2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment - 1927/1928 (Germany)
In Bingen, the only parade ground was the cobbled street. The thirty yards range and recreation ground was twenty-five minutes' hard climb from the barracks. Planted either with priceless vines or dense woods, the surrounding precipices were ill-adapted for field training. Proceedings in school or lecture room were suspended every few minutes while trains of sixty trucks hurtle slowly past the windows.
Victoria Barracks, Bingen, Germany (1928)
In addition, there was Schierstein, a distant haunt of peace, peopled by two companies, who devote a considerable part of their time to guarding ammunition. It was therefore recognised, in 1926, that a tour of duty at Bingen-with-Schierstein would not be helpful to training. Bingen was made a one-year station, and 1928 it was the Battalions year in Bingen.
Khandahar Barracks, Schierstein, Germany (1928)
Having to face the worst, the Battalion made the best of it. It reflects credit on all ranks that the year was marked by a high average of results in every kind of activity. Split up, with poor facilities for sport or work, and with heavy losses of good men, the Battalion was kept in the first flight.
The battalion that went to the Tier Park for company training in June 1928. It numbered about 300, of whom half were in the Wing. It consisted largely of flags. The machine gunners were away. To impart some reality to the proceedings, and to avoid excessive strain on the imagination, the battalion was formed on alternate days into one war strength company—a very successful and popular course, afterwards followed by others.
In spite of many "Verbotens" and an abundance of tree stumps, much useful work was done, which repaid itself when the Battalion returned to the Tier Park, in August 1928, for battalion and brigade training.
By August 1928, the number of flags and other expedients for representing things which didn't exist quite surpassed itself. Yellow flags for platoons, green and white flags for anti-tank guns, red and blue casualty screens, company headquarter flags, signalling flags—everybody seemed to carry several. Dummy Lewis guns, rattles to represent bursts of fire, half limbers to represent whole ones, cardboard arrows to represent sub-sections of machine guns. Two stinking, reckless and highly efficient German lorries represented cross-country machine gun carriages with marked success. The machine gunners pinched half the signallers' Lucas lamps to represent the framework of the defence; while umpires, bland and cheerful, represented bullets, bombardments, and "gas."
The new organisation gave the Battalion a lot to talk and to think about. One strong company with sixteen Vickers guns; three weak companies with eight Lewis guns and eight rifle sections each; forty automatic weapons and not much above a hundred and fifty bayonet men; a lot of fire and not a great deal of movement. A few men advancing on a selected vantage point, and a great volume of fire directed on every point from which that advance could be held up. The Battalion missed their fourth rifle company; they were not used to thinking in threes yet.
Tanks and aircraft will gave the Battalion more to think about at Salisbury Plain, next year. For the dummy tanks didn't get much of a show among the woods and hills, while the aircraft only flew on state occasions, at stated hours.
Tree stumps on the Tier Park did not matter so much in August 1928. The crops were coming down fast, and we could roam across the whole of occupied territory. But we had to begin again, in some respects, because after deducting the Ordnance grounds and the maintenance parties at both barracks, the ranks of the platoons contained few men except those who had joined the battalion since platoon and even since company training time. The pardonable ignorance of field work shown by these youngsters came as a shock to many onlookers who had not realised the inevitable result of having a strong Wing and a strong M.G. (Machine Gun) Company, when battalions are two hundred below peace establishments. Both the youngsters and their immediate commanders deserve great credit for the speed with which the work was picked up. After a few agitated days, it would have been hard to tell who was on his first manoeuvres, or who on his last.
2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment Officers at Tier Park Camp (1928)
Back standing L to R: 2/Lt. C. H. C. Beresford, Lt. J. J. Abbott, Lt. L. R. Tilling, Lt. F. G. W. Axworthy, 2/Lt. D. H. Nott, Lt. & Quartermaster W. Corcoran,
2/Lt. N. Coffin, 2/Lt. P. N. Graves-Morris, 2/Lt. P. O. C. Ray, Lt. R. B. Moss, Lt. A. P. Watkins, M.C.
