Glossop Heritage Trust

Glossop Detachment of the Cheshire Regiment.

The following notes are by Robert Hamnett of Glossop, Derbyshire. Hamnett was a local historian and member of the local volunteer force in which he served as an NCO. The notes are part of an archive of his work for lectures and publication in the local newspaper from 1900 until his death in 1914.


From the earliest period the men of the High Peak have taken their part in the defence of the country and in expeditions abroad. The existence of British and Roman forts in the neighbourhood must have had influence in creating a martial spirit amongst the male population.

In the days of bows and arrows Glossop had its fair complement of archers, who had to practise at the archery butts on Sundays and festival days. Each hamlet had its own butts to maintain. The Whitfield butts were on the Little Moor at Em Butts, now Todd Street. The Hadfield butts were on the flat piece of land between the Waterside branch railway and Woolley Bridge Road. There is no record of where the Glossop butts were.

There is amongst the County records an account of John Bramwell, of Glossop volunteering in 1703 to join the Duke of Marlborough's forces for his projected campaigns, and Samuel Wagstaffe, Constable of Glossop, advancing him 20s. out of his own pocket towards his expenses of enlisting Colonel Rivers' Regiment of Foot. Ninety years later, we find in the parish accounts payments made towards the keep of the wives and children of Glossop Militia men who were up for training.

In 1803 a Militia Act was passed, and the constables had to make out a list of persons of the age of 17 to 55. These were divided into three classes. The first class consisted of unmarried men from 17 to 30 years of age; the second class consisted of unmarried men from 30 to 50 years of age; and the third class consisted of married men or widowers from 17 to 30, who have not more than two children living under the age of ten years. A note had to be made of those men not included in the above list, who had any infirmity that would unfit them for military service.

Ministers, Churchwardens, and other parochial officers were to assist the constable in classifying the men. A constable making a false return was liable to a fine of £50.

The King could order the first class to be exercised, and the Deputy Lieutenant had to regulate the time and place, two hours every Sunday (between Lady Day and Michaelmas in every year), and if thought necessary the men to be trained to the use of arms on other days, of which notice had to be given in the churches and chapels.

Constables had to attend the training, and were allowed £5 per annum for their trouble. He was fined 10s. each time he was absent, except through illness. Persons of the first class residing not more than three miles from the place of exercise were fined 5s. for each non attendance, and if absent for three successive days fined 40s. All such fines were levied by distress. Any man pawning, losing, or not returning arms in good order fined 40s., or one month.

Glossop was in the North Inland District under the command of Lieut. General Gardiner. This Militia Act caused many Glossopians to enlist in the Regular Army, and they did good service during the Peninsular Wars. I have not got a complete list of them, I wish I had, but Sergeant. Thorpe was one; he enlisted in 1803 and served 21 years. He was at Sheerness when the immortal Nelson's body was brought home.

Others were Joseph Harrop, nicknamed Blucher; he was in the artillery, and related many deeds of bravery. He and Sergeant Thorpe always went together to Stockport to draw their pensions, where they met old comrades and fought their battles over again. William Booth of Wellgate, was one of Napoleon's guards at St. Helena. Thomas Booth of Wellgate, was for some time watchman at Woods'. Those who were not balloted for the Militia, and did not enlist, formed on the 31st October, 1803, two companies of volunteers, named The Glossop; Padfield and Hadfield Volunteers. The officers were Captain Commanding, George Hadfield, Esq.; Captain John Thornley, Esq.; Lieutenants, John Wood Gent., of Hadfield, and Joseph Hadfield, gent., of Lees Hall; Ensigns, Moses Hadfield, gent., and John Kershaw, gent.

At the same time the Mellor Volunteer Infantry was formed, the officers being; Captain, Samuel Oldknow, Esq.; Lieutenant, Ralph Fearn, gent.,; and Ensign, James Radcliffe, gent.

The Glossop Volunteers drilled in a field opposite Meadow Mills, Shepley Street. Rifle matches for wagers were popular, in the Manchester Mercury for the 28th February, 1804, there is an account of one which will be interesting to all rifle shots:- "Rifle Shooting; Thursday last, a wager of ten guineas was shot for by a party of Derbyshire riflemen, ten in number, fire against fire, at the distance of nearly 200 yards. The shots were particularly well closed, there being seven balls in the bull's eye, nineteen within six inches of the centre, and out of forty shots fired 34 balls were lodged in the target, 24" in diameter."

In July, 1804, the Glossop and Mellor Volunteers who formed part of the North High Peak Volunteer Infantry Corps, were encamped at Nottingham for ten days, under Lieut. Col. Frill, and during their stay their conduct was in every way exemplary. That they were well received may be inferred from the following issued by the officers:- Lieut. Col. Frith, Major Oldknow, and the officers of the North High Peak Battalion cannot leave Nottingham without acknowledging the gratitude they feel for the very hospitable, liberal, and polite attention which has been shown them by Lieut. Col. Elliott and the officers of the Loyal Nottingham Volunteers, and the gentlemen of the town and neighbourhood, and beg leave to return them with sincere thanks."

The Glossop Corps had a band, which was long continued after Napoleon's power had been crushed and the Volunteers disbanded.

In 1820 a troop of Yeomanry was raised by Capt. White, of Park Hall, Hayfield. The trumpeter was a black boy. The troop drilled at the Heath, near the Cemetery. The troop rendered excellent service in 1826 by preventing the cotton mills being destroyed during the disturbances caused by the introduction of the power looms. I knew many old men who remembered watching them drill. In 1859 an attempt was made to form a Volunteer Corps in Glossop but failed; the following is an account of the public meeting held:- Monday, December 12th 1859. Meeting at the Town Hall convened by circular, by order of three magistrates, in response to a request from the Lord Lieutenant.

George Andrew moved, and William Sidebottom seconded, "That this meeting fervently hopes that amicable relations may be maintained by foreign states, and believes that the formation of a Volunteer Corps as a system of National Defence is one of the most might means of contributing to our country the blessings of peace and commercial prosperity." ' Carried. John Hill Wood proposed, and T.H. Sidebottom seconded, "That in furtherance of this object a Volunteer Rifle Corps be immediately formed for this neighbourhood, to be called the Glossop-dale Rifle Corps, and that a committee be appointed to carry out the foregoing resolution."

Mr. Edmund Potter moved an amendment, which Mr. Thomas Ellison seconded.

Rev Thomas Atkin supported it, and said; "The present system of the formation of Rifle Corps would be destructive of the morals of young men, and if the vast commercial establishments in Manchester were carried on by some who led semi-military lives they would wither and decay as fast as they had grown up."

26 voted for the amendment and only 16 for the resolution.

In June 1875, a number of young men in Glossop discussed the question of forming a Volunteer Corps, and it was eventually decided to take steps to carry out a suggestion that had been made, namely, to obtain the names of suitable young men who would be willing to join. A canvas was commenced, and in a few days over 150 persons consented to be enrolled. A letter was then written to Major E. Hall, of Whaley Bridge, asking him for his advice. He advised that the Mayor should be asked to convene a public meeting to consider the project. This was done, and the Mayor, S. Wood, Esq., called a meeting in the Town Hall for Monday June 14th, the Hall was crowded, amongst those present being the Mayor, T. Rhodes, Esq., Joseph Stafford, Esq., Edward Partington Esq., F. Hawke, Esq,. J.N.Winterbottom, Esq., Dr. W.H. Hunt, Rev. J.D. Knowles, and the Rev. C.B. Ward. The Mayor opened the meeting and called upon Alderman J. Stafford to propose the following resolution: "It is desirable to form a rifle corps." Mr. T. Rhodes seconded it. Mr. Charles Chambers, of Hadfield moved an amendment that there should be no rifle corps; he met with a great amount of opposition, and the meeting would not hear him, and as no one would second the amendment the resolution was carried with much cheering. Mr. F. Hawke then proposed, "That the following gentlemen constitute a committee: Mr. E. Partington, Mr. W.S. Rhodes, Mr. J.N. Winterbottom, Mr. W.H. Hunt, Mr. William Sidebottom, Mr. J. Stafford, Mr. T. Rhodes junior., with power to add to their number, and that Mr. George Ford, of Whitfield Endowed School, be the secretary." On the suggestion of Mr. J. Stafford the Mayor's name was added. The Rev C.B. Ward seconded the resolution, which of course, was carried, Mr. Ward being put on the committee.

The meeting was very enthusiastic and a band paraded the streets before and after the meeting playing martial and patriotic tunes. On Wednesday, June 30th, Mr. C. Chambers held an opposition meeting in the then Temperance Hall, and Mr. George Lomas addressed a crowded audience on "What constitutes the true greatness and security of a nation." He was listened to with attention and order, but the meeting was of no practical use. Due application was made to the War Office for the necessary permission to form a corps and pending the decision active steps were taken by the committee to raise funds, to defray the cost of uniform, etc.

Over £600 was received, the principal subscribers being: S. Wood, £100; F.J. Sumner, £100; Messrs. T. Rhodes and Sons, £100; Messrs. Olive And Partington, £100; D. Wood, £50; W. Sidebottom, £50; E.C.Potter, £50; Jas. Sidebottom, £25; and T.H. Sidebottom, £25. Lord Howard of Glossop promised the use of land for a shooting range and a portion of the Market Hall for a Drill Hall and Armoury at a nominal rental. In October, Captain Egerton visited the sites of the proposed shooting range and drill ground and approved of same. On the 16th the stall holders were given notice to quit and preparations were made to alter the east portion of the Market Hall to suit the Volunteers. In December, Major Levett, of Rowsley, inspected the Chunal rifle range, and sanctioned it. On January 1st, 1876, there appeared a notice in the local papers asking all those who had given in their names to attend at the Town Hall on Monday, the 10th, for the purpose of being enrolled, and to attend on the following Saturday to take the oath of allegiance. Great excitement was caused by this notice, and many tears were shed by mothers whose sons were going to be enlisted. It was quite a new movement in this neighbourhood and its objects not generally understood; the adverse criticism, however, was unheeded, and a large number attended to be sworn in. The Mayor, S. Wood, administered the oath, and amongst those present were Lieut. Col. Wilkinson, Capt. W. Sidebottom, Capt. E. Partington, Lieut. John Wood, Lieut. J. Armitage, Lieut. J. Walton, Assistant Surgeon Burnett, and Mr. George Ford. As fast as the men were sworn, they assembled in the Drill Hall, and were formed into two companies. They were then formed into squads to receive their first drill.

Cheshires Veterans
Cheshire Regiment 6th Batallion Volunteers, pictured outside the drill hall ca 1914.

Never will those present on that occasion forget the scene. The Drill Instructor, Sergeant. Major Hiney, Sergeant. Hulmes, Instructor Rogers, of Stockport. Instructor Davis of Hyde, and Instructor Backhouse, of Stalybridge, were all giving their instructions at once, and giving their commands in a loud manner; harder they shouted and worse the confusion. A squad would be standing at ease when the next squad got the command "T'shun," all would spring to attention, and then receive a reprimand for not watching their instructor. The men were, however, eager to learn and after a few drills got on wonderfully. Sergeant Hulmes, late of the 8th Regiment was appointed the regular instructor. There was a lot of difficulty in choosing a band, and there were two rivals - the Borough Band and the Whitfield Band; eventually the Whitfield Band was engaged at £36 per annum.

The corps, called the 23rd Derbyshire Rifle Volunteers paraded as a corps for the first time on Saturday, February 26th, and were inspected by Captain W. Sidebottom. On March 7th the members of the corps were measured for uniform and on Saturday, the 11th they had their first open air drill. Very favourable comments were made by the thousands of spectators who witnessed the drill, the officers and non-commissioned officers having had no previous knowledge of drill. Classes were formed to teach them how to deliver their commands. On Good Friday, so eager were some of the men to have a shot out of a real rifle that having obtained the same and ammunition they away went to the Chunal Range and shot at flag stones and other objects. This shocked the religious feelings of many persons, and led to an order being issued that there must be no firing on the range until the targets were completed.

A portion of the uniform having arrived, it was issued out, and on Monday, May 8th the men paraded wearing their uniform. After parade, as it was fair time, an adjournment was made to the fair ground and shooting galleries. Sad to say, some of the uniforms were soiled by droppings from the naphtha lamps, the wearers being so engrossed in their shooting that they did not notice the droppings until too late. On the 13th the whole corps paraded in uniform, and it was amusing to notice how shy and awkward some of the men looked whilst going from their houses to the Drill Hall, the female portion of the spectators unmercifully chaffing their acquaintances. The waist belts were of all colours and some actually lime washed.

The fine appearance of the men, 250 strong, gave general satisfaction and as they marched up Victoria Street, down Saint Mary's Road and up High Street West, to the station, Glossopians loudly expressed their pride in having such a fine body of citizen soldiers. A special train was in waiting to convey them to Hadfield, where they were met by Lieut. Col. Wilkinson, Adjutant. Walmsley, and Capt. W. Sidebottom, who were all mounted. The corps marched to Tintwistle and were drilled in a field lent by Manchester Corporation. After the drill Mr. James Sidebottom entertained the corps to a first class dinner in the Tintwistle Church School. The speeches were so long but interesting that the men decided to miss the train and march home. During the march home, when the band was not playing, the men sang "Union Jack of Old England" and other suitable songs.

The first Church Parade took place on May 21st and over 200 were on parade and very gay they made the old Parish Church look and quite a commotion was caused amongst the usual worshippers when the Volunteers sat down the first time during the service. The men forgot what they were wearing their side arms, which rattled on the seats. Saturday June 17th was looked forward to with pleasure not only by the members of the corps but also by the Stockport, Stalybridge and Hyde Volunteers, because it was the first appearance of the Glossop Volunteers at a battalion drill at Stockport. The streets of Stockport were lined by many people anxious to see us and it was the unanimous opinion that a finer body of men had never marched through the Borough of Stockport. On parade the Glossop companies were so strong that the companies of the Cheshire Volunteers seemed quite dwarfed. When the companies were equalised for the purpose of drill, the company markers could not judge the distances correctly because the chest measurements of the Glossop men were greater and an equal number of men required more space, this was very noticeable when in quarter column. During the drill blank firing was practised, and the Stockport authorities made a great mistake in not collecting the spare ammunition which on returning home some of the Glossop Volunteers fired away when passing through the Hattersley Railway Tunnels. It was not done with any evil intention but as a lark, and there was a terrible row about it, but where there were so many defaulters it was impossible to take action. The £600 was soon spent and a bazaar was opened by Lord Howard on Thursday, July 20th. It was held on three days and proved a success. The total receipts were £961 16s. 2d. after expenses were paid. £600 went to the corps fund, and £300 to the Cottage Hospital.

The first inspection of the corps took place July 29th, 1876, at Stockport. We were all recruits but we got highly praised for our drill. The Glossop people had not as yet seen us at battalion drill, so accompanied by the band on August 9th we marched to the Pyegrove fields and initiated the spectators into the mysteries of marching past, counter marching, forming column from line, marching by companies in echelon, and many other useless movements which are now wisely abandoned.

Our next parade was a melancholy one; one of our members, Private George Froggatt; had died through drinking cold water whilst he was in a heated state. The funeral took place on Saturday, August, 19th and the Corps attended, and with the band playing the "Dead March" we marched with arms reversed from Dinting Vale to Whitfield Church, where we paid out last respects with military honours to our departed comrade. The funeral was the first military funeral in Glossop within the memory of the oldest inhabitant, and caused a great assemblage of spectators, and as the mournful strains of the band was heard there was scarcely a dry eye en route.

The following Saturday we had a route march to Hayfield, where we met the Whaley Bridge Volunteers for united drill. It was a sultry day and during the firing a thunderstorm broke upon us, which drove the spectators to the refreshment marquee erected for our convenience. After drill we were dismissed, the officers going to dine with a neighbouring gentleman. We each had a number of checks given to us to spend, but the caterer was short of waiters and was charging us more than the usual prices; this led to a disturbance and several fights took place for which the volunteers were not to blame. The men were exasperated by their treatment, and a number of them calling in the New Inn, Little Hayfield, got disputing with some of the company who were making insulting remarks about Volunteers in general. This caused a row, and the landlord threatening to shoot them, bayonets were drawn, the piano front smashed and the room cleared. The matter was squared by some of the men paying damage, but "the Battle of Little Hayfield" will be long remembered.

On Saturday. May 12th 1877, the corps went to Adlington Park, and joined the 2nd Cheshire Militia in brigade drill. We acquitted ourselves very well and were complimented in orders for our conduct and drill.

The Rifle Range at Chunal proved to be a most inconvenient one when shooting at long ranges. and the men having to shoot across the highway caused many delays. For the safety of the public it was removed to Mossy Lea. Class firing on June 6th. The first match on this range took place July 21st against a company of the Oldham Volunteers. Oldham obtained 444 and Glossop 412 points; very encouraging for a young team. The officers had formed a shooting club, which had been the means of bringing out some of the best shots ever connected with the 4th Cheshire Volunteers. August 4th saw us assembled at Pyegrove for our annual inspection, which we passed with honour. Three weeks afterwards the shooting club team journeyed to Astley to shoot in a friendly match against one of the Manchester companies, and we beat them by 22 points. The result of this match greatly encouraged the shooting team, and other matches were arranged. To encourage the shooting Mr. R. Russell, of the Crown Inn, Whitfield, had purchased a silver cup, which he valued at £20. He gave this cup to the corps to be shot for at 400, 500, 600, 700, and 800 yards; five shots at each distance, regulation targets and positions, the cup to be won twice in three years; if not won in the first three years to go another two years, and the five competitors to shoot off for it. These conditions were vague, and afterwards caused a dispute. The cup was shot for on the Wakes' Saturday, September 15th and I won it. The licensed victuallers' prizes and company prizes were shot for during the Wakes' week.

The late Mr. James Sidebottom during his life was a very good supporter of the corps. He not only entertained the corps to dinner on many occasions, but presented valuable and useful prizes to be shot and competed for. The first prize he gave was a telescope, and was awarded to the competitor who was most successful in an examination in squad, company, battalion, position and aiming drill, and guard mounting. The late Qr. Master Sergeant W. Booth was the winner. The prizes were presented December 1st by Lieut. Col. Wilkinson, at the Whitfield Church School. The ceremony took place after tea, which had been given by Mrs. S. Wood, who gave many teas on similar occasions. Early in 1878 the corps suffered a great loss by the death of Qr. Master George Ford, whose death was quite unexpected and was deeply felt. His place was taken on March 10th by Col. Sergeant. Jas Hopwood. The shooting club was now in a financial position to defray the expenses of three men to compete at the national rifle association meeting at Wimbledon, and three competitions were held to decide who were the three best shots. The competitors, however, agreed among themselves that whoever was successful would share the expenses with the next three best shots, and the result was that the first team to represent the corps at Wimbledon were Corpl. F Garside, Col Sgt. W. Booth, Col. Sgt. J. Cooper, Sgt. T. Pye, Qr. Master Sgt. J. Hopwood, and myself. Sergeant. C.W. Shepley paid his own expenses. Not one of us had ever seen a camp or tent except in pictures, so that on arrival on Wimbledon Common everything was new and strange to us.

The commissionaire took our camp vouchers and brought us each a waterproof sheet, a bed and pillow stuffed with straw and two blankets. One of the team innocently asked him "where do we sleep?" The commissionaire thought at first he was being chaffed, but soon discovered he had practically raw recruits to deal with. He must have let the cat out of the bag for in a few minutes we had men wanting to dig a trench round our tents for which they did not forget to make us pay dearly for. As soon as we had settled with that lot we were visited by a very smart sergeant of the Guards, who offered to pipeclay our belts, clean our uniforms and rifles, make our beds, etc., during the week for 1s. each. We were highly flattered to have a sergeant as a batman and we learnt a few wrinkles from him and the men he sent when he was on duty.

We had plenty of fun. The first night we slept on the ground, we found it much more comfortable than we anticipated. One of our team made a humorous mistake, for after he had wound his watch up he put it in what he thought was a watch pocket. Of course it was a ventilator, and he was lucky to find his watch outside the tent when he woke up. We got little rest; men were constantly arriving from all quarters, and the numerous strange calls that we heard from men trying to locate each other was too much for first nighters. On the Monday the camp settled down for business, and the camp commandant was very strict indeed with anyone breaking the regulations. We shot very well, some of the team coming within a few points of winning a prize. The treat of the visit was, however, dining at the Ship Hotel, Greenwich, with the captain commanding the detachment. When the whitebait was brought in one of the guests remarked they looked like fried "fuddies" (jacksharps) and none seemed to want them until we were told what they were, and that the hotel was noted throughout the world for its whitebait, and, of course, we could have liked a second helping. The fun of the dinner was in not knowing what you were ordering. One of the team was suffering from toothache, and he ordered what he mistook for rice pudding. He took a large dessert spoonful and to his horror found it to be ice cream. As the captain was speaking to him he was forced to swallow it, but the agony he suffered was intense for a few moments, but it cured the toothache.

The Wimbledon teams never won any large amounts in prizes. This was not because the men who have competed there were not good shots, but because the climatic conditions were so different to Mossy Lea. The position of the range was not the same, and we got the sun mostly in our faces, and the mirage was such that the targets seemed all to be dancing. Looking back with the wisdom of experience it would have been the better policy to have sent fewer men and given those sent two or three pounds more for expenses to have enabled them to have practice. For practice we had to pay 7d. per shot at cartons, or 1s. 2d. for pool.

The Bisley teams have done much better, and our representatives have been a credit to the Glossop Rifle Corps. On July 26th 1879, the annual inspection took place at Adlington Park; and on June 8th 1880, the corps was measured for new uniforms. The regiment was consolidated, and our nos. 1, 2, and 3 companies became L.M. and N, companies of the 4th A.B. Cheshire Volunteers. July 17th, this year we had our first sham fight in this district, the scene of the operations being the vicinity of Coombs Rocks. Many mistakes were made. One is worth recording. One of our officers seeing the enemy - the Stockport men - approaching, could not remember the word of command to give his men, and he solved the difficulty by saying "D------ it men, get at 'em".

This year and for many years after we sent a team to the annual meeting of the Derby County meeting at Derby. Our experience gained at Wimbledon was very serviceable to us at these contests, and we invariably won many prizes, our shooting being very good, although we were handicapped by having to leave Glossop early in the morning and journeying to Marple in a waggonette to catch an early train for Derby.

After we began to wear the uniform of a Cheshire regiment the Derby Volunteers were rather jealous of us, so we transferred our shooting to the Cheshire Rifle Meeting at Altcar, and thanks to the generosity of Captain S. Hill-Wood, the Glossop team did remarkably well and set an example to the rest of the battalion. The annual inspection took place July 31st at Brabyns Hall Park, Marple, and we were duly inspected the following year and considerable feeling was roused by an order from headquarters that no band would be allowed to appear on parade except the regimental band. On August 6th we sent a detachment to Aldershot, where they had practical experience of a soldier's life in camp. Their behaviour was good, and they were complimented on their drill. The old shako's were a torment. After being worn for an hour or so, they made the men's heads ache, and they were so ugly in appearance.

We welcomed the order to parade on March 30th, 1882 to be measured for helmets. The strength of the Glossop detachment made it possible for the battalion to guarantee the required number to attend camp, and our first camp was fixed at St. Anne's on Sea. On May 27th we marched to the station, our new helmets and leggings improving our martial appearance and we were conveyed by special train to St. Anne's. The men who had been to Wimbledon and Aldershot were soon at home; but others were lost, and it was quite amusing to hear some of the questions asked. We camped at St. Anne's in 1883 and 1884. We were inspected one year by Major General Cameron, who came riding into camp with his staff at 8.0 a.m. Most of the men were at breakfast, but the battalion was hastily paraded - every available man, cooks, officer's servants, orderlies, and fatigue men. It was thought we should be inspected by companies, then dismissed to assemble in drill order, but General Cameron ordered the Colonel and the Adjutant to put us through nearly every movement that a battalion could be put to. He got the officers so muddled up that no one seemed to do right, and we had to keep repeating the different movements until we had done them to his satisfaction.It was a fearfully hot day, and we had very few short periods for rest. The water supply was insufficient, and we suffered much from thirst and hunger, many not having tasted food since 4.30 p.m. the previous day. We drilled for six hours, and not a man fell out, when we came to think about it afterwards it was a marvellous performance, and would have tried old veterans. When the General inspected the tents he saw that the men had not finished their breakfast, and on going to the cooks fires he found them all out, the dinner rations not issued. He was much annoyed at the mistake that had been made, and expressed himself in very forcible terms

In 1883 the War Office officials began to take a little more interest in the Volunteers, and inducements were held to Volunteer sergeants to undergo a months instruction with the Guards in London. The chief difficulty, however, was in men being absent from their work, many employers not being able to allow them so much leave of absence. We nevertheless on September 1st sent two representatives to Chelsea Barracks, viz. Sgt. F. Jackson and Cpl. Walter Greensmith. The officers themselves followed suit - Capt. W. Sidebottom obtaining his certificate of proficiency as a field officer at Wellington Barracks, August 30th 1884, and Lieut. J. Wood passed for Captain at the same barracks in April 1885. This year the annual encampment was at Altcar. It was thought it would be a good place to get the men to do their class firing, but the strong winds made havoc of the scores, and those who were going in for marksmen's badges fought shy of the range. It was very difficult drilling at Altcar, owing to the numerous firing mounds and obstructions and when we were taken out on the sands it was very tiring marching in the wet sand. It was not a very successful encampment from many points of view. This was the first camp in which we drilled with the Martini Henry Rifle.

