps. His resignation of the Hon. 
Secretaryship was announced at a Committee Meeting held on nth January, 
1915. He was unanimously elected a life member of the Grand Council, and 
the Chairman, Sir Arthur Pinero, expressed the appreciation of himself and the 
Committee of Mr. Roze's work for the Corps. He said that " Mr. Roze had not 


November, 1914 

p. >z 

only founded the United Arts Force, but had given all his spare time and energy 
to its management, and they all owed him a debt of gratitude for the conception 
and initiation of the Force — a movement which was a pioneer one." 

Finance was now a pressing problem, and it was decided to make an appeal 
for subscriptions and to give a matinee in aid of the Corps' funds. This matinee, 
arranged by Mr. Gordon Parker and Mr. Foster, was held at the Haymarket 
Theatre on 26th March, 1915, and resulted in a substantial addition to the funds. 
An "all star" programme included Miss Violet Vanbrugh, Miss Marie Lohr, 
Miss Phyllis Bedells, Miss Mary Grey and Miss Helen Haye, Messrs. Arthur 
Bourchier, Plunket Greene, Allan Aynesworth, Harry Dearth, Harry Tate, Nelson 
Keys, Hayden Coffin, Basil Hallam, Courtice Pounds and Fred Wright. 

The first part of the history of the Corps was closed by a General Meeting 
held at His Majesty's Theatre on Sunday, 24th January, 1915, under the Chair- 
manship of Sir Arthur Pinero, at which the new rules, passed by a small com- 
mittee consisting of Sir Alfred Turner, J. Wilson Taylor and F. R. Benson, were, 
with some slight additions and amendments, adopted unanimously. It was also 
decided that the United Arts Force should adopt the title of the " United Arts 
Volunteer Rifles " (" a club for voluntary organised military training for Home 
Defence "), and that persons engaged in " artistic crafts " should be eligible for 

This Meeting may also be taken substantially to mark the end of the " white 
sweater" period of the Corps, a paragraph of the minutes of the Meeting recording 
the fact that " Mr. E. H. Dove and Mr. Perman then paraded wearing the proposed 
pattern of uniform suggested by the Central Association of Volunteer Training 
Corps." Members will agree that these two "models" were artfully and well 
chosen to set off the beauties and hide the deficiencies of the much discussed 
grey green uniform, which was afterwards associated by all Volunteers with the 
hideous G.R. scarlet and black brassard. 

A badge had been designed for the Corps by Mr. S. J. Solomon, R.A., then 
an active member. This badge was worn by the Corps until its disbandment. 
The design, striking and artistic, has been called by the irreverant the " duck 
and skewer." 

The composition of the Grand Council of the Corps, 1 elected under the new 
rules, was as follows : 

' It may be said here that after the War Office took control of the Corps in the autumn of 
1916, this Grand Council and the General Purposes Committee became non-effective, and in 1917 
were replaced by a simple Finance Committee, consisting of the Commanding Officer, Second in 
Command, Assistant Adjutant, Quartermaster and two representatives from each Company. Major 
Perman and Captain Shears also became co-opted members. 


President : 
The Lord Desborough, 


Chairman : 
Sir Arthur Pinero. 

Vice-Presidents : 

Major-General Sir Alfred Turner, K.C.B.' 
Sir Hubert Parry, Bt., C.V.O. 

„ Edward Poynter, Bt., K.C.V.O., P.R.A. 

„ William Richmond, K.C.B., R.A. 

„ Thomas Brock, K.C.B., R.A. 

„ Alexander Mackenzie. 

Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree. 

„ George Frampton, R.A. 

„ Henry Craik, K.C.B., M.P. 

,, Charles Stanford. 
Mr. John Lavery, A.R.A. 

„ Cyril Maude. 

'A" Company 

Company Representatives : 

"B" Company 

Mr. G. W. Lambert, Coy. Commdr. 

„ W. S. Keigwin, 2nd in Commd. 

„ Charles Kenyon. 

,, Gordon Parker. 

,, F. S. Watkinson. 

„ T. Leighton Pearce. 

„ F. Derwent Wood. 

„ Herbert Perkins. 

,, W. A. Steward. 

"C" Company 
Mr. William Eve. 
„ H. Constable. 
„ R. H. Dewhurst. 
„ C. Tryon. 
„ A. T. Brown. 
„ H. P. Ellett. 
„ C. E. Turvey. 
„ F. Edmunds. 
„ A. J. T. Abel. 

At the first meeting of the Grand Council held at the Royal Academy on 
26th January, a General Purposes Committee was elected under rule 15. This 
Committee consisted of the President, Chairman, Commandant and other 
ex-officio members, with Sir George Frampton, Messrs. Dalhousie Young, Blyth 
Pratt, A. J. Dreydel, Perman, Hacker, Staveley, Bell, Constable and Ellett. 
The Hon. Walter James was appointed Treasurer; Messrs. Cole, Dickin and 
Hill, Hon. Auditors ; Mr. J. D. Langton, 4 Hon. Solicitor ; and the Acting 
Adjutant (Mr. Holmes Gore), Secretary. Major Casserly, Acting Commanding 

' Major-General Sir Alfred Turner afterwards intimated that as his position in the Army 
precluded him from becoming a member of the Corps, he could not accept office as a Vice- 
President. Sir Alfred Turner, a good friend of the Corps in its infancy, died November, 1918. 
' Killed in action. 3 Died, November, 1919. " Mr. Langton died 7th November, 1918. 


. Plunket Greene, Coy. Commdr. 


Alwyn Ball, 3 2nd in Commd. 


Spencer Watson. 


G. P. Jacomb Hood. 


S. Sheppard. 


A. D. Perry. 


H. C. Watson.-- 


F. A. Towle. 


T. M. Ronaldson. 

U D" Company 


, Alan Francis, Coy. Commdr. 


W. H. Bond. 


A. Perman. 




S. D. Jolly. 


O. Davies. 


E. W. Carter. 


A. Hacker. 3 


C. E. Emanuel. 


Draivn by J, H. Doii-d 

(Colonel G. S. Ommanney) 

Draicn by J. H. !> u I 

(Capt. A. Holmes Gone) 


Officer, was confirmed in the Command of the Corps. The first meeting of the 
General Purposes Committee, held a few days later, heard, with much regret, 
of the impending resignation of Mr. Holmes Gore, the Acting Adjutant and 
Secretary, on his being gazetted as Captain to the 2/8th Hampshire Regt. (Isle of 
Wight Rifles). No man had worked harder for the success of the Corps in its 
early stages than Holmes Gore. None was keener to see active service. He was 
truly a heroic figure. At an age when no one could have pointed a finger at 
him had he stayed at home, he joined a foreign service battalion, went to 
Gallipoli some months later, and was killed a few hours after landing. 

Holmes Gore remained with the Corps until his departure to take up his 
Army work early in February, 1915, when he was succeeded as Acting Adjutant 
by Mr. A. J. Dreydel. One of the last circulars signed by Holmes Gore was a 
notice of the first Annual General Meeting of the Corps at the Haymarket 
Theatre on Sunday, 28th February. This notice also announced the transfer 
of headquarters to the Imperial College Union " by kind permission of the 
Committee of Management," as from 28th February, 1915, a home in which most 
of the life of the Corps has been spent. Another circular issued by Holmes 
Gore as Acting Adjutant iat the same time marked the beginning of an era of 
cordial relations between the United Arts and the Artists' Rifles who had, no 
doubt rightly, objected to the attempted assumption of a name so much like their 
own on the original formation of the United Arts. This circular suggested that 
any man who desired to join the Territorial Force should join the Artists' Rifles 
(28th County of London Regt.) " as probably the most sympathetic to members 
of this Corps." Members between the ages of 18 and 39 were informed that 
unless they signed the undertaking to enlist "if specially called upon to do so," 
as stipulated in the War Office letter to Lord Desborough (20 — Gen. No. 3604 — 
A.G.I.), before February 20th, they would automatically cease to be members of 
the Corps. This War Office undertaking led to wholesale resignations from the 
Corps. A good many of the reasons given for resignations were not very con- 
vincing, and it is presumed — and hoped — that most of these weak-kneed brethren 
were roped in under the subsequent Military Service Acts. Up to this period 
some 200 members had left the Corps to join the Army, many of them having 
obtained commissions. Seven of the most active and efficient members of the 
Corps had gone with Col. Wallace as officers in the 2/8th Hampshire Regt., of 
which he had taken the command. 

The First Annual General Meeting was held at the Haymarket Theatre on 
Sunday, 28th February, 1915, Sir Arthur Pinero being in the Chair. At this 
meeting the President, Chairman, Vice-Presidents, Grand Council, Treasurer and 
other Officers were re-elected and the bye-laws drawn up by Major Casserly 


adopted. Other matters discussed were uniform and rifle range facilities. The 
proposed formation of a Central London Regiment to consist of the United Arts, 
Inns of Court Reserve, Old Boys, Architects and London Volunteer Rifles was 
announced and at the next Committee Meeting on 5th March (being the first held 
at the Imperial College Union), Major Casserly reported that the Corps would be 
known in future as the 1st Battalion (United Arts) Central London Regiment, the 
Regiment being a Volunteer form of Brigade, of which seven were formed in 
London alone, each Regiment averaging about 4,000 officers and men. 

At a meeting of the Committee on 19th May, Mr. Perman was elected Hon. 
Secretary of the Corps, but as he had been appointed Acting Adjutant on Mr. 
Dreydel obtaining a Commission in the R.N.A.S., he resigned the Hon. Secretary- 
ship a few weeks later, and on 28th June, Mr. H. Picton Ellett was appointed in 
his place. On 29th September, Mr. Ellett was also appointed Hon. Treasurer on 
the resignation of the Hon. Walter James. These offices were afterwards held 
by Mr. F. W. Davy and Mr. Bushell respectively. 

Major Casserly worked hard for some time with regard to a scheme for the 
formation of an O.T.C. in connection with the Corps, but it was not approved by 
the authorities and nothing came of it. 

The results of the attention given to Field Work in the training of the 
Battalion were apparent at the first inspection in Richmond Park on Saturday, 
3rd July, 1915, by General Sir O'Moore Creagh, V.C., G.C.B., G.C.S.I., whose 
remarks upon the operations carried out were as follows : — 

"I saw this Corps doing a tactical problem under the Sub-Commandant, 
so that the Corps was entirely under command of Volunteer Officers. The 
attack was done efficiently and well. The orders, which were written, were 
complete and well drawn up. The Officers were most efficient, all ranks 
were steady and distances properly kept. The Regimental Motor Squadron 
acted as Cavalry, scouted, made a flank attack, and supported most efficiently. 
The Battalion was quite efficient, and just as good as a Regular Corps. They 
carried out this operation in Richmond Park, and consequently could not do 
any entrenching of positions taken, which was a pity, but under the circum- 
stances could not be helped." 

The Sub-Commandant referred to was Major Crombie, Commanding Officer 
from 1916 to 1919. 

At the Guildhall recruiting meeting held on 30th June, the Lord Mayor 
presided, and he and Lieut. -Gen. Sir Francis Lloyd appealed for recruits for the 
Central London Regiment. Unfortunately the appeal yielded only seven men at 
a cost to the Group of about £60. The reservoir from which recruits had hitherto 
been drawn seemed to have run quite dry. No doubt the War Office attitude 
towards the Volunteers at this time had much to do with the lack of recruits. 


Regent's Park, 25111 July, 1 J15 

Headquarters, July, 1915 

" 1/ tor Cycling" Photograph 

The Central London Regiment was inspected by Brig. -Gen. the Hon. F. C. 
Bridgeman in Regent's Park on Sunday, 25th July, 1915. It was a vile day, but 
the turn out was good, the regiment, consisting of the United Arts, Inns of Court 
Reserve, Old Boys, Architects and London Volunteer Rifles, having about 2000 
men on parade. Although the ground was wet and slippery, the march past was 
very well done. It was the first inspection of a complete regiment of Volunteers, 
and showed the excellent progress made by the men during the ten months they 
had been in existence. 

The only suggestion ever made by the War Office for the employment of 
men from the V.T.C. on the Western Front came in September, 1915, when the 
Corps was asked to furnish names of men willing to do a minimum of one 
month's entrenching work in Flanders. But the conditions were not particularly 
generous. There was to be no pay, pensions, allowances or any other claim on 
public funds, and but few men could afford to volunteer for the service under 
these conditions. Owing it is believed to objections by the military authorities 
in France — the Volunteers not having then been attested and regularly enrolled 
— the scheme was abandoned. 

A little later in the year, the Battalion was asked by Headquarters, London Dis- 
trict, to concentrate its energies on trench digging in connection with the southern 
defences at Woldingham. Company training and ordinary Sunday parades were 
suspended ; a house was obtained at Woldingham as headquarters, and in response 
to Major Casserly's appeal, Sunday parades were well attended and a fair number 
of men went down for week-ends, and some for longer periods. The Woldingham 
trenches, the first efforts of the Corps on the London defences, were reported on 
favourably but, being constructed on an elaborate system, with dug-outs and revet- 
ment throughout, the work was necessarily slow, and progress was also hindered by 
bad weather on Sundays — the days that really counted for working purposes. 
On many a Sunday 100 to 150 men mounted the steep approach and commenced 
work, only to be driven back by a deluge of rain. By the time the men reached 
Woldingham House they were literally what Mr. Mantalini would have called 
"a demd, damp, moist, unpleasant body." 

The launching of Lord Derby's Scheme raised the question of the training 
of attested men under the scheme. In order to encourage these men to join the 
Corps, it was decided to admit them for training purposes without subscription, 
and it was arranged to issue posters and leaflets in order to help recruiting 
generally. In the preparation and distribution of these bills Captain BIyth Pratt 
rendered great service to the Corps. 

Allies, not eligible for ordinary membership, were from time to time 
elected hon. foreign members of the Corps. The minutes of the meeting on 

c 17 

3 ist July, 1915, record the unanimous election of M. Emile Cammaerts, the 
Belgian poet, who became a regular attendant at camp and trench digging 

The Corps has had many good friends, several of whom have given both 
time and money in order to further its interests. Among these was Mr. F. W. 
Bois, and on 23rd February, 19 16, the Committee unanimously elected him an 
hon. member " as some mark of their appreciation of his kindness and efforts in 
the cause they were all trying to promote." Several old friends of the Corps 
had already been elected non-combatant members. These included : 

Sir Arthur Pinero, Sir Edward Poynter, Sir Hubert Parry, Sir Thomas Brock, 
Sir Henry Craik, Sir Alexander Mackenzie, Sir George Alexander, Sir Herbert 
Beerbohm Tree, Sir William B. Richmond, Sir Thomas G. Jackson, and 
Messrs. Dion Boucicault, Arthur Bourchier, Allan Aynesworth, Bertram 
Mackennel, Louis N. Parker, Otho Stuart, Lewis Waller, Henry Arthur Jones, 
Sir Alfred Butt, Major-General Sir Alfred Turner, and Mr. A. V. Houghton 
(Secretary of Imperial College Union). 

The year 1915 wound up with the first Battalion dinner at Frascati's on 
9th December. Major Casserly presided, and among those who attended were 
Brig. -Gen. Bridgeman and Colonel W. Shirley of the Artists' Rifles. About 
180 members and their friends were present. In the course of the evening 
the Lord Lieutenant's Commissions were handed to the Officers of the 

No account of the early record of the Corps would be complete without 
some reference to the Easter, Whitsuntide, and Summer Camps held at Churt in 
1915. Mr. Bryan Hook, then the Musketry Instructor to the Corps, placed his 
estate, situated in the picturesque Frensham district, at the disposal of the Corps, 
and here, with the aid of the school-house as an extra sleeping place, we were 
able to set up the most interesting and comfortable camp we have ever held. 
There are few who were members at the time who do not look back with pleasure 
to those short spells of camp life in agreeable surroundings. Not that it was all 
pleasure. The picnic element was taboo. Guards were posted and military 
discipline kept. Real field kitchens were set up and kitchen fatigue parties told 
off. There was plenty of hard work ; strenuous field days on Frensham Common, 
long route marches over Hind Head, night attacks, bridge building, trench 
digging, and shooting at Mr. Hook's ingenious 100 yards' range. Reveille was 
at 6.30, and a few minutes after that unwelcome sound, the writer well remembers 
a raucous voice every morning inviting him to physical drill, an invitation which 
he invariably declined. But these more strenuous items were relieved by sports 





■$ v 


(Emile Cammaerts with his head in a pail of water, trying to secure an apple 
between his teeth, was a sight for the gods), concerts and the other little excite- 
ments with which men always contrive to amuse themselves in camp. It is 
unnecessary to do more here than to mention these camps. Some account of 
them in their lighter aspects is given in Mr. Emanuel's article and Mr. Hosken's 
veracious contributions reprinted from " Punch." 

A feature at all our camps and, indeed, all tactical exercises and field 
days, was the work of the Motor Squadron. The strength of the Squadron 
varied. In the early days, under Mr. Dreydel and Captain Field, it furnished an 
appreciable proportion of the strength of the Battalion, and generally acted as 
an independent unit. Lieut. S. G. Browne afterwards assumed command, but the 
strength diminished, owing to men joining the Army, the increasing difficulty 
of obtaining petrol (the War Office never helped us in this respect, except that 
subsequently a small quantity was allowed for definite and specified services), and 
the formidable competition of the National Motor Volunteer organisation, which 
subsequently came into existence. Unfortunately, Lieut. Browne's ill-health pre- 
vented him from continuing any active duties with the Squadron, but work was 
efficiently carried on by Sergeants Richardson and Knight. 

Early in 1916 the question of further recognition by the War Office was 
discussed from time to time, and at the Annual General Meeting held on 
28th February, Lord Desborough explained the position with regard to his 
negotiations with the Prime Minister on the subject. Both he and Brigadier- 
General Bridgeman, the Commandant of the Central London Regiment, spoke 
of the excellent work done by the Volunteers, an opinion confirmed by Lieut.- 
General Sir Francis Lloyd at a meeting held a few weeks later. This was the 
last meeting attended by Major Casserly as Commanding Officer. On his 
appointment to the Artists' Rifles School of Instruction it was hoped that he 
would still be able to give some time to the United Arts, but his subsequent 
appointment to command the O.T.C. School at Winchester, made it impossible 
for him to continue active work with the Corps. On leaving, he paid a tribute 
to the Corps generally and to the officers in particular. Possibly he took a 
too generous view when he stated that, in his opinion, the latter showed a 
higher rate of military knowledge than many of the regular officers then under 
his training. At any rate, the opinion of the Battalion and of this meeting was 
not in doubt as to the debt due to Major Casserly for the splendid basis of sound 
military training he had instilled into all ranks. The really creditable advance 
shown by the Battalion in field work was entirely due to his insistence on the 
supreme importance of this branch of training if the Volunteers were ever to be 
of real use in emergency. 


While sensible of the keenness and smartness of the "stalwarts" of the 
Battalion, Major Casserly emphasized the weak spot in all Volunteer Corps : the 
difficulty in getting hold of the remainder of the men who only occasionally 
turned out on parade. 

Our present Commanding Officer, Major A. E. Crombie, who had been acting 
Sub-Commandant in Major Casserly's absence, was nominated to the command 
by Major Casserly under the Rules, and his appointment was ratified by the 
Grand Council on 24th July, 1916. Major Casserly was requested to become 
Hon. Commandant (or, if possible, Hon. Colonel) of the Battalion, an appoint- 
ment officially confirmed by the War Office in May, 1919. 

The nebulous and semi-official life of the Corps came to an end in the summer 
of 19 16. Throughout the spring and summer of that year the burning questions 
were further recognition by the War Office and the future status of the Volunteer 
Force. The whole Force was restless and discontented, and it was difficult to 
induce many of the men to carry on. There were many reports and rumours 
as to the intentions of the War Office, but all doubts were set at rest by the 
passing of the Volunteer Act, 1916, and the issue of the Regulations under 
that Act. 

On 17th June, 1916, Lord French inspected about 10,000 London Volunteers 
in Hyde Park. The review was the outward and visible sign of the fuller recog- 
nition of the Force by the War Office. 

Being a very fine summer's day, a vast crowd was attracted to Hyde Park. 
The Central London Regiment did not turn out so well as some of the other 
London regiments, and the parade state of the United Arts showed only 374 men 
on parade, but the Battalion came through a trying ordeal very well. During the 
march past the discordance of bands playing different airs was so great that 
it was difficult to keep step. 

This was the last general parade on which the Battalion wore the much- 
abused grey-green uniform, a change to khaki having been discussed and 
practically decided upon towards the end of June. 

The services of the United Arts Rifles as a unit were accepted under the 
Volunteer Act and the accompanying Regulations, and preparations were made 
for enrolment, which began after Camp on 30th August, and was continued until 
the whole Battalion had been enrolled. The Battalion then became officially 
known as the 1st Battalion (United Arts Rifles) County of London Volunteer 
Regiment, the Regiment consisting of twenty-one Battalions, divided into six 
Groups or Brigades. Although the enthusiasm of the early days had evaporated, 
two years of official neglect and cold water had not killed the spirit of the men. 
The fact that they were now an auxiliary branch of the Army, and would receive 


















/. 20 

proper arms and equipment, infused new life into them. Parades showed better 
attendance, and general training was taken up with increased zeal. 

In the last days of August and the first week or two in September, 294 men 
enrolled under the new conditions. A few old members who were on the roll at 
the time of the transition did not enrol, but their numbers were negligible. 

Major Crombie, who had been Commandant since Major Casserly's retirement, 
was gazetted Commanding Officer as from 1st September. There were some 
staff changes, too. Mr. Perman resigned the Adjutancy on 12th October on being 
gazetted Captain and Adjutant of the Central London Group, the new Army 
name for the old Central London Regiment. The Corps owed much to his 
powers of organisation and infinite capacity for taking pains. Mr. Jolly carried 
on for a few weeks and was succeeded by Mr. Shears, who was afterwards 
gazetted Captain and Adjutant on the General List and, as we all know, has 
been, not only our Adjutant, but a veritable " father " to the Corps ever 

In November the Battalion, jointly with the 3rd Battalion (Old Boys), took 
over the Grosvenor Bridge Guard, and for this Guard we furnished an N.C.O. 
and three men day and night, the Old Boys contributing an N.C.O. and six men. 
The 2nd Battalion (Inns of Court) afterwards took a share in the duty. The 
Guard was carried on regularly until it was withdrawn in August, 191 7. A full 
account of the work is given below by Mr. Sulley. 

In the Spring of 1916 the Battalion had been transferred from Woldingham 
to another section of the Southern Defences at Otford, and the Easter and 
Summer Camps of 1916 were held there. Otford, a typical Kentish village with 
a few nice old sixteenth and seventeenth century houses, did not suffer by com- 
parison with Churt. The trenches, as at Woldingham, were a good climb up 
from the village, but the road showed such glimpses of fairyland (especially in 
the spring, when the bluebells were out) that no one minded the climb. We 
were treated very well in the village. For the Easter Camp, 21st to 24th April, 
men were accommodated in the Parish Rooms, Schools, etc. For the Summer 
Camp Mr. Underhill allowed us to take possession of some of his buildings and 
to pitch a camp in a meadow with a tiny river running through it, a joy for 
bathing purposes, but having the disadvantage of a certain " sloppiness " in wet 
weather. Meals were served in the Village Hall, and a few men were billeted in 
cottages. The fortnight's work was strenuous, and there were few idle moments 
in the day's routine. A considerable amount of time was put in on the trenches, 
musketry was carried out at Chevening Park, a three-mile tramp from Otford, 
and we had various tactical exercises, including a most realistic night attack on 
our own trenches, defended by the 1st City of London Volunteer Rifles. 