Front seated L to R: Capt. W. R. Prescott, M.C., Capt. A. M. Martin-Smith, Major J. M. Graham, Major B. C. S. Clarke, D.S.O.,
Lt.-Col. F. P. Dunlop
C.B.E., D.S.O., Major J. H. Pelly, Capt. C. V. W. Court, M.C., Capt. J. C. M. Balders.
BATTALION AND BRIGADE TRAINING
On the 1st of September 1928 the brigade marched some eleven miles to the Igstadt neighbourhood, to concentrate for brigade training. Something must have got into the soup the night before, for the commanding officer and the O.C. Machine Gun Company both retired from the scene for a few days with internal pains. Ably commanded by Major Clarke, the battalions took part in three and a half days' interesting operations, during which the 2nd Dorsetshire Regiment acted as enemy.
The first day the Brigade marched from Igstadt as an Advanced Guard to a Division, with the 2/R.W.F. in the van. The vanguard battalion were held up on the high ground between the Platte and Tier Park. At this stage the Worcestershire were brought up on the left, and were able to continue the advance through the woods owtards Wehen. At this place they were in their turn held up by the enemy, who were holding that village and were also in position on Hal B. After a hard fight, which employed the whole Battalion, the right flank of the enemy was turned, and Hal B was occupied by the Worcestershire. By this time the 2/R.W.F. on the right had established themselves on the high ground above Neuhof. No further advance was attempted, and night found the Neuhof-Hal B ridge held by outposts, with the 2/R.W.F. holding the Neuhof sector, and, luckily for the Worcestershire, an imaginary Battalion of a still more imaginary Brigade holding the Hal B sector. Thus the Worcestershire were able to settle down comfortably into billets in Wehen, and came into Brigade reserve. During the night the 2/R.W.F. were disturbed by enemy armoured cars in the village of Neuhof; so much so indeed, that a hand-to-hand conflict resulted between the enraged but gallant Commanding Officer of the Fusiliers and a perfectly good armoured car complete with crew. The result is still unknown, but it is understood that the C.O. concerned lived to tell the tale, which we believe was unfit for publication!
At an early hour the next day the Brigade continued its advance northwards with the IR. Berkshire acting as vanguard. During this march the whole column was violently and constantly attacked by enemy aircraft, which caused some delay and undoubtedly many casualties, to say nothing of consternation (imaginary). The vanguard battalion, after a hard morning's fighting, was held up on the high ground in the vicinity of Gorsroth. The Brigade Commander decided that the best way to drive the enemy from his position was to bring up another Battalion from the main guard to roll up his left flank. This task was given to the Worcestershire, who, after a personal reconnaissance by their commanding officer, were successfully led by covered route into a position of deployment. The attack was timed to take place at 1300 hours, and at the appointed time 'A' and 'B' companies assaulted the extreme left flank of the enemy, supported by innumerable machine guns and the usual imaginary artillery. The attack was successful, in spite of the fact that a Royal Berkshire Regiment cyclist, carrying a message to one of their leading companies giving details of the forthcoming attack, was captured by the enemy. By 1400 hours the Battalion had established itself on the ground taken. At this stage the "Stand Fast" sounded, and friend and foe alike resorted to the more peaceful occupation of having a good square meal and a well earned rest.
The Battalion was highly praised for this operation. 'B' Company under Major Pelly had the most difficult task on this occasion, and are worthy of special mention.
The Battalion spent that night on outpost duty. During the night our detached post was severely handled by the enemy, who, being in considerable strength, drove it in. An hour later the post was re-established by a counter-attack, which proved quite unnecessary owing to the fact that the enemy had evacuated the post without it having been discovered.
Arrangements were made for a Brigade attack on a three Battalion front at dawn, the necessary reconnaissance having been carried out by all concerned at dusk. At 0500 hours the attack started, and by 0600 hours the whole of the Limbach-Strinztinatatis ridge was in our possession. Once again that welcome call "Stand Fast" was sounded, and operations ceased for the day.
The Battalion went into billets at Limbach, and but for the threshing machines, barking dogs, and motor despatch riders, day and night, might have had a well-earned rest !
The fourth day brought us to the last phase of Brigade operations in the form of a rearguard action through more difficult country. The enemy having been heavily reinforced during the previous day, and owing to the perilous situation on our left flank, the Brigade was ordered to withdraw to the Wehenhahn area.