An interesting shooting competition took place on Saturday, October 10th for a silver cup presented by Edward Platt Esq., to be shot for by those who had never won a prize. It was a good idea to encourage young shots, and it is a competition that should take place annually. Whilst preparing for our annual encampment, we lost by death two useful officers - Qr. Master Sgt. J Hopwood, dying May 19th, 1886, and Lieut. J. Walton, dying five days afterwards, for on the same day we buried our Qr. Master Sgt. Both were buried with military honours at St James' Church.

The afternoon of June 13th saw us on our way to Deganway, the longest railway journey we had ever had. It was a bad camping ground badly drained, and very uneven for drilling purposes, that it, for show movements, such as marching past. It was, however, a splendid locality for scenery; to the North we had Llandudno and the Great Orme's Head, on the West the mouth of the River Conway, Beaumaris Bay, and a distant view of Puffin Island; to the South of us, just across the river, we had Conway with its fine suspension bridge and ancient and picturesque castle. To get to Conway we had either to walk round by Llandudno Junction, or cross the river by boats. For pleasure, of a kind it was not liked, but was a most interesting locality to those fond of antiquarian remains. At our inspection we performed a movement, wheeling to the left in column of double companies at the double. I never saw anything like it. On the command "Halt" the battalion halted, not a man moved, and everyone was in their proper places. I have no idea how we accomplished it. The inspecting officer said in all his experience he had never seen the movement done so well.

We were having new uniform, so that the men should look well the new clothing was sent to the camp and served out to us on the inspection morning. No one seems to have thought there would be any misfits, but there were many. The regimental tailors could not alter them, and it did not matter so much about the men who could exchange with each other, but among the non-commissioned officers it could not be done, owing to the different chevrons and shooting badges worn. It was comical to see some sergeants having newspapers wrapped round their bodies for packing, and those who had tunics too small for them had to wear their old ones. It was an experiment that was not repeated.

May 17th 1887, Sergeant. J.D. White the honorary secretary to the shooting club was accidentally killed in Manchester by a bale of cloth falling upon him. We buried him at Tintwistle Church on Saturday, May 21st, and the Saturday following saw us en route for our first encampment at South Shore, by far our favourite camping ground. There we had plenty of room for drill, and after drill we were soon enjoying ourselves at Blackpool, where many of the wives and sweethearts of the men were in lodgings. Both here and at St Anne's we suffered from blistered faces, not exactly caused by the sun but by the sea air, and in a few days many of us were unrecognisable. During this encampment at South Shore we one day went to Clifton Park, Lytham, to a grand review. Besides our battalion there were present the 1st Manchester Vol., 1st V.B. Lancashire. Fusiliers from Bury, and the 3rd V.B. Lancs. Fusiliers from Salford. Each regiment was naturally anxious to do its best, and all ranks combined to out rival each other, but the 4th Cheshire beat them all. The Lancashire battalions made a very great mistake, they sent only picked men, the smartest men they had; the rest were left in their camps. Our regiment took every available man, and as we were a battalion of 13 companies, we were by far the strongest on parade. As usual, we were broken up into eight companies for convenience of drill, and when we marched past our companies were double the strength of any other and we went past as straight as any company of the Guards. We were greeted with loud applause and "Well done Cheshires." It was late when we got back to camp, and everyone was greatly fatigued. There was no going to Blackpool that evening.

The 21st June was a red letter day. We went to Chester, and met all the regulars and Volunteer battalions of the County on the Roodee (the race course). In honour of the Jubilee of Queen Victoria we marched past and fired a feu de joie. It was intensely hot, and many men were struck down by the heat, and were carried under a bridge for shelter. Our battalion mustered very strong, and we did uncommonly well. On our arrival back to Glossop we formed up in Norfolk Square and after firing a volley, we gave three cheers for Her Majesty the Queen. When the foundation stones were laid of Wood's Hospital, Baths, and Victoria Hall, the Jubilee gifts, on Saturday, July 30th we took a prominent part in the proceedings, forming three sides of a square whilst the ceremonies were being performed. Amongst the treats given to different bodies the volunteers were not forgotten, our staunch friend and supporter, Mr, James Sidebottom, entertained us to dinner in the Drill Hall on August 27th.

Derbyshire Rifles Badge Badges of the Derbyshire Rifles and Cheshire Regiment Cheshires Badge

From December 1st we were known by the name of the Glossop detachment, 4th Vol. Batt. Cheshire Regiment. On February 8th 1888 a new system was inaugurated. Previously, the companies were formed of men living in the Borough and surrounding districts, but some person formulated a scheme of classing the men in sections, according to the district they lived in, and men were transferred from one company to another. The companies shooting teams were broken up, and a great deal of dissatisfaction caused by the change. Whoever was the author of this system should have been presented on parade with a leather medal. It was all right in theory, but was a bad system to carry out in a practical manner. It would have been all right for a new corps, but it is a bad thing to shift men about from one section and company to another like chessmen. Captain E. Partington, owing to pressure of business, resigned his commission on March 3rd, much to the regret of all the detachment. On June 6th the buff facings of our tunics were altered to white, which meant more pipe clay. A number of the corps on March 2nd 1889, went to Heaton Mersey, and joined others of the battalion in paying our last respects to Captain Frederick Buckley, whose body was conveyed on a gun carriage to its last resting place. We camped at South Shore in the years 1887, 1888, 1889 and 1890. Saturday, October 4th 1890, was a memorable day in Old Glossop. A desperate fight (sham) took place between the Glossop and Hadfield men for the possession of Ryecroft Hill. The defending forces were under the command of Lieut. A. Sidebottom, and the attacking force in charge of Lieut. S. Hill-Wood.

For days previous to the encounter the non coms. of both forces might have been seen surveying the future fields of operations and devising plans for attack and defence. It was mutually agreed that the battle should not begin until the Glossop force had reached the Royal Oak Inn. Early in the morning a furniture van had gone up and had orders to wait in the inn yard, and only two persons knew what it was there for. As soon as the Glossop force reached the Royal Oak a portion was marched through the house, out at the back door, and into the furniture van; the doors closed, and the van on its way down Sheffield Road before the rest had halted. At Turn o'the Lane a portion got out and by way of the Corn Mill worked their way to Shepley's Old Mill, where they smashed a lot of the windows and fired upon the defending force. Meanwhile the van and its contents passed along Hall Street and unloaded its military force. Some rushed up the Old Hall Lane, whilst others took possession of the gardens and outbuildings, and would have annihilated the defenders in actual warfare.

In January, 1891 a signalling class was formed under Lieut. Sidebottom, and it was taken up enthusiastically by a number of the corps and "flag wagging" became very popular, but it was hard work, especially in the open air with the big flags in a strong wind. The class did as well as could be expected from men who could only give a limited amount of their time to practice. To be a first class signaller requires several hours practice daily. We went out on favourable nights and our lamps could be seen flashing their mysterious long and short flashes from the Nab to Castle Hill, no doubt causing many people to wonder at the curious lights occasionally seen.

Lieut. S. Hill-Wood formed a cyclist corps, the first drill taking place January 21st. This was a most useful corps, and the idea caught on with other portions of the battalion, and is now a useful adjunct. In camp they are very useful for conveying messages at manoeuvres,, and they play a prominent part as scouts. This month we were measured for new uniform and the valise equipment, the battalion having been incorporated into the Lancashire and Cheshire Brigade, we went, on May 16th to Conway for brigade camp, it being generally understood that in the event of an invasion we should be sent to the Welsh coast.

Our first introduction to the Morfa (Conway marsh), as a camping ground, was not very favourable. We had a long railway journey, and arrived at our quarters at 8.30 p.m. From Conway station to the camp we experienced rain, hail and snow, and the camp in some places was knee deep in snow. At the time what was called "Russian Influenza" was very prevalent, and whisky was strongly recommended to all patients suffering from it. We had many amongst us who would not keep away from camp. These were excused all but light duties, and by the time they returned home were cured. I was one of the unfortunate ones, but was kept busy with my duties as treasurer of the sergeantís mess. We brought from Stockport all the wines and spirits that we thought we should need for the week, but owing to the spirits at the canteen being of an inferior quality and ours being good we had a rush from the influenza patients and others who said they were, and we were sold out by Monday, and I had to get a fresh supply from Llandudno. The week was very unfavourable, and we did not get a fine day until the day we left for home. The wet weather interfered with parades, but it did not stop men from visiting each others camps at night and having concerts, we made many friends among the Bury Fusiliers and the Macclesfield men. The camp being our first brigade camp was quite different to our previous regimental camps. We had plenty of brigade drill, and a big sham fight on the Thursday. Although it was a miserable week, so far as the weather was concerned, yet there was very little sickness. I attribute this to the fact that the men took greater precaution to protect their health than they generally do.

