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THE LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS, 1914-1918
with which it remained (and saw some very strenuous actual fighting)
up to the end of the war, being finally disbanded in june, 1919.
20TH (SERVICE) BATTALION
The "4th Salford Battalion" was the last of the active battalions
to be raised by the indefatigable efforts of Mr. Barlow and the
Salford Brigade Committee, though it was not destined to go over–
seas with the other three Salford units.
It
was linked with the 17th
and 18th Battalions in that it was composed of bantams and for that
reason was grouped with them in the lo4th Infantry Brigade, 35th
(Bantam) Division. Like the 19th Battalion, it contained an Eccles
"Pals" Company and a Swinton contingent.
It
was raised on 23rd March, 1915, the first Commanding Officer
being Lieutenant-Colonel A. Reid, D.S.O., V.D.
It
remained at
Salford until july, 1915, when (like the other Salford battalions
before it) it moved to Conway. But it omitted Catterick from its
itinerary and went straight to Park House Camp, Cholderton, near
Tidworth on Salisbury Plain, where it trained until 29th january,
1916, when it crossed to France. During its move towards the line
it was inspected by Lord Kitchener.
I t was one of the victims of the reduction of the establishment of
infantry brigades and was disbanded on 16th February, 1918.
21ST BATTALION
This was formed as a draft-finding unit for the Salford Brigade
and is dealt with under "Reserve Battalions" later in this chapter.
22ND BATTALION
This was also a draft-finding unit and is referred to more fully
under"Reserve Battalions."
23RD (SERVICE) BATTALION
After an interval of over three years during which no new
battalions of the regiment had been formed, though several had
disappeared, a new unit came into being which went through a
chrysalis stage before becoming the 23rd Lancashire Fusiliers.
In May, 1918, several hundred men from eighty-three different
regiments and units and of medical categories Band C, including
many suffering from wounds, rheumatism and general debility, were
collected at Habarcq, near Arras, and formed into the 4th Provisional
Guard Battalion, under Lieutenant-Colonel G. Hesketh, D.S.O., T.D.,
of the 5th Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, being allotted to the
59th Division. On 26th May it was renamed 23rd (Garrison)
Battalion The Lancashire Fusiliers, at Hesketh's suggestion. For
some time it was employed in digging trenches around Habarcq.
It
was transferred in June to the IZISt Infantry Brigade in the
40th Division, to the surprise of some of its members who, having
lost
fingers and otherwise contributed physically to the war, did not