Covered by the 2/R.W.F., the 2nd Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment marched right through to the high ground covering Wehen-Hahn, while the Worcestershire took up a rearguard position overlooking Oberlibach, in order to cover the withdrawal of the 2/R.W.F.
The route laid down was a difficult one. Consequently the Battalion Intelligence (?) Section was called upon to assist in the maintenance of direction. It is interesting to note that this was the first occasion on which they had been so employed. (It might well be the last !) However, in spite of this, we reached our destination, and were in position by the appointed time. By 1130 hours the 2/R.W.F. had withdrawn through our position, and by 1200 hours the enemy, who were greatly assisted by being mechanised for the occasion, were pressing an attack on our position, and in addition were endeavouring to work round our left flank, which was fully exposed. Fortune favoured us, and we managed to check this left flank attack. Hard fighting and rapid movement without the loss of direction in this very hilly and densely wooded country brought the Battalion safely to its second position on the high ground above Orlen. Here the Battalion delayed the enemy sufficiently long to enable it to withdraw at the appointed time through the Royal Berkshire into Brigade reserve.
It had been an interesting day for all, and all companies did well. Perhaps a word of praise is due to Lieut. Watkins for the very able way he handled the various sections and sub-sections of the Machine Gun Company, and to the section and sub-section leaders themselves; also to the Signallers and Staff of the Battalion for refusing to be harassed, in spite of numerous alarming reports from every source, and constant interruptions from interested spectators and others in authority.
2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment - The Staff (1928)
Back standing L to R: Bandmaster G. C. Bixley, Lt. & Q.M. W. Corcoran, R.Q.M.S. S. Humphries, M.M., R.S.M. J. W. Tingey, C/Serg. (O.R.S) A. H. Cooper
Front L to R: Major B. C. S. Clarke, D.S.O. 2nd-in-command, Lt.-Col. F. P. Dunlop, C.B.E., D.S.O. Commanding, Capt. W. R. Prescott M.C. Adjutant
After a day's rest, the battalion marched to Nieder Ems, to act as enemy to the Second Rhine Brigade. The march was a trying one with three very hot miles along the narrow valley of the Ems at the finish. The battalion's boast, that nobody falls out while he is still conscious, was well maintained by the three men who stuck it all the way, until they fainted in the last few yards. A quiet week-end in good billets was all the more appreciated.
The commander of the 2nd Rhine Brigade is Brigadier R. J. Hildyard who, not so long ago, commanded the Worcestershire and Gloucestershire Territorial Infantry Brigade. The operations he had arranged gave us a most interesting and cheery time, from start to finish. On the Monday we held a rearguard position near Ober Ems, retiring later in the day to the Is Berg, where a very bright encounter took place with the enterprising Royal Fusiliers. During the night B Company harried the enemy outposts. On Tuesday we were driven out of Reinborn and across the Winkel Berg. In the evening we occupied a position west of Esch, where we were attacked at dawn on Wednesday. By half-past six we were breakfasting in Idstein, and by half-past ten we were back at the Tier Park, for two days' "stand easy."
Brigadier Hildyard was so kind as to send a letter of appreciation. On our side we would like to say that the consideration shown to us in the allocation of excellent billets, in the timing of the operations, and in the umpiring of one or two difficult situations, made our task a very pleasant one.
Lieutenant-Colonel Frank Passy Dunlop, C.B.E., D.S.O. (1928)
Three incidents throw a curious sidelight on our occupation of the Rhineland.
The inhabitants of Nieder Ems were a little perturbed when we descended on them, with the intentions of staying for three nights. Threshing was in full swing, and a harvest dance was billed for Sunday night at the inn. However, under the persuasive influence of our good interpreter, Herr Kegler, room was made. Barns were swept up, fresh straw was laid down, and the dance fell through. At the end of three days the inhabitants said that they had no claims to make, that our visit had given them great pleasure, and that they would be glad to see us back again.
The operations lay right along the frontier of unoccupied Germany, and very proper anxiety was displayed that the powerful neutral Germania should have no occasion to intern wandering Reds or Blues in the village quod of Steckenroth.