The Summer Camp saw the end of the Battalion's work on the southern 
defences. On 27th August we took over a section at Epping, and worked there 
continuously until 7th January, 1917. These trenches, like those at Otford, were 
on the "borrow pit" system, and progress was fairly rapid. From 14th January to 
15th April, 1917, the Battalion was transferred to some special work at Uxbridge, 
but after the latter date the Corps returned to Epping and worked there con- 
tinuously until nth November, 1917. The entrenching and Uxbridge parades 
were generally under the command of Lieut. Watkinson, who had been appointed 
entrenching officer. 

The most important event to the Battalion in 1917 was the accession of the 
Pharmacists' Corps. Owing to the number of men joining the Army, and the 
difficulty of obtaining recruits to replace them, the United Arts were in danger 
of falling below the minimum battalion strength, while the Pharmacists were too 
weak to obtain recognition as a separate unit, and their men consequently had 
not been enrolled. After negotiations with Mr. E. A. Atkins on behalf of the 
Pharmacists', it was decided that they should come in as a separate company 
under their own officers, with Mr. Atkins as Company Commander. Under 
the difficult circumstances in which both Corps were placed, the reorganisation 
was a very good arrangement for both units. On Sundays 29th April and 
6th May some 150 men were enrolled. The new " D" Company thus became the 
strongest as it has since been one of the most efficient companies in the Battalion. 

The Corps' other red-letter days in 1917 were a Line of Communications 
Parade at Willesden on 18th February; a test mobilization carried out on 
Saturday, 24th April, when two hours after the time of parade 350 men were 
reported to be present with full equipment and rations for twenty-four hours ; 
Brig.-Gen. Bridgeman's inspection at Richmond on 13th May ; Tadworth Camp 
from 3rd to 20th August ; a week-end of day and night outposts and tactical 
operations under service conditions at Epping on 8th and 9th September ; and 
Lord French's inspection at Epsom on 9th December. 

The Camp at Tadworth, which began on 3rd August, was the first official 
Camp held since complete recognition of the Volunteer Force. It was a large 
camp, containing nearly 10,000 men, and held under ordinary military conditions ; 
and under the critical eyes of the Irish and Welsh Guards, who were in the 
adjoining camp. The Central London Camp was pitched on a particularly 
low-lying spot, and our arrival happened to synchronize (as the beginning of 
camp generally does) with a spell of wet weather. The result was that the 
men had to wade through liquid mud to reach their lines, which they found 
practically under water. The commissariat, too, laboured under great difficulties 
at first, and the general conditions were so bad that the question of striking 



"Daily Sketc/t" Photograph 

Epping, yTH September 1917 

" Daily Sketch " Photograph 


the camp and sending the men home was considered and only turned down 
through their expressed desire to carry on. After two or three days the 
weather improved ; the land being porous, the mud soon hardened, and the 
initial discomforts disappeared. The Camp lasted until 20th August, a great 
deal of useful but strenuous work being put in during the seventeen days, 
and the Volunteers passed a rather severe test to the satisfaction of Sir Francis 
Lloyd and other general officers who came down to see their work. 

The Epping operations, on 8th and 9th September, were interesting. The 
main body held an outpost line with a front of about two miles, and a number of 
selected men were detailed as scouts to endeavour to get through during the 
night without detection. The defence's outposts and sentries were very active 
and alert. Only a few men got through, the majority being captured. The 
operations ended with a long tramp to Lough ton on Sunday afternoon. All 
finished up well considering that each man carried greatcoat, full equipment, 
ground sheet and blanket. 

A further scheme of night operations in the trenches at Esher, planned for the 
following month, fell through owing to unforeseen difficulties in carrying out the 
final arrangements. 

The chief feature of Lord French's inspection at Epsom on 9th December 
was the weather, probably the worst the Battalion has ever faced. It was a 
bitterly cold day with some snow and torrents of rain, but in spite of the bad 
day the Battalion turned out 359 strong. Owing to the weather the operations 
were cut short, the "cease fire" being sounded before the scheme had developed. 
Everybody was soaked through long before we retraced our steps to the station, 
and when we did get into the prehistoric railway carriages provided for us, our 
troubles were not over, for the water ran through the roofs. 

The Battalion lost a sincere friend by the death of Brig.-Gen. Bridgeman on 
14th September, 1917. The Group Headquarters being at the time identical 
with those of the Battalion, the staff saw General Bridgeman frequently, and 
those who had the honour of working with him knew him as a keen soldier and 
a very courteous gentleman. His successor as Group Commandant was Major- 
General K. E. Lean, C.B., also a good friend to the Battalion, who afterwards 
became County Commandant. Major-General Lean first inspected the Battalion 
at work at Esher on 18th November. The only thing that can be said for the 
parade on that occasion was that it was not as good as it should have been. 

An inter-Company Bayonet Competition was held on 25th November and 
won by " D " Company, the scores being as follows: 


" D " Coy. 

88 points. 

3rd. "C'Coy. 

82 points 


" A " 

• 83 „ 

4th. "B" „ 

. 78 „ 


At the beginning of 1918 the Battalion organized a Concert at the New 
Theatre in aid of the Artists' Rifles Comforts Fund. The theatre was lent by 
Sir Charles and Lady Wyndham and Mr. Dion Boucicault, and among those 
who gave their services were Miss Lilian Braithwaite, Miss Phyllis Bedells, Miss 
Christine Silver, Miss Carrie Tubb, and Messrs. Mark Hambourg, Leslie Henson, 
Owen Nares, Neil Kenyon, and the following past and present members of the 
Corps : Plunket Greene, Nelson Keys, Aubrey Smith, Lawrence Barclay, Madoc 
Davies, Frederick Hudson, George Uttley, Percy Ellisdon, A. J. Slocombe and 
Dalhousie Young. The concert realised nearly .£200 for the Comforts Fund. A 
Battalion Order issued by Col. Shirley, C.M.G., Commanding 2nd Artists' Rifles, 
O.T.C., thanked the United Arts for the substantial addition to the Fund, and 
urged members of the Artists' Rifles to " recommend their relations and friends 
of suitable age and occupation to join the United Arts Rifles, which regiment is 
in fact an Artists' Rifles Volunteer Battalion, and has sent many excellent recruits 
to this Corps." 

During 1918 a strenuous training programme was carried out. Special 
attention was paid to musketry and machine gun instruction. The chief features 
were: Field Days at Richmond on Sundays, 20th January, 17th February, 17th 
March, and 21st April; a Group Route March on Whit Sunday, 19th May; a 
parade at Esher on 16th June; Camp at Tadworth from 2nd August to 6th 
August; Field Firing at Purfleet on 21st September; and the Annual Statutory 
Inspection in Hyde Park on Sunday, 6th October. Another event affecting the 
Volunteer Force was the formation of Special Service Companies for Home 
Garrison Duty. In May, 1918, the ordinary Home Service units having been 
greatly depleted by the urgent call for reinforcements in France, the War Office 
called for men for garrison duty on the East Coast. These men were formed 
into Special Service Companies, and the Battalion contributed a select band to 
the 24th Special Service Company attached to Lovats' Scouts and stationed at 
Beccles. They served for a period of two months and found the work hard and 
not particularly exciting. 

The Route March on 19th May was a real test of endurance. The day was 
very hot and the men carried full equipment on a march of about twelve miles. 
The percentage of battalion strength on parade was 36 — a rather poor muster, but 
only one or two men fell out during the march. 

On 20th July the amalgamation of the Kensington Companies of the 19th 
Battalion County of London Volunteer Regiment with the United Arts, pre- 
liminary orders for which had been issued some months before, became effective. 
The United Arts formed the right-half Battalion, and was reorganised as "A" 
and " B " Companies of the new Battalion, the Kensingtons became the left-half 

2 4 

Battalion, organised as "C" and "D" Companies, the designation ist Battalion 
County of London Volunteer Regiment being retained. Major Crombie remained 
as Commanding Officer and Captain Shears as Adjutant of the amalgamated unit. 
The obvious effect was a large accession of strength, the Battalion state jumping 
up from a total of 570 on 25th May to 991 on 24th July. It became, in fact, a whole 
Battalion in strength instead of rather more than a half one. 

Although the headquarters of the United Arts Companies remained at Imperial 
College Union, the Battalion Headquarters were, owing to lack of office room, 
transferred for a time to 8, Bayswater Hill, but the owner of those premises 
requiring possession, the Battalion Headquarters returned once more to their 
familiar home at Imperial College Union on 17th January, 1919. 

The Inspection by Lieut. -Gen. Fielding on 6th October was the last general 
parade (other than a Church Parade on Sunday, 17th November) of the Battalion. 
Six hundred and fifty men were on parade, and the November Orders expressed 
the Commanding Officer's appreciation of the turn out and general smartness of 
the Battalion on this occasion. 

The Battalion carried out Anti-Aircraft Machine Gun duties during prac- 
tically the whole of the year — indeed, until two or three weeks after the con- 
clusion of the Armistice. First at Hyde Park Searchlight Station, then 
concurrently at Regent's Park and at Woolwich, and finally at the Office of 
Works, Whitehall. 

About 150 men volunteered for this duty ; many of them gave a great deal of 
time to the work, and by the irony of things had become really efficient machine 
gunners by the time their services were no longer required. Mr. Sulley has 
dealt fully with this work. 

The whole of the training in Machine Gun work was under the charge of 
Lieut. Myers, who worked ceaselessly in order to make the gun teams of the 
Battalion second to none in the Volunteer Force. 2nd Lieut. Aubrey Smith, 
Sergeant Witherspoon, and Lance-Corpls. S. J. W. Scott, Clifford and Ure also 
gave much time to the work of instruction. 

On 1 6th January, 1919, a reunion dinner of past and present members was 
held at the Connaught Rooms. Major Crombie was in the Chair, and among 
the old friends and members who attended were Lord Desborough, Lieut. -Gen. 
Sir Francis Lloyd, Lieut.-Col. S. J. Solomon, Lieut.-Col. Basil Foster, Lieut.-Col. 
Edwards, Major Casserly, Sir George Frampton, Sir John Lavery, Sir Frank 
Benson, Mr. Plunket Greene, Mr. Arthur Hacker, Captain Weguelin, Captain 
Dreydel, Captain Herbert Heyner, Lieut. Bryan Hook, Lieut. L. P. Moore, Lieut. 
Jolly, Lieut. A. V. Houghton and Lieut. G. H. Duncan. There was a general 
attendance of more than 300. Unfortunately one of our oldest and staunchest 


friends, Sir Arthur Pinero, was unable to be present, but the following telegram 
from him to Major Crombie was read. " It is a great regret to me that I am 
unable to be with you to-night. I congratulate you and, through you, every 
member of the Battalion on the splendid work done by the United Arts Rifles. 
The recollection of this work should always be a source of satisfaction and 
pride to every man, whatever his rank, who has taken part in it. I thank you 
all for the honour you have done me in allowing me to be connected with the 

A word or two about the permanent staff. In the early white-sweater days the 
Corps had three instructors, Sergt. -Major Utting, Sergeant Kinman and Sergeant 
Martin. To impart drill and general ideas of discipline to the raw material that 
enrolled in the Corps at the beginning of things required, among other qualities, 
the patience of Job and the temper of a saint. Those three men certainly 
possessed the former quality, and if an expletive sometimes showed that the 
latter virtue was being unduly tried, who can wonder ? 

Sergeant Martin left us while we were still at Burlington House. 

Sergeant Kinman stayed on with us, first as R.O.M.S. and afterwards with the 
nominal rank of Orderly Room Sergeant, until 18th January, 1919. He did a 
great deal of useful work for the Corps ; in Camp he was invaluable ; and for the 
last two years, in addition to many other duties, he worked hard to make the 
bugle band efficient. 

Regtl. Sergt. -Major Utting's qualities are so well known to every man who has 
at any time belonged to the Corps that it is unnecessary to repeat them. He has 
endeared himself to all ranks, and has become an Institution. It would be 
difficult to think of the Corps or the Headquarters apart from him. When the 
War Office decided to appoint Regular Sergt. -Majors to Volunteer Battalions, 
R.S.M. Utting was enlisted in a Territorial Unit and appointed Sergt. -Major to 
the Battalion, and to everyone's satisfaction he has retained that appointment 
until the end. 

R.Q.M.S. Onion and C.S.I.M. Wise were sent to us at a later date. They both 
made good, and contributed materially to the organization and efficiency of the 
Battalion. Unfortunately R.O.M.S. Onion died in March, 1918. A successor to 
him — R.Q.M.S. Tomlinson — was appointed in July, 1919. 

With the conclusion of the Armistice drills ceased, rifles and equipment 
were returned to store, and thereafter cohesion and touch with the men were 
difficult to maintain. 

Early in July, 1919, a request for men to assist in lining the route of the 
parade of London Territorial troops only produced 61 men. 

But, at the moment of writing, the Battalion is still in existence officially. 


'Now, Smar' with it ! 


' Stop Talkin' 

Drawn by J. H. Doivd 


Draivn by J. H. Doivd 

our sergeant-major 

/>. 20 

The only official hint as to our ultimate fate is that the final remnants of 
stores have now been returned, and the discharge certificates are lying in the 
Orderly Room ready for issue. We shall probably just fizzle out in the same 
haphazard way that we came into existence. 

Note.— With the exception of the Commanding Officer, Adjutant and Assistant Adjutant, all 
Officers of the Battalion have been gazetted out as from 21st November, all other ranks discharged, 
and, subject to the completion of some necessary formalities in clearing up, the Battalion disbanded. 
Captain Shears, being an Officer in the Regular Army, does not technically hold a commission in 
the Battalion, thus Major Crombie and I have the melancholy satisfaction of being the last two 
survivors of the United Arts. 








WE'LL do some guard mounting this morning. Major Casserly is very 
keen on guard mounting. He came down here last night and started 
one of the other companies on it and it was horrible— horrible," said 
the Sergt. -Major, with emphasis. 

So all companies of the United Arts did guard mounting again and again, 
twice and thrice a week, usually for the second half of our period on parade. 
Our N.C.O.'s knew little of it, and our men nothing; but we pegged away, fell in 
in two ranks, numbered, were told off in reliefs, were inspected, and posted our 
sentries round the glass arcade of the Albert Hall, or on fine mornings under the 
trees between old Physical Energy and the Long Water in Kensington Gardens. 
We tumbled out of an imaginary guard-room when the sentry at the imaginary 
door quavered nervously, " Guard, turn out ! " or " Guard, fall out ! "—we never 
could remember which was right. 

Our first guard duty soon came, although, as it turned out, it was unofficial. 
Report had it that the War Office said our rifles and the enormous number of 
rounds of small arms ammunition erroneously supposed to be stored under the 
platform of the Imperial College Union Hall, could only be retained provided we 
mounted a guard over them at night. A guard of a sergeant arid three men was 
therefore mounted through the summer and autumn of 191 5 ; a nice easy guard 
from supper time till about 7.30 a.m., or whenever the Sergt. -Major or Sergeant 
Kinman arrived to take over in the morning. The men, who then wore the thin 
uniforms of grey twill, turned up, some with military, but many with civilian 
greatcoats. Palliasses were provided, and the guard slept on the platform of the 
hall. At first the sentry was posted outside on the pavement. Soon afterwards 
he was brought inside, because neighbouring flats had sent in complaints that his 
challenges to all and sundry passing along the pavement woke them up. One of 
our sentries even challenged the special constables in an excess of zeal, and they 


OUR ADJUTANT, 1915-1916 





OUR ADJUTANT, 1916-1919 




retaliated by following him with sarcastic remarks, which he felt unable to answer 
being forbidden to converse with anyone. 

When brought inside, the sentry paced the hall all night, a proceeding which 
made him unpopular with the reliefs, who were trying to sleep on the platform, 
and gradually it became understood that sentries should keep their feet until 
after the visiting officer had looked in, usually just before midnight. Thereafter 
any sentry who did not wish to be unpopular sat quietly on a chair and read. In 
the last weeks of this guard duty in the winter of 1915-16, when the lights had to 
be kept low, and paper was stuck on the windows, and the great hall under its open 
timber roof was cold, the whole guard simply slept. Newall, dear old May, and 
many another who went from us to see real fighting, shared those drowsy vigils 
at headquarters. 

At Churt Camp in 1915 a guard was posted under conditions much more 
real. With two tents near the entrance of the camp for guard-room and with 
four posts, with a white mist creeping up in the early morning and mysterious 
figures stealing through the lines to the orchard, with owls calling in the woods 
and visiting rounds or grand rounds coming at any time, guard mounting felt 
more like active service. 

There was the hot dark summer night when wily men, who had seen the 
guard during the evening collecting empty tins from the canteen, slept in their 
boots, a wise precaution because in the night those cans were rattled, an alarm of 
fire raised, and the whole camp made to stand to in the wet grass for roll call. 
In fact, the whole thing was done with a sense of actuality and desire for 


Next spring the guard at Headquarters somehow just faded out, and the need 
for protecting our fabulous stores of ammunition was forgotten when the War 
Office gave us a real guard post of our own at Hyde Park Corner, the most public 
and conspicuous post in London. We were told it was an honour, and we 
believed it. We also found it an inconvenience. We were not the rightful 
tenants of the little enclosure behind the Arch at Hyde Park Corner. The men 
in possession were R.N.V.R. men of the anti-aircraft defences, who climbed the 
ladder stairs to their crow's nest atop of the arch, and worked their searchlight 
there. They occupied the large hut on the western side of the enclosure, where 
they cooked and slept in naval bunks. In those days they were still part-time 
volunteers, stand-offish persons, who went off to business every morning, leaving 
one bluff old-school petty officer to lock up, potter about and return in the 
evening to get things ready. 


We occupied the smaller hut containing a gas stove, four beds and a table. 
Small, dark and stuffy, it had long been tenanted by R.D.C. men. We found the 
whole hut dirty, the bedding not particularly clean, and the little comrades of the 
R.D.C. men in the cracks of the bedsteads hungrily awaiting our coming. 

We came. Three men, a corporal and a sergeant fell in as unobtrusively as 
possible in the courtyard outside Hyde Park Corner Tube Station, were inspected 
— a willing, but irregular guard in grey-green uniforms badly bleached by sun 
and rain, grey-green guinea raincoats with the proofing out of them and replaced 
by ruddy steaks from contact with the clay of Woldingham trenches, haversacks 
bought at Gamage's, and water-bottles obtained as Fate willed. A few had 
heavier overcoats in grey-green cloth, and all carried rations for the night. Our 
arms were the carbine and a short Army bayonet carried on the battalion leather 
belt. Our boots were our own. And yet people frequently took us for soldiers ! 

We marched in. The guard we relieved handed over five rounds of ball 
cartridge per man, an inventory, and a set of rubbish purporting to correspond 
with it — cracked basins and plates placed under the few sound ones, brooms 
without bristles, tin tubs of mysterious use. Our sergeants entered into the 
spirit of the game, and passed them off on one another like old soldiers. The 
more methodical keeping the guards standing for a quarter of an hour while 
they tried to check the inventory before signing on : the more popular chancing 
their luck. The Government provided us with gas in the stove, and for the rest 
we had to look after ourselves. We washed at a basin in the open air. In fact, 
we camped out in Park Lane, roughing it, doing our own cooking, and living 
inside the enclosure as though we were in a holiday camp forty miles from the 
traffic that roared past three sides of the enclosure till midnight. No one 
displayed much curiosity about what we did in our compound. It was like a 
desert island, only smellier. 

Although the Government condescended to allow us to guard their search- 
light enclosure, it was at our own charges. No food was provided, and at the 
start we brought everything. Then the Battalion Quartermaster brought down 
tea, cocoa and jam, placed them on a shelf and added a money-box with an 
intimation that persons using these stores were expected to contribute. 

The guards mounted for a twelve-hour spell of duty, beginning or ending at 
8 a.m. or 8 p.m. Night guards were easier to fill than day guards, but not more 
comfortable till the old R.D.C. palliasses were dragged out and stacked in the 
open awaiting removal, while Corporal Harding with others went in a waggon to 
an East End store and drew new bedding. That and several washings of the 
bedsteads reduced the population of the hut approximately to the official number. 
At first all guards were filled voluntarily and not in any system of rotation, and 




1 I 

' -- 






i \ 




the finding of day guards in particular grew difficult as soon as the novelty wore 
off. "A" Company chiefly furnished the day guards, and a call for the necessary 
men was made at almost every company parade. Later a system of split guard 
duties came into practice, whereby men came on at 8 a.m. and were relieved at 
2 p.m. Even these shorter spells of duty were not always easy to arrange. 

Our duty at Hyde Park Corner was to maintain one post, the sentry patrolling 
a beat of less than 30 yards along the north side of the enclosure facing the 
Achilles statue and being provided with a sentry box. As the electric cables to 
the searchlights, the only really vulnerable points, were out of sight to his left, 
where they passed from the lodge to the wooden superstructure on the Arch, the 
beat did not seem a very wise one. Certainly it was dull at night after the Park 
gates had been locked at midnight. Then there was nothing much to do but 
listen for the sound of aircraft. Some dawns in spring were worth the vigil, and 
in summer there were officers at their morning canter in the Row before break- 
fast to watch and salute. That was all the night men really got. According to 
the printed report, which had to be made out and signed each morning and sent 
to the Adjutant of the Battalion and to the Horse Guards, all the prisoners had to 
be shaved, and the guard was certified to have received a drink, hot tea or coffee, 
during the night. But nobody ever entrusted us with a prisoner — although they 
might have done, seeing that we were then providing escorts for men who had 
overstayed their leave — and as for tea and coffee, we found it for ourselves. 

The day sentries had a livelier time. There was a constant stream of officers, 
and many armed parties of Guards marching from Wellington Barracks for 
exercises in the Park, but these usually entered the gates before the sentry heard 
their coming and he had no time to turn out the guard. In fact, the whole 
guard hardly ever turned out. Things happened too quickly. The policeman 
on point duty suddenly held up the traffic, a big car slipped through in a 
privileged way, and the sentry, glimpsing a pink face and white moustache, 
realised that he had failed to salute Lord French motoring to the Horse Guards. 

Then there were such emergencies as Private Spender's plight when called 
on to repel an old lady who persisted in walking behind the sentry box, pro- 
testing that the roadway was public and she would walk where she pleased, 
saying, "Stand aside, young man." 

Relief of the sentry was trying for amateurs. With some wounded in blue, 
or returned Expeditionary men watching from the kerb, we felt impelled to do 
it neatly and swiftly, and as a normal consequence we bungled the repetition 
of our orders until at last wise sergeants adopted the method— not given in our 
elaborate type-script on guard duties— of saying, "You know your orders?" (A 
nod.) " Sentries — pass." 


General Bridgeman, as the Group Commandant, took a great interest in the 
guard, and often visited it. What made it worse, he usually came in mufti. We 
heard with dread the tale of how he made his first appearance, walking up to the 
sentry, looking him up and down, and saying in a fatherly way, " Don't you know 
me? I'm General Bridgeman. Present arms !" Sometimes he let himself in at 
the gate and was at the door of the hut while sergeants and reliefs were deep 
in their lunch. But he was always very kind about it ; indeed, a delightful old 

As the summer of 1916 drew on, and our ranks were further depleted by 
calling up, and as trench digging was continued at Otford under blazing July and 
August suns, the task of keeping our meagre guard at Hyde Park Corner grew 
harder, and finally the authorities arranged that the Inns of Court should share 
the burden. We had a happy moment when their general utility man and 
baggage master, arriving three hours before his time and entering the enclosure 
in mufti, was placed under arrest and provided with an evening paper and a 
chair, which he accepted philosophically, remarking, " I know that dooty is dooty, 
being an old sailor myself," and so sat contentedly with a sentry over him. Not 
long after this, we left for good, being sent to Grosvenor Road Bridge. 


