Saturday 9 August 2014

The 4th Bedfords Mobilised

Sunday 9th August 1914: The Bedfordshire Special Reserves were mobilised yesterday*. During the day the men presented themselves at the Barracks and civilian clothes were soon exchanged for khaki uniforms. The departure took place very quietly during the early hours this morning, Lieutenant-Colonel Lord Ampthill riding at the head of the battalion. There was no band, no crowds lining the route but this is not the time for ceremony. The entraining occupied little time and while the morning was still young a heavily laden train was steaming towards the east.

Source: Bedfordshire Times 14th August 1914

This would become 4th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment. It was heading to Harwich for garrison duty. In July 1916 it joined 63rd (Royal Naval) Division. This unique formation comprised one brigade of four army battalions and two brigades of surplus naval personnel, Royal Marines as well as sailors, the latter serving in battalions named after famous admirals such as Nelson and Anson. Although serving in very other way as infantry in the army the eight naval battalions retained their naval ranks.

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