Found leaning against the frontier by the highest authority, the village policeman of Steckenroth is reported to have said that he had no intention of arresting anyone, but that, as an old soldier, he had come to see other soldiers at work. It was an extremely pleased policeman who watched the rest of the fight, after receiving a full picture of the tactical situation from the Commander-in-Chief himself.
As we leant over his garden wall at Idstein, the caretaker of the hall in which we had breakfasted, said, "Where is the regiment that was quartered in Idstein last year ? " (The Royal Fusiliers.)
" They will be coming down the road in ten minutes," I replied.
" Mein Gott ! I must run out and see them again ! What a smart lot of fellows they were ! What a pity they ever took them away !
2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment Officers at their billets at Barstadt (1928)
On Saturday, the 15th September, we marched to billets in Barstadt, On Sunday afternoon the whole brigade assembled in its jumping off places for the Inter-Brigade manoeuvres; the Royal Welch Fusiliers and Worcestershire in the woods near the Wisper valley, the Royal Berkshires in billets at Dickshied. In spite of the steep slopes, we managed to be pretty comfortable in the woods, which gave us full protection from the air. The search for soft spots to lie on led some of us rather far afield; but anxiety as to whether the Vicar would be in time for breakfast was relieved when he made a brilliant and rapid descent of the khud in company with his bed-valise.
Eight uphill miles behind the artillery brought us to the outskirts of Bad Schwalbach, where the French aeroplanes delivered a low-flying attack. The opposing forces were understood to be racing for the commanding ground about Breithardt. 'B' Company and the mechanised machine guns were sent off to protect the flank, near Born, but were withdrawn later, without coming into action. Otherwise the battalion remained in reserve all day, and eventually went into billets at Breithardt, the other two battalions lying out.
On the first really cold morning of the year, the Royal Welch and Royal Berkshires attacked at dawn, to find the enemy retiring, and the battalion then passed through them at Strinz Margaretha, encountering gas on the way, and took up the pursuit along the Nieder Libbach defile. After some cheerful scrapping we reached Ober Libbach about noon. Two hours' truce was called, and the machine gun lorries again saved the day by rushing up the tea from some miles behind.
Moving on about three o'clock, the Royal Berkshires soon encountered the enemy in position west of Ehrenbach. We ourselves moved through the woods on their left, and soon came in touch with the extreme right of the enemy's front line. Leaving a company and a section of machine gunners to engage this target, the rest of
us pushed for Oberauroff and the Rügert hill, where we found the whole of the enemy's mechanised machine guns on the last position covering Idstein.
Though the battalion's advance was checked, our machine guns found magnificent targets in the enemy withdrawing from Ehrenbach. 'C' Company got halfway up the Rügert ; 'A' Company made a bold dash for the Bauschen Berg. A battery came to our support, and finally 'B' Company, returning from the fight near Ehrenbach, worked up the north side of the Rügert and found itself on the extreme right of the enemy's line of machine guns, just as the "stand fast" and "No Parade" were sounded.
Nothing could exceed the good spirits of the troops as they concentrated in their last billets at Oberauroff. By nine the next morning, we had entrained for home.
Thus ended a very cheery and interesting time, which left us with plenty to think about. The marches were never long enough to make us lose interest, and the weather was perfect throughout.
No doubt the chief difficulty of modern manoeuvres is the adequate representation of fire. With its sixteen machine guns, the battalion may be deployed over two miles of front, and may be engaging targets a mile away. But there are no means to convey to friends and foes the fact that we are in action except the popping of blank, the flashing of Lucas lamps, the hard riding of umpires, and the harder running of "runners." So it happens that our most devastating efforts may go unrecognised until the final conference. Who can invent a better way to let people know they are being fired at ?
A second problem is that of the command and control of the machine gun company. It is scattered all over the place; it has one horse ; it has no means of signalling within the company. It is not easy to raise the number of trained signallers; horses may be all right in peace, but they don't last long within machine gun range in war. What suggestions ?
What about the three-company organisation ? Old ideas, of two in front and two behind, have had to go. If one company goes first, there isn't much stuffing to it. If two are pushed in at the beginning, there isn't much left for the next effort. Some think that a C.O. would be happier with four rifle companies of three platoons each; perhaps he would, but how would the company commander like it ? Some suggest four platoons of three sections each; but what has the platoon commander to say to this?