" There was an old bear at the Zoo, 
Who never lacked something to do. 
When it tired him, you know, 
To walk to and fro, 
He reversed this and walked fro and to." 

These affecting lines, hung over the fireplace of the guard-room dormitory at 
Grosvenor Road by one of the Old Boys, sum up the reasons why we so 
thoroughly enjoyed duty on Grosvenor Bridge. It had all the grimy monotony 
of real soldering. It abounded in long-drawn physical exertions which had no 
visible result, but left everything just as it was before, and us no wiser or better 
trained in arms. It consumed an intolerable amount of time. Above all it took 
us out of our civilian preoccupations, mixing us in random manner with a lot of 
good fellows we should otherwise never have met. Guard duty on Grosvenor 
Road Bridge, in fact, combined the pleasurable fatigue of allotment work with 
the intellectual stupor of the night watchman or the R.D.C. veteran. 

As a matter of fact, we did take the place of R.D.C. men. I cannot say that 
we ever attained their care-free sublimity. The signalman at the south end of 
the bridge once said to one of our sentries, "You take too much trouble over 
your job, marching up and down like that. Now, the old soldiers that was 'ere 






















before you never worried. The two sentries on the bridge used to play nap 
in the middle sometimes with the sergeant." Nobody ever caught a United 
Arts sentry playing cards. Some of them counted the number of trains that 
passed during their two-hour duty, and the number of coaches or trucks to 
a train. Some walked up and down composing poetry; but most men con- 
centrated on their duty of patrolling their beat " in a smart and soldier-like 

Three posts were placed in our charge, one under the south end of the great 
Grosvenor Bridge which carries the main lines of two railway companies in and 
out of Victoria, and two posts on the middle platform of the bridge. The sentry 
below marched along the wharf between the goods yard and the river, passing 
under the bridge for about 40 yards westward of it to a point as far eastward, 
near the offices of a carting company, whose carts were driven along the wharf 
and whose carters paraded by the dozen on Saturday at midday to draw their 
wages. Two lines of rails, often loaded with trucks, passed along the quayside 
and under the bridge. The sentry box of No. 3 post stood just clear of the 
bridge. The sentry had instructions to challenge all persons passing and to let 
none proceed save those in possession of a pass, properly signed and dated. At 
first the zealous amongst us challenged every carter and shunter passing. Later 
there was a tacit understanding that attachment to a horse and cart was equivalent 
to the display of a pass, and that the railwaymen going about their business need 
not be challenged. All suspicious persons were to be detained and handed over 
to the sergeant of the guard. But how detain a stalwart and abusive carter? And 
how communicate with the sergeant of the guard ? He was half-a-mile away at 
the guard-room. 

The sentry at No. 3 post, in fact, was cut off both from advice and assistance. 
At first he was without any communication with the other posts. After trying 
other methods, generally ineffective, Sergeant Burmeister, of the Old Boys, fitted 
a telephone installation along the bridge, and placed a receiver behind some 
battens. But communication with the guard-room by means of this telephone 
was precarious and indistinct, and finally a large bell was fixed half-way up the 
stairs and a cord hung under the bridge by which No. 3 sentry could sound it. 
The idea was that on hearing this bell No. 2 sentry was to leave his own post and 
rush downstairs to assist. The system was never tried, but it seemed to provide 
a simple means by which a desperado could "do in" two sentries in succession 
and then work his will for half-an-hour at the south end of the bridge. 

The mud of the goods yard and wharf was very bad, smoke blowing down 
from the railway above and from the river, and the sulphurous winter fog 
tarnished and spotted the bright steel bayonets which we carried on our Martini 

D 33 

carbines during the first months of duty there. After two hours along the wharf 
in November a man looked, and felt, black all over. 

On fine spring days the sentry here found his position quite tolerable ; but 
at night it was a dismal place, and one sympathised with the R.D.C. sentries who 
had left behind in the sentry-box a piece of steel rail placed on two up-ended 
bricks as a seat. We were not night watchmen, and scorned artificial supports. 
And there were mild adventures. One dark November night, very foggy and 
moonless, with a white rime frost on the planks of the Bridge, and with the 
one blackened lamp under the Bridge scarcely showing up the carts that were 
ranked in front of it, the telephone by some mischance happened to be working 
right through from No. 3 post to the guardroom, when the sentry 'phoned for 
help. A corporal and three men were sent over the Bridge with a lantern. The 
sentry reported that he heard groans coming from the edge of the wharf. The 
patrol clambered down on to the barges with the lantern and found that a 
wharfinger had fallen in the fog between a barge and the river wall, and had 
jammed head first. There he hung unconscious, but groaning heavily as the 
barge, chafing with the rising tide, ground his ribs against the quay. He 
was dragged out, a ladder found, and on it the patrol carried him to hospital. 
By rights he should have died, but in a few weeks he was back again loosening 
ropes of lighters and pottering about the quay. A small old man with a square 
chin, and beard full of coal dust, he must have possessed exceedingly resilient 

The sentry did not attempt a rescue himself because he was forbidden to 
leave his post. The old night watchman in the little hutch under the Bridge 
had a less pretentious reason, which he afterwards explained thus. " When I 
come 'ere at six o'clock I 'eard a noise like some one was groaning, like. But I 
was 'avin' me tea, so I didn't go to look. In abaht 'alf an 'ahr, when I'd done 
me tea, the groaning was still going on, so I goes to the sentry and I says, 
' Sentry, there's somebody groaning' — and so there was." 

No. 2 post had his box at the top of the stairs leading down to the goods 
yard and No. 3. He stood at the south end of the platform, which ran down 
the middle of the railway bridge. This platform, twenty paces broad, extended 
northward, and the sentry had liberty to patrol as far as the second of two 
wooden huts built on it for surfacemen. Whistles were provided and a code 
of signal blasts arranged. It worked one day when No. 1 sentry saw a soldier, 
capless, leap from a troop train at the Victoria end of the Bridge and run 
back along the line. No. i's whistle attracted No. 2 sentry, who called the man 
off the electric track and detained him. The prisoner proved to be no deserter, 
but a Canadian whose cap had blown off somewhere near Clapham Junction. 



(Only about half the Officers in this group belong to the United Arts Rifles) 

Otford, August, 1916 

Chevening August, [916 


When the train slowed down he got out and started to walk back for it. In the 
guardroom, where he was dismissed with an admonition, he said that the cap 
had gone through the First Battle of Ypres and all the Somme fighting, and he 
was not going to lose it. We also once captured an office boy who had been sent on 
an errand from Victoria Station to some engineering shops on the south side and 
chose to go by the line. Passes ? He had never heard of them ; and there he was, 
blandly trotting down the middle of the Brighton express track, in peril of his 
life and in defiance of " Dora." Him, too, we detained and sent to the guard 
room, very tearful and contrite. 

But if we were developing distinctly Prussian traits on the Bridge, it was in a 
spirit of pure humanity that we rescued a soldier's dog, a nice brown, smooth- 
coated French sheepdog, which was dropped out of a leave train, presumably 
because he was too big to smuggle past the barriers at Victoria. No. i sentry 
saw him running between the rails, very frightened, and heading south, all 
unwittingly towards the Dog's Home. No. 2 sentry coaxed him on to the platform 
and kept him in his box till the sergeant and reliefs came round, when he was 
towed to the guard room by a string round his neck. We petted him, and he 
soon settled down. Clearly he was a soldier's dog, for he turned out smartly for 
reliefs and visiting officers ; but, alas ! shortly afterwards a party of Scots Guards 
marched past our guard-room. Our four-footed friend had already detected the 
difference between Volunteers and real soldiers. He fell in behind the Guardsmen, 
and we never saw him again. 

Our instructions were that all railwaymen crossing the Bridge must show 
passes. Generally we let them alone when they were clearly on duty, but 
occasionally trouble arose and men were stopped. Afterwards the railwaymen 
discovered that our sphere of influence was confined to the middle platform. 
Walking along the east platform they encountered no sentries, and a challenge 
across the rails, if one were given, could be ignored, since no one ever thought 
of shooting on Grosvenor Bridge. A shot was fired on No. 2 post, but not in 
anger. We had not long been posted, and still carried the little Martini. The 
sentry on the post fell to wondering whether the five rounds served out to him 
would fit in the Martini chamber. He put one in and closed the breech. It 
went in nicely. Then he saw the sergeant bearing down on him — out on a tour 
of inspection. To his dazed mind the best course appeared to be rigid standing 
at attention with arms sloped — and the live round in the chamber. The sergeant 
arrived. "Anything to report?" "No." "You haven't eased springs," said 
the sergeant, and, reaching out, pulled the trigger of the sentry's Martini. A 
Battalion inquiry subsequently found that the shot was fired in a southerly 
direction, but that no damage had been reported. 


The most useful thing No. 2 post ever did failed to receive its due award. 
When the first aeroplane to raid London dropped bombs near Buckingham 
Palace and in Knightsbridge on a misty day when no one expected or saw 
the aeroplane, the sentry at No. 2 post was the only look-out in London who 
reported the sound of aircraft. We had the usual orders there to give warning 
of the approach of hostile aircraft, but not to shoot. Actually, however, the air- 
craft we saw were always British. 

No. 1 post, at the north end of the Bridge, was regarded as the easiest. 
The chimneys of the guard-room could be seen close at hand, so that the sentry 
did not feel he was quite isolated. Nothing exciting ever happened there, and 
the beat gave the best views up and down the river, views which at sunrise, 
sunset, and under moonlight, were sometimes very beautiful. 

One preoccupation — or shall I say amusement ? — the sentries at both ends 
of the Bridge had. The old wood of the long platform was very dry and 
splintered. It often caught fire in the summer, having large holes, equally fitted 
to trip a sentry's toe or to nurse a spark from an engine. Before the War Office 
decided to keep sentries on the Bridge, the railway companies had maintained a 
watch against fires, but troops being posted there, they withdrew their watchman 
and saved their money. Thus in summer the sentry, sometimes assisted by a party 
from the guard-room, had to busy himself stamping out infant fires or carrying 
water from the big casks which stood in the middle of the Bridge. In winter 
time those casks sometimes froze solid. 

Another necessary fatigue was to send men up with whitewash to whiten the 
edges of the holes in the platform, and draw a minatory white line along its edge to 
keep the reliefs from straying over as they marched in the dark. On dark, foggy 
nights there was some danger. Reliefs marching behind a man with a lantern 
strayed right across the platform without knowing it. Once a man did topple 
over, not far from the front of an electric train, and Sergeant Harding gained his 
third stripe for the alacrity with which he jumped down and dragged him up. 

If the railway company saved the services of a watchman when the military 
took over the guardianship of the Bridge, the War Office in its turn profiteered 
when it substituted Volunteers for R.D.C. men on the guard. The amount saved 
must have been substantial, since all that the Horse Guards allowed the two 
volunteer corps which took over the work was tenpence per day per man, which 
did not cover the food bought on corps account for the use of the guards. 

It is time to explain who "we" were. Depleted by heavy calls-up of Derby 
men and not yet strengthened by recruits sent in from tribunals, the United Arts 
had not the strength to man three posts by day and night. Therefore we were com- 
bined with the Old Boys for Grosvenor Bridge duty. The Old Boys Corps contained 



Otford, August, 1916 

p. 36 

a large number of architects and professional men, and from the first we established 
a partnership with it without reservations. It had previously maintained a post on 
Lambeth Bridge, while the earliest searchlights were in action there. Now it 
came to Grosvenor Bridge, sending an N.C.O. and six men by day and as many 
by night. We provided one N.C.O. and three men by day and night, each guard 
mounting for twelve hours, between eight and eight. The N.C.O. who happened 
to be senior was sergeant of the combined guard. Procedure, complicated at 
first, was afterwards simplified. Reliefs were inspected at the port without 
unfixing bayonets ; the old guard was dismissed without waiting for the sergeant 
to return from his twenty-minute journey across the Bridge to post his new sentries. 
But at first we were all for the rigour of the game, even though it meant that a 
twelve-hour turn of guard began with an inspection outside in the roadway at 
7.35 and ended with a dismiss on the return of the sergeant and old sentries at 
8.35, thirteen hours later. We exchanged compliments in what had been the 
booking hall of Grosvenor Road Station — there was too much traffic outside to 
change guard in the roadway, so the new guard always marched inside to do it. 
Our guard-room was the old Grosvenor Road Railway Station. Derelict for 
years, it stood thick with grime when the old R.D.C. worthies took it over ; and 
they did not improve it. Still, the quarters were good, water-tight and adequately 
drained, with plenty of space and lofty rooms. On the kitchen gas stove cooking 
went on almost day and night, for men came off the Bridge every two hours with 
amazing appetites. Kettles boiled to give them Bovril or cocoa before they were 
posted ; they came off and rushed to take tea with biscuits, cheese and jam, or 
they fried bacon. Generally the Corps showed itself blissfully incompetent in 
culinary work or housewifery. I once explained to a middle-aged private that 
he could order bacon from the grocer's and cook it. He thought the idea excel- 
lent. Later I found him in a cloud of blue smoke and the acrid smell of charred 
bread. He had turned the gas ring on full, lit it, and clapped the frying pan on 
with his bacon perched on a round of bread. Bacon, in his household, always 
came to the table mounted on toast, and he imagined that it grew that way. Still, 
he was better than the elderly married man who could not light a gas stove, and 
more willing than the men — Old Boys mostly — who drifted in, took what was 
going, and drifted out, leaving their dirty cups and plates behind. Men never 
learnt to be economical with tea, butter or Bovril. Butter was used to fry bacon ; 
enough tea for six was put in a pot for one ; Bovril was used by tablespoonfuls, 
until the Corps authorities had to enact that no more was to be ordered. Still, 
we deserved to be well fed, for a winter vigil on the Bridge was cold, draughty, 
tiring work, and the fact that nobody took gravely ill from it is attributable largely 
to the ample food and warm drinks. 


The opportunity to lounge in our comfortable guard-room depended on 
our sergeant and corporal. There were idle guards, who sat about reading or 
objected to the place being brushed up because they were playing cards ; there 
were super-industrious guards, who were always despatching men round the 
corner into the goods yard to draw buckets of water with which to wash plates, 
dishclouts and the grimy floors ; and there were the highly professional guards, 
who whiled away the time cleaning rifles or discussing minutiae of bayonet 
drill. Their happiness was complete when we were all served out with the 
1914 rifle and bayonet — weight iof lbs. on parading, if tons after two hours on 
the Bridge. 

With the new rifle we received full infantry equipment, which certainly 
made the guard parades look smarter than when every man had a haversack and 
water-bottle of the pattern which pleased him best ; and the long, dulled bayonets 
could not rust even in the most mephitic fog. 

Still, our parades never got near the cast-iron uniformity of old regulars. 
Dear old General Bridgeman came round once or twice to accept an assurance 
that the guard was " all present and correct " at the moment when a chubby-faced 
liberty man of the Old Boys was returning with his arms full of bottled beer. 
The General put his stock questions again. 

"Do you" — this is to an Old Boy — "find it difficult to pay for your uniform?" 

"No, sir." 

"And what are you in private life?" 

Finally, with the numbers of our Corps steadily diminishing, it became too 
great a strain to keep the guard going continuously, and the Inns of Court came 
in to do week about. As at Hyde Park Corner, we found them very precise and 
lawyerlike in taking over, and with an intolerable amount of officers watching 
the change of guard, checking the plates and spoons, and following the old and 
new corporals round as they posted the sentries — rather an unconstitutional 
thing. We liked the Inns of Court well enough, but somehow never established 
the same cheerful relations with them as with the Old Boys ; and the fact that we 
had delegated part of our interest in the Bridge to them perhaps made us accept 
with equanimity the news that the Horse Guards had decided to abolish the 
guard at Grosvenor Bridge altogether. 

Within a month of our departure, a " Boche bird" dropped a bomb right on 
top of our old No. 2 sentry box at the south end of the Bridge, bursting the big 
gas mains beneath and firing the wooden platform. To the day of writing the 
traveller, as his train runs into Victoria, can see the hole where our faithful sentry 
would have died at his post if the Home Defence people had not decided that it 
cost too much to keep him there. 



" Daily Sketch" Photograph 





"Daily Sketch" Photograph 

Epping. September. 1917 

,- 38 


After the withdrawal of the Grosvenor Bridge guard, the Corps began to think 
seriously of anti-aircraft work. The London anti-aircraft barrage of three-inch high 
explosive shells was bursting overhead at 10,000 feet. What if a German airman 
plucked up courage to dive under it and fly down Whitehall, machine-gunning 
the War Office windows ? Our own airmen had shown in the Rhineland how 
impudently a raider could coast over the housetops searching out his marks, and 
the Germans had always been willing to develop our ideas. So we at the 
Imperial College Union all began to talk of machine-guns, and so, more de- 
liberately, did the Brass Hats in Whitehall. First it was the Hotchkiss, and the 
United Arts mustered in crowds on Sundays at Headquarters, under Lieut. Myers' 
direction, to struggle with the costive little weapon. By the time we could 
assemble it, fill the strips without making our hands bleed, cock the cumbrous 
lever and remember to lift the feed piece, the panic passed. A few weeks later 
the authorities sent us the Lewis gun, and again we toiled at " parts " and " stop- 
pages," fired a burst or two on the range, and were certified to be qualified for 
anti-aircraft duty. 

I prefer to say at once that I never fired my Lewis gun at any German. I 
stripped it, cleaned it, oiled it, assembled it, mounted it on a post, practised 
imaginary traverses with the anti-aircraft sight, put it to bed in its box again, and 
generally petted it once a week for weary months. Other men did the same on 
other nights and came into action, but I never saw a hostile aeroplane within 
range. Our routine always was to muster at half-past eight or nine in summer, 
at half-past four or five in winter, march to a gun station on top of the arch 
at Hyde Park Corner or on the roof of a hut in Regent's Park, or to go by train 
to some post in the defence line at Abbey Wood on the river marshes, to clean, 
mount and practice the guns, unship them and go back to the hut or tent for a 
cross-examination on stoppages, followed by supper, hot cocoa and a long debate 
till, in the early morning, we decided that no warning was to be expected, and 
turned in on our Army beds of trestles or planks. 

So we came back to Hyde Park Corner, scene of our first public guard 
mountings. We returned under changed conditions. Khaki instead of grey- 
green drill ; regulation overcoats in place of guinea raincoats, bleached green and 
stained red with the clay of the Woldingham trenches ; no arms except the 
sidearms of our sergeants ; Army haversack and water-bottle slung on the 
braces— a device introduced by Sergeant-Major Utting so that we could discard 
equipment in an instant to serve our guns. Gone was the desperate appeal 
on parade for volunteers to do a guard ; in place of that we were set down 


on a roster, and each of the men who had gone through the machine-gun 
course and had fired the Lewis on the range did duty in turn — a day weekly 
for at least three weeks out of four. Other candidates for the distinction clustered 
round the instruction tables at headquarters, writing down " parts " and " stoppages " 
at the dictation of Lieut. Myers or Lieut. Aubrey Smith. But the Corps never 
had a superfluity of anti-aircraft men, because it had to keep up two posts each 
night, one in central London, and one in the defences of Woolwich Arsenal. Each 
post mustered five men with two guns, each team consisting of a sergeant, two 
gunners and two "No. 2's." A spare man was always detailed in reserve for 
each team. He paraded at the station and was dismissed at once if the full team 
turned up. 

Gone, too, were our ceremonies of taking over from the old guard and handing 
over of orders and ball cartridge. We still had visiting rounds ; an officer who 
dropped in between nine and ten, asked whether all were right and then signed 
our parade sheet. 

We were left on our own as a detached command, and we felt our work 
was real soldiering. The War Office stated that men serving as machine- 
gunners on the anti-aircraft stations were necessary for the defence of London 
and would not be called up for general service till they could be replaced. 
In this spirit we stripped our guns on taking over the post in the evening, 
flooded them with oil — too much oil — and stripped them again before leaving 
in the morning. The most expert in each team demonstrated "stoppages" 
and cross-examined on " parts " nightly after the guns had been mounted at 
dusk, swung round on the posts and taken down again to the huts out of 
the damp. No. 2's wrestled with the task of clamping on the cartridge pans 
and nipping them off quickly, a duty in which practice never made perfect. 
Our guns were set to prevent firing at a lesser angle than 55 , for the security 
of the public. But we aimed at Vega and Arcturus with the anti-aircraft 
sights, a sturdy pillar as a foresight and a bronze oval four inches across 
with horizontal and vertical bars as backsight, which nightly had to be screwed 
on to the slide of the original Lewis backsight, the foresight being held in a 
special clamp ring between the fore and rear barrel casing. 

All this done we waited for action without result ; and the men on the search- 
lights at Hyde Park Corner did not encourage vain hopes : they told us that they 
had never seen a hostile aeroplane at all, let alone one within machine-gun range. 
Our instructions were not to fire till the plane was within range and had dropped 
bombs or had been fired on by the three-inch guns round about, or until we 
could see its black crosses on the wings. Thus we had little chance of a target. 
At Hyde Park Corner, in addition, we were to wait for instructions from the petty 




" Daily Sketch " Photograph 
BIVOUAC, Epping, September, lyi; 

/>. 40 

officer in charge of the searchlight on the highest platform over the gateway, vvc 
having our guns on posts erected on tubs of earth on the wing platform over the 
western footway, twenty-five feet below him. If we did open fire we were to 
carry on under the control of our own sergeant, whose business it was to watch 
the tracer bullets, one in six. 

These searchlight men were not the half-time semi-professionals whom we 
had seen arriving during the evening two years ago. They were whole-time soldiers, 
wearing the uniform of the naval wing of the R.A.F., and living all the time in 
the compound behind the gateway. They occupied our old guard-room, and the 
only accommodation allowed us was the use of their tool room, a dingy little shed, 
for storing and cleaning our guns, which had to be carried up and down the 
ladders morning and evening. In the spring of 1918, a month or two after we 
returned there, these searchlight experts were sent to the reorganised outer 
defences of London and their duties at Hyde Park Corner were taken over 
by soldiers from the Anti-aircraft Artillery station in the centre of the Park. 
These only came down to Hyde Park Corner in the evenings, it having 
already been decided that the searchlights there should be struck out of the 
London defence scheme. Thereafter the United Arts Lewis gun teams, who 
stayed there a little longer, had more elbow room, using the telephone hut on the 
lower platform and sleeping there or outside on the duckboards of the gangway 
above the western carriage way. 

That dormitory we preferred to our spring one, a bell-tent pitched in the 
potato patch of the Park gun station, a good 1,000 yards away. When we had 
mounted and tested our machine-guns we obtained the nightly password — " Buy 
War Bonds" was one — from the searchlight men, left the compound and threaded 
our way through the kissing couples in the dark Park to our damp and dismal 
tent on the muddy ground up against the corrugated iron north wall of the 
artillery compound. A hurricane lantern hung from the pole. Lit it revealed 
our bedding and trestles stacked, which we with much ingenuity spread out into 
beds for five. That done, one man was sent to borrow a kettle from the gunner's 
galley. Cocoa was made, and after returning the kettle — ("Halt, who comes 
there?" " Friend, with kettle. Buy War Bonds.") — the crew snuggled into their 
blankets for a smoke and an hour's talk till, towards midnight, the squeals and harsh 
laughter in the darkness outside gradually died away. Once or twice wanderers 
appealed to us to take in lodgers, but we refused, and resumed our occupation of 
swapping the most unusual experiences of our lives. For all this the War Office 
paid us fivepence a night. 

