Page 126 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

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THE EXPANSION OF THE ARMY
99
In the event, it proved impossible to keep up a supply of re–
inforcements who were both small enough to be classed as bantams
and yet of good enough physique for active service; and in the
spring of 1917 all attempts to maintain the bantam character or title
of the 35th Division and its units had to be abandoned. The 17th
and 18th Battalions, however, retained their identity until they were
disbanded in the spring of 1919.
19TH (SERVICE) BATTALION
The next battalion in numerical order was one of the "Salford
Brigade"- the 19th (3rd Salford) Battalion. The official authority
for its formation was dated 25th January, 1915, but the appoint–
ment of its first Commanding Officer, Lieutenant-Colonel (Brevet–
Colonel)
L.
C. H. Stainforth, late Indian Army, was gazetted on
IIth February.
Its actual origin was a curious one as its nucleus consisted of men
of the 16th Battalion who missed the train when that unit left
Salford for Conway. Major
J.
Ambrose Smith, who had been
originally sent by the War Office to the 15th Battalion and later
transferred to command a company in the 16th, was left behind in
Salford with a list of these men and may be said to have begun the
raising of the 19th. Like the other battalions of the brigade, it owed
much to Mr. Barlow and the Salford Brigade Committee. With the
help of Mr. Brade, the then Mayor of Eccles, an Eccles "Pals"
Company was raised; and a committee at Swinton contributed a
company from there.
At first the members of the unit lived and fed in their own
homes, moving in turn to Conway, Catterick, Ponteland and
Salisbury Plain with the other battalions of the brigade.
Luckier than some of the war-time battalions, it received its
clothing and equipment within a month of its birth.
In August, 1915, Colonel Stainforth was succeeded in command
by Lieutenant-Colonel J. M. A. Graham, D.S.O., who came from
command of the 3rd Battalion King's Own (Royal Lancaster
Regiment), after distinguished service in the Nile Expedition of 1897,
the Sudan Campaign of I898-99 (during which he was A.D.C. to
Lord Kitchener) and in the South African War.
On its arrival on Salisbury Plain, the 19th found itself grouped
with its seniors of the Salford brigade in the 96th Infantry Brigade,
3znd Division, with which it went to France on
ZlSt
November, 1915-
Before leaving England it was inspected by Lord Derby and Lord
Kitchener. On the last day of the year it was transferred to the
I4th Infantry Brigade, which had been brought into the 3znd
Division under a scheme by which a partial and mutual dilution of
New Army units and formations by Regular equivalents was carried
out in many parts of the B.E.F. It suffered even more violent
change in August, 19I6, when it was converted into a pioneer
battalion and made part of the 49th (West Riding) Division, T.F.,