Tanks and anti-tanks ? We shall see real ones at Salisbury next year. But there were a lot of places in the Taunus where they could not have operated.
And then the air. Must a whole army go to ground for a reconnaissance plane? Must troops in a hurry to get somewhere keep stopping and going to ground? Can brigades and divisions scatter for every low flying attack? What will happen to them, if they don't ? What are we going to do when attacked from both air and ground at once? Stick it, no doubt; but what are we going to do to stop it?
The following "mentions" are due to the individuals named:
Sergeant Lockley. For sticking it till the end of manoeuvres, and undergoing a serious operation on the day of return.
Private Smith. For being bitten by the mess cart horse every day, and still loving it.
Privates Stanley, Perry, and Smith. For getting there every time with the half limbers.
Sergeant Drain and his cooks. For marching all day and working all night.
The Mess Staffs. For doing the same.
Mr. Corcoran and his staff. For doing the troops jolly well.
Mr. Beresford and Herr Kegler. For keeping the damage claims down.
Drummer Lowe. For cornet solos on church parades.
All other staffs, employs, sections, platoons, and companies. For putting up a consistent good show.
2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment - Sergeants at Victoria Barracks, Bingen, Germany (1928)
1st Row: S/Sgt. C. Charman, L/Sgt. A Whitty, Sgt. P. Johnson, Sgt. F. Whiting
2nd Row: Band Sgt. W. Casseldon, Sgt. B. Drain, Sgt. P. Williams, Sgt. H. Marriatt, Sgt. G. Tuton, Sgt. H. Attewell, M.M., L/Sgt. F. Hodges
3rd Row: Sgt. A. Clarke, Sgt. F. Horton,
Sgt. A. Adams, Sgt. J. Grigg, Sgt. A. James, M.M., L/Sgt. A. Gross, L/Sgt. H. Redman, Drum Major E. Greenway
4th Row: C/Sgt. F. Gill, C/Sgt. (O.R.S.) A. Cooper, C.S.M. W. Pook, Bandmaster
G. Bixley, R.S.M. J. Tingey, R.Q.M.S. S. Humphries, M.M. ,
C.S.M. W. Barnett, C/Sgt. S. Baker, Sgt. W. Banner
2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment - Sergeants at Khandahar Barracks, Schierstein, Germany (1928)
Back row: L/Sgt. J. Tuck, L/Sgt. A. Phillips, Sgt. M. Fitzgerald, Sgt. W. Judge, Sgt. W. Freeborn, L/Sgt. A. Bates, L/Sgt. A. Rendell, Sgt. J. Longmore
Front: Sgt. C. Shrimpton, C/Sgt. D. McCartney, C.S.M. C. Law, Captain H. Gordon, C.S.M. W. Russon, D.C.M., C/Sgt. T. V. Churches, D.C.M., Sgt. Griffin
2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment - 'A' Company men at Victoria Barracks, Bingen, Germany
We welcome Captain Balders to the Company, also L.-Cpl. Jones, Pte. Taylor, and all recruits who have joined us lately from the Depot.
We regret losing Sgt. Gill, who has gone to H.Q. Wing to take over the onerous duties of C.Q.M.Sgt.
We congratulate the following on their appointment to the dizzy heights of Lance-Corporals:—Chancellor, Heath, and Narraway: also Cpl. Carleton on obtaining his First Class Certificate of Education, and hope that he will still continue to cram.
With regard to Musketry we have not much to boast about, but we extend our hands to 'C' Company on winning from us the Shooting Shield for the best Company. But we would give them a little advice, and that is, to look out and get plenty of practice in, as we intend getting it back next year. We congratulate Cpl. Carleton on winning the Corporals' Cup in the Inter-Unit Rifle Meeting. We also congratulate No. 3 Platoon on winning the Company Inter-Platoon Shield.
In Athletics, as a Company we did not show any brilliance, but as we have got plenty of promising material (provided they don't find their way to India during the coming trooping season), we hope to do much better next year. We were represented in the Cross Country Running Team, which won the B.A.O.R. Meeting, by L.-Cpl. Babbs and Pte. Cartwright.