One of our crews on a bitter spring night found no blankets in the tent, and 
had not been told that, men under the War Office having replaced the naval 


R.A.F. men at the three-inch guns, a new arrangement had been made and the 
blankets taken inside the compound, to be claimed and signed for nightly. The 
crew consequently shivered under newspapers all night. A week later one of the 
same United Arts "A" Company crew, Private Hill, came on duty again and 
kept hiccupping in his sleep. Another week and he died from lung affection, 
contracted from the hardships of active service in the heart of London. I am 
glad to say that the War Office granted aid to the widow and children of a good 
fellow and keen Volunteer. 

Finally the tent slid down the pole and collapsed on top of one of our 
crews, after which we slept in the telephone cabin on the Arch, as I have 
explained. There one night, picking up stars as aiming marks in the late twilight, 
an "A" Company man called attention to a star in Aquila, asking his sergeant, 
who also as a scout knew the landmarks of the sky, whether he had ever before 
noticed such a bright star to the west of Altair. All the defences of London had 
been warned to expect a practice raid that night and to look out for the signal 
lights of the attacking planes, so, having decided that the new light was not 
hostile, the post did not report it to the War Office. A definite claim to priority 
of discovery was thus lost, but the Astronomer General has written that the 
observation was " certainly one of the very first." 

Later on that same night the sergeant, looking out over the bulwarks of his 
post by the telephone cabin and hearkening to the quiver of the guns around 
Amiens or Bethune, discovered three of Lockhart's Elephants standing in the 
gutter while their custodian refreshed himself at the coffee stall, with occasional 
pauses to slap and rebuke one of the beasts who was edging towards the piles of 
" doorsteps " and saffron cakes. The incident has been handed down in rhyme : 


Columbus Wheeler paced alone 
The foc'sle of his ship of stone, 
Cleaving on noiseless keel the dark 
Between the island of the Park 
(Principal export, chairs) and town. 
He scanned the High Seas of Romance, 
The new-born star, and night's advance. 
An oath drew his attention down. 

Then spoke this N.C.O. I/c. 
" Oh, I see elephants — yes, three, 
And every elephant a crown 
Bears on his brow. Arouse the crew 
To witness what I say is true." 




C.Q.M.S. W. J. FORD 



P t- 

Sulley looked and saw them plain 
Move round the coffee-stall for buns ; 
Turned to his blankets in disdain, 
Saying, " But they're little ones." 
Hurry, too, looked. He said no word ; 
And Wheeler watched the monsters grey 
Up Piccadilly take their way. 

Now do not say this narrative's absurd. 
I make this commonsense appeal to you — 
Moyes did not see it, so it may be true, 
While Edwards thinks the incident was planned 
By German influence and the hidden hand. 

Teams which went on machine-gun duty to guard Woolwich Arsenal 
had a much worse journey than the Hyde Park men, who mustered at seven 
in spring, at eight or even later in summer. A seven o'clock train to Woolwich 
in summer sometimes meant a route march from Plumstead, when tramcars were 
full, and a rush to have guns cleaned and mounted before nine, the official 
hour for duty. In the dark days of autumn the Woolwich teams fell in at 
Charing Cross before five, and if they were not awake next morning by six, to 
cook breakfast, clean guns, sweep the hut and walk nearly a mile for a 
train about 7.30, they had to wait till the neighbourhood of nine for a train to 

Woolwich Arsenal was not popular with officers detailed for visiting rounds, 
who had to find their way, often in the dark, through danger zones, across railway 
tracks and ditches, climb up into towers, visit the river wall at Tripcock Point and 
sign the attendance sheets of teams at three or four stations before returning to 
town late at night. But for the gunners the Arsenal posts, once reached, were 
more comfortable than those in town. So far as possible the teams were kept 
together, and each served in London and at the Arsenal alternately. At the Arsenal 
our guns were posted on top of the embankment of the great southern outfall 
sewer, running just outside the south fence of the enclosed area containing the 
T.N.T. plant and stores, scattered among hayfields. At first we were stationed at 
Church Manor Way, a gate into the Arsenal a long mile east of Plumstead. 
There we were assigned a hut in the camp of the R.D.C. men, a clean hut 
with wooden sleeping berths built up against one wall. A green and 
stagnant ditch was under the window, and some gunners complained that 
a man-hole in the sewer embankment nearly stifled them at their posts. Yet 
we found the place healthy, slept well, and enjoyed the bright sunny early 
mornings with Abbey Woods rising green from the river mist and the larks 
all tuning up. 


In the raid about Whitsuntide, when a German aeroplane fell in flames at 
the Albert Docks, our machine-guns came into action. There seems to have 
been some delay in opening fire, and the enemy passed out of range before the 
United Arts machine-guns could do much harm. Possibly the lack of any useful 
instructions in the sealed orders was to blame. These sealed orders were handed 
out to the sergeant at Woolwich Railway Station by an officer, who had obtained 
them from the Central Control Station in Westminster. If no alarm was given 
during the night, the sergeant had to burn the orders in the envelope, unopened, 
and to certify in his report that he had done so. Yet despite all these precautions, 
when an alarm was given and the orders opened, nothing was found inside the 
envelope save the name of an animal, bird or fish. Reference to a book, kept 
under lock and key, would show that the names of these creatures gave the 
colours of the recognition lights carried by all friendly aeroplanes during a raid. 
Lights varied from night to night. As all animals were of one colour, all birds 
of another, and fishes of a third, the system of secrecy seems too elaborate. A 
few words telling the N.C.O. in charge that he was responsible and must open 
fire against any hostile target coming within range without awaiting special orders 
would have been far better. But such instructions were never clearly given. 

Hyde Park Corner teams were not troubled with sealed orders. Their 
sergeant had, however, to go to the Anti-aircraft Central Office. There he was 
sent to the actual sanctum where the defence of London against raiders was 
directed. It was a small room with telephone hutches round the walls ; at a 
table in the centre sat an officer who just said, "The recognition signal to-night 
is red" — or green, or white. 

That night when the raider fell at the Docks saw our only casualty during 
a raid. Shell fragments falling near the machine-gunners as they stood-to made 
the gravel fly, and a pebble cut the nose of one " No. 2." Other alarms on the 
same post did not get so near the real thing. One has been recorded thus : — 



Before the phantom of false morning died 
I heard a voice within the hut that cried, 
" The guns ! D'ye hear, boys ? Quick now, to your posts ; 
Jam on your shrapnel hats and get outside." 

Lance-Corporal Edwards, who had made his choice 
To have the upper bunk, obeyed the Voice, 
Cast off his blankets and leapt down full force 
Upon the stomach of the sleeping Moyes. 






r it 

But Corporal Edwards was not half so fleet 
As Sergeant Wheeler, trapped from head to feet 
With sausages, fuel, armour, marlinspike, 
Ice-axe and ready-reckoner complete. 

Bold Private Hurry did not stop to think ; 

He lived up to his name ; scarce paused to blink, 

To put his overcoat and muffler on, 

And say " God bless my soul ! " and take a drink. 

These as they peered and listened at the door 
All said to Sulley " You who gave the roar, 
Restrain the rhythmic knocking of your knees ; 
Perchance then we shall hear those guns once more." 

Awhile they hearkened. All was as the dead ; 
No sound, no sign, though later it was said 
That, dreaming in his home, some ten miles off, 
Gilbertson Smith had snored a trumpet dread. 

From Church Manor Way the United Arts post was transferred to Abbey 
Wood, at the extreme east side of Woolwich Arsenal. There we still had a mile 
to march from train or tram to the Arsenal gate, and we still mounted our guns 
on posts on top of the sewer embankment. But we had a large concrete hut to 
ourselves just inside the gate, and though it was in the danger zone, we were 
permitted to smoke while indoors. "Mounds" covering T.N.T. stores were the 
principal features of the landscape. As neighbours we had the Inns of Court in 
the next hut and also a station of the Arsenal police, who kept our keys. A little 
further away were the huts of some R.D.C. men with a wet canteen, into which 
injudicious N.C.O.'s of the United Arts sometimes ventured, to the detriment of 
their pockets — how those R.D.C. men can swallow ! And there was a Y.M.C.A. 
hut and canteen, with billiard tables always in use by soldiers and boy workers 
at the Arsenal. Tea, bread and jam, porridge, etc., were things the canteen sold 
cheaply till 9 p.m., and these, when our inspecting officer was tactful enough to 
come early, we bought gratefully, perusing as we consumed them the illustrated 
weekly papers of 1887 and 1893, which patriotic and philanthropic people had 
sent for the edification of poor soldiers like us. 

Abbey Wood remained our post almost until the Armistice. Although alarms 
were given, we never had a raid pressed home there. But it would have been a hot 
corner. Behind us were the T.N.T. stores. Eastward only 200 yards as we stood on 
the sewer embankment loomed the nearest of a line of kite balloons which stretched 
across the marshes, resting at dusk each calm night to lift a " net " of piano wires, 
which we never saw and consequently discredited. Although no trouble came 
our way, the Whitehall authorities were confident that it would, and devised a 


new tactical use for machine-guns in anti-aircraft defence. We were not to wait 
to see our target and then fire ahead at it by use of the oval anti-aircraft sight 
which automatically "aims-off"to allow for the flight of the aeroplane. Those 
sights were taken off, new and cumbrous pedestal arms were mounted nightly on 
the guns; circular brass plates graded in degrees were placed on the flat tops of 
our old pine posts on which our guns were mounted. Guns were not to traverse ; 
nor as previously were gunners to fire short bursts of six and then to relay. An 
arrangement was introduced for clamping the Lewises at a fixed angle. The 
proposal was that the sergeant should listen until he discerned the approximate 
direction and elevation of the enemy aircraft from the sound of its propellors. 
He would then sing out the compass bearing from true north and the angle of 
elevation. While "No. 2" directed a luminous button on the dial plate — no more 
light was allowed — " No. 1 " swung his gun round. The angle was next regulated 
and the gun clamped in position. The gunner then had to grip the butt under 
his right armpit and hang on to the trigger, blazing away a continuous barrage 
until the order to cease fire was given. Theoretically, a large number of machine- 
gun posts around London were to set up an almost unbroken barrage of bullets 
under the shell barrage. Actually, it is a matter for thankfulness that the system 
was never tested. 

In the middle of the summer the Hyde Park Corner station, where the 
searchlights had gone out of operation, was condemned for machine-guns also. 
The protection of Buckingham Palace and the Ritz was left to the Guards in their 
sandbagged Green Park machine-gun pits. While continuing our Arsenal duties, 
we moved our town post to Regent's Park, where on top of a flat-roofed one story 
building in the R.A.F. reception park west of the Broad Walk, we had two guns 
and some Hampstead Volunteers two. At first the guns had to be hauled up a 
perpendicular ladder, and there was no rail round the edge of the roof. Some 
substantial carpentry was done for our benefit, and we received a cool and 
pleasant summer look-out point, surrounded by trees, with a fine view of the 
evening searchlight practices, and the possiblity of hearing the lions at the Zoo, 
across the Park. 

Little happened on the station. We mustered at Portland Place and marched 
round by the Inner Circle. We stripped our guns — now grown very easy to 
dismantle, the body cover coming off at a touch — and we slept on benches, 
tables and trestle beds in a wooden shed, by day a carpenters' shop and lecture 
room for artificers, by night very confined quarters for us and the Hampstead 
men, honest artisans who always awaked before five and left before six, conversely 
objecting to our debating stoppages after eleven p.m. For some time we posted 
a sentry every two hours outside the R.A.F. telephone-room, to bring word of 





t- 4' 

air-raid warnings. Afterwards that was left to the R.A.F. sentries. These had 
just been served out with rifles. One distinguished himself by firing a shot 
accidentally through the guard-room roof one night when coming off duty. 

All autumn we heard hints that the cold journeys to Woolwich might be 
stopped and that a splendid post near Whitehall was to be ours in future. The 
transfer came at last, through the efforts of Lieut. Myers, in the week before the 
Armistice. The evening of Saturday, 9th November, when we awaited the German 
reply to the Armistice terms, saw us carrying planks, trestles, blankets, buckets, 
brushes, machine-guns, trusses of straw, and all sorts of equipment up to the fourth 
floor of the Local Government Board, and then forty feet higher by a spiral iron 
staircase into a loft in the south-east tower of the building, which was to be our 
permanent and settled station. There, under the skylight, we spread out our 
impedimenta, got our guns ready once more and renewed the old routine. We 
had four guns altogether now — ten men in all with the spare man— and posts at 
intervals along the south roof of the building, overlooking Parliament Square, with 
with the Abbey glimmering grey above the war-darkened streets. It was a lovely 
position, driving an etcher in the crew frantic with delight when dawn broke to 
show the Houses of Parliament and the turbulent brown river running under the 
Bridge. Monday brought the Armistice, but our watch was not relaxed. Germany's 
aeroplanes were not surrendered, and there was a chance that some crazy aviator 
might choose to die over London rather than give in. So, night after night, for some 
six weeks the United Arts gun teams mustered at their posts. At first we mounted 
guns and stayed all night. Then we were told to telephone the Defence Head- 
quarters at 10 p.m. to receive permission to dismiss. Lastly, our guns were laid 
out with a notice, " These guns are not to be touched." 

And in this wise, almost imperceptibly, our anti-aircraft duties diminished to 
nothing. The bedding was all carried down again, the guns returned to the 
Ordnance, and the tale was ended. At Grosvenor Road, in 1916, our guard dined 
on Christmas night on roast beef and good liquor, after which an old gentleman 
from some house near by knocked at the door and handed in some war-time mince 
pies, his gift for "the soldiers" who, he thought, must be feeling the hardships of 
their lot on Christmas Day. But Christmas, 19 18, was kept by the United Arts in 
peace. If any of the associations made in war by those who served in the old Corps 
endure during peace, most of all surely will those founded on the memories and 
comradeships of guards and anti-aircraft duty. Those memories and associations 
will probably be our only reward. Yet we know we were not useless. The Hun 
never swooped over Woolwich or Whitehall after the machine-gun defence was 
established. The United Arts did its part in assuring the safety of London in those 
last months of the war, when the Germans obviously decided that raids on the 


Capital were not worth their cost. Perhaps the real peril ended when the enemy 
abandoned St. Denis Westrem aerodrome, his Gotha base in Flanders, but the 
United Arts stuck to its task and can now say that the end of the war found its 
anti-aircraft gunners at their posts, and in such efficiency that they were chosen for 
the protection of Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament. 


Our Artist writes : I understand that members of the artistic professions are 
forming a Corps of their very own. Everyone will admire their patriotism ; but is 
there not fear that their very originality and desire to be unlike others in every way 
will be their undoing ? I have imagined a sergeant who has just given the order 
"Left turn I" 

By permission of the Proprietors of "The Skekh." 

4 8 




AT the Summer Camp at Churt in 1915 a small band of men of "A" Company 

/% was billeted in the loft over the stable. Being of the advance guard, 

-A. JL they selected this from the purest altruistic motives, knowing well that 

the keen spirits to follow would much prefer sleeping on mackintosh sheets under 

canvas in the field. 

There were rats in the loft — fine English fellows. A narrow ledge along the 
wall plate was their promenade, and when one night two rats coming from 
opposite ways met in the middle and disagreed " they went off like a Seidlitz 
powder," to quote a Sergt. -Major of famous memory. In the corner of the loft 
slept Allen, the Music-maker, and he made music by day — and by night. Raised 
aloft in the opposite corner was Louis, the Painter, who told stories concerning 
recruits, drill sergeants, and shortest verses in Bibles. Near the trap-door was 
William Henry, the mere Architect, who did nothing in particular, and did it 
very well. The Angel Child was in the Advance Party also, but not being of 
"A" Company, he found a lodging elsewhere. 

In the leakiest of the tents, on the mackintosh sheet whose anti-hydrostatic 
properties were least evident, you would probably have found him, hardening 
himself for the great day, when sure but painfully slow Time should bring him 
within the age limit for "G.S." A month or so after the termination of this 
camp William Henry, to his intense surprise, found himself in the uniform of a 
British officer, lying flatly in a ditch between Dickiebush and Hallebast, while 
German shrapnel was sprinkling the road in front, the hedge above, and the field 
behind. He then realised, more acutely than ever before, that there really was 
a war on. 

The days passed, and in the fullness of time he came to Arras and the battle 
of April, 1917. Through the village of S. Laurent Blangy runs the road to 
Athies and Roeux, of bloody memory. To the left branches the road to Point-du- 
Jour, crossing the deep railway cutting by a brick bridge. On the one side the 

1 49 

bridge had been hit by us, on the other side it was being hit by the Boches, and 
it seemed hardly necessary to determine whose were the shells that had devas- 
tated the top and swept the copings into the depths below. To this uninviting 
spot William Henry was gently led by a C.R.E. and informed that heavy guns 
must pass over that apology for a bridge in an absurdly small number of hours 
hence, and it was up to him to see that they were able to do so. 

One morning, shortly after the work began, an officer of the Gunners came 
up and enquired if an Artillery working party from a Siege Battery was expected. 
Something familiar in the voice brought back old memories of a loft at Churt, 
and the shortest Biblical verse. It was none other than Louis, the Painter. 

On the edge of a small hole they sat them down. To the left were the ragged 
stumps and broken walls of Point-du-Jour, in front the slopes of Greenland 
Hill; down in the valley to the right lay the Scarpe, and on the opposite side of 
the river a dense cloud of smoke showed the hell some of our men were going 
through at Monchy. And over the heads of the two friends roared and screamed 
the shells from our massed batteries behind the cutting. But these things were 
unheeded, and the talk was of guards at Churt and "five squirts rapid" at the 
publican near the schools, of winter days in Richmond Park, and the men of 
the United Arts. 

The wonder year of 1918 brought a more dramatic sequence of contrasting 
emotions than any since the year of the outbreak of the war. The waiting for the 
German thrust, the coming of the attack, and the success of it ; the arresting and 
the turning of it into a retreat, into all but a debacle, and then the Armistice. 

At the beginning of the year the Arras bridge-menders were at work on 
defences and more bridges between Pilkem and Langemarck. A famous Corps 
Commander visited the work from time to time, and with him, acting with 
perfect efficiency and consummate sang-froid as his guide, philosopher and 
friend, was the Angel Child. Once again on the stricken field did the brother- 
hood of the United Arts prove its reality. 

William Henry and the Angel Child met on various occasions during the 
year. They were at Courtrai when the Armistice was signed, they passed 
through Belgium and Western Germany, and finally rode through Cologne, over 
the Rhine and into the bridgehead east of the great river. 

One of the most notable events of a most notable time was the founding of 
that famous journal " The Watch on the Rhine," a British publication printed in 
Cologne. The first Editor was the Angel Child, and one of the first contributors 
was William Henry. In the Arts of Peace, as in the Arts of War, they were still 



the vie to a irl 



I to KITCHEN- !UN<»>^ 
NO rUDDLktmN \ \ 

DrtLion by S. Nicholson Babb 


Dra-iin by J. H. Dou-d 






THE title to these desultory notes is a little misleading ; it presumes a 
dark side, and there has been no dark side to our Force. The nearest 
approach was a period, some six months after white sweaters had been 
introduced as a subterfuge for a uniform, and they had acquired the prevailing 
hue of London. In fact, when one of our members volunteered, as so many did, 
for active service, and sent a note to the Sergt.-Major to look for his sweater, " a 
white one," he was able to pick it out at once from the four or five hundred 
hanging up at Headquarters. 

I suppose my initial military efforts were much the same as those of every 
one else. My first drill took place at Earl's Court, and no doubt it contributed 
to the gate-money. A short stocky sergeant took me in hand. Our squad con- 
sisted of myself and one other only. The other was a tall thin man, and the 
disparity in size made us an odd pair. His pace of thirty inches was much 
longer than mine (the "long-pull" had not yet been prohibited), so that whenever 
he was leading, the space between us was always increasing. I got my own back 
at the "about-turns," for on those occasions I started of with a pronounced lead. 
I was much confused by the commands "Into file, right turn" and "Into line, 
left turn," of which no explanation was afforded. My companion had apparently 
smelt powder before and understood the mystery. I merely ignored it ; I had 
all my work cut out guessing which was my right and which was my left. 

We had one great advantage at Earl's Court, and that was the gravel. It 
was certainly cruel for boot leather, but the crunch of it made it almost impos- 
sible to march out of step, and much of the good marching of my old Company 
was learnt there. We soon migrated to Burlington House. There we were in 
clover. Our numbers soared well over four figures, although, as was to be 
expected in a Battalion largely literary, we were stronger on paper than on 
parade. However, we could always rely on seeing several hundreds drilling at 


a time, and to steer a platoon amid a maze of other platoons (often conducting 
military operations of a nature far more involved than their officers intended) 
needed all the skill of a swell dancer in the days when the " Boston " was at 
it best. 

Situated as we were near to the Military Clubs and to Piccadilly, which is a 
military parade ground, real Army officers used to look in to see the very latest 
thing in the War. No doubt they went away thinking better even of the Territorials. 
The wonder was that any one could make anything of us. Our huge parades 
consisted at first entirely of recruits, most of them, like myself, without even an 
elementary idea of discipline or drill, and we only drilled when we were at our 
worst — that is to say, at the end of a day's work. But two or three Army 
sergeants, and an officer or two of our own who remembered something of the 
old drill, worked like Trojans, and in a few months most of us were knocked 
into something like shape, and were drafted into Companies. After a little more 
training we were thought fit to exhibit in public. It was a proud day indeed 
when the officer of the leading Company succeeded in getting his men out of 
the Quadrangle, through the narrow entrance-passage, and past the iron gates 
into the street, without a casualty. At that time we were still without uniform, 
and in our dusky woollen sweaters we looked not a little like sheep ; the sugges- 
tion was appropriately made that the leading officer should wear a bell ! 

When away from my ordinary professional occupation, I have an inventive 
mind, and I did my best in that direction to assist the training of the men. 
It occurred to me that enormous time was wasted in training men to make 
movements in unison, which could be as well done by mechanical means. No 
encouragement, however, was given to my idea, and my plan of "platoon-plat- 
forms" was turned down. The principle I suggested was a large low platform 
on small wheels, carrying sufficient chairs to seat a platoon. The wheels would 
be attached to a turn-table, such as one finds under the front wheels of a four- 
wheeled cart. The platform would be drawn by a donkey, and I am sure it 
would soon learn the words of command. Anyhow, it would only involve 
instructing one donkey instead of a hundred or more ! 

Similar treatment was accorded to my invention of a sergeant's boot, the left 
heel of which was to be fitted with a squeaker, so that whenever the left foot 
touched the ground it ejaculated " Left ! Left ! Left ! " By this means the 
sergeant could save his voice for more important remarks. 

It was a long time before we had Government recognition and still longer 
before we received any equipment — except a brassard. The first arms we used 
were provided at the expense of the Battalion. I am a bit of a collector myself, 
and can safely say that the guns we first "shouldered" (we were at the time a 


'I If I • 




mi ■ 




rifle regiment) were " museum pieces." They were as full of points as President 
Wilson, and the points were not nearly so easy to grasp as his. There was a 
fearsome spring which rarely caught, except in our flesh or clothing, and the 
barrels were of great length and full of rust. Had we been called out for active 
service they would have been deadly weapons. If the bullet ever left the muzzle, 
anything it hit must die of blood poisoning. If, as was only too likely, it bucked 
at the rust, the danger would be nearer home. These weapons were constructed 
many a year before Martini met Henry. It was possible for the sum of ten 
shillings to become the sole owner of one of these guns, and, judging from the 
weight, they were well worth the money. Those who acquired their own could 
be distinguished from the others of us by their prouder air, like the yeoman 
farmer who owns the land he tills. 

