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Wandsworth and Battersea Battalions in the Great War

History


by
Paul McCue

Book Details

Format: EPUB

Page count: 240 pages

File size: 34.7 MB

Protection: DRM

Language: English

In 1915 Lord Kitchener extended his famous “Your Country Needs You” recruitment campaign by appealing to the Mayors of the London Metropolitan Boroughs, urging each Mayor to raise a unit of local men for active service overseas. In Southwest London, the response from two neighboring boroughs, Wandsworth and Battersea, could not have been more different. In Wandsworth, Mayor Dawnay personally took up the challenge and soon recruited, for the East Surrey Regiment, double the number of men needed for an infantry battalion. In Battersea, however, there was initially no more than lukewarm interest, partly due to the local Territorial Force unit, the 23rd London Regiment, having expanded from one to three battalions thanks to thousands of earlier volunteers. But as Wandsworth’s efforts bore fruit, Battersea too pledged to raise a full infantry battalion. Mirroring the different political leanings of the two boroughs, Mayor Simmons pledged Battersea’s battalion to the Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment. Wandsworth’s 13th East Surreys and Battersea’s 10th Queen’s both served with honor and distinction. But they, and the communities from which they came, also suffered thousands of men wounded and killed. This sacrifice cemented links with France, Belgium and Italy that continue today. From the early tragic death of an adventurous boy of just 15, to the heroic deeds of a dustman who won the Victoria Cross, this book describes the pain and the glory of the volunteers of Wandsworth and Battersea on the Western Front.

In 1915 Lord Kitchener extended his famous “Your Country Needs You” recruitment campaign by appealing to the Mayors of the London Metropolitan Boroughs, urging each Mayor to raise a unit of local men for active service overseas. In Southwest London, the response from two neighboring boroughs, Wandsworth and Battersea, could not have been more different. In Wandsworth, Mayor Dawnay personally took up the challenge and soon recruited, for the East Surrey Regiment,… (more)

In 1915 Lord Kitchener extended his famous “Your Country Needs You” recruitment campaign by appealing to the Mayors of the London Metropolitan Boroughs, urging each Mayor to raise a unit of local men for active service overseas. In Southwest London, the response from two neighboring boroughs, Wandsworth and Battersea, could not have been more different. In Wandsworth, Mayor Dawnay personally took up the challenge and soon recruited, for the East Surrey Regiment, double the number of men needed for an infantry battalion. In Battersea, however, there was initially no more than lukewarm interest, partly due to the local Territorial Force unit, the 23rd London Regiment, having expanded from one to three battalions thanks to thousands of earlier volunteers. But as Wandsworth’s efforts bore fruit, Battersea too pledged to raise a full infantry battalion. Mirroring the different political leanings of the two boroughs, Mayor Simmons pledged Battersea’s battalion to the Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment. Wandsworth’s 13th East Surreys and Battersea’s 10th Queen’s both served with honor and distinction. But they, and the communities from which they came, also suffered thousands of men wounded and killed. This sacrifice cemented links with France, Belgium and Italy that continue today. From the early tragic death of an adventurous boy of just 15, to the heroic deeds of a dustman who won the Victoria Cross, this book describes the pain and the glory of the volunteers of Wandsworth and Battersea on the Western Front.

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