We had the pleasure of getting into the final of the Cricket Knock-Out Competition, but were unlucky to run up against H.Q. Employed, who had rather a walk over. But we have a few promising young cricketers in Ptes. Dalloway, Irving, and Sheppard, and expect them to come into their own next season.
We have lost the following recruits, viz. : Ptes. Corknell, Harper, Miles, Salter, Smith, and Townsend, who have been transferred to the Drums, and wish them luck, as every budding Drummer carries a Drum Major's mace in his haversack.
2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment - 'B' Company men at Victoria Barracks, Bingen, Germany
Since the last issue of "Firm," we have had several changes in the Company. First of all our most popular company commander, Captain Sheppard, has left us for a tour of duty at the Depot. Every¬body misses him very much, and we are all looking forward to the day when he comes back again. At the moment Lieutenant (almost Captain) Tilling is commanding the Company. We welcome 2/Lieut. P. O. C. Ray, who has joined us on the dissolution of the old 'D' Company. At the moment we are stationed at Schierstein, on detachment, our companions being 'C' Company. We all enjoy ourselves very much, and "The Schiersteiners" are always to the fore, both in work and games—not mentioning shooting, in which we did a great deal towards winning the Rhine Army Cup.
As regards games we are still in the fore, and still hold the Hockey Shield, the Boxing Shield, and the Young Soldiers' Athletic Challenge Cup. We did not compete in the Cricket competition this year, owing to transport difficulties, but we were very disappointed, as we had an excellent team, and the shield, which had been in our possession for three years, went to Bingen. However, we had one or two very good games, and managed to beat 'C' Company in a friendly game by an innings and then some. In Athletics we had a fairly good team, and finished up 3rd in the Battalion Championships, and despite many difficulties we have managed to keep up our reputation as a very good sporting Company.
We are now all looking forward to Plymouth, when, once more,- we will be able to join up with the remainder of the battalion, and carry on games under more favourable circumstances.
2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment - 'C' Company men at Victoria Barracks, Bingen, Germany
Since writing our last notes, numerous changes have occurred and others are pending. We have exchanged Company Commanders' Capt. Prescott, M.C., our late Company Commander, has now taken over the Adjutancy of the Battalion vice Capt. Gordon, who, in addition to other duties, now commands THE Company, supported by Capt. Martin-Smith, whom we also welcome to the Company. In addition, we heartily welcome 2/Lieut. D. H. Nott, who, we are confident will be a great asset to our sporting abilities, having played Rugby for the Army.
Our persistent training at musketry, under the able guidance of officers and sergeants, was of great benefit to one and all when theory became practice at Sonnenburg Camp. The Company became "Best Shooting" Company, and in addition, at the Battalion Rifle Meeting, proved their abilities, both individually and collectively. C.S.M. Russon, D.C.M., whom we welcome to the Company and congratulate on his promotion to Warrant rank, greatly distinguished himself by winning a silver cup, and becoming the possessor of the Major Bacon Cup for the ensuing year, having made the highest score of the Meeting. Another of our N.C.O.'s, Sergt. Shrimpton, also distinguished himself, being runner-up to his C.S.M. It will be a great loss to the Company when Sergt. Shrimpton sails for the " Shiney East " to join the 1st Battalion. However, our loss will be their gain, and we wish him and his family every success.
C.S.M. Russon, D.C.M., goes to the 7th Battalion for a tour of duty in October. All ranks will regret his departure, and wish him well in his new work, while remembering his keenness in the Company's welfare and his ever present cheerfulness and willingness to assist one and all. His place will be taken by C.S.M. Jones, D.C.M., from the 7th Battalion.
In Cross Country running, our representatives in the Battalion team were Mr. Abbott and Pte. Maggs, both of whom, in all matches with other units, ran very consistently. In passing, we may remark that Mr. Abbott was the individual winner of the Rhine Army Cross Country Running Championship for 1928, a feat that he had previously performed in 1920. A magnificent achievement, never before accomplished.
We have had little opportunity to participate in Cricket during the summer, and hope to enjoy better facilities at our new station, Plymouth, where we also hope to discover some Rugby talent.
Our congratulations are extended to L.-Cpls. Carlo, Carroll, Gar¬bett, Lovegrove, and Woodward on their appointment to the initial stage of promotion, and to Corpl. Taylor on his promotion.