My long experience of camp life taught me that what sickness there is in camp is generally brought about by the sufferers own discretions. At some camps there were some who occasionally shammed illness. I know one who actually pipe clayed his tongue just before the doctor examined him, but he was detected, and physicked accordingly. When we had occasion to suspect anyone we generally gave the hospital sergeant the tip, and it generally ended in the sham patient having a dose of the nastiest tasting and looking medicine in the hospital, or a milk diet would be ordered, the supposed patient being kept in the hospital tent and only ordered one pint of milk for dinner, another pint for tea, etc. Few stayed long on that diet, but got discharged as fit for duty as soon as possible. There was a sham fight arranged for the first of August at Roe Cross, between the Glossop, Hyde and Stalybridge Detachments. The Glossop men went by train to Godley, but owing to the train being delayed we only came in at the finish.

On the 31st of the same month, our respected Sergeant. Major W. Merrison resigned his position. All the non-commissioned officers regretted his resignation. We always worked well with him. and he was a very impartial Sgt. Major.

At Whitsuntide, in 1892, we went to Conway again, and were seen off by our chaplain, the Rev. C.B. Ward. Little did we think when leaving Glossop Station that he would be dead before our return. We showed our respects by attending a special memorial service at Saint James' Church, on Sunday, the 19th. An eloquent and impressive sermon was preached by the Rev. Joseph Hadfield, from the text "To die is gain." At the annual prize shooting of the Cheshire Rifle Association, at Altcar, July 27th, Lieut. S. Hill-Wood's volley team, in the volley firing competition, won the second prize, value £5. Owing to Mr. Hill-Wood's persistent efforts the team in the succeeding years several times won the first prize in this competition, and did well also in the Mullen's Prize. December 17th 1892, the Rev. William John Canton was appointed acting chaplain. Lieut. S. Hill-Wood entertained the members of the detachment to dinner on Saturday, March 25th 1893 in the Drill Hall, in commemoration of his having arrived at his majority. We did not go into brigade camp this year but had a regimental camp at South Shore, a pleasing change for all ranks. It was very wet and disagreeable when we arrived in camp, but the ground is very good for drying quickly, and after the usual church parade those who were not on duty went to see what changes had taken place in Blackpool since our last visit. At 5 a.m. on Monday morning we heard the bugle sounding the reveille, then the bugle band came round making a terrible row with the drums, and as if this was not enough to waken one up there was the company orderly asking one to show a leg; in a few minutes the camp was alive, the curtains of the tents rolled up, bedding put outside the tents to get aired. Those who felt starved, and it was always very cold in the mornings, bought hot coffee, and, tell it not in Gath, with just a wee drop of rum in it. At 5.30 a.m. the dress bugle for the first parade sounded, and we got ready for a good knocking about. There was really a lot of dew on the ground, so our company officer kept us constantly on the move, marching in all directions, both at the quick and double. Whilst we were drilling, the tent orderlies, under the charge of the company orderly corporal, were marched to the store tent and had the rations for the day issued to them.

Our food was invariably good, and there was plenty of it. As there was an orderly for each tent, and eight or nine tents per company, it took a long time to serve the 13 companies and the band. Glossop men the last three rows of tents were generally the last to be served. It was very tedious waiting. The officer or subaltern of the day and the camp orderly sergeant, who was always a colour sergeant, superintended the issuing of the rations. The colour sergeant of each company had previously sent into the stores a ration indent, giving the number of men in each tent. These varied, because although when first told off to the tents they were equal numbers the men were allowed to agree among themselves what tents they would occupy, and as comrades generally went together we sometimes had nine men in one tent and only five in another. More men there were in a tent and a choicer lot of beef they got. The orderlies were very keen to see that they got their 1lb. of beef for each man, if they thought there was too much bone or fat they used to grumble, and if their complaint was a reasonable one, the officer saw justice to them.

At 7.45 a.m. the first call for the men's breakfast was sounded, and those who were drilling heard it with pleasure, for it was an intimation that the drill was nearly at an end. At 8 a.m. the second breakfast call was blown, and a breakfast, well served, was soon put out of sight. Young men who have poor appetites should by all means join the territorials and go to camp. They should relish dry bread. Of course we got plenty of good butter and those who wanted could get fresh eggs at Fox's farm and at the canteen were sold pennyworths of almost everything that appears on a working man's breakfast table. Those who had the night before been warned for guard duty were exempt from morning parade and were supposed to spend the time in cleaning their uniform, rifle and equipment. At 8.30 a.m. "Dress for guard" was sounded and the company orderly sergeant looked the men up and down to see if they were clean and fit for inspection. It was generally an anxious time, for if a man had neglected his duty or showed signs of having been to the canteen another man had to go in his place. In our early encampments guard duty was disliked, and we hit upon a plan to stop grumbling. We put the worst attenders on this duty and thereby ensured having the best men in the ranks. The Glossop Detachment always said that they furnished more men per company for guard, fatigue and picket duties than the other companies, and so they did.

We were the strongest companies in camp, and our non commissioned officers were consequently called upon more often than they would have been had the other companies been up to strength. The guard fell in at 6.45 a.m. and were minutely inspected by the adjutant, who was always very strict in performing this duty. He said what he liked to you, and although he might be wrong, it was an offence to speak back. I did once, and nearly got court martialled for it; a humble apology and the kind offices of my captain saved me and yet I was right and the adjutant wrong. After breakfast we had to prepare for camp inspection at 9.30 a.m.

Some company officers gave prizes for the cleanest and neatest tents in their lines, and it was a treat to see the tents declared to be winners, all the beds rolled up, blankets folded, rifles in the racks, with the slings nicely pipe-clayed, everything set out in proper order, the distances between the beds carefully measured, curtains rolled up tight and properly secured, the men clean and standing attention whilst the officer of the day examined the tent. It was good for discipline, but we thought it a big nuisance, especially in damp weather. At 9.45 a.m. we were warned to get ready for drill again. We had half an hour allowed us when we fell in our respective lines and were marched off formed up in column, parade states handed in, and the companies equalised. Sometimes we had battalion drill. at other times we practised the "Attack". We liked this. It was very interesting and there were plenty of opportunities for a non commissioned officer to show what he was made of. The mess orderlies during this time were peeling potatoes, cutting up the beef into suitable pieces, cleaning the kettles, washing up the breakfast things, etc.

There are very few idle men in a camp. The cooks had their fires ready and placed the kettles brought by the orderlies in their respective places. We had a lot of fellows in a tent who were very knowing, in fact old stagers, and they lost no opportunity of showing us what they knew, but they had one failing, they knew the road to the canteen and the cook was one of them. It must be understood that all camp kettles are alike and the lids are interchangeable; to distinguish one tent's camp kettle from another the men scratch the lids with the number of the tent. The orderly of a tent where there were only five men noticed that a nice joint of beef, 9 lbs. had been served out to them, so he got a friend to invite the cook to have a pint. Whilst the cook was away and no one was watching he exchanged the kettles and lids. At 12.30 p.m., when the second call for the men's dinner had gone he took away his (theirs) kettle, hastened to his tent, took out as much beef as he thought was over his tent's due allowance, wrapped it in a newspaper, then in a mackintosh sheet, went to the colour sergeant's tent in the next line and deposited it in his box. When the other four came off parade he said "Ask no questions, get as much of this broth into you as you can, make haste." Seeing that there was something in the wind they set to with a will. In a short time there was a commotion. The wiseacres had found it out that they had been tricked and rightly suspected the culprit. They brought the officer of the day, whose duty it was to go through each line and enquire at each tent if there were any complaints.

He examined the contents of the kettles and said "there did not seem to be any more beef than what they were entitled to." All the line was searched but the missing beef was not to be found, so the cook was questioned, and he dared not admit that he had been absent from his duty, and swore that no one had been near the kettles. The officer was completely mystified, but the old stagers wheedled him out of a couple of shillings for corned beef to make up their loss. They drank heartily to his health. As soon as the coast was clear the beef was brought back, hid in one of the beds and served them well for tea and supper. For some time it was hardly safe to shout "Lost beef" within hearing of that tent, they always had one or two mallets handy.

