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The Great War News from Lancaster in 1914
28th August 1914
Lancaster and the War
Wagon Works As A Place of Detention
Recruiting at the Barracks
Nothing of special character has occurred since our last issue of a local nature. The relief committees have been formed, and cases are being inquired into. The local contributions to the National Relief Fund are coming in generously, and there is an evident desire to do all that is possible to relieve distress. The Mayoress’s working parties have thronged the Town hall again this week, and many garments have been made. The brief announcement that there were 2,000 casualties amongst the Allies as the result of the fighting near Mons at the week end has “speeded-up” the preparation of hospital garments, for it is felt that local soldiers may be amongst those wounded. The “list of casualties” is awaited with eagerness and some apprehension. Members of the Voluntary Aid Detachment have continued their practical training at the Old Town Hall and at the Infirmary, and have shown a very commendable desire to fit themselves for any duty they may be called upon to perform. Three days work at the principal industries has been possible this week, and it is announced that work will not be resumed until Wednesday next week.
The Mayoress’ Sewing Parties
We are requested to state that the Mayoress will hold sewing meetings at the Town Hall on Wednesdays and Fridays only in future. No meeting will be held on Tuesday.
Local Territorial Officers
On Monday, Mr Noel Briggs, (son of the Mayor and Mayoress), Mr Harold Bell and Mr W Wolfendale, who have received commissions in the 5th Battalion, King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, left Lancaster, along with about fifty recruits to join the battalion.
Another Honour for the King’s Own
The King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment had the honour of providing the first “Kitchener” battalion. On Friday it had enrolled strength of 800, several companies being over strength.
Major Creagh Osborne
It is reported that Major Creagh Osborne, who was recently in command of the depot, has been appointed to command the new service battalion of the King’s Own at Salisbury Plain. The appointment will be a popular one, for the gallant officer was exceedingly well liked in Lancaster, and he did all he could to popularise the army amongst the civil population. He has seen much military service. He served in the Nile Expedition in 1898, and was present at the battle of Atbara and Khartoum. He was awarded the Egyptian medal with two clasps.
Special Service for Recruits
A special service for the recruits at present stationed at the barracks was held at the YMCA on Sunday evening. Over 200 were present, and the coffee and biscuits which were provided through the kindness of friends proved acceptable. An address was given by the secretary, Mr S Clapperton. The majority of the soldiers were also present at the Town Mission service which was held earlier in the evening.
Corporation Officials Give Part of Their Salaries
At a largely attended meeting of Corporation officials last evening,
it was unanimously decided to make a contribution each month (during the
continuance of the war) to the Mayor’s local relief fund. The promises
already received amount to over £52 per month, and there ware other
promises still to come in.
Commission for a Local Non-Com
It was announced on Tuesday that Quarter-Master Sergeant A Wingfield Morrell of Ulster Road, Lancaster, one of the staff officers at Bowerham Barracks, belonging to the 3rd (or Special Reserve) Battalion of the King’s Own – has been appointed quartermaster to the battalion, with the honorary rank of lieutenant. Lieutenant Morrell is well known in Lancaster, especially in cricket circles, and has a host of friends, who will be pleased to know that he has been given a commission.
Recruits at Bowerham Barracks
The Bowerham barracks are crowded this week to an extent which has
not occurred for many years past. Over 1,400 recruits are at present
stationed there fore preliminary training, and when it is realised that
considerably more than half of these are the “rough diamonds” drawn from
the slums of London the worry engendered upon the officers, both
commissioned and non-commissioned, may perhaps be appreciated. The
authorities in the Metropolis have no room for these men, and have not
the time, whatever their desire, to train men whose military knowledge
and discipline is nil, and therefore turn them over to the smaller
depots to have the corners rubbed off. Only those with some semblance of
discipline, the better class labouring and working classes, are retained
at the central stations. Bowerham School has been taken over by the
military authorities and provides sleeping accommodation for a large
number. The question of rations has caused considerable trouble, though
with the ordinary soldier it would not be so difficult, but the Cockney
recruits not only are ready and willing to eat two meals in one, but
actually do so despite the vigilance of the officers. This results in
some getting practically nothing, whilst the others get more than their
share. The offenders are, of course, severely reprimanded when caught,
and this is gradually having the desired effect. But though their
manners are not of the drawing room, the majority of the men are at
bottom the real thing from which British army moulds some of the best
fighters in the world. The boisterous humour of the men is really
surprising. The number at the barracks was too many to deal with
comfortably, and on Tuesday a detachment of 100 was forwarded to
The Wagon Works As A Place of Detention
The Wagon Works has this week been occupied as a place of detention
for German aliens and other prisoners. The place has been fitted up for
the purpose intended, and being pretty extensive, affords plenty of
accommodation. The barbed wire entanglements are a great feature, and
every precaution has been taken to make the premises secure. The first
batch of prisoners arrived on Monday from Liverpool, the train being run
alongside and partly into the works. A company of the Cheshire Regiment
formed the armed guard accompanying the prisoners. Later another batch
arrived from Hull, and during the week there have been additions. The
prisoners were searched on arrival and medically examined. The military
guard is a Special Reserve Company of the Welsh Fusiliers.
Only a proportion of our collections are on display at anyone time. Certain items are on loan for display in other institutions. An appointment is required to consult any of our collections which are held in store.
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