L.-Cpl. Bunting, Cpl. Taylor, Cpl. Langfield, L./Sergts. Phillips, and Church, L.-Cpl. Dolphin, Ptes. Mitten and Walker have left the Company either for civil life or a P.T. Centre. Whatever their destination, we wish them every success.
'D' (MACHINE GUN) COMPANY
2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment - 'D' (Machine Gun) Company men at Victoria Barracks, Bingen, Germany
Since the last issue of " Firm " we have been raised to the dignity of a Company under the command of Captain Giffey, who now leaves us for employment under the Foreign Office. We wish him every success, and hope to see him back with the Battalion some day. We welcome his successor, Captain Court, also Mr. Watkins, who joined us in the spring.
L.-Cpl. Senior has followed in the footsteps of his brother to the R.M.C., Sandhurst. Our best wishes go with him.
Apropos of Training, we feel we have had our fair share of "work" this summer. In May we went to Bitche for the Machine Gun Concentration and Field Firing, where we spent a very pleasant if somewhat arduous month, and accumulated much valuable knowledge of the wiles and moods of the machine gun.
As usual we found ourselves at Sonnenburg for our annual musketry and machine gun courses. The results of the latter were very gratifying, and amply rewarded us for weeks of toil on the barrack square. In the Machine Gun Cup, strange to relate, our scores fell very short of our expectations, but the best of gunners have their days off, and we must hope for better luck next year.
Wonderful weather favoured our Battalion training and manoeuvres. We are all home again now, and the long hot dusty marches and fiercely fought fights amongst the wooded hills and shady valleys of the Taunus are a memory of the past, but we have the satisfaction of knowing that the Company, down to the latest joined "Rookie," gave a good account of themselves, and that "D.M.G." Company has thoroughly justified its existence under the new establishment.
A very pleasant day was spent on the 4th of August, the Company going by boat to St. Goar. Our thanks are due to C.Q.M.S. Mokes for the excellence of the commissariat.
Our Athletic team acquitted itself well at the Battalion Sports, and carried away the Shield. Sgt. Keeble was a popular " Victor Ludorum."
Cpl. Saunders is to be congratulated on returning from Netheravon with a well-earned "D."
In conclusion, our congratulations to Sgt. Prosser on his triple success, viz. his promotion to Sergeant, the obtaining of his First Class Certificate of
Education, and the addition to his family; to Mr. Axworthy and to Sgt. Keeble on their marriages ; also to Mr. and Mrs. Minchin on the birth of a daughter, and to Sgt. and Mrs. Lockley on the birth of a son.
We regret that Sgt. Lockley was admitted to hospital on the last day of manoeuvres to undergo a serious operation. The whole Company joins in wishing him a speedy recovery.
2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment - HQ Wing, Employed Group men at Victoria Barracks, Bingen, Germany
There have been many changes amongst us since the last issue of the magazine.
The sudden death of L.-Cpl. David E. Gordon (died 14th January 1928 at Wiesbaden, Germany) came as a sad blow to all the men. A good comrade and a splendid worker, he was greatly missed.
With the formation of the "Gunners" we lost out guide, philosopher and friend, C.S.M. Green, but have found an able substitute in C.S.M. Pook, whom we heartily congratulate on his well-deserved promotion.
His place as C.Q.M.S. has been filled by Sergt. Gill, from 'A' Company, who has rapidly become popular with all ranks (whether in credit or in debt). He should be a valuable asset to our football team.
Some notable departures have to be chronicled during the past year. "Herr - Candle wangled his" ticket - in Biebrich, and is now, I believe, chief lamp-lighter to the Sheffield Corporation; " Joe - Summers has forsaken khaki for the rustic solitude of Redditch; "Doctor" Walters will tend no more blistered feet nor cut any more aching corns; Tavener has gone on a motor engineering course with a view to setting up in business in U.S.A., where they can't play
pontoon,- and " Crown and Anchor - boards are unknown; and last, but not least, Steventon, whose tragic accident is still too fresh in our minds to bear repetition. May good luck attend them all!