The fact that my particular Company ("D," as it was then named) drilled 
at night, somewhat restricted the nature of our field work, if one excepted the 
Saturday or Sunday parades. But with Hyde Park close at hand, we had an 
admirable training ground. I hesitate to say how often we defended and attacked 
the bridge over the Serpentine. We generally arranged with another Company 
to put up a fight. In those days we never considered the odds ; artillery had no 
fears for us. Whatever the slaughter on one night, the dead were always ready 
to volunteer for a fresh venture on the next. The umpire, however, had the 
deuce of a time, as both sides invariably claimed the victory. 

Proceedings were sometimes varied by an affair of outposts, through which 
our or the enemy's scouts had to get undetected. I remember one such night, 
when we first shed blood, Segt.-Major Utting breaking his shin over a low iron 
paling. That night Private (afterwards Sergeant) W. H. Bond got through by 
pretending to be a Park sheep and chewing the cud noisily, and on another 
occasion Private (afterwards Sergeant) Babb and I escaped detection under the 
guise of a lover and his lass. 

The most important operations were reserved for the week-end. The non- 
military frequenters of the Park seemed, generally, to be interested in us. On 
one occasion it was otherwise. The Battalion was moving across the field in 
" column of route." Straight in the line of movement was a Weary Willie sleeping 
verminously on his back in the grass. The head of the column stepped over his 
body. When the leading platoon had done the like, he appreciated that some- 
thing unusual was on, and opened his eyes. He gazed at a few of the studded 
soles passing within a few inches of his head, and then made up his mind that it 
was no concern of his, and resumed his sleep. On another occasion — it was a 
drizzling muddy day in March— we had been practising advancing by short 
rushes and then " down ! " at the blast of a whistle. Operations over, we cleared 


out of the Park and marched back through the slush of Piccadilly towards Head- 
quarters. Just when we were opposite the Ritz, the hotel porter whistled for 
a taxi. For a moment it was touch and go with us. I distinctly saw the column 
waver. For two ticks the men would have flung themselves down in the mud 
and traffic. Then they pulled themselves together, and the crisis was past. 

We commenced route marches quite early in our career. Our first ventures 
in this direction were, I think, too ambitious. I can remember one little stroll of 
fifteen miles mostly over wood paving and cobbles. We had hired a good 
military band for the occasion, and it carried us through. I understand that the 
essence of a march is that at the end of it the men should be fit to fight. If this 
is so our march was a success, for I, personally, would have fought tooth and 
nail against going another yard. I met some of the band over a glass of beer 
when I was deliberating whether to hobble to a tube or telephone for an 
ambulance. They told me they were off to the front the next day and would look 
forward to the rest! Our route marches always elicited considerable interest on 
the part of the public, who hazarded various conjectures as to our identity. 
Some thought we were the celebrated Russians from Archangel. A dear old 
lady in Queen's Gate wept over us, thinking we were the real thing. Our officers 
also sometimes wept over us, but for a different reason. An old gentleman in 
South Kensington bared his head as we passed, as though we were a funeral. 

In those days we contemplated having a real band of our own, thinking that 
there would be no difficulty in this, as our Battalion offered special attractions to 
musicians. Our instrumentalists, however, when catalogued, proved most dis- 
appointing. They were all almost entirely fiddlers, 'cellists, players of the double 
bass (always an awkward instrument on the march) and pianists. My proposal for 
hiring a pantechnicon to accompany us, holding a couple of grand pianos and 
grand-pianists was, like my other inventions, frozen out. It has always seemed 
to me a pity that Sergeant Allen Gill's idea of training a choir for marching songs 
fell through. As it was, my particular Company generally marched to doleful 
dirges, commenced, almost invariably, on the wrong foot. There was a change 
when our bugle-band accompanied us. But it was never really popular. A boy's 
marching pace rarely suits a man's. 

It was while we were at Burlington House that we got our first consignment 
of carbines. There was a feverish rush to pay the price of these (fifty shillings) 
in advance, as you had the right of selection in the order of payment. None of 
us knew the "points" of a gun. I chose mine because it had neat hocks and a 
satiny skin which, I knew, betokened good health. It kept both these qualities 
to the end, but the hook which connected the stock with the barrel broke at the 
range. Fortunately the bullet elected to go with the barrel. Apart from this 


Drawn by 7. H. 1) wd 

Sir John Lavery, A.R.A. Arthur Hacker, R.A. Sir Frank Short, R.A. Sir George Frampton, R.a. Sir F. K. Benson 



weakness at times, many of the sights were hopelessly out. The carbines them- 
selves were reputed to be of Irish origin and distantly connected with local feuds. 
An Irishman explained to me that the guns were purposely sighted to fire too 
high, for no good Irishman really wanted to kill another, and if a carbine was sighted 
high enough, the bullet might cross the sea and slay a hated Englishman ! 

Our first uniform dated from about the same period. Each paid for his own, 
and the price was fixed to suit the poorest pocket. It was green-grey in colour, 
of cotton material, with Bedford cord breeches. As the year went on the 
colour of the material got more autumnal, but the stuff absolutely defied wear. 
You can't expect all the virtues for thirty shillings, and our uniforms were some- 
times lacking in fit, but they were a vast improvement on our sweaters. When 
the Band had been fitted, out of courtesy to the tailors it was named " The Band 
of Hope." 

The issue of this uniform was the occasion of a special harangue by the 
Sergt. -Major, who informed us, "After this, gentlemen, you must salute all 
officers. Even your own officers ! " This particular Sergt. -Major (who did not 
stay long with us) was a source of great pleasure. He made many soul-stirring 
addresses before dismissing us, but this was the only one I ever heard him bring 
to a real conclusion. As a rule his brain worked ahead of his tongue, and 
parenthesis after parenthesis led to a hopeless confusion, which he generally 
ended with " Officer present. Dis — miss ! " 

In the Burlington House days and the earlier days at South Kensington we 
specialized in literary, artistic, musical and other professional men. At a later 
stage, whilst always keeping a basis of this character, we were obliged to open 
our ranks wider, the truth being that the leaders of the various professions dropped 
off one by one through inanition or avoirdupois, and, while the rank and file 
stuck it, they were more likely to be wanted " elsewhere " as being of military 
age. Among the leading artists Sir Frank Short, Sir George Frampton and the 
late Arthur Hacker, the Academicians, lasted on well, till the pace became too 
great for them. S. J. Solomon only left to take a Commission as a Lieut.-Colonel. 
There was an incident in the military career of Sir George Frampton of which 
there are several renderings, all very much alike. " 'Ere you there, No. 3, wot's 
yer name?" enquired the Sergeant. " Frampton ! " was the reply. "Well, 'old 
yer 'ed up, Frampton !" And this in the courtyard of his own Academy!' A 
member of the Inns of Court Volunteers, with whom we were in friendly rivalry, 
after watching some of the manoeuvres declared that among us the artists 
couldn't keep a straight line, the musicians couldn't keep time, and the solicitors 
couldn't charge ! 

' The incident has been immortalized in " Punch," see p. 3 above. — Ed. 


We have been inspected by generals on various occasions, either as a 
Battalion or as part of a Group. We had practically no training in ceremonial 
parade and "marching past," and it was always a marvel to me how we came 
through it so well. What was additionally troublesome was that the deadheads 
(who otherwise only turned up when there was an issue of uniforms, equipment 
or rifles, and often even tried to obtain them per carrier) appeared on such 
occasions, and their standard was, of course, hopelessly below that of the rest of 
us. Some of these anxious events have been relieved by a light touch. In the 
march past, the CO. M.S. (a post I happened to hold) acts as guide on one of the 
flanks. The Company is accurately sized, the tallest men being on the two 
flanks. Now I am not tall, by any means, and looked all the shorter owing to 
the height of my neighbours. It was my duty to keep a straight line just inside 
the row of flags until we reached the saluting point, and to keep the rest of the 
Company from shoving me over. I had all my work cut out, as the pressure 
on me was almost irresistible. I stuck my elbow into the ribs of the big 
Grenadier next to me and he passed it on, and the crisis was relieved. I was 
told afterwards that my appearance next to Private Manclark was like that of a 
barnacle on a tall ship ! 

On another occasion a well-known general was inspecting the lines, and 
passing behind the Company in front of ours he stopped dead behind a private 
whose luxuriant tresses would have graced any lady of the ballet. The poor old 
general was quite knocked flat by this apparition, then, remembering that we 
were Volunteers, he passed on, merely ejaculating, "Deary me, deary, deary me ! 
I suppose it can't be helped." As the Commanding Officer followed him I 
thought I heard him repeating to himself : — 

Is it a boy ? Is it a girl ? 

Is it a nut, or a priceless pearl ? 

Is it a freak, is it quite sane? 

Who does its hair when it's on campaign ? 

In old "D" Company we started with several "bearded pards," and we had 
one or two right at the finish. It is popularly reported, and has never been 
denied, that Sergeant Babb, before he attained his rank, had his beard removed, 
because the absence of a clearly-defined chin prevented his fellows from 
" dressing" correctly, and that he duly presented the thing to one of the orderly- 
room staff who had eyebrows made out of it ! 

For real hard work and enjoyment trench-digging easily took the cake. 
The average townsman is not naturally a subterranean animal, and a heavy 
spade or pick, with its handle thickly encrusted with dried clay, is not comfort- 
able to hold ; but no stunt of ours was more popular. Moreover, it worked the 





r 50 

Company into strongly defined gangs of friendly competitors and so cemented 
friendships. Many of these gangs were afterwards converted into machine-gun 
teams and bridge-guards. The work took us into beautiful healthy country 
during week-ends. We were, of course, under much supervision, and our orders 
were sometimes conflicting. When we dug uneven trenches we were ordered to 
straighten 'em out. When we built them straight, the latest from the front told 
us they were useless and must be built as irregularly as possible. The workers 
did the turf-cutting, the digging, the picking, and the revetting. The slackers 
" tidied-up," laid the carpet on the floor (relaid the turf), and cut the snippety 
bits to fill in the gaps. 

One of our scenes of devastation was right across a golf course. Hard by 
was the golf house, and beside it a gate leading to an enclosure, placarded " For 
members only." Within, was a drove of pigs ! One of our most indefatigable 
workers, Sergeant X., was also a very great conversationalist, and he had a voice 
of a penetrating character. Once at lunch time, a member of another corps 
working near us came over, no doubt to see how trenches should be dug. He 
asked, " Is Sergeant X. still with you ? " The answer came at once, " Sergeant X. 
is with us right enough, but his best friend couldn't call him ' still ! ' " It was 
also current gossip that Sergeant X. hailed from Devonshire, and that when he 
hailed from Devonshire he could be heard in London ! 

Shooting had a great attraction for many of us, and some fine natural shots 
were discovered. Runnymede and Bisley were our favourite ranges, though 
Rainham had its supporters because matches could be bought at the canteen 
when unobtainable elsewhere. Of the incident at Runnymede which clouded 
my own career as a shot I will say nothing except that when a friend hands you his 
gun and tells you the sights are "just right" for the range, he should also add (if 
necessary) that the "leaf" of the sight has still to be raised. I am sorry for the 
sheep. I bore it no personal animus. In fact, it was an entire stranger to me. 
I cannot even say that I knew it as a kid. 

Here's an anecdote of Sergeant Witherspoon, the popular musketry instructor. 
He was instructing at the miniature range a man who subsequently developed 
into the worst shot in his Company. He had fired ten rounds, carefully coached 
throughout, and Witherspoon went up to the target to examine it. He came 
back and said nothing. "Well, Sergeant," enquired the marksman, "what's the 
score ?" " I don't exactly know," was the reply. "You've either sent ten shots 
through the same hole or you've made nine misses ! " 

Much might be written about our anti-aircraft work. It appealed to a large 
number of men, and in my Company, at least, we never had any difficulty in 
getting crews. It was, of course, not always convenient after a hard day's work 


to take on a night's work as well. The duties, however, were most cheerfully 
undertaken. Of the various posts we occupied, Woolwich was by far the most 
popular and Regent's Park the least, for there we were herded with strangers in 
over-crowded quarters, and all night long we were under the same roof as a noisy 
dynamo. Hyde Park we enjoyed most when the breezy naval men were there 
in charge of other guns. They were always friendly and ready for a yarn. We 
missed them when they left. Our quarters there consisted of a very leaky tent 
to which we were introduced in a cold wet early spring. That few of us older 
men suffered, showed how greatly one underrates one's powers of endurance. 
Strange as it may sound, Hyde Park was so noisy at night that it was a change 
to get to the quiet of the Woolwich " syrens." Curiously enough, these strident 
sounds, occurring at all kinds of intervals, disturbed no one. Perhaps it was 
that our quarters were so comfortable. In the next hut was another Battalion 
with whom we were on most friendly terms. On one occasion a popular lance- 
corporal telegraphed to our sergt. -major from the country an apology for not being 
able to join his team, "Am here on my honeymoon. Ask Emanuel to take my 
place." My reply was, " Quite willing, but will not your wife object ?" 

The guard duties at Grosvenor Bridge were undertaken in the same willing 
spirit, but they were onerous. The railway lines had to be crossed and re-crossed, 
and the traffic until midnight was incessant. In foggy or misty weather to set 
or relieve a guard was no sinecure for the N.C.O. in charge. Posts Nos. i and 2 
were on the Bridge itself and were draughty enough. The third post was on 
the level of the river-bank, and was the least pleasant of all. I was always able 
to reach it by the sense of smell alone. Those who were present at the old 
"D" Company dinner of December, 1918, will remember with delight Private 
Albino's description of this post. 

By far the most enjoyable episodes in our military career were the periodical 
camps. I fancy that Churt and Otford offered the greatest attractions. At Churt 
we were deeply indebted to our host and hostess, Lieut. Bryan Hook and his 
wife, for boundless hospitality. His house and grounds were placed freely at 
our disposal. Lieut. Hook was a keen shot, and it was at his private range that 
many of us first smelt cordite. When the local lovers complained that, however 
willing to receive Cupid's darts, they objected to our bullets rattling around 
them in the open country behind the butts, he had the safety mound considerably 
heightened. (Further particulars of our delightful host will be found in the little 
brochure entitled " Hook and I. The Story of an Attachment.") We did our 
ablutions at Churt in the purling Beck, and shaved with our mirrors pinned to 
the pines. It was there that our Only Belgian Poet, being a modest man, did 
his ablutions behind a clump of bushes next the stream. Not knowing this, 




August, 1917 




another man desiring to emply his soapy water away from the Beck itself, sent it 
flying over the bush in question and scored a bull. What the poet said is not 
included in his published poems. 

Otford was particularly popular for its perfect surroundings. The people, 
too, were friendly, and many an evening was spent in their hospitable houses. 
At our first camp there, my Company was quartered in a school house a short 
distance from the village. We made it comfortable with an abundance of straw, 
but it was a tight fit. One night "one of the boys" threw a stink bomb after 
"lights out," and the alarm was spread that the Huns were on us. At the next 
camp there we were quartered in a jolly field bounded by a narrow ditch con- 
taining running water which afforded an admirable morning tub. Only a short 
distance away was a river with deep water for a plunge and swim. 

Tadworth was essentially the " working camp," and under the circumstances 
in which it was held, both in 1917 and 1918, it says much for the spirit of the 
men that it was voted a success. Our camping ground reminds me of the estate- 
agent's advertisement of "This commanding basement." It was situate at the 
bottom of a hill, and in the notoriously wet summer of 191 7 was entirely water- 
logged when we arrived. The tents had floor boards, but as one turned over at 
night the water oozed between them. At times we had to turn out and divert 
the stream with " earth-works." This passed it on to the next tent, and so on, 
down the line. The men in the last tent had a bad time, and next morning 
brought their blankets back to store dripping wet. After two days of mud and 
falling weather the Commanding Officer took a plebiscite as to whether the camp 
should be struck. By an overwhelming majority it was decided to carry on, and 
from that moment the weather improved. All around us were the Guards' 
camps. The Guards were most friendly and offered us the hospitality of their 
messes. I think they liked us for the way in which we got through our really 
heavy work, for we had a four hour's stunt in the morning and then, after only a 
short break for lunch, another long stunt in the afternoon. I attribute to this hard 
work in the open air our complete freedom from illness during camp. 

The 1918 camp was held at Tadworth on the same ground. Fortunately a 
fine July had caked the ground, for this year we had no floor boards and the 
season was wet again. It was regarded as some blessing that we could trace, 
under the ground sheets, the gullies left by last year's rain, and in them we 
rested our weary bones each night. During day operations in the rain, the 
men wore their groundsheets as waterproofs, and many thus got lost. Whilst 
endeavouring to sleep one night (I was annoyingly near the band boys' tent, and 
they were at their liveliest after " lights out "), I heard one relating how his had 
gone. An officer had asked him to hold his charger during a rest, and when the 


lad's back was turned, the horse had chewed up his groundsheet — all except "the 
hinside of the heylet 'oles." 

A few notes which I compiled on camps and camp discipline may serve to 
bring my remarks to a close : — 

(i) The officer responsible for arrangements in advance is always delighted to receive 

" I shall I 
back reply postcards reading as follows : a r ,,, . > be able to attend camp," whether the 

communication be signed or not. 

(2) It is the duty of the C.Q.M.S. to study his men's comfort. Therefore those who like 
milk and sugar with their morning tea, their eggs soft-boiled, or soft roes in their bloaters 
should communicate their wants to him. 

(3) Men desiring their boots to be cleaned must place them outside their tents at night. 
The C.Q.M.S. has no other duties to perform between "lights out" and "reveille." 

(4) If the men in a tent are mixed, tall and short, they should be arranged overlapping 
like a parquet flooring, so as to save space. Odd-shaped men should be fitted into the 
corners. Very tall men should " pile legs " against the tent-pole. 

(5) A kit-bag is a necessity, owing to the shortage of cupboards and drawers in tent 
life. The easiest thing to find in a kit-bag is an open razor. As everything else sinks to the 
bottom, it is advisable to sew up the entrance at the top and cut another at the other end. 

(6) The larger and more important earwigs should be extracted from rifle barrels before 
rifle inspection or range tiring. 

(7) Tents desiring quiet should exhibit a notice, " No bugle calls. No orderly sergeants 
or corporals." 

(8) Match ends, tobacco tins, Battalion Orders and other rubbish should be collected 
and handed to Private Lambert, who has been through a course of camp economy, and can 
convert the camp waste into dripping. 

(9) It is the duty of the C.Q.M.S. to group the company snorers into complete choirs. 
Nothing is more annoying than for a tent to be disturbed after " lights out " by the request 
for the loan of an alto or bass. 


Drawn by J. H. Dovid 




An officer of "B" Co. 

Spoke up and said, "Suppose 
That north, beyond the Hog's Back 

Approach our stubborn foes. 

11 In camp we ne'er should loiter 
With such a supposition ; 
Come forth and reconnoitre 
Where to take up position." 

And thus it was we started 

On that eventful day — 
Day fraught with risk for one or two 
Who marched along and nothing knew 

Of what before them lay. 

When up and spake another " Pip," 
The deep discerning chap, 
"The Devil's Jumps lie north a bit, 
Let's find them on the map." 

" Halt ! " " Stand at— wheeze ! " and " Easy ! " 
Came words of quick decision, 
The while the cartographic Jumps 
Were found with true precision. 

To find them on the map, forsooth, 

Was simple, I believe ; 
The quickest way to get to them 

Less easy to achieve. 

But yet at last we found them, 

And reached the top of one 
Of those same hills on which of old 
The Devil jumped, as we've been told, 

Though why is known of none. . . . 

Our officers all disappeared, 

But why we did not ask ; 
It may have been for council. 

In pursuit of their task — 
I only know that one of them, 

The Singer, had a flask ! 

Then as we stood and waited, 

Said one upon that mound, 
" Now who will race me down the slope 
And right up yonder 'Jump' in hope, 

He may be victor crowned ? " 

Six sturdy men together 

Began that fearsome race, 
For obstacles that tripped and tore 
Covered the ground that stretched before 

The distant winning place. 

Heather and bracken waist-high stood 

All down the dew-drenched way, 
And as we stumbling ran, a shout 
Told us that two had given out, 
With puttees gone astray. 

So only four were left to clear 

The small dividing stream, 
And breast the steeper upward slope 

To the goal and the victor's gleam. 

The Poet was tall, and his beard was red, 

And as we upward came, 
Nearing the front I saw ahead 

His winning ori-flame. 


The Scribe was last to reach the top — 

And there the Poet he found, 
Victor, indeed, in that great race, 
But fallen at the winning place 
And prone upon the ground. 

When he revived a little, then 
Our backward path we traced 

Slowly and sadly down the slope 
Up which we'd madly raced. 

Then orders came by semaphore 
From those the hill upon : 
"The Scribe will take the Poet to camp, 
The rest will ' carry on.' " 

So they marched off, and only two 
Remained in that heathery waste, 
The nervous Scribe and the Poet who 
Had come in first, but very well knew 
He didn't ought to have raced. 

And soon the Poet y-flung him down, 
With arms thrown wide, supine. 

And the poor Scribe looked in vain for help 
In a world of heather and pine. 

As one whose end is nigh, the Poet 
Lay moveless, speechless, white, 

What time the Scribe paced up and down 
In helpless, hopeless plight, 

For he could not go to summon aid 
With never a roof in sight. 

An hour or more had passed, maybe, 

Ere the Poet 'gan revive, 
And these were the words he uttered 

That showed him really alive ; 
Words that delighted the journalist-Scribe, 

And made him doubly glad : 
' If I had died," the Poet said, 

" What a scoop you would have had ! " 











*<*r i* ' 





/ ' > 




THE following articles were written by Mr. J. Fayrer Hosken, a member 
of the Corps until November, 1915, when he took a commission in the 
R.T.E., and are reproduced here by kind permission of the Proprietors 
of "Punch." Nos. I and II relate to the Easter Camp at Churt, 1915, No. Ill 
to the VVhitsun Camp at Churt, and Nos. IV, V and VI to the August Camp, 
also held at Churt in the same year. The remaining papers deal with other 
activities of the Corps as seen and chronicled by Mr. Hosken. 


The whole idea of posting sentries was ridiculous. Just because we had borrowed 
part of a man's country house and called it a week-end camp there was no real 
reason for turning three men out in the cold night and calling them sentries. 

The first I heard of the business was a casual remark from our section- 
commander that I " was on two to four." I took this to be some silly attempt 
at a racing joke, so I said, "What price the field ?" just to show that I knew the 
language ; and I thought no more about it until I ran across Bailey. The same 
cryptic remark had been conveyed into Bailey's ear, but he had discovered the 
solution, though I don't believe he guessed it all by himself. The fact was we 
had been picked with Holroyd to do sentry-go between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. 
Personally I felt that the responsibility was too great, so I went in search of the 
section-commander. I told him what my doctor had said about the risk of 
exposing myself to the night air and pointed out the absurdity of posting sentries 
against a non-existent enemy. He wouldn't discuss the matter at length, and I 
suspect that he had heard some of the arguments before, though not so ably put. 

Of course I didn't get any sleep before 2 a.m. This was partly due to the 
want of " give " in the floor, partly to the undue preference shown by Bailey's 
foot for my left ear, and partly to the necessity of stopping the tendency of 


certain members of the company to snore. Some injustice was done in the last 
process, as it was difficult to locate the offenders. 