After dinner we generally had a nap, if the weather was very hot, but if it was a nice cool day we had plenty of fun in watching the men amuse themselves by boxing, wrestling, jumping, peggy-playing, a hand at whist, etc. It was really astonishing to see what games were invented. For visitors dinner time is the best part of the day to visit a camp, for all the men are about the lines. We had another parade at 2.30 p.m., but we never knew what time we finished. Tea was supposed to be ready for us at 4.45 p.m., but it had many times to wait for us. If we were kept late many of the men after being dismissed, would go to Blackpool and have tea with their friends. All men not on pass had to be in camp to answer the tent roll call at "Tattoo" that is the first post at 10 p.m., the second post went at 10.30 p.m., and lights out at 10.45 p.m. Those who were absent when their names were called out should have been reported absent. A very great deal depended upon the company orderly sergeant. If the absentee was a decent fellow he escaped being reported; all he required was to dodge the sentries and get to his tent without being caught.

Some officers delighted in the fun and excitement of running men in. If found sober and they could give a reasonable explanation for being late they were generally allowed to go to their tents. The non-commissioned officer had plenty of work to do. After tea I have known some of them to have so much duty that from Monday morning to Saturday they have not been able to leave camp. Yet it is very pleasant in the sergeant's mess to meet friends and talk about past year's experiences. We had plenty of musical talent and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. What we missed more than anything else was the absence of newspapers and letters from home. A letter was always welcome, even if there was no important news in. Of course the young chaps who were courting generally got plenty, but it was the family man who longed the most, though I must say many were very bad at replying to them.

The rank and file in our battalion did not care for brigade camp. There was a waste of time, apparently, to us, in getting the different battalions in their proper positions, and we had to wait so long between the different movements. It is very tiring standing at ease; men would sooner be on the march or executing some movements. Brigade drill is absolutely necessary for the officers, especially the field officers who of course must must learn how to handle large bodies of troops.

The Whitsuntide of 1894 saw us along with five other battalions at Conway, and we made a fine show. There were in camp, besides the 4th Cheshires, 1st V.B. South Lancashire. Fusiliers from Bury; 1st V.B. South Lancashire., Warrington; 2nd V.B. South Lancashire., St. Helens; 3rd Cheshire, Knutsford; and the 5th Cheshire, Macclesfield.

On parade the brigade looked very well, the uniforms being different - grey, dark coloured, and scarlet with various kinds of head dresses. When extended in line there was scarcely room for us as we reached from the camp to the south bank of the River Conway. In marching past each regimental band played for its own men, our march past tune is a very good one, and was considered to be the best of the lot. We had a long way to march before we got to the saluting point, and as we had strong companies there was a tendency for the centre of the companies to bulge to the rear, but as soon as our band struck up it acted like magic; the men held their heads up, regained their alignment, and went by in a true soldier's style. This year the railway company had built a new station for us near to the camp. It was of very great service to us, and saved the long march from and to Conway, and after the parades were over the railway company ran special trains at cheap fares to Llandudno, returning in sufficient time to allow the men to reach camp before the "last post". There were many attempts at these camps to prevent the sergeants from being in one tent, but we always evaded the order. In the regular army and in a permanent camp it is perhaps desirable that there should be a non-commissioned officer with the men in a tent, but amongst the Volunteers it does not act. We have always got together; the sergeant's mess was always open later than the canteen, consequently if one had obeyed the order we should have disturbed the men when we retired to rest. We, however, held ourselves responsible for a certain number of tents, and always told off a corporal or the senior private in the tent to see things right.

The signallers had fine times. They were for a time practically allowed to do what they liked. One portion would march out of the camp and climb up Penmaenmawr Mountain, 1,540 feet high; the remainder would distribute themselves about the marsh and commence to send messages. These were supposed to be strictly military in their character, and what would probably have been sent in active warfare. Some of them were very good, and were a credit to the composers, but they were not all of that character. One day the St. Helen's signallers, for a lark, called up the Macclesfield signallers and made some strong remarks about the quality of their work; the 5th replied with vigour, and it ended in some very strong 'Billingsgate' being used. Unfortunately, for them, one of the General's staff, who understood signalling, had read the messages, and was greatly shocked and surprised. He reported the matter, and the offenders got such a reprimand that it put a stop to such nonsense. The signallers were put under the charge of an officer, and all messages sent in future had to be duly recorded in the book.

Amongst the prizes shot for this year were two Martini-Henry match rifles, given by Mrs. S. Wood and the late James Sidebottom. Rifles were given for some years afterwards as special prizes by the same parties. The reason rifles were given as prizes were to enable the best shots to be on equal terms with the shots at Bisley and Altcar Rifle Meetings. One of the greatest mistakes ever made by the War Office was in serving out to the Volunteers partially worn out rifles that had been used and rejected by the Regular Army. It was a mistaken policy to think that anything would do for the Volunteers. The Sniders that we had when the corps was formed were contemptuously called "gas pipes."

The grooves in the barrel were so worn that at 500 yards you had to sight for nearly 600 yards. The rifles generally also carried two feet to the right, so that in a moderate right wind the aim was generally dead on the bull's eye, but with a similar left wind you had to aim a foot from the left edge of the target. Men who attended prize meetings always had private rifles with steel barrels, and we soon found it impossible to compete with them with service rifles. The Martini-Henry rifles were the same. There was scarcely one that was correctly sighted, and they generally carried to the left. No wonder that the shooting of a large majority of the Volunteers was not good; their rifles were bad to start with.

Men were taught aiming and position drill and how to sight their rifles, but when they went to the range their shots were all over the place, simply because the rifles were deceptive. The first year I fired at Chunal I never hit the target, after leaving the 100 yards range I could not understand it. I had good sight, was a teetotaller, had steady nerves, and not void of judgement. I asked myself the question "Why do I miss?" I took the rifle down to Manchester, and had it examined by Armourer Sergeant Hepplestone, of Shudehill, who found that the barrel of the rifle was bent. One of our recruits having burst the barrel of his rifle by trying to blow a rag out of it that had got stuck whilst cleaning it out, I exchanged with him, and of course got a new barrel to my rifle. I bought books on shooting, and became a very successful shot, but how many thousands of young man must have left the Volunteers owing to their bad shooting, when it was not their fault but the rifles.

Cheshires Boer War Veterans
Captain Samuel Hill-Wood's volley team, who were the winners of the Cheshire Rifle Meeting in 1900.
Standing: Colour Sergeant McKelvie, Private A. Batty, Private S. Bowden, Private J. Siddall, Private J. Paton, Private J. F. Bennett, Lieutenant C. Ellison.
Kneeling: Corporal W. Willis, Private F. Willis, Private I. Willis, Private S.Willis, Private J. Clayton.
The four members of the Willis family were brothers: William, born 1869; Irvine, born 1876; Frank, born 1878 and Samuel, born 1881 (Many thanks to Yvonne Willis, Granddaughter of their younger brother David, for this information).

These were the reasons why prize rifles were given, and the winners soon showed by their successes at prize meetings that they knew how to use them. Whilst on shooting I should like to mention how disappointed we have felt at times during prize distributions, when remarks have been made that Glossop Detachment were inferior to others in shooting. Our officers have not taken that practical interest in shooting as in other corps. I must admit that they have regularly and freely given money to the prize fund, but they have not practised rifle shooting themselves. That is why they have many times stated what a good rifle range Glossop possesses. It is a most difficult range; the scores made on it are at least 15% less than on others; and this is owing to the various strengths of the winds we get all blowing at the same time, and the varying lights. For proof of this statement we have only to compare the scores made in matches against us by visiting teams with the scores made on their own ranges. They have always made less scores whilst we have made higher scores away from home. I have seen men who have been in the 60 at Wimbledon miss shot after shot at Glossop. I am glad now that the Volunteers are armed with good rifles, the Lee Metford. The wonderful scores made by the Volunteers with this rifle justifies the War Office in issuing them. It would be a great improvement to the Territorial force if every officer before being granted a commission was attached to a line regiment for at least a month, to learn every detail of his duties, and also compelled to undergo a course of musketry instruction at Hythe. It would wonderfully improve the shooting because officers would probably take to rifle shooting, and thereby set an example to the men.

