Page 116 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

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THE EXPANSION OF THE ARMY
2ND/6TH BATTALION
When the 6th (later 1st/6th) Battalion was embodied in August,
19I4, some 300 men were unable for medical, family or business
reasons to volunteer for foreign service. Captains E. Woolmer and
G. Scott were therefore sent over to Rochdale from Turton, where
the battalion was in camp, in order to raise more men. Fifteen
hundred volunteered and the surplus not needed was left at the
battalion depot at the Rochdale Drill Hall.
The 1st/6th Battalion left Turton for Egypt on 9th September,
1914. Just before this date, the details mentioned above moved into
camp at Mossborough under Captain N.
J.
Laski. On 29th,
September, 1914, Lieutenant-Colonel F. T . Prince, V.D.-whose
Volunteer and Territorial service in the 4th Volunteer Battalion
Manchester Regiment and in the East Lancashire Army Service
Corps had extended from 1888 to 1913, when he was transferred to
the Territorial Force Reserve and appointed to command the
Manchester Brigade of the National Reserve-was appointed to
command the details which by now had become the 6th (Reserve)
Battalion.
Early in October the unit marched to Southport, where it lived
in billets. The training of recruits continued at Rochdale, Tod–
morden and Middleton, those "passing out" being sent to Southport
by rail on 12th November. The 6th (Reserve) Battalion went
through much the same experiences and suffered very similar
hardships to those of the 5th (Reserve) already described. Early in
May, 1915, a third-line unit began to take shape at Rochdale and a
nucleus of officers was sent to it from Southport. On 19th May the
battalion, by now called 2nd/6th, moved to Jarvis Brook, Crow–
borough, Sussex.
Although it trained with a view to going overseas as a complete
formation, the division was compelled to sends drafts to Gallipoli,
the 2nd/6th sending 7 officers and 100 other ranks to the 1st/6th in
June, 1915.
Early in August the battalion spent a fortnight working on the
second-line defences of London, near Maidstone, earning such a
reputation that 6 officers and 250 other ranks were sent off in
September for another turn of digging, this time at Brighton. On
20th October the brigade moved to billets in Tunbridge Wells for the
winter.
In
November Japanese rifles were withdrawn and long Lee–
Enfield rifles and Lewis guns were issued to the battalion.
The winter of 1915-1916 was very severe and the battalion was
occasionally lent to the local authorities to help in clearing the snow.
On 15th March, 1916, the battalion moved to Meeanee Barracks,
Colchester, and became part of a mobile reserve in the event of
invasion.
It
continued, however, to find drafts for the 1st/6th up to
the end of July, 1916.
Great excitement occurred on Sunday, 14th September, 1916,
when Zeppelin L-33, damaged by shell-fire after a raid over London,