As I thought it might be wet, I borrowed Higgs's overcoat and rifle. I hate 
getting my own overcoat soaked through, and I never was any good at cleaning 
rusty rifles. 

It was a thoroughly dirty night, and I took up my position under a tree, 
leaving the others the easier task of guarding open ground. Owing to the 
discomfort of sitting in a puddle I never got properly asleep, and this accounts 
for the fact that my attention was attracted by a slight noise in my vicinity. I 
diagnosed a cat, dog or snake, all of which animals can be found in that neigh- 
bourhood. As I dislike things crawling about me at night-time I picked up a 
serviceable-looking brick and hurled it in the direction indicated. Naturally I 
didn't expect to draw a prize first shot, and was surprised and much gratified to 
hear a groan and the sound of a body falling. I had evidently brought down a 
German spy, and eagerly rushed forward to retrieve my game. It was a man 
right enough, and I found him quite easily. I found him with my feet and lost 
my initial advantage. However, my luck was in, and in the ensuing rough and 
tumble I came out on top. When Bailey and Holroyd arrived in response 
to my shouts I was well astride his shoulders and had his face concealed in 
the mud. 

They both seemed a little jealous at my success, and when they heard the 
details began to suggest that I had acted irregularly. Bailey, who was a special 
constable in his spare time, said I ought to have warned the man that " anything 
he said would be used in evidence against him." Holroyd said that I ought to 
have waited until he shot me before taking action, and then gone through some 
formula about " Halt, friend, and give the countersign." As they seemed to think 
they could still put the matter in order I appointed them my agents and gave 
them an opportunity to say their pieces. 

Bailey retired two paces and solemnly delivered his warning. He got it off 
quite well, and I admit that it sounded impressive. Holroyd wasn't quite sure 
of his part, and Bailey tried to look it up in his "Manual" while Holroyd struck 
matches. Holroyd burnt his fingers three times while Bailey was trying to find 
the place, so he had to say it from memory after all. Holroyd presented arms 
and said, " Halt. Who goes there ? Advance, friend, two paces, and give the 
countersign. Welome." We thought he had gone wrong on the word 
"Welcome," but it sounded a courteous and harmless thing to say under the 
circumstances, so we let it pass. 

The man, whose face was still firmly embedded in the mud, didn't do any 
of the things Holroyd told him. I put a little extra pressure on the back of his 


F. W. Watkinson Dr. C. D. Cardinal] H.P.Elleti Major C. Peyton Baly A. E. Crombie J. Fayrer Hosken G. F. Herbert Smith A. J. T.Abel 

W.F.Collier W.Eve H. Plunket Greene Major J. G. Gordon Casserly Bryan Hook A. Perman Lieut. A. J. Dreydel Alwyn Ball 

Gordon Parker Dk. C. Viney Braimbridge Caryl Wilbur E. W. Carter 

OFFICERS, Churt, 1915 



head to make sure he didn't say " Friend," and he had no real chance with the 
countersign, as we hadn't fixed on one. 

Everything being now in order we sent Holroyd to fetch the picket. 
Holroyd had some trouble over the picket, as they had forgotten to elect one, 
and no one volunteered. He got very unpopular through having to wake up so 
many people to arrange about it. 

In the meantime I caught cramp from sitting so long in the same position, and 
allowed Bailey to relieve me. When the picket arrived they didn't get much 
fun out of the captive, because Bailey had spoilt him for the purposes of resist- 
ance by getting more of his weight than was necessary on the man's head. The 
picket had to carry him up to the house and pour quite a lot of brandy into him 
before he showed any signs of life. They got him breathing at last, and fold off 
a fatigue party to clear off some of his mud. They hadn't properly got down to 
his skin when his power of speech revived. There seemed something familiar in 
his voice in spite of the fact that it was muffled by about a quarter of an inch of 
mud, and it occurred to me that I had better resume my sentry duty without 
delay. I didn't call any one's attention to my departure because I wasn't sure 
that I ought to have left my post. I took Bailey's military book and some one 
else's electric torch. 

My remaining hour passed quite quickly, and I was almost sorry to be 
relieved. When I got in I heard that our Commandant was up and wanted to 
see me. I found him in a dressing-gown sitting in an armchair. He wasn't 
looking very fit and had a nasty gash over the right eye. As he's in the regular 
army and only lent to us, I waited for him to start the conversation. He seemed 
to find some difficulty in getting off the mark, but on the whole performed very 
creditably for an invalid. I didn't attempt to answer half the questions he asked. 
He didn't seem to expect it — they don't in the Army. I just said, " I was on 
sentry-go, sir, at 2.35 a.m. when I heard a suspicious person. Being on active 
service at night I dispensed with the challenge, and should have fired if any 
cartridges had been served out. Under the circumstances I did the best I could 
with the material to hand. I was fortunate in capturing the intruder, and handed 
him over to the picket. I've not yet heard whether he has been identified." 

He wasn't quite himself, and I fancy my answer surprised him. He seemed 
to have a piece of mud in his throat, and before he could get it clear I had saluted 
and got away. Bailey's military book is quite a useful little thing. 

I was astir in the morning, and took a walk in the direction of the post-office. 
Before eleven o'clock I had received a telegram calling me to town on urgent 
family affairs. I had got an idea that that part of the country would have proved 
unhealthy for me. My personal view of the whole matter is that our Commandant 

F 65 

might have known that we should be awake at our posts without getting up in 
the middle of the night to find out. 


Before we went into camp our Commandant had been learning to tie knots. 
In order to let his knowledge off on us he decided to build a bridge, and asked 
us to help him. Bridge building requires a number of pieces of wood. These 
can be commandeered without difficulty if the owner isn't about. If he catches 
you, you appeal to his patriotism. The bits of wood are tired together with rope 
and lashings (string and twine stretch too much). If the bits of wood stay where 
you have tied them, you call the result a bridge ; if they change their positions 
much you rename it a boom or barricade, according to whether you are using 
water or not. Water isn't essential to bridge-building, but it adds to the amuse- 
ment. If the bridge stands up long enough you call in the photographer. You 
further test it by detailing the officers and men whose loss won't affect the 
efficiency of the Battalion to tread on it. This affords practice for the stretcher- 
bearers and hospital orderlies. When you have discovered how many men the 
bridge won't carry, you can either reconstruct it or revert to the boom or barricade 

Our Commandant, who has a sense of humour, borrowed a pond. We 
succeeded in commandeering the wood, though not without having to appeal 
to the owner's patriotism. We told him that every log which he lent us would 
probably save the life of a man at the Front. He was either very obtuse or no 
patriot, and we had to promise to return the logs in the same state of repair in 
which we had found them (fair wear and tear excepted). As our Commandant 
wasn't present we offered his personal guarantee. The log-owner knew our Com- 
mandant, and we had to throw in a Quartermaster and Paymaster. The Quarter- 
master got the rope and lashings on credit. 

The pond had a ready-made island in the middle, and we were ordered to 
throw the bridge on to the island. Bailey didn't understand that the word 
"throw" was used in the technical sense and started with the ingredients. He 
was short with the first three logs and the splashes attracted the attention of our 
Company Commander. This of itself was enough to spoil Bailey's day, apart 
from other incidents. 

We laid a number of logs on the ground in a nice pattern and the Com- 
mandant named the pieces. We never decided on the name of one big log ; I 
called it "Splintery Bill" (after the Adjutant), the Commandant called it a 
"transom," and the Adjutant, when it fell on his toe, called it something else. 



Churt, Easter and Whitsuntide 


f. 66 

The Commandant showed us how to use his knots in tying the logs together. 
We made the knots, and he said that we had constructed a trestle. When we 
tried to stand the thing on end it didn't look in the least like a trestle. Our 
Commandant said we hadn't made the knots as he told us, and that he would 
have to do it himself. When he had finished, it held together better, but didn't 
look quite sober. After a third combined attempt we were able to attach road- 
bearers and get it into the water. We started to hammer it into the mud, but 
some of the blows weren't accurate, and Holroyd had to retire to the hospital 
tent while we repaired damage. Eventually we got the trestle fixed up and 
attached pieces of wood called chesses to the road-bearers. If these things are 
properly applied you can walk on them, and our Junior Platoon Commander was 
requisitioned to demonstrate the fact. Either he didn't tread on the good chesses 
or the whole thing wasn't as practicable a piece of work as it looked. He joined 
Holroyd in the hospital tent. 

The other trestles had to be erected in deeper water, and wading volunteers 
were called for. Our uniform isn't guaranteed unshrinkable, and there was a 
shortage of volunteers. The discovery of a boat seemed likely to solve the diffi- 
culty. The boat wasn't found in the water, so we didn't know for certain if it 
was watertight. No mention of this possible defect was made to Bailey when 
we started him on his cruise. Bailey was half-way between the bank and the 
island when the boat sank. Bailey can't swim very well and a fatigue party had 
to be told off to rescue him. Bailey and his rescuers all say that the corps ought 
to pay for their new uniforms. Since then our boy buglers (to whom the 
shrunken uniforms were transferred) have declined to wear them on the ground 
that they haven't shrunk in the right proportions. Boys are far too fastidious 
now-a-days ; it is absurd to suggest that they cannot bugle evenly with one sleeve 
shorter than the other. 

We got the bridge finished without many more accidents and appointed the 
committee to test it. Our Commandant wouldn't lead the committee. He said 
that we were retreating and that he was going to direct operations against the 
advancing enemy from his proper place in the rear. Only four men retreated 
over the bridge. When it collapsed two Platoon Commanders remained on the 
bridge to the last. The men who had got on to the island seemed pleased with 
themselves and rather amused when the bridge became a boom. They were 
quite upset when they found out that we hadn't time to build another bridge 
for them to cross back again. It was the hour for tea, and bridge-building is 
really engineers' work. It isn't necessary for riflemen to keep on at it when they 
have once learned how it is done. The islanders said that they would rather 
stay where they were than go home through the water. The Commandant 


said he didn't mind so long as they were comfortable, and we marched back 
to camp. 

They arrived in camp very wet and hungry just before " lights out." They 
had got to dislike the island. They said the place was damp and unhealthy, and 
that the only available food was a duck and some duck's eggs. They hadn't any 
means of cooking the duck, and the bird, who was sitting on the eggs, refused to 
be dissociated from them. In any case there was nothing to indicate their age. 
The society, too, was very limited; they weren't on very good turns with one 
another; and the duck, owing to its interest in the eggs, was quite unclubable. 

On the following day there was a very interesting triangular discussion 
between the log-owner, the pond-owner and our Commandant on the rights of 


Our Commandant is very pleased about it. Nearly all the photographs came out 
very well, and the Censor has passed some of them for publication. I think that 
the snapshot of the Adjutant misjudging the width of a trench was rightly censored. 
It is a pity that some of the villagers, including three boys and two of the oldest 
inhabitants, got into the group of officers entitled " not too old to fight." 

A battalion of regulars, who, also taking advantage of the fine weather and 
holiday season, had pitched their tents in our neighbourhood, took a great interest 
in us, especially in our red armlets. It cost us a long time to convince them that 
we weren't a flock of budding staff officers out for a picnic, or a battalion in 
quarantine. It wasn't until they saw us manoeuvring that they understood that 
the armlet scheme was to prevent the possibility of the Germans missing any of 
us if we went into action. 

Our ceremonial parade was marred by the conduct of the leading Platoon 
Commander, who was guilty of three breaches of military etiquette on the march 
past, none of which was excusable — even if a mosquito did bite him under the 
left eye at a critical moment. He said something that was not in the Infantry 
Training Book, threw the battalion out of step and finished his salute before 
passing the post. 

The camp pastimes consisted largely of trench digging and tactical manoeuvres. 
The ungrudging manner in which one of our Platoon Commanders in the course 
of swinging a pick sacrificed his near fourth rib to the common good was voted a 
sporting effort ; but Holroyd's double event with his neighbour's shoulder and 
his own shin in one swing was considered clumsy. Considerable ingenuity was 
shown in disguising the trenches. In spite of our Commandant's disparaging 
remarks I still think that my idea of laying out our parapet as a potato bed was 


(Rev. J. Caktmel-Robinson) 

Chi rt, Acgi st, 1915 

D COMPANY QUARTERS, School House, CHliia 
Algi st, 1915 ' 


most practical, and that it was churlish and unsporting of the original potato- 
planter to complain to our Commandant. A man is not much of a man who 
cannot give up a few unripe potatoes for his country. 

My first idea was mustard and cress, and after consultation with a local 
gardener I came to the conclusion that the best plan would be to start the seeds 
growing on flannel. As I hadn't got enough flannel I had to use Higgs's blanket 
and rug. I watered the blanket and rug well before spreading the seeds, and 
I am sure that the scheme would have been a success but for Higgs's lack of 
co-operation. I was just going to explain the matter to him when "lights out" 
sounded, and he went to bed hurriedly with my seeds. Of course he discovered 
his mistake at once, but the damage was done, and we were both reprimanded 
by the Section Commander for creating a disturbance in billets. I think that I 
shall try for strawberries if we entrench in the summer. Bailey's river scene, 
with bulrushes and waterlilies, would have been all right if his trench had not 
been on the rise of a hill and if the scene had harmonised with the next trench, 
which was adorned with gorse and tulips. 

A grand finale to the camp was provided by an exhibition battle between 
the infantry and the motor squadron. Our operations— I am infantry — were 
considerably hampered by the insubordination of the Commandant's horse. 
First, he refused to bring back his hay-cart in time and was late for parade ; 
secondly, he was insulting to the Adjutant, who had waited for him and wanted 
to exhibit his knowledge of the haute ccole, and thirdly he objected to the 
Commandant unfolding the plan of campaign to our officers from his back. 
While the Commandant was endeavouring to explain that the motor squadron 
was going to make a surprise attack on us, the attack happened and the surprise 
was complete. Considering the number of conflicting orders which were given 
we did fairly well, and most of us found some kind of cover. I concealed myself 
in a furze bush which I hadn't noticed until I got there. Bailey found cover for 
one leg in a rabbit hole, and this helped him to lie down very quickly ; he kept 
lying down until the ambulance came up. Having fired five rounds rapid into our 
officers and one another we had leisure to look for the motor squadron. We felt 
that they had taken a mean advantage in attacking when our Commandant's horse 
was entertaining us by giving an exhibition cake-walk, so we decided to charge 
them. This figure was a great success, as they imagined that we had practically 
annihilated ourselves. They didn't know that our infantry is as resilient as the 
Russian army. We could have captured them all if we hadn't wanted the 
spectators to see them retreat along the road. We had a crowd of spectators 
whom our ex-Adjutant had invited to motor down to see us perform. He had 
posted them on a hill commanding a view of the whole operations, and doubtless 


they would have been much impressed if he hadn't told them beforehand every- 
thing that was going to happen. Unfortunately, owing to the conduct of the 
Commandant's horse nothing happened that he had told his friends about, and 
his reputation as a military prophet is ruined. 

We didn't go back to camp after wiping out the motor squadron, but 
marched straight on the railway station. The motor squadron tried to attack us 
again on the way, but we weren't going to fight dead men, and there were too 
many regulars about, so we just told them not to be silly and took no further 
notice of them. 


"You must see the Camp Quartermaster's store." The voice was the voice of 
our Commandant, and I was the Camp Quartermaster. The person addressed I 
guessed to be the General, who was paying us a surprise visit. In our camps we 
are prepared for any emergency and, curiously enough, the whole camp had that 
morning been scrubbed and cleaned in case anything like an unexpected visit 
from the General should occur. I glanced round the store to make sure that it 
was in a suitable condition to be surprised, and I started furiously adding up 
figures in order to be surprised while engaged in my work. 

"This, General, is the Camp Quartermaster." I hurriedly put down my 
pen, rose from my chair and stood on my cap, which I had hastily removed and 
placed out of sight on the floor so as not to embarrass the General by making 
him acknowledge a salute in a confined space. 

For the General I was prepared ; but that Mrs. General and several other 
ladies would be in attendance I had not anticipated. I forthwith removed one 
foot from my cap and got my face mixed up with the bunch of bananas which 
I had hung over my table in order to give an artistic Oriental appearance to 
the store. 

"You would hardly think that this gentleman is a distinguished writer," said 
our Commandant, meaning me. The look of frank incredulity on the face of the 
General, if somewhat offensive, was thoroughly justified, as of course I am not 
a distinguished writer or anything of the kind, though our Commandant usually 
introduces us to strangers as persons distinguished in something other than 
soldiering, so as to gloss over any slight error of military etiquette of which we 
may be guilty. Out of loyalty to our Commandant I endeavoured to assume 
what I believed to be the air of a distinguished writer, though I was considerably 
handicapped by still having one foot on my cap and my face in the bunch of 

" How interesting ! " murmured the ladies. 



August, 1915 

CllL'KI, Al Gl ST, [915 

Ciiukt. An, 1 st, 1915 

r- 7° 

" Really ! " said the General. " What do you write ? " 

" Orders for beer mostly," I muttered. 

" I shall be very interested to read them," said the General, who could hardly 
have caught the full purport of my reply, as he had meantime wrapt his head 
in one of those long sticky things which are known as "fly cemeteries" and are 
to be found hanging in every self-respecting store. In spite of the fact that we 
all worked our hardest, the process of disentangling him took time, as fly 
cemeteries are elusive things and as soon as we got one end off one ear the other 
end adhered to his other ear. 

" So this is your store," said the General's wife, who was the first to recover. 
" What's the price of potatoes ?" I had expected this and in anticipation of the 
General's visit (I mean in view of the possibility of a visit from the General) I had 
learnt the price of every kind of potato that had ever been raised. The making 
or marring of a Quartermaster depends on whether or not he can tell the General 
the price of potatoes. I could have given the right answer at any moment up to 
the time of his becoming involved with the fly cemetery, but now it had vanished 
from me like a Zeppelin in the night. 

" Potatoes — yes, of course these are potatoes," I said, and endeavoured to 
change the conversation by treading on a pot of jam, " and this is jam, as you see 
by the pips " 

"What's the price of potatoes?" rudely interrupted the General, whose 
temper was slightly ruffled by the number of semi-defunct flies which still 
adhered to his scalp. 

" It depends whether you mean London potatoes or country potatoes, Sir, 
because, of course, you can get potatoes in the country as well as in London. 
Personally I prefer the London variety. This potato (I picked one up out of the 
sack) is a Londoner ; the country kind are similar in shape but of course cleaner. 
I have had some country ones here and, as a matter of fact, kept one to show 
you in case you came down, but it died yesterday and we had to cook it. I don't 
remember exactly what I paid for this particular potato; you see I've had to buy 
several and they're difficult to identify and the price varies according to the 
market value. I'm afraid that in England the civilian doesn't pay sufficient 
attention to the price of potatoes, but in Germany things are different ; that's 
why we get so many conflicting reports. I've read as many as two absolutely 
contradictory accounts of the German potato crop in the same paper. According 
to one account the last potato in Germany had been destroyed by an air raid ; 
according to the other potatoes were so plentiful that they were'nt worth picking 
and were simply rotting on the trees." 

" Potatoes on trees ! " said Mrs. General. 


That's the worst of women, they always know about these domestic things. 

Providentally the General at this moment became involved in another fly 
cemetery, and while we unglued him I remembered the price of potatoes. 

"You know, Sir, of course," I said "that the present price of potatoes in the 
London market is six shillings per cwt, and sixpence more in the country. Yes, 
that is tinned milk ; fresh milk is sold only in the towns. I buy my bananas from 
Spain, and the curious thing is that the men prefer marmalade to jam. Good-bye, 
Sir, the flies are troublesome, aren't they ?" 



The worst of Adjutants is that they have so much time on their hands that they 
can go about asking silly questions. I was busy at something or another when 
our Adjutant asked me if I would quartermaster our summer camp, and I daresay 
that I did, absentmindedly and in accordance with military etiquette, answer in 
the affirmative. Anyway, I thought no more about it until the middle of July, 
when the Adjutant came along and asked what I was doing about the camp. 

"What camp?" 

" The summer camp." 

" Is there going to be one ? " 

" Yes, and you have been appointed Camp Quartermaster." 

"Very interesting. Any men going?" 

"That's what I was going to ask you. It's your business to find out." 

"All right, I'll ask the Company Commanders. Do I have to do anything 

" Not much. You have to provide tents for the battalion, and see to the 
food and things, and just run the camp. That's all." 

"That sounds easy." 

" Yes, but you may have trouble about the tents. I hear there aren't any to 
be got." 

" Perhaps we'd better not mention that to the men until they get there." 

" No, especially as there's no chance of billeting them." 

" How long will the camp last?" 

"About a fortnight, and if there aren't enough men we can stop it sooner." 

" That's a most satisfactory idea and will make it easier for everyone to make 
their arrangements — especially me." 

"Well, you must do the best you can, and I think you'd better begin to see 
about it." 






*r* LT, 




















/• 7: 

I saluted, and that's how I became Camp Quartermaster. The Adjutant's 
one sensible idea was about beginning to see about it, and I accordingly started 
to worry the Company Commanders, who worried the Seconds-in-command, who 
worried the Company Sergeant-Majors, who worried the Company Quartermaster- 
Sergeants, who worried the Platoon Sergeants, who worried the men, and, as 
that's the only way that things begin to move in the Army, things began to move. 

I found that the Adjutant wasn't as wrong as usual about tents being 
unprocurable. It seems that the War Office had; decided to use tents in con- 
nection with their war, and that several other people were thinking of holding 
summer camps. These things had been told to the tent-makers, who are pessi- 
mistic people, and, if I had believed the first half-a-dozen firms whom I ap- 
proached, I should have come to the conclusion that there wasn't a tent to be 
procured in the country. However, by a process of pretending that I didn't 
really want tents but was writing an article on the lack of enterprise in British 
industries and in tent-making in particular, I got the offer of quite a number of 
tents at more or less reasonable prices. To the surprise and annoyance of the 
tent-makers I accepted some of these offers and directed them to despatch the 
tents to the remote and inaccessible part of the country where we had decided 
to hold our camp. This put fresh heart into the tent-makers, as they were able 
to assure me that no railway company would carry tents, and that the War Office 
had bought up every available motor lorry. They were right about the motor 
lorries, but I discovered a railway company that was willing to carry tents if and 
when they had time, and if they could find the necessary trucks and the men to 
load them. When it got round that I had secured tents, about ten members of 
the battalion assured me that, if they had known that I wanted tents, they could 
have obtained them for me for nothing. I effectually stopped this kind of talk 
by telling them that I wanted lots more tents and eagerly accepting their offers 
to get them. 

Having more or less settled the tent problem I turned my attention to the 
food question, and sent for the battalion Quartermaster-Sergeant, who incidentally 
was once a real Quartermaster-Sergeant. He said that he knew all about feeding 
troops, but couldn't tell me accurately how many stones go to a pound of plum 
jam, or how many raisins each man is entitled to in a ration of plum duff. He 
was willing to hazard an opinion on relatively trivial details like meat, but on 
important questions like pate de foie gras and turnips and the service allowance 
of pepper per man for breakfast, and whether an infantry man was entitled to one 
pickle and a cavalry man to two pickles for tea he was hopelessly uninformed. 
The best he could do was to offer to look up a book of Army Regulations which 
had been issued to him in 1856, and which he thought still held good. 