In the Easter Triatholon we kept our end up, but if the prize had been a clock, results would have been vastly different, no other prize seems to bring out the latent talent of the "odds and Scrogs." Our competitors in the cross country team event of this contest gave Cpl. Bryan the shock of his life, but it appeared that they "mistook" the bridge which had to be crossed ! ! !
The manoeuvre period also brought to light unsuspected brilliance amongst the Employed or "Funny People" as we were dubbed. No job was too big for us, no march too long, and if "Nippy" hadn't occasionally got mixed up between A. Aircraft, A. Tank, Local Protection, etc., etc., it is difficult to say how many mentions and honours would have come our way.
In conclusion, we wish to congratulate Sergt. Bates on his gallantry at Schierstein, L.-Cpl. Westby on again winning the Athletic Championship of the Wing Left, and the Sergeant who would insist on carrying bricks in his pack during manoeuvres.
2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment - HQ Wing, Signallers men at Victoria Barracks, Bingen, Germany
Congratulations to the new blood in the section on passing their first Classification with such good percentage; we hope to see them do even better next year.
To L.-Cpls. Winwood and Phillips on mounting the first rung of the ladder.
We are sorry to lose Mr. Moss, who has gone to 'B' Company, but 'C' Company's loss is our gain in Mr. Usher, and we wonder if he has lost that Catterick impression.
During the Annual Course at Sonnenburg Camp our young soldiers were the envy of the whole battalion, something we are quite proud of.
2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment - The Band at Victoria Barracks, Bingen, Germany
We have not much to write about in our notes this time, there being only one or two events that the Band has been able to compete in since the last issue.
In the Easter Triathlon Meeting, organised by the Battalion, we served up a great surprise in furnishing the winners, it being left to our Running team to gain first place. Boy Mason gave the Band a surprise by being amongst the first six of the Battalion.
We have been able to have one or two cricket matches again this year with other Bands stationed on the Rhine, but we have found our opponents too strong for us. However, we did a lot better this year in the weapon training.
We offer our congratulations to the following:— Sgt. Hope and Cpl. Potter, who, by a lot of hard work and study whilst at Kneller Hall, have been successful in their examinations for Bandmasters. At present B.M. Hope is waiting to join the Northamptonshire Regiment at Malta. L.-Cpl. Harper on his recent promotion to Cpl., and Bds. Relly on his recent marriage.
We have just had another addition to the Band in Dmr. Lowe, who has just joined us from the Drums, and we wish him every success in his new musical sphere. Also Boys Mills, Hewitt, Budden, Towey, and Crisp, who are also welcomed to the Band.
The Band was received at the Depot with open arms, and rendered several programmes of music.
It was noticed that the Band Sergeant this time was very careful in taking and handing over, even at 1 1.30 p.m. on the day of arrival at the Depot.
In the Company Cricket Knock-out we were badly defeated by 'D' (M.G. Coy.), but we hope to make a better show next time, and win the Shield again.
At the time of writing these notes, we have only just returned from England after fulfilling our engagements there, and we must say that the Band did very well, especially at Yarmouth, where we were for a whole month. Besides rendering music to the public, we found that we had to do a Military Tattoo three times a week, and the way that the Band did the various turns and evolutions was really first-class, and, judging by the applause of the vast crowd who came to watch, it was a great success.
2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment - The Drums at Victoria Barracks, Bingen, Germany
We have still more departures to report. Four of our stalwarts, Cpl. Millard, Dmrs. Rubery, Badham, and Prior, have left us for " Civvie Street." We wish them the best of good luck, and hope to meet again in the near future.
Some people were lucky and rich enough to snatch a few days' leave in the break period; others kept the " Business as usual sign hanging out.
Manoeuvres were plodded through satisfactorily, and the Intelligence Section carried out their new role in a manner which showed their training had not been in vain.
It is noticed that the impending move to Plymouth has caused a stir in the Drums. There is much talk of Raleighs, Humbers, and Civvie Suits, and one individual has been deeply immersed in Catalogues, and the advantages of the "Pay whilst you ride" system.
Most of the photographs in this section have were kindly provided by John T. Law whose father Sergeant C (Charlie) Law served with the 2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment from 1914 to 1938 and ending as Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant. In 1928 he was C.S.M. in 'B' Company.