We went to Conway again in 1895, and the brigade was increased by by another battalion. We had annual brigade sergeant's dinner at Belle Vue, October, 20th 1895, and as all wore their best tunics, showing all their shooting badges and medals, it was a goodly sight. They were the best shots in Lancashire and Cheshire, and some of them were so covered with trophies that there did not seem room for any other badges to be worn. The officers of the Regular Army who were present were greatly surprised, and went round interviewing some of the most noted shots. On May 2nd 1896, Lieut. Col. and Honorary Col. W. Sidebottom resigned after over 20 years service with the Glossop Volunteers. We all felt his resignation to be a personal loss, as he was a most conscientious officer. In 1896 we had a change; instead of going to a brigade camp we had a regimental camp at South Shore. We had a fine week and at the close of the inspection, on the Thursday, Lieut. Col. Sidebottom and Major J. Wood were presented by Col Butlin with the long service medal. Lieut. Col. Surgeon Burnett receiving his at the brigade camp at Conway. On the Friday we had a sham fight, and finished the day with sports. L Company won the first prize in the tug of war. Much amusement was caused by a donkey race for the officers. It was a most enjoyable week's encampment. The 23rd day of January, 1897, will not soon be forgotten, for we had a most interesting parade for the purpose of the public presentation of long service medals to Qr. Master Sgt. W. Booth, Col. Sgt. R. Hamnett, Sgt. M. Cooper, and Corporal Nye Willis, and Private J. Fletcher. The regimental Band came from Stockport. After parading the Borough we assembled in Norfolk Square, forming three sides of a square, and Col Carrington pinned the medals on the breasts of the veterans.

By the kindness and generosity of Lieut. Col. J. Wood, and in commemoration of the Diamond Jubilee, we were entertained to dinner in the Victoria Hall. Interesting speeches were made by Col. Carrington, the Adjutant, Captain Robson, and other officers; the band gave us some choice selections of music, and we had a good night of it. About this time we began to have time marches, an excellent idea, and one which ought to be systematically carried out. It was thought that Volunteers would prove to be poor at marching; but these time marches showed the war authorities different, there were some excellent performances done by Volunteers, and afterwards in the South African War, in actual warfare, the Volunteer companies proved themselves equal to the Regulars in marching powers. May 22nd 1897, the battalion got orders, and were mobilised. We marched to Bardsley Gate, where we met the Hyde and Stalybridge Detachments. We were inspected by the Adjutant, and parade states handed in. We afterwards had a pork pie and a pint of beer, or its equivalent, at the Roe Cross Inn, and then marched home, satisfied that we had shown how well we could turn out if our services were required.

1897, Conway again. We had plenty of outpost duty this year and sham fights. One day we had a long march through the Sychnant Pass to the village of Dwgynchi. The road through the pass ascends in a serpentine direction, and being narrow the head of the troops had reached the top before some had commenced the ascent. The sun was shining, and the accoutrements glistened in the sunlight. It reminded one of the pictures one has seen of Napoleon Bonaparte and his army crossing the Alps. We were glad when we got back to camp. June 20th, we attended the Jubilee Thanksgiving Service at All Saints' Parish Church.

On September, 18th, we were ordered to return our frogs to be altered for the Lee Metford Rifle which was going to be issued to us. The manual and firing exercise being different, the non-coms. had to attend classes of instruction to make themselves acquainted with the new rifle and drill. The greater velocity of the bullet of the new rifle made the old iron targets unsafe and they were abolished, much to the sorrow of the old shots, for by experience we could tell by the sound of a hit whether it was a bull's eye or not. Many times we have successfully challenged a shot when not marked, because we could tell we had hit. The new target came into use May 23rd 1898. This year the whole volunteer force were very angry at the railway companies refusing to take volunteers to camp except only on Sunday. We had a Sunday journey to Conway Brigade Camp, but we did not like it, and there was so much said in the House of Commons by service members that the railway companies did not repeat the experiment. We had a very wet week, with strong winds, and altogether a disagreeable time of it. On August 12th we went by train to Marple, and did outpost duty. Why is there not more of it? On September 10th, we marched to Mottram, and took part in field manoeuvres. After a fight we marched to Stalybridge Drill Hall, attended a concert at the Town Hall, and slept in the Drill Hall; on the Sunday morning we went to Divine Service at Christ Church, and after the service we marched to a field, had dinner and returned home. The dissatisfaction of the men throughout the Mersey Brigade with Conway, led to the brigade camp for 1899 being held at South Shore; there were eight battalions there and we made Blackpool lively. On the Friday we were roused at 3 a.m. to get ready for a sham fight, attacking St. Anne's; it was a big success and very instructive. November ....... 1899: The long service medallists paraded at the Armoury, Stockport, where they were photographed, and formed a most interesting group.

Cheshires Boer War Veterans Cheshires Boer War Veterans Cheshires Boer War Veterans
Cheshire Regiment 6th Batallion Volunteers Boer War Veterans, pictured in Norfolk Square with medals just awarded ca 1914.

The Boer War caused much speculation amongst volunteers whether there would be an opportunity for any portion of the force to take an active part in it. Once before, during the Russian and Turkish War, it was expected that the volunteers would be called upon to volunteer for active service, and I remember that the whole detachment practically volunteered for active service, and this spirit animated the whole of the volunteer force throughout the kingdom, but the offers of the volunteers were ridiculed and laughed at by those who had never been in the ranks, and consequently could not understand the patriotic motives of a volunteer. We were even told that if we should happen to be called upon that the authorities would have to send the police after most of us to find us. We bore these unkind remarks with patience, knowing that they were made in ignorance. The same spirit animated us then as it did on December, 19th 1899, when 169 volunteered for active service, 11 for garrison duty abroad, and 32 for garrison duty in Britain.

At the time these men offered their services our regular troops had suffered very serious defeats and it was admitted that our forces were in a serious position. These men knew and realised that they were not volunteering for a picnic, but that they would have to face shot and shell, and it speaks volumes for the volunteer force throughout the kingdom that such a large number of the volunteers were willing to leave their work and endanger their lives for their country. The War Office officials could not accept all who offered themselves, but formed what was called an "active service company" of volunteers, composed of men selected from the five volunteer battalions in Cheshire. The Glossop Detachment was allowed to send eight men. Those men were entertained to dinner at the Norfolk Arms on Jan. 18th 1900, and the morning after went at 8.30 a.m. to Chester, where they were drilled until their embarkation, Feb. 17th on the "Gascon". They arrived safe at Capetown, March 12th. They were stationed for eight days at Green Point Camp, when they proceeded by train to Alport. On April 21st they arrived at Karee Siding, after 13 days march. They were in action, under fire, as follows:-
April 30 Affair at Kleinosspruit.
May 3 General action at Brandfort.
May 5 and 6 General action on the Vet River.
Sept. 23 to 26 In constant touch with the enemy on the march to Rustenburgh.
Oct. 17 to March 24(1901) Were twice attacked whilst on outpost duty at Bloemfontein.
Bugler W. Turner went out with a draft on April 17th, 1900.

On May 26th 1900, 30 of the detachment were selected for duty at the fete in the Park, in aid of the Indian Famine Fund. On June 2nd. we had battalion camp at South Shore. We had a fine week, and we had a night attack and time marches. On Saturday, February 2nd, 1901, the detachment attended a memorial service at All Saints' Parish Church, in memory of Queen Victoria. On Monday, February 4th, 18 of our citizen soldiers left for Chester to join the Second Service Company, and on the 25th embarked at Southampton on the "Orotava" for Capetown, where they landed March 15th, Tuesday, April 30th, there was a state of excitement and joy at the safe return of the men of the First Service Company.

On Saturday, May 11th the volunteers were entertained to tea in the Drill Hall in honour of the first volunteers of Glossop who had seen active service. Whilst we were enjoying ourselves in the Drill Hall our comrades were in the Sangars on Gun Hill, Frederickstad, where they were from March 27th to May 21st. From May 31st to Oct. 17th they were on trek with Colonel Hickie's column, and they were frequently under fire and marched over 1,200 miles.

We had no Whitsuntide camp this year, the experiment being tried of having it in August. On July 1st the ambulance class commenced; and July 15th Lieut. Col. John Wood resigned his commission. On Aug. 24th the men of the First Service Section paraded at Chester to receive their war medals, and on Feb. 17th 1903, the Third Volunteer Company mobilised at Chester.

May 3rd, 1902: The battalion was paraded at Stockport (without helmets) for the annual inspection, which was made by Col. A. E. Ommanney commanding the 22nd Regimental District. May 18th; The battalion went to camp at Salisbury Plain, no helmets were taken, the idea being that the men should as far as possible drill under active service conditions.