On inquiry I ascertained that our last Camp Quartermaster, after feeding 
the battalion on a consistent dietary of pork sausages for four days, had retired to 
a private home for the feeble-minded, where he was passing his time calculating 
how many sausages it will take to feed a battalion of uncertain number for a week 
on the basis that pork sausages go bad in geometrical progression, starting at one- 
eighth of a sausage for the first day and going on at the double. I felt certain 
that mutiny would be the result of attempting to feed the battalion on pork 
sausages for a fortnight in a year when there was no R in the month of August, 
which Matilda assured me is the sole test as to whether or not pork is fit for 
human consumption. 

Obtaining no assistance from the Army or our own past experience I turned 
my attention to marine records, and found that the staple food of the sea is 
vinegar. As the weather looked wet and stormy I decided to adopt a vinegar 
diet, especially as vinegar is easily bought and, being wrapt up in barrels, can be 
handled with facility. 

Both Matilda and the battalion Quartermaster-Sergeant thought that the 
men would expect meat either as a relish or an alternative to the vinegar, as 
some of them at least would be landlubbers and not entirely attuned to the 
vinegar diet, and I accordingly agreed to risk the expense of adding meat to the 

Subject to the state of the Editor's digestive organs I will tell you some other 
time how to buy meat for the Army and the kind of things that the War Office 
do by way of intervention when they find out that you have laid in stocks of 
tents, vinegar and meat with a view to holding a camp. 


Matilda rather misled me on the question of buying meat. She said that 
there was no particular trick about it ; that all you have to do is to go to a place 
where they sell meat and buy it, taking care that you get the right weight and 
that the man does not throw too much bone and bits of sheep's head and cow's 
feet on the scale. She said that a purveyor of meat is easily identified because 
he wears a peculiar blue costume and that the only person you can possibly 
mistake him for is a wounded soldier. 

I got into the right kind of place first time and said, " I should like to see 
some meat." 

The man didn't take any notice of me until he had finished cutting off and 
wrapping up in newspaper a lump of meat for a ready-money customer. Then 
he said, "What kind of meat?" 

" Beef and mutton and such like things." 


K. \\\ \\ Atkinson R. H. Dewhukst F. L. Maitland Davidson 
C. Wilbur H. P. Ei.i.ett G. F. Herbert Smith W. F. Collier Owen Davies W. Eve 

Capt. Field A. E. Crombie Major J. G. Gordon Cassekly A. Perman H. Plunket Greene 
S. D. Jolly R.T.Vernon ' Stanley Newman A. J. T. Abel 

OFFICERS, Churt, August, 1915 

Back Row : G. A. Herbert S. Shinn N. Newall W. H. Ansell C. E. Fullac;ar Allen Gili 
Third Row: P. F. Ellisdon A. Grove W. H. Dean B. V. le Breton F.W.Gardner A.W.Robinson W. H. Brass 
G. B. H. Gordon H. T. Chapple G. Saville F. Abell E. M. Shattock R. M. Wheeler A. J. Clayton E. B. P. Mansel 

C. Smithers 
Second Row : H. G. Lane F.N.Trier Martin Hardie H. G. Shears R.Q.M.S. R.S.M. Utting H. R. Pycock 

G. J. Browne R. O. Bell S. Strube G. E. Floors A. R. Myers 
Front How : A. J. Driver M, Dicksee W. C. Knight A. G. Richardson Bugler Hanley F. W. Jenkins T. R. Holland 


X.C.O.'s, Churt, August, 1915 


The butcher affectionately slapped the piece of meat which he had been 
carving and said, " That's a nice piece of steak." 

" How much meat have you got there?" I asked. 

"About five pounds; I'll weigh it for you." 

" I think I shall want rather more that that." 

He fetched down quite a large piece of meat off a hook, weighed it, and said 
it was twenty-two pounds. 

" I was thinking of buying a larger piece than that," I said. 

" How much was you wanting?" 

" The piece I had in mind should weigh between three and four thousand 
pounds." The eager look which came into his eyes was quickly succeeded by 
something akin to fear as he went to the door to make sure the policeman was 
taking his usual afternoon nap in the neighbourhood. 

" If you was wanting to buy meat, I can sell it you, but if you was looking 
for a flock of sheep or a herd of oxen, I admit I haven't got 'em in stock." 

" I don't necessarily want to take it all with me," I said. 

" What with my boy leaving me and my assistant joining the Army, I haven't 
got time to waste joking. Perhaps you was thinking of giving a party ?" 

" No I wasn't ; I just wanted some meat, but I see you aren't accustomed to 
serve large families and I'd better try elsewhere. 1 suppose it's possible to buy 
meat for a battalion somewhere in this town." 

" If you want to buy meat for the Army you'll have to go to the meat market." 

The meat market is a dull place ; the mention of thousands of pounds of 
meat doesn't excite the inhabitants in the least, and they were rather bored with 
my little order; however, they condescended to deliver the stuff for me after 
totting it up in sheep and oxen. 

In spite of the fact that I had the vinegar and more than one kind of meat both 
Matilda and the Quartermaster-Sergeant thought that the men would expect a still 
greater variety, and under protest I added a few things like bread, jam and cheese. 
I avoided small tradesmen in making these purchases, as they are so suspicious, 
and only dealt with people who had the capital to carry a decent sized stock. 

When the War Office heard about the things that Matilda and the Quarter- 
master-Sergeant had persuaded me to buy they naturally got jealous and started 
sending out circulars to say that they weren't going to put up with any com- 
petition with their camps, and that all camps without their name on were spurious 
and contrary to law. Of course, I didn't worry about the War Office because I 
know their printed circulars don't mean anything and are only sent out to do the 
printers and the post-office a turn, but the Adjutant and our Commandant (who 
is in the regular army and doesn't understand War Office humour) seemed to 


think that we ought to scratch the camp. They got the idea that I had let myself 
into some kind of a mess by what they were pleased to term my premature 
purchase of goods, and the idea seemed to amuse them until I explained that 
I had bought all the goods in their names, and that when the Corps funds were 
exhausted they would be personally responsible for the balance. 

So they went to talk to the War Office about it, and met all the other 
Volunteer Commandants and Adjutants up there on the same errand. When the 
War Office found how unpopular their circular had made them, and how they 
couldn't move about without falling over Volunteer Commandants and Adjutants, 
they said they didn't object to camps being held if the G.O.C.'s of the various 
districts didn't object. Some people, who took the War Office literally, wrote to 
the G.O.C.'s of the respective districts where they proposed to camp and got 
leave, which was then cancelled by the War Office. For myself, I took no such 
risk; and as neither the War Office nor the G.O.C. of any district found out 
about our camp, we did'nt do any harm to anyone but ourselves, and we only 
caught little things like rheumatism and indigestion. If anyone does find out 
about it I shall apologise for my mistake and trust to his being too busy to do 
anything further in the matter. 

The camp was rather a success ; we got most of the tents to stand up, and 
some of them kept the rain out, including those that mattered (I mean, of course, 
mine and the Commandant's and the Adjutant's). By marking all the things 
"Goods for Troops" I persuaded the railway company to deliver most of our 
provender in the belief that they were helping the Government, who are among 
their best customers in these days. I showed the Government mark on the tents 
to the railway people, and they weren't to know, any more than I was when I 
bought them, that it was the condemned mark. 

The vinegar didn't go so well as I had expected, and I had a good deal left 
on my hands in spite of the fact that I got quite a lot off in the shape of claret-cup, 
which I retailed in the canteen. Some of the meat rounded on me and was 
accorded a military funeral, but not enough to make a fuss about. I had to 
pledge locally what was left of the Commandant's and the Adjutant's credit to 
make up for the unused vinegar and defective meat, but there has been no trouble 
on that score up to now as they won't know about it until the bills come in, and 
by that time I shall either be on permanent leave or else have enlisted. 


We held them in camp, and they passed off with less than usual of the friction 
commonly associated with such events. It is true that the regulars who shared 
our neighbourhood elected, in a spirit of friendly emulation, to hold their sports 


Churt, August, 1915 



on the same day, but we came to an amicable agreement as to the division of the 
available wounded soldiers and other spectators. We didn't invite the Provost- 
Marshal, partly because we thought that a number of Volunteers in uniform, 
complete with brassard, whilst not engaged in strict military duties, might bring 
on an attack of dyspepsia, and partly because we knew that he was busy using 
his free pass to the music-halls. 

In the tug-of-war, the Motor-Squadron ought to have been handicapped, as 
the practice they had had in hauling their cars out of ditches gave them an unfair 
advantage. An attempt by "A" Company to make up for their want of skill by 
trickery proved abortive. They concealed entrenching tools about their persons 
and promptly fell down and started digging themselves in. There is a slight 
difference of opinion as to whether their Company Commander was justified in 
blowing the "Cease Fire" on his whistle in order to encourage them at the 
moment when they were on the verge of defeat. 

The obstacle race was a great disappointment to the Ambulance section, as 
there were scarcely any casualties worth mentioning. The two men who were 
nearlv suffocated under the tarpaulin both "came to" while the stretchers were 
being fetched, and the way in which Holroyd's collar-bone refused to break was 
declared by the Ambulance to be contrary to all the rules of anatomy and could 
only have been brought about by a malicious desire to deprive them of a well-merited 
case. Holroyd says that he always "takes off" from his collar-bone when going 
over an obstacle, and that he would have won the race but for the officious inter- 
ference of the Ambulance. In the end the Ambulance section had to content 
themselves with one sprained ankle, two barked shins, and Bailey's contused eye. 
Bailey's eye got like that through the success of my scheme in substituting a 
painted over-ripe egg for the apple in his basin of water. The apple has to be 
got out of the basin of water by the competitor with his mouth, without the use 
of his hands. I explained to Bailey before the race that the correct procedure 
was to get the apple against the side of the basin and then give it a sharp bite. 
If Bailey's apple hadn't been an egg he would have been very successful, but he 
was so surprised when he found half an unpalatable egg in his mouth that he 
dropped his glasses in the basin. The Judge, who hadn't thoroughly grasped the 
situation, refused to allow Bailey to fish for his glasses and insisted on his pro- 
ceeding with the race. Bailey, who doesn't see very well with glasses and is 
practically blind without them, set off in the wrong direction, trod on the man 
next to him, and contused his eye on the basin next but one. The man on whom 
Bailey trod was very cross because, after two abortive attempts to eat his own 
beard, he had just secured the apple and, owing to Bailey's clumsiness, he had 
to start all over again. 


If we had told the people who loaned us the forms that we were going to use 
them for a land boat race I expect that they would have supplied us with a more 
durable make or else not loaned any at all. Higgs lost the race for our Company 
by falling off in front of our boat. By the time that we had discovered that he 
was lying on the missing leg of our form the Motor Squadron, whose mechanical 
experience had enabled them to adjust the dislocated parts of their form quicker 
than anyone else, had won the race. 

In the Staff race the hired cook's mate, who doesn't understand military 
discipline, tactlessly beat our Commandant by about two ribs of beef. Our 
Commandant was, as usual, closely followed by the Adjutant, with the rest of 
the staff at a respectful distance. The Camp Quartermaster got a bad start 
owing to an ill-timed enquiry by the cook as to whether any provision had been 
made for the next morning's breakfast. 

In spite of the misapplied energy of Bailey, Higgs and Holroyd our Company 
scored the greatest number of points and won the Company Challenge Cup. The 
only trouble about that cup is that we don't know what to do with it now that we 
have got it. Our Company Commander seems condemned to carry it about with 
him for the rest of his life. Whenever he puts it down someone picks it up and 
gives it back to him. The last time that I saw him he was starting on a seven- 
mile march from the camp to the nearest railway station carrying the cup, which 
had just been handed to him for the fifteenth time. 


I have developed quite a martial bearing lately, and this has led to a rumour 
that I am seeking promotion. This rumour appears to have reached our Com- 
pany Commander. He found me in the canteen the other night and asked me 
if I could instruct a squad in the use of the rifle. I said, "Yes, Sir." One always 
says "Yes, Sir" in the Army to an officer when he asks if you can do anything. 
He may take your word for it, in which case you get credit easily. He may 
pursue the matter further, and then you have to explain that you thought that he 
meant something else or trust to his putting down your answer to an excess of 
optimism. There is no punishment in the King's Regulations for optimism. My 
Company Commander pursued the matter further. He improvised a squad 
consisting of two Platoon Commanders, one Sergt. -Major, two Section Com- 
manders, one Private and himself. On his instructions the Sergt. -Major dumped 
a rifle in my hands. I was told that my squad consisted of recruits and knew 
nothing and that I was to instruct them in the use of the rifle. 

I admit that I was nervous. I didn't mind the squad so much, though the 


Churt, August, [915 






Scrgt. -Major fell in with an annoying grin on his face. It was the rifle that put 
me off; I have felt the same sensation when a female relative has unexpectedly 
handed a baby to me, and I believe that I nursed that rifle in somewhat the same 
way. It seemed to have a peevish look as though it knew that I was going to 
say slanderous things about it. However, I pulled myself together and assumed 
as nearly as possible the Sergt. -Major's air and began. 

" Gentlemen — I should say — Squad. Strictly speaking, I shouldn't have 
addressed you as ' Gentleman,' you being recruits, though personally I see no 
reason why the courtesies of life should be disregarded even in the Army, but I 
know certain people hold a different opinion." 

I glanced at the Sergt. -Major to see if he had grasped my point, but he 
hadn't properly finished his original grin, so I said, " No laughing in the ranks," 
and that brought his face into the normal with a jerk. This restored my con- 
fidence, and I felt that I should get through all right if I didn't have to particularise 
too minutely about the weapon, and I went on, "Now I'm going to instruct you 
in the use of the rifle. You're only recruits, so you don't know anything about 
it ; I'm instructing you, and you've got to believe what I tell you. I don't want 
you to forget that. These are little things, but if you remember them you won't 
— forget them. 

" Now this is a rifle. As you're recruits, you haven't seen one before and it 
may be a long time before you see one again. Look at it well so that if you should 
happen to meet one you will recognise it. The rifle is primarily used for drilling 
purposes. It can be carried in various positions which I won't trouble you about 
now. Its primary object is to accustom the soldier to carrying heavy weights and 
to restrain the exuberance of his spirits. You want to be careful how you carry it 
or you'll become a nuisance to your neighbours and an expense to your country. 
Its secondary object is to shoot at an enemy, if you happen to meet one and some- 
body has remembered to issue the cartridges. You will notice that the rifle has 
two ends. This is the butt end and this is — the other end. You want to 
remember this, as if you mistake the ends you may do unintentional damage. It 
is mostly held by the butt end, except when clubbing an enemy or other un- 
desirable person. ' Clubbing ' is not recommended. If you hit the enemy you 
may strain the rifle ; if you miss him you'll probably strain your arms. 

" To load the rifle you pull this thing down " — I pulled at what I subse- 
quently discovered to be the trigger guard, but nothing happened. I then tried 
another likely-looking piece of metal and to my gratification this gave way and 
disclosed a hole. I at once showed this hole to my squad and continued — 

"You will observe that this part of the rifle, which is known as the barrel, 
has a hole at each end. You put your cartridge in this end, and, if your rifle is 


well constructed, the bullet comes out the other end. Of course the rifle won't 
as a general rule fire itself ; you have to help it. You do this by pulling the 
trigger. This protuberance here is technically called the trigger. It's important 
that you should know this because, if you don't know the trigger, you can't be 
expected to pull it and your rifle as often as not won't go off. You'll look silly if 
your comrades are shooting Germans like rabbits and you don't get one through 
not finding the trigger. 

"The rifle may be fired standing, sitting, kneeling or lying down, but in no 
other positions. You should remember this so as not to make stupid mistakes. 
And you want to be careful which way your rifle is pointing when it goes off. 
It's best to point it in the direction of the enemy, otherwise the bullet may fly 
off harmlessly or only strike one of your own men. This is a waste of Govern- 
ment ammunition and may tend to make you unpopular among your fellows. 
During training, inanimate targets will be supplied for shooting practice. 
Interned and imprisoned Germans are required by the Government to occupy 
first-class liners and expensive mansions and won't be let out for other purposes. 
Targets are not so interesting to shoot at as live enemies, but they have the merit 
of not being able to shoot back. To each target there is a marker. If the 
marker dislikes you he will signal ' miss ' every time you fire, and you'll be sent 
back for further instruction in aiming. You ought to be careful to hit the right 
target. If you get a bull on the wrong target it may be scored up to the man 
next to you and he will thus obtain an unfair advantage. 

" Well, then, that's the rifle and how to use it. I haven't given it to you 
exactly in the words of the book, because it isn't expressed very clearly there 
and, being recruits, you mightn't understand it all. You can read what it says in 
the book at any time and you don't need me to repeat it to you. Now, don't say 
you haven't been told about the rifle if anyone asks you. Of course you haven't 
learnt everything about every rifle — nobody has. Rifles are like women and each 
one has its own little idiosyncrasies. The best rifles have a kind of hold-all in 
the butt where you carry your cigarettes and matches on active service and, if 
there's any room left, a cleaning outfit. This rifle is one of the simpler kind and 
doesn't seem to have such a thing about it. If it has I haven't touched the right 
spring to open it, but then I'm not accustomed to handling second-rate goods. 

" Now, you'd better each go through what I've told you and I'll correct you 
when you're wrong." 

The rumour of my promotion is still unconfirmed, but I gather that this is 
due to red tape or jealousy. 


CAMP KITCHEN, Chukt, August, 1915 


t • 


We are a Rifle Brigade. Of course we haven't any real rifles nor are we really 
a brigade. But on account of our designation we do things differently from the 
common infantryman, and most of us do them differently from any kind of 

For the purposes of our business of a Rifle Brigade we are possessed of a 
number of obsolete weapons, dating from the year 1870, nicknamed rifles. They 
are cold uncompanionable things, but, out of consideration for the feelings of the 
enthusiast who acquired them, we quite often take them about with us. Luckily 
there are more men than weapons and the laggards are compelled to parade 
without arms. Until the occasion to which I am about to refer I have always 
succeeded in being a laggard. 

It happened just before Whitsuntide. The parade was unusually small and 
I was compelled to appear complete with rifle. I admit that the thing made me 
nervous, but I dragged it forth with an assumed air of nonchalance and stood at 
ease with eclat. The Sergt. -Major who was in charge of the parade suddenly 
barked at us, and from sheer fright I arrived at a position something resembling 
what I believe is technically known as "the order." In the pause that ensued I 
ascertained that my short ribs had only been contused and not broken by the 
end of the metal tubing. 

"Shoulder — arms!" yelled the Sergt. -Major. I really believe that I should 
have done that too if the metal projection called the foresight had not entangled 
itself in my coat. This made me late on the movement, and the Sergt. -Major 
scowled at me. I was cross about it too because the piece of my coat which was 
hanging on the weapon was a material part of the garment. The movement not 
having been entirely satisfactory, we were directed to "order arms" again. I 
endeavoured to make up for my previous laxity by extra smartness, but misjudged 
the position of the little toe of my right foot. Its contact with the butt end of the 
rifle caused me to exclaim, and I was severely reprimanded for talking in the 

I confess that " Present arms ! " had me beaten, but I did my best. I 
wriggled the weapon into what, as far as I could judge from a side-glance at my 
neighbour, was a correct position. But when the Sergt.-Major's eye lit on me I 
had a feeling that all was not well. He strode silently but relentlessly in my 
direction. A person of less courage would have dropped the treacherous instru- 
ment and fled, but not I. Recalling the fact that I was an Englishman and a 
soldier, I tenaciously stood my ground. The Sergt. -Major paused for a moment 
in front of me, and then he spake. 1 will say this for our Sergt. -Major — he is 

G 8l 

thorough. I never remember a finer example of his thoroughness. When at 
length his breath failed him he sighed regretfully, and, with an air of painful 
resignation, adjusted my hands into a strained position which seemed to cause 
him satisfaction. 

I " sloped " the thing on the proper shoulder and got hold of the butt with 
the proper hand. One would have thought that this would have pleased even a 
sergt. -major, but he was quite annoyed because I hadn't got the trigger business 
facing the way he liked. 

" 'Ow many drills 'ave you done, Sir?" Being no arithmetician I couldn't 
help him, and he looked suggestively at the recruit squad drilling in the corner. 
Then he bethought him that one fine day the hat would go round to provide 
a suitable gratuity for kindly sergt. -majors, and he only sighed again and 
passed on. 

When next we were due to " order arms " I tried to take a surreptitious look 
to find out where my toe might be, but the Sergt. -Major at once made it clear 
that this was against the rules of the game. However, I missed my own toe 
all right, but the man next to me had to fall out. I was sorry about it, but if a 
man can't lose a little thing like a toe nail without all that fuss he isn't fit to be a 
soldier. Fortunately the Sergt. -Major and I were agreed on that point, so the 
incident passed off without much unpleasantness. 

As every soldier knows (and I learned that night), the incidents I have 
described are " manual exercises." Having done with them we passed into more 
congenial and familiar paths of drill, at which, when unhampered with a rifle, I 
am no worse than some of the others. Being a Rifle Brigade it is incumbent on 
us to march with the rifle at the " trail." Everyone knows that to get the rifle to 
the "trail" you give it a cant forward and seize it at the point of balance. Well, I 
missed it. This was due to the fact that the backsight bit out a large portion of 
my first finger. I admit that this caused some slight delay in the execution of a 
somewhat intricate manoeuvre. You cannot all in a moment pick up a rifle and 
replace a portion of your finger in an indifferent light. I explained to the Sergt. - 
Major that if I had waited till the end of the parade to execute my repairs the 
pieces of my finger would have got cold and might not have amalgamated 
properly, and that the result might have been the loss of my services to the corps 
for quite a time. 

If I had known that you cannot conveniently " right about turn " with a rifle 
at the " trail " the injury to my neighbour's knee would not have occurred. What 
he and the Sergt. -Major said were both out of order. The man had no more 
right than I to talk in the ranks, and it wasn't the Sergt. -Major's knee that was 




j 'SMm mt 


"d" company 
Churt, August, 1915 

Thenceforward until the end of the drill my neighbours gave me more room 
and I did better, but I can't say that I really got on friendly terms with that 
implement. Still, there was no sustained ill-feeling between the Sergt. -Major 
and myself. After the fourth pint he gave me some private and confidential 
hints about the use of the rifle which, if he was right about them and I can 
remember, may come in handy. 


It happened in the Park. As we didn't really need the whole Park and didn't 
want to be a nuisance to all the couples who resort there for quiet conversation, 
we staked out a pitch. The pitch was bounded by two parallel roads, and the 
roads were in play. Four scouts played against " B " Company. The com- 
mander of " B " Company won the toss and decided to defend the south end. 
The object, of the scouts, who were loaded with rifles, was to pass through the 
company's lines without capture. The rifles, which were not well adapted for 
other things, were carried for the purpose of recognition only. I was cast for a 
scout, and was abetted, if not aided, by Holroyd, Henderson and Higgs. 

They turned out to be unimaginative pig-headed people, and on one excuse 
or another they refused in toio to adopt any of my suggestions. Holroyd, who is 
a long thin parsimonious person, declined on the ground of expense to hire either 
a property tree or a piano organ. Concealed in either of these I am sure that 
he would have had an excellent chance of getting through. Henderson, who is 
a young and somewhat effeminate-looking individual, contemptuously rejected 
the idea that he should go as a nursemaid, with a perambulator in which he 
could conceal his rifle. He seemed to think that it would be unmanly and 
unsoldierly. His only idea was a false beard and a wig. I pointed out that 
however desirable it might be to alter his appearance in day-time it was not so 
urgent in the dark, and that it would be of small strategic benefit as he was 
personally known to only about five per cent, of " B " Company. In the end he 
got quite stuffy about it and we nearly had words. 

