2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment - Record March in 1895
The following is an extract from "The Aldershot News" of 15th September, 1895.
ALDERSHOT SOLDIERS' RECORD MARCH
A very successful test march was made on Saturday by a party of the 2nd Worcestershire Regiment. The idea of the march was to cover the distance between the New Forest and Aldershot following the route traversed by the manoeuvring force on its march to the land of the Tumuli in September in one day. The party, consisting of Captain Hovell, Corporal Thomas and four young soldiers, left Aldershot on Friday night by rail for Lyndhurst, from whence a start was made at 2.0 a.m. on Saturday, after the kits had been inspected by Captains Lord and Norbury, who, with Lieuts. Jackson and Alderson, met the team again at Alton and returned with it to Aldershot.
Instead of wearing the valise, an experiment was tried of carrying the kit in two large Willesden canvas haversacks, but all other equipment of the service marching order was worn. On leaving Lyndhurst rain was falling heavily and continued until Winchester was reached, where, the team being soaked to the skin, a long halt was called in order to dry the saturated clothing. At 10.40 a.m. the party took the road leading past Itchen Abbas station and Avington for Alton, which was reached at five minutes to five p.m. Here an hour's halt was called and at 6.0 o'clock the final stage of the march, through Alton, commenced. The lights of the Aldershot Cavalry Barracks were sighted shortly after 10.0 p.m., and a large number of troops had assembled nearby to see the end of the march and, headed by the drums of their Regiment, the party was played into Badajos Barracks amidst cheers.
The kits were inspected by Captain Lewis and officers of the Bedfordshire Regiment and found correct in every particular according to the scale laid down for manoeuvres. The total weight of kit, arms and equipment was 35 lbs. The team had covered the march of 51 miles in 15 hrs. 35 minutes, excluding halts.
The following shows the stage details of the march :
Left Lyndhurst 2.0 a.m. Arrived Winchester 8.20 a.m. Halt 2 hours and 20 minutes.
Left Winchester 10.40 a.m. Arrived Alresford 12.30 p.m. Halt one hour.
Left Alresford 1.30 p.m. Arrived Alton 5.0 p.m. Halt one hour.
Left Alton 6.0 p.m. Arrived Aldershot 10.15 p.m.
Total Time excluding Halts 15 hrs. 55 mins.
Add Halts 4 hrs. 20 mins.
Total Time 20 hrs. 15 mins.
Distance covered 51 Miles.
The following congratulatory Brigade Order by the Major-General Commanding the 1st Aldershot Brigade was published concerning the march:-
"The Major-General Commanding desires to congratulate Captain Hovell and the Noncommissioned Officer and men of the Worcestershire Regiment on the success of the test march carried out from Lyndhurst to Aldershot on the 9th inst. A march of 51 miles in marching order, accomplished without strain, is an excellent performance.
The Major-General considers that these forced marches, though carried out by selected men and therefore not to be accepted as a test of the marching power of a Regiment, are yet very valuable, affording a standard which can be attained by preparation and determination to succeed.
An additional interest is given to this march in that the party carried an equipment designed by Captain Hovell, which gave much satisfaction and certainly possesses some important advantages as a service equipment."