May 27th.- The Second Service men returned to Chester and were presented with their medals. They arrived at Glossop the day following, and were welcomed with great enthusiasm, and being mostly married men their safe return without loss gave satisfaction. During their absence the local committee of the War Fund looked after their wives and families.

Aug. 2nd 1902, saw the return of the men of the Third Section.

The Glossop Volunteers were no better or worse than any others; we can therefore form an opinion of the value of volunteers in time of war. The opinions of the officers under whom they served in South Africa are therefore valuable to us, because it must be remembered that the volunteers in South Africa served exactly under the same conditions as the regular soldiers, underwent the same fatigues, hardships, hunger, thirst, and danger, and there was no partiality shown them. Colonel Curties at Johannesburg, 1901, to the 1st Company; "The discipline of the Company and its conduct under fire has been very good, and its marching has been excellent."

Colonel Graham to the 2nd Company "I have never spared the Company, but have at all times treated it as if it had always been part of the battalion, and have never had reason to regret having done so." Colonel Graham to the 3rd Company: "Your good conduct and the discipline of the Company generally have been most marked."

Foreign nations prior to the Boer War never seriously took the volunteer force as of much value, but their opinion has greatly changed since. It is not the actual number now serving, but the vast number of ex-volunteers in the country who in a few days would be fit for duty again that must be reckoned with. For instance, take the Glossop Volunteers since the formation of the corps, no less than 2,077 men have been enrolled and served three or more years in the ranks. I have known most of them personally, and know there are still living in the neighbourhood over 1,000 men fit for service. It would be of great interest if at the next census it was ascertained the actual number of men living in the United Kingdom who have served the country in a military capacity. A percentage of them no doubt are old, but many are fit for home service. The Volunteer motto is "Defence, not defiance." We had Boers fighting against us over 80 years of age, and in the event of an invasion we should have similar men in our trenches. Most of the volunteers are in work, but in the event of an invasion all work, except for military requirements, would cease, and we should have available all the intelligent artisans in the country, who would no doubt invent all manner of devices for rendering positions impregnable.

We now know that that the Volunteer force now known as the Territorial Force is a valuable one for Home Defence, and it is the duty of every citizen to aid the Volunteers in every way. Men too old for service can persuade or allow their sons to enrol themselves. Volunteering is good for any young man of average physical strength; it improves his body, teaches him discipline, is healthy exercise, is praiseworthy in its objects, and elevates all who are members. The young men of Glossop cannot do better than join the Glossop corps. After they have once learnt their drill the rest is easy, and there is as much excitement in rifle shooting as in cricket and football, not to the spectators, but to the competitors.

Much can be done to improve the Territorials. Every recruit should have given to him a Field Exercise and Musketry Instruction Book, so that he could read and study at home what he learns in the Drill Hall and camp. Yet few have them, and a large percentage of Territorials never see them or know of them. If you want to buy them the Instructor has to send off for them. They ought to be on sale at every Drill Hall. Instructors should not be allowed to drill efficient Territorials. This should be done by the Company Officer and Sergeants. No one ought to occupy these positions unless he is capable of doing this. The Instructor should be there to see that the commands are given properly, and the instructions correct. In camp, the officers, except field officers occasionally, should 'fall out', and the command of the companies be taken by the colour sergeant. In the late Boer War we have read of companies losing all their officers in action. Territorials should be drilled so as to be prepared for every emergency. In war the instructor could not be with the officers to prompt them, therefore it is essential that all officers and non-commissioned officers should be capable of commanding a company. They are supposed to be, but except when passing their examination they scarcely ever get the opportunity of exercising their knowledge. It is with regret that old members of the Corps see the decreasing number of our local Territorials. I am personally of the opinion that it is due to the large increase in numbers of cricket and football clubs.

The love of sport has increased rapidly during the last 30 years, and if it continues in the same ratio the day is not far distant when some form of conscription will be compulsory on everyone capable of bearing arms. The time of the year is now an opportune one for young men to join the detachment; no one would regret doing so. The 6th Vol. Batt. of the Cheshire Regiment is one to be proud of.

The following are the names of men of the Glossop Volunteers who served in South Africa:-
1st Service Section, January 13th 1900, to April 30th 1901; Privates F. Booth, P. Gillooley, J. Hobson, T. Howbrook, T. Leah, J. Price, T. Slater, H. Wildney, and bugler W. Turner
2nd Service Section, February 4th 1901, to May 28th 1902; Sergeant. J.W.Phair, Corporals T. Glover, S. Middleton, and W.H. Willis; Privates J.T. Bennett, W. Bradbury, A. Bradley, F. Clayton, G.W. Gregory, J. Hammond, B. Harrison, S. Minshull, W. Roberts, T. Shaw, F. Sheppard, G. Stokes, T. Street, A. Wilkinson, and F. Willis.
3rd Service Section, February 17th 1902 to August 2nd 1902, Lieut. E. Sumner, Corporal J. Marsh, Privates B. Buxton and T. Ashton.

On the August 1902, the Corps attended the Parish Church and took part in the thanksgiving service for the king's recovery from his dangerous illness.

Sergeant. Maj. Dent retired on pension, and our drill instructor, Col. Sgt. J. Claney was promoted to the position, his place being filled by Col. Sgt. J. Redfern.

On the 14th October, the 2nd and 3rd Service Sections were entertained to a dinner at the Howard Arms Inn.

One of the Stalybridge service men, Pte. J. Cox, died in South Africa, and a brass tablet was unveiled to his memory and a memorial service held at Stalybridge on the 10th November. Many of the Glossop Corps attended to show their respect to their deceased comrade.

On the 14th February, 1903, we had a march out and presentation of Coronation medals to the South African service men and long service medals to Ptes. F. Stokes and W. Howard. The Mayor, Coun. E. Partington made the presentations, and Norfolk Square was lined with spectators watching the interesting proceedings.

On the 31st March, Mr. Robert Ollerenshaw was gazetted a Sub-Lieut. to the Corps, and on the 14th April, Lieut. E.E. Dowson was transferred from the Hyde Co. to the Glossop Detachment. The Annual Inspection took place at Stockport. A brass tablet with all the names of the men of the Battalion who went out to South Africa being inscribed thereon, was unveiled by Col. A.E. Ommaney, commanding the 22nd Regimental District.

On the 21st of May, we had brigade camp at Towyn. Besides our battalion there was the 1st Batt. from Birkenhead, 3rd from Knutsford, and the 5th from Congleton. We had brilliant weather, and were complimented by the Brigadier for the excellent work we did.

On the 18th July, Lieut. Cyril Ellison resigned, and the 11th August, Captain F.G. Knowles was promoted to Hon. Major.

On the 19th September, our Cyclist Section manoeuvred against the 4th Vol. Batt. Manchester Regiment Cyclists at Mottram.

In 1904 combined drill took place at Mottram, on the 19th March and 9th April. The Stalybridge and Hyde Detachment joining us, we had battalion drill at Marple on the 30th April. On the 22nd May, Captain and Hon. Maj. A. Sidebottom resigned his commission.

The Corps departed for Brigade Camp at Towyn on Sunday, 2nd May. It was a miserable week, there being continuous rain during the encampment. On the 30th July our Active Service men went to Chester, and attended a service at the cathedral. Lord Roberts unveiled a memorial to the Cheshire soldiers who had lost their lives in South Africa.

On the 8th October, we had a march out and presentation of long service medals to Sergeant. J. Buckley, Corpl. W.H. Willis, Corpl. A. Chadwick and Ptes. S. Ashton, S. Howbrook. Major Knowles made the presentations, and we had a smoking concert afterwards, at the Howard Arms Inn.

On the 17th December, we had a grand military concert at the Victoria Hall, and the Regimental Band played some excellent music. On the 11th June we went to camp at Deganway. On the 4th August, Surgeon Captain R.B. Sidebottom passed at London with distinction, for rank of Surgeon Major.

On the 26th December, the first contest in physical drill and bayonet exercise took place, between teams for Mr. A. Profumo's Challenge Cup. On the 19th February, 1906, Col Sgt. J. Kinnest commenced his duties as drill instructor in succession to Sgt. J. Redfern. The 3rd June saw the Corps in camp again at Towyn. On the 17th July, Lieut. R. Ollerenshaw resigned and joined again as Surgeon Lieut. On the 29th September, we had an interesting night attack on Mottram. On the 27th April, 1907, the Annual Inspection of the Stalybridge, Glossop, and Hyde Detachments took place at Stalybridge, by the Brigadier General Commanding the Cheshire Brigade.

On the 19th May, the Battalion went to Abergavenny for the annual encampment. The Town Clerk of Abergavenny wrote to say