Higgs's only excuse for not covering himself with grass sods and crawling 
along on his stomach was the damp and muddy nature of the soil. Of course 
when I found out that he was going to let a little personal discomfort stand in 
the way of success I gave up trying to help him. 

My own scheme for getting through, though entailing a certain amount of 
cost, was simple and effective. I decided to hire an ordinary taxi and drive 
down the left-hand road as fast as the Park regulations would permit. When 
the others heard about it they all wanted to come with me, but this would have 


increased the cost, and we should have looked rather small if by any chance the 
taxi had been stopped and we had all been captured together. I made Higgs a 
sporting offer to allow him to hang on behind if he would pay part of the fare, 
but we failed to strike a bargain. 

Holroyd consented to adopt my suggestion that he should conceal his rifle 
down the leg of one of his trousers. We had some difficulty in getting it there, 
and then he found that it restricted his movements. He also complained of 
discomfort. We wasted quite a lot of time trying to get it out again. We 
couldn't think of the proper technical way to go to work, and there was no help 
to be got from our military books. I looked in both the Musketry Regulations 
and Infantry Training, but, strangely enough, neither of them deals with a simple 
point like that. I know that on active service a soldier, owing to the use of 
puttees, is not likely often to get his rifle into this position, but still, as in 
Holroyd's case, it might happen. By the rather crude method of all pulling at 
once, we eventually managed to separate his leg, rifle and trouser. It was largely 
due to Holroyd's own impatience that several pieces of his flesh and trousering 
adhered to the nobbly bits of the rifle. After that they all declined to listen to 
any more suggestions. 

I was still rather troubled about my own rifle, as I felt that it might be 
detected if undisguised, in spite of the taxi. I couldn't reasonably expect even 
"B" Company to mistake it for an umbrella, swagger cane, policeman's truncheon 
or lady's reticule. I thought of concealing it in some musical instrument, but 
couldn't hit on anything suitable, though I went through all the instruments I 
could think of from an ocarina to a big drum. In the end I decided to adapt my 
brother's violoncello case. I'm not a very good amateur carpenter, so it wasn't a 
very neat job, though it served. 

As I anticipated, I was the only scout to get through undetected. The other 
three were all captured and brought in, in addition to the thirty-three civilians, 
six special constables, five real soldiers complete with lady friends, four terri- 
torials, two park keepers and one park chair captured in error. Several civilians, 
most of the special constables and all the real soldiers were annoyed at being 
interfered with, and I understand that there are two actions for assault and 
battery and three for false imprisonment pending. 

Higgs, it appeared, did, after all, adopt my stalking suggestion, though without 
its best feature — the divot disguise. By crawling on his hands and knees he had 
almost succeeded in getting through the lines when a clumsy Section-Commander 
trod on the nape of his neck. Owing to the mud in which he was encased he 
might still have gone unremarked if only he hadn't groaned. 

Henderson's notion of climbing up a tree wasn't a bad one, though I can't 




Cm kt, August, [915 

quite see how it helped his progress to any extent. His detection was due to his 
accidentally dropping his rifle on the head of the Commander of No. i Platoon. 

Holroyd, one of the park-keepers, and the chair were captured en masse. 
Holroyd seems to have had the idea that the chair would in some way assist him 
in his enterprise, and the park-keeper was disputing his right to use it without 
payment when they were surrounded. 

I thought that the Company-Commander was somewhat sparing with his 
congratulations to me, but no doubt he was frightfully chagrined at the success 
of my simple ruse. 


Below are given the names of those members who are known to have fallen 
in the War. No records being available as to many who left the Corps to join 
the Army, this list does not pretend to be complete, but it is thought that an 
incomplete list is better than none. 





















The following members died while serving in the Corps 











Of the Staff of the ist Battalion County of London Volunteer Regiment and of 
the Officers, N.C.O.'s and Men of A and B (United Arts) Companies of the 

Battalion, October, 1919. 

Lieut.-Col. J. G. Gordon Casserly, I.A., Hon. Commandant. 
Major A. E. Crombie, Commanding. 

Capt. J. B. Quin. 

„ A. J. T. Abel. 

„ F. W. Davy. 
Lieut. H. W. Jeans. 

„ S. G. Browne. 

„ E. Lawrence. 

,. S. A. Mappin. 

Sec. Lieut. C. Aubrey Smith. 

Lieut. A. R. Myers. 

,, E. Potton. 
Sec. Lieut. H. L. George. 

,, C. G. WlLLSHER. 

„ E. Skues. 

„ A. H. Jenkin. 

„ C. A. Pratt. 

Capt. H. G. Shears {Temp. Capt. Gen. List), Adjutant. 
Lieut. E. Potton, Assistant Adjutant. 

„ A. R. Myers, Machine Gun Officer. 
Hon. Lieut. H. C. Bushell, Quarter -Master. 

Major E. S. Tait, Medical Officer.' 

Regtl. Sergt.-Major A. R. Utting. 

,, Quarter-Master Sergt. W. Tomlinson. 

196003 Private Knight, C. N. 

196004 Corporal Badcock, H. J. 

196005 Private Coker, O. 

196007 „ Watts, A. E. 

196008 Sergeant Tillett, P. J. 

196011 C.S.M. Forbes, R. H. 

196012 Private Charlesworth, J. 

196013 „ Frost, A. W. 
196015 Sergeant Driver, A. J. 

196017 Private Sowton, R. M. B. 

196018 „ Hodgkinson, L. 

196019 „ Straker, H. 

196020 Sergeant Revis, C. 

196021 Lance-Corpl. Harris, G. E. 

196022 Private Floris, C. L. 

196023 Sergeant Hatten, A. F. 

196024 Private Rivington, R. E. L. 

196025 „ Bailey, R. J. 

196026 ,, Skeggs, E. A. 

196027 ,, Tyldesley, B. J. J. 

196028 Corporal Maynard, F. C. 

196029 Private Whitten, S. A. 

196030 ,, Woolmer, A. S. 

196031 „ Moore, T. W. 

Major Tait, having been appointed to an administrative post in the R.A.M.C. (V.), had ceased to be the M.O. 
to the Battalion, but continued to act as such pending the appointment of a successor. 


196033 Private Burnidge, W. A. 

196034 „ Cox, H. 

196035 „ Saunders, J. R. 

196036 „ Bayley, H. 

196037 Sergeant Bond, W. H. 

196038 „ Babb, S. N. 

196039 Private Stoll-Bailey, A. H. 

196040 ,, Somper, J. D. 

196041 ,, Palmer, H. C. 
196043 ,, Saltmarshe, T. E. 

196045 „ Albino, J. A. 

196046 Lance-Corpl. Scott, S. J. W. 

196047 Sergeant Dawson, F. P. 

196048 Private Wright, F. A. 

196049 Lance-Sergt. Butcher, D. H. 

196050 Private Stephens, A. L. 

196051 ,, Shelley, F. 

196052 „ Dunhill, H. E. 

196053 Sergeant Witherspoon, H. R. 

196054 Private McAllan, C. 

196055 Private Serle, P. H. W. 

196056 „ Dodd, H. M. F. 

196059 C.S.M. Kendrick, S. P. 

196060 Sergeant Southwell, C. E. 
196063 Private Reeve, A. G. 

196063 „ Wallcousins, E. 

196064 ,, Heaton, F. G. 

196065 Corporal Spiers, R. A. H. 

196066 Sergeant Hinds, W. 

196067 Private Lambert, H. T. 

196068 „ Herbert, G. A. 

196069 Lance-Corpl. Rix, W. J. 

196070 Private Barnes, E. F. 

196071 ,, Dibben, C. 

196072 Corporal Collins, D. 

196073 Sergeant Holland, T. R. 

196074 Private Lloyd-Chandos, F. 

196075 Lance-Corpl. Knight, W. C. 

196076 Sergeant Richardson, A. G. C. 

196078 Lance-Corpl. Knight, H. F. 

196079 Private Roberts, G. M. 

196080 „ Jacoby, C. L. 

196081 ,, Clay, S. S. 

196083 „ Thomas, G. 

196084 „ Cant, H. E. 

196085 Corporal Vane, C. 

196086 Private Gill, C. H. A. 

196087 Sergeant Sickert, L. 

196088 Lance-Corpl. Brooks, C. D. 

196089 Corporal Bamborough, J. G. 

196090 Lance-Corpl. Uttley, G. 

196091 Private Patterson, E. H. 

196092 Lance-Corpl. Shore, A. M. 

196094 Private Butterheld, L. P. 

196095 Sergeant Parr, T. H. 

196096 Private Shattock, E. M. 

196097 ,, Arthur, H. 

196098 ,, Haysman, C. 

196099 ,, Fletcher, H. 

196100 „ Wright, S. L. 

196101 C.Q.M.S Ford, W. A. J. 

196103 Private Copeland, T. E. 

196104 Sergeant Harding, C. L. 

196105 Lance-Corpl. White, S. A. 

196108 C.Q.M.S. Emanuel, C. H. L. 

196109 Private Friedenson, T. J. 

196110 ,, Cooke, A. 

196111 Lance Corpl. Davis, P. H. 

196112 Private Lloyd, J. A. T. 

196113 „ Roberts, R. M. 

196114 „ Cooke. H. E. 

196115 ,, Beard, C. 

196116 Lance-Corpl. Ure, L. N. 

196118 Sergeant Thompson, A. 

196119 Private Chaplin, E. S. 

196123 Corporal Scarfe, C. F. 

196124 Lance-Corpl. Price, F. G. 

196125 Private Reid, A. A. 

1 96 1 26 „ Couper, R. P. 

196127 „ May, O. F. 

196128 „ West, A. L. 

196129 „ Wyse, L. H. B. 

196130 „ Baston, C. 

196131 Sergeant Allen, A. 

196133 Private Coleman, W. J. 

196134 „ Wetherell, F. G. M. 

196135 ,, Rositer, H. C. 

196136 „ Bannerman, D'Arcy. 

1 96 1 37 „ Poppmacher, B. 

196138 „ Bennett, T. 
196141 „ Arnold, A. S. 

196144 „ Rogers, S. A. 

196 145 „ Perry, E. S. 

196146 „ Bolton, E. R. 

196147 ,, French, A. W. T. 

196148 „ Walbrook, A. F. O. 

196150 „ Hand, S. 

196151 „ Harper, E. W. 

196152 „ Ginder, W. H. 

196153 „ Bolton, G. 
196155 „ Langley, E. E. 

196157 „ Ffelan, J. A. P. 

196158 „ Griffiths, R. E. 

196160 „ Cooper, P. A. C. 

196161 „ Moore, J. M. 
196163 ,, Pickering, F. G. 

1 96 1 65 „ Wells, T. 

196166 „ Benjamin, E. 

196167 ,, Dudeney, L. 

196168 „ Mattey, G. 

196169 „ Axten, R. W. 

196170 „ Holland, W. C. 

196171 ,, Atkinson, J. F. 

196172 ,, Smith, A. R. 

196173 „ Whale, E. W. 

196174 Lance-Corpl. Clifford, S. G. 

196175 Private Krisch, S. 

196176 Lance-Corpl. Edwards, C. 

196177 Q.M.S. Kinman, F. C. 
196179 Sergeant Wheeler, R. M. 


'— — 

- * * 

- f; y 


'' < «i 



- ' « 

Q - 

" = - = 

" o 
gffi <! 

= — 

£ as 
. . ■ u 


-i u < 

S y « ' 
J B 2 OS 

f 88 

196180 Private Hickox, W. H. 196249 

196181 Corporal Sulley, P. F. 196250 

196182 Private Carr, H. E. 196251 

196183 „ Fripp, H. C. 196252 

196184 Sergeant Aveling, C. L. I9 02 54 

196185 Private Killick, L. N. 196255 

196186 „ Berridge, T. R. 196256 

196187 „ Burnett, C. R. I9 02 57 

196188 „ Field, E.W.J. 196258 

196189 Sergeant Lane, H. G. 196260 

196190 Private Carpenter, A. A. 196263 

196192 Sergeant Towle, F. A. 196264 

196193 Private Hurry, A. 196265 

196194 „ Bell, W. G. 196267 

196195 „ Conover, T. E. 196268 

196196 „ Sichel, W. S. j 196273 

196197 ,, Gilbertson-Smith, H. 196274 

196198 „ Dick-Peddie, J.i j I9 62 75 

196199 „ Ranalow, F. B. 196276 

196201 „ Griffits, T. E. 196277 

196202 „ Martin, A. A. 196280 

196204 „ Lock, W. S. 196281 

196205 „ Brown, R. 196282 

196206 „ Maughan, C. 196284 

196207 Lance-Corpl. Moye9, A. P. 196285 

196208 Private Palmer, J. 196286 

196210 „ Veitch, H. N. 196287 

196211 „ Nichols, P. F. 196288 

196212 „ Austin, E. O. 196289 

1962 1 3 „ Rayner, H. B. 196290 

1962 14 ,, Lawson-Johnston.W.E. 196291 

196215 „ Altass, F. C. E. 196292 

196216 ,, Semmens, W. J. 196293 

196217 „ Godwin, E. W. 196294 

196218 „ Evans, E. W. 196295 

1962 19 Sergeant Daniell, F. R. 196297 

196220 Private Lynn, T. H. 196298 

19622 1 „ Kirkpatrick, R. 196300 

196222 „ Boyle, G. D. K. 196301 

196223 „ Ellwood, W. C. 196302 

196224 „ Vicat-Cole, R. G. 196303 

196226 „ Hammond, H. E. 196304 

196227 ,, Sealy, H. 196305 

196228 „ Gridley, P. H. 196306 

196229 ,, Wheeler, F. A. 196307 

196230 ,, Friend, A. E. 196308 

196231 „ Smith, R. T. 196309 

196232 „ Ellett, R. E. 196310 

196233 „ Lee, E. H. 196311 

196234 „ Barlow, F. O. 1963 12 

196235 „ Moray, A. 196313 

196236 C.S.M. Hudson, J. F. 196314 
196238 Private Sargent, S. H. 196315 

196240 „ Davis, J. 196316 

196241 ,, Madoc Davies, R. 196317 

196243 ,, Farrow, H. J. 196318 

196244 ,, Woodings, W. J. 196319 

196246 „ Simpson, J. 196320 

196247 ,, Gridley, J. H. 196321 

196248 „ Collins, F. L. 196322 

Private Smith, G. H. 

„ Wilson, J. H. 

„ Marks, B. 

,, Spender, H. F. 
Chaplin, B. G. 

„ Speed, H. E 

,, Lendrum, L. W. 

„ Pegram, H. A. 

,, English, E. G. 

,, Thorpe, W. L. 

„ Freed, E. 

,, Stevens, J. T. 

„ Puckett, H. 

„ Crook, G. T. 

„ Ruthven, L. R. H. 
Collins, C. F. 

,, Williams, A. 

„ Essex, W. C. 

„ Snow, H. A. R. 

,, Nurse, C. B. 

„ Howard, W. 

,, Latham, C. F. 

„ Piggott, A. W. 

„ Clarke, H. H. 

„ Ife.T.J. 

„ Ward, C. 
Roe, A. V. 

„ Gough, A. O. 
Hunt, W. A. 

„ Cameron, D. 

„ Farland, H. B. 

„ Simes, H. J. 

Bradshaw, H. H. 
Burton, C. H. 

,, Stiles, L. 

Petley, F. E. 

„ Dingwall, J. E. 

„ Benjamin, H. M. 

,, Summers, P. J. 
Corporal Happold, C. 
C.S.M. Wells, F. G. 
Sergeant Wathen, B. 
Private Anderson, G. 
Sergeant Palmer, C. 

Wade, T. 
Private Morse, R. R. 
Sergeant Hillman, E. S. 
Private Keith, A. R. 
Corporal Trunchion, H. F. 
Sergeant Watson, R. H. L. 
Private Lloyd, R. E. 

„ Todd, T. H. 

„ King, C. R. 

„ Elvvell, F. B. 
Harris, W. H. 

„ Searle, F. W. 

„ Jackson, E. R. 

„ Lawrence, F. 
Harris, P. T. 

„ Gover, J. H. 










i9 6 335 


















Private Bailey, J. H. 


Corporal Hearle, J. 

„ Coleman, J. 



: Chapman, A. S. B. 

Lance-Corpl. Ledsham, F. H. 



Spence, J. W. 

Private Bennett, C. T. 



Lawrence, C. A. 

„ Fox, T. B. 



Frame, D. 

„ Carter, W. 



Morton, H. 

„ Phillips, H. M. 

lc6 393 


Gallop, E. G. 

Mcintosh, J. J. 



Gaze, W. E. 

„ Pattinson, S. T. T. 



Ball, W. T. 

,, Davies, L. R. 



Farthing, S. G. W. 

„ Williams, E. H. F. 



Yeoman, C. 

Corporal Campbell, R. S. 



Farr, F. W. 

Private Blunt, J. W. 



Bolton, J. H. P. 

Lance-Corpl. Richardson, E. 



John, J. J. 

Private Spyer, A. J. 



Sturton, S. A. 

,, Fisher, P. 



Foster, F. H. M. 

,, Ferris, R. H. 


Corporal Rees, D. A. 

,, Curtis, G. 


Private Abelson, B. B. 

,, Bambrough, W. E. 



Shrive, W. E. 

„ Windwood, P. S. 



Mayne, J. 

„ Brooks, F. E. 



Cooper, F. 

Corporal Whitehead, H. J. 



Wrench, A. G. 

Private Hewitt, J. B. 



Green, E. 

„ Thorley, S. 



Rees, A. 

,, Roberts, J. T. 



McMillan, R. 

„ Greening, G. F. G. 



Williams, M. W. 

„ Cottle, A. J. 



Wilkie, R. M. 

„ Collings, R. 



Daniel, H. G. 

Sergeant Richards, E. 



James, J. M. 

Private Willis, F. E. 



Lloyd, E. N. 

„ Mallinson, G. A. 


Dawe, R. J. P. 

„ Tocher, G. A. 



Hutchins, E. C. 

„ Jones, B. 



-Corpl. Brearley, S. E, 

Parry, B. P. 


Private Waghorne, R. R. 

Corporal Allen, W. H. 



Jones, W. R. 

Private Allen, C. T. 



Jones, D. C. 

„ Clark, J. J. 



Knight, H. 

,, Douch, W. 



Woodall, C. 

Mitchell, H. S. 



Rickeard, R. 

Callow, H. J. 


Sergeant Roberts, W. R. 

Bland, W. H. 


Private Owen, W. J. 

,, Foster, H. S. 


C.Q.M.S. Mills, H. A. 

,, Gibson, G. W. 


Private Chentrens, A. 

,, Dean, A. A. 



Melville, A. 

Lance-Corpl. Jones, D. P. 



Wise, S. G. 

Private Gross, G. F. C. 



Berry, J. C. 

„ Weatherill, R. J. 


Lance-Corpl. Walker, D. 

,, Bovvness, J. H. 


Private Solly, C. 

„ Stevens, W. A. 

1 9644 1 


O'Donnell, E. 

,, Tucker, W. T. 



Robinson, W. S. 

„ Clarkson, C. C. 



Cranton, E. E. 

Shakerley, W. A. 



Evans, T. 

„ Glaister, R. 



-Corpl. Wisby, W. 

,,' Graham, W. T. 


Private Breakspear, A. E. 

Angus, J. 



Hemingway, R. 

„ Smith, J. 



Modine, J. M. 

„ Williams, J. C. 



Davies, M. 

„ Styles, A. T. 



Reeves, H. 

Clarke, H. P. 



Beaton, E. 

,, Smith, A. J. 



Thomson, J. 


mtii May, [918 

Winners of Cup Competition, April, 1918 



19646 I 











I 9649 I 

x 96493 




1965 1 1 

1965 1 2 

1965 14 


1965 17 


I 9°525 

Private Beaton, G. 


Private Stannard, H. J. 


Speech ly, R. E. 



Kershaw, R. 


Gibson, G. D. 

I9 6 535 


Furse, J. J. 


Homewood, A. S. 

i9 6 536 


Ashby, A. F. 


Marc, J. 



Underwood, P. 


Ball, C. S. 



Hunt, A. S. 


Edwards, W. 

*9 6 539 


Edbrooke, A. 

Lance-Corpl. Waldron, C. J. 



Rush, J. S. 

Private Luck, E. J. 


Green, J. B. 

Sergeant Shirtliff, W. E. 



Croal, A. 

Private Saunders, A. E. 

*9 6 543 


Simnett, R. E. 


Sheppard, C. H. 



Elliott- Ball, H. 

Lance-Corpl. Smith, L. E. 

I9 6 S45 


Carter, J. C. 

Private Fullagar, C. H. 



Whitaker, E. V. 

Bennett, T. H. 



Smith, E. C. H. 


Williams, W. A. 



Terry, L. G. 


Zimmerman, J. F. 



Jones, W. H. 


Ironmonger, H. L. 



Dalton, P. 


Davies, J. M. 



Lawrence, E. 


Watson, C. W. 

I 9 6 552 


Sellors, R. V. 


Bull, J. 



Kent, A. S. 


Hillman, D. C. 



Haigh, H. W. 


Noble, C. A. 

1 9 6 555 


Vicat-Cole, G. 


Hall, P. H. 



Stanesby, E. 0. 


Sandeman, S. G. 



Dickason, H. B. 


Harris, R. Y. 



Jackson, W. F. 


Robertshaw, J. 



Harley, W. P. 


Dick, S. 



Stewart, T. 


Straw, J. C. 



Thursby, C. A. 


Cherrv^ F. P. 


Shelton, W. 


Dix, F. 



Jefferies, W. R. 


Anderson, F. A. 



Nicholson, W. 


Price, F. A. 



Hunt, A. P. W. 


Cabourn, J. 



Thorn, J. E. 


Simnett, S. R. 



Bell, E. 


East, P. V. 



Crawford, H. A. 


Snell, G. H. 



Ledwidge, W. O. 


Peake, A. S. 



Gordon, W. H. 


Gadsdon, G. 



Harrington, E. 


Wallace, G. 



Tucker, T. T. 


Seymour, F. 



Norris, F. W, 


Stout, J. A. 



Orr, L. R. 


Neale, R. N. 



Henningham, C. 


Murch, H. J. 



Payne, C. 


Shaw, S. 



Buckeridge, G. G. 

Beer, C. E. 



Milne, J. 

Sergeant Hampton, C. Q. 



Webb, S. 

Private Anderton, G. E. 

19658 1 


Potter, G. J. 


Hobbiss, A. S. 



Stannard, G. J. 


Lacey, E. H. 



Packer, R. W. 


Chapman, J. 



McCutcheon, J. G 


Coe, N. C. 



Tracy, C. H. 


Wilkins, H. C. 



Pugh, T. H. 


Clarke, W. 



Ablett, A. F. 


Long, H. H. 



Perrett, F. 


Ayrton, F. R. 



Worfolk, A. M. 


Slocombe, A. J. 



Cottee, W. J. 


Phillips, D. C. 



Lucas, F. C. 


Mist, C. P. 



Nottidge, J. T. 


Piatt, E. T. 



Bickerton, T. 



Private Lee, H. L. 



Petrides, N. 



Warren, R. H. 



Rawlins, T. 



Hurren, A. S. 



Aldin, A. R. 



Clark, C. 



Margetson, R. G 



Adams, S. B. 



Seymour, S. 



Crofts, A. S. 



Reid, C. E. 



Manning, C. J. 



Hatherill, F. C. 



Humphreys, E. C 



Edwards, A. H. 



Da Costa, J. 



Lazarus, H. L. P. 










D 000 342 233 4