Page 17 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

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6
THE
LA~CASHIRE
FUSILIERS,
I9I4-I9I8
The I2th Infantry Brigade on mobilization consisted of the Ist
Battalion The King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment), the 2nd
Battalion The Lancashire Fusiliers, the 2nd Battalion The Royal
Inniskilling Fusiliers, and the 2nd Battalion The Essex Regiment.
As already mentioned, the brigade formed part of the 4th Division
(Major-General T. D'O. Snow,
c.B.);
very appropriately so, as the
Regiment had served in the 4th Division throughout the Peninsular
War, the Crimean War and the South African War.
It
had been
decided that the embarkation of the Expeditionary Force should
begin not earlier than 9th August but that the 4th and 6th Divisions
should for the present be retained in England, in order to cover the
movement of the remainder of the Expeditionary Force. Lord
Kitchener, who had become Secretary of State for War on 6th
August, accordingly directed that two infantry brigades of the 4th
Division should go to Cromer and York, where they would be in a
position to meet any attempted landing by the enemy which would
have interfered with the movement of the Expeditionary Force,
until such time as the defence of the coast could be undertaken by
Territorial troops. Orders were accordingly received at Dover to
move to Cromer on Saturday, 8th August. This was one day before
mobilization was, under the mobilization scheme, to have been
completed, and some confusion was introduced by orders being
received to move before mobilization was complete. Thanks to
the ready response of the reservists and to the excellence of the
arrangements at Bury and Dover, these difficulties were overcome,
and the last draft left Bury to join the battalion on 7th August.
The battalion was thus able to leave Dover at war strength at 3 a.m.
on the fourth day of mobilization, and went by train to the stations
allotted to it at Cromer.
The two following days were spent in coast defence duties,
some training for the benefit of the reservists being also possible.
On IIth August the battalion left Cromer for Norwich, where they
were billeted until I3th. From Norwich they marched to Costessy
Hall, Norfolk, where they were billeted until I7th, when they marched
back to Norwich and entrained for North Wembley. The coast
defence duty had then been taken over by Yeomanry brigades and
Territorial cyclist units; and the 4th Division was now free to join
the British Expeditionary Force on the other side of the Channel.
On the I9th, G.H.Q. in France was notified that the 4th Division
would be sent to the Expeditionary Force area. The battalion was in
bivouac at North Wembley until 2Ist August. On the night of
Friday, the 2Ist, it was conveyed in two trains to Southampton,
where it embarked in the transport
Saturnia,
disembarking at
Boulogne at 6 a.m. on 23rd August. The strength of the battalion
on disembarkation was returned as 27 officers (including the medical
officer), I warrant officer and 973 other ranks. A party of two officers
(Second-Lieutenant A.
L.
Keigwin and Second-Lieutenant
J.
S.
Paulson) and seventy other ranks who were detailed for baggage
uuties travelled from Dover to Havre. The total strength of the