Don't miss a story sign up to Sidmouth Herald's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

First of many who went ‘over the top’

14:00 18 May 2014

"First of the Volunteers", dated August 1914

"First of the Volunteers", dated August 1914

Archant

As the centenary of the start of World War One approaches, Nostalgia looks back at the men from Sidmouth who served King and Country on the battlefields of Europe.

The picture, entitled first of the Volunteers, was supplied to the Herald by a Sidmouth resident, and apparently shows the first group from the town to volunteer for military service in August 1914.

They would have likely gone on to become part of the Devonshire Regiment, as was the practice at the time - and could have shipped out to France as early as November 1914.

Lieutenant-Colonel Geoff Nicholls, of the Regimental Association of the Devonshire Regiment, explained that if the men in the picture had no special skills, they would have probably been trained as infantry and assigned to either of the regiment’s regular army battalions – the 1st and 2nd.

“Although if they had any special skills they would have been assigned to specialist units,” he said. “For example a mechanic, in those early days of motor vehicles, would have been rare, so they would send him off to a different unit.”

“The 1st battalion set off for Le Havre in August, so it was probably too soon for the men in that picture to head out with them. It’s more likely they would have joined the 2nd.”

“At that stage they would have gone through two or three months worth of training, but of course later on in the war it became much less.”

The 2nd battalion, which returned to England from Egypt in October, 1914, would ship out to France on November 6.

Both regular battalions of the Devonshire Regiment would spend the majority of the war in France, and take part in the Battle of the Somme in 1916.

On the first day of the battle, the 2nd went ‘over the top’ at Ovillers, suffering 221 casualties, with a further 431 wounded.

The battalion was withdrawn from the front line later the same day, after failing to make a dent on the German positions, but were sent back in mid-October.

Do you recognise any of the faces in the picture? Please email harvey.gavin@archant.co.uk or call 01392 888503.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Sidmouth Herald visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Sidmouth Herald staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Sidmouth Herald account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other News Stories

Hugo Swire stock picture

Hugo Swire commends Sid Valley Memory Cafe and Herald for £100,000 appeal

Read more
06:00
Email your letters to sidmouth.letters@archant.co.uk.

‘Nowadays, some governments believe that when bombing militants does not defeat them, the solution is to bomb them more and more heavily.’

Read more
Yesterday, 18:30
Pretty Muddy charity event.

East Devon women are being urged to get the new year off to a great start by signing up to Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life 2016.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:28
Recycling bins on Church Street this week. Ref shs 2844-04-16SH. Photo Simon Horn

Scheme could see cardboard collected from Sidmouth homes - but black wheelie bins emptied every three weeks

Read more
Yesterday, 16:20
A senior couple in love. Moinca Pearson wants to play Cupid and match over-60s in Sidmouth.

Bereaved Monica Pearson, of Sidmouth, whose only companion is her faithful golden retriever Megan, hopes to turn Cupid by matching other lonely over-60s.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:16
Oxfam manager Andrew Pinney

Changing shopping habits blamed for demise of town’s first charity shop

Read more
Yesterday, 15:42
Riverside players performance of Aladdin. Ref shs 06-16TI 0502. Picture: Terry Ife

Gallery: fun begins at village hall tonight

Read more
Yesterday, 15:20
Lynsey and Graham Pickwell with Hannah Twine present a cheque to Phil Day and his dog Noah for Dogs For Good. Ref shs 04-16TI 9817. Picture: Terry Ife

The owners of a Sidmouth shop are ‘absolutely over the moon’ after their 10th anniversary exhibition netted £3,060 for a worthy cause.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:26
Picture: Christine Dunnington Photography.

Christine’s fantastic photograph of man and horse on beach

Read more
Yesterday, 12:00

‘Some of us have never been able to afford one in Sidmouth’

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 4°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition E-edition

Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications