Page 502 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

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ENVOY
AFTER the epic which has just ended, it would be tedious and an
anticlimax to recite in detail the events which befell the battalions of
the Regiment still in existence at the time of the Armistice, interest–
ing and colourful as some of them were. Broadly, the units divide
themselves into those which went to the Rhine, there to do guard
duties, carry out ceremonial parades and otherwise impress the
German population, and to be ready to march farther into Germany
if there were any breach of the Armistice t erms; and those which were
set to less spectacular though important duties, guarding dumps and
staffing prisoner-of-war, leave and transit camps, in France and
Belgium.
In the first category were the 1st, 15th and 16th Battalions, the
15th being disbanded in October, 1919, and its remaining officers and
men being posted to the 16th. In the second category came the 2nd,
1st/5th, 2nd/5th, 6th, 1st/7th, 1st/8th, loth, 17th, 18th, 19th and
23rd Battalions. Dated particulars of their moves are to be found in
Volume II, Chapter IV.
Common to all battalions was the gradual process of demobiliza–
tion, beginning with the dispatch to England of urgently needed
coal-miners, of whom the first recorded batch left on nth December,
1918, from the 18th Battalion; this lecHo a progressive dwindling of
strength, except in the battalions on the Rhine, where the demobil–
ized of the 1st Battalion were gradually replaced by Regular soldiers
on long-term engagements and those of the 15th and 16th Battalions
by young soldiers on shorter attestations. Common also to all
battalions was much educational and ph¥sical training, varied with
sports and games of many kinds. To the 17th and 18th Battalions
fell the distasteful and happily unique task of having to help in the
suppression of disorders, amounting almost to mutiny, which had
broken out at the end of January, 1919, amongst men in a camp at
Calais who were returning from leave and were discontented with the
system of demobilization. The firm discipline and admirable tone
of these two units, admitted by the rioters and praised by higher
authority, did much to bring about a speedy end to the trouble.
Those battalions which were in being in 1914 received back their
Colours from England early in 1919; and at about the same time to
each of the remainder was given a King's Colour, solemnly consecrated
and ceremonially presented by a General Officer at a parade of
fitting dignity. Many of these Colours later found honoured resting
places in the Parish Church of Saint Mary the Virgin at Bury and in
the Church of the Sacred Trinity at Salford, as is described in
Volume
II,
Chapter
VI.
For gradually the non-Regular battalions
followed their members and almost imperceptibly disappeared,
though in many cases the civic authorities of their home towns did
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