Page 15 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

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were provided from the Depot cookhouse, and were served to the
men in the open, the seating accommodation at the barracks being
insufficient for such unaccustomed numbers. Nor was the Depot
equipment fully equal to the demands made upon it; in particular
there was a shortage of plates, which was overcome by a system of
double washings, organized by Captain Bowes. The accommodation
at the barracks before the dispatch of the first drafts proved insuf–
ficient, and additional accommodation for a number of men had to be
improvised at St. Stephen's Schools, about 400 yards from the
Medical inspection of the men began at 8 a.m. on the first day of
mobilization (5th August), and so well did the men rejoin that by
6 p.m. 584 had been found medically fit. So good were the arrange–
ments made by Major Thorne and Captain Bowes that those found
fit had been clothed and fully equipped ready to join their units.
The first draft of 320 left to join the 2nd Battalion at Dover on the
evening of this day. On the following day 648 men were found
medically fit, clothed and equipped, and a second draft of 240 left
for Dover. On 7th August a further 465 were passed, clothed and
equipped, and the final draft of 88 required to complete the establish–
ment of the 2nd Battalion was dispatched.
About 800 reservists who remained at the Depot upon the
completion of the 2nd Battalion were posted to the 3rd Battalion.
These reservists brought the strength of this unit up to about
1,200 and, on the evening of 8th August, it left for its war station at
Hull, where it was quartered in billets. On the same evening the
4th Battalion (Major H. F. Watson, D .S.O.) with a strength of 12
officers and 371 other ranks left Bury for Barrow-in-Furness, as is
described in Chapter VIII.
With the departure of the 3rd and 4th Battalions for their
stations on the fourth day of mobilization the heavy task of mobiliza–
tion at the Depot was complete. Its work thereafter is also described
in Chapter VIII.
Meanwhile, at the Citadel Barracks, at Dover, the 2nd Battalion
was completing its mobilization under the command of Major C. ] .
Griffin. In June, 1914, Lieutenant-Colonel W. F. Elmslie had
retired on retired pay, and was succeeded in command by Lieutenant–
Colonel R. H.
Butler, a staff officer of high repute who had been
promoted from the Dorsetshire Regiment. At the time of his pw–
motion Lieutenant-Colonel Butler was on the staff at Aldershot,
where he was retained to complete special work in connection with
the manreuvres. At the date of mobilization the 2nd Battalion was
thus commanded by Major Griffin, the junior officer of his rank in the
Regiment. Major Griffin was then forty years of age and had
completed twenty years' service in the Regiment. He had seen
active service in South Africa and was present at Spion Kop, where
he was severely wounded. He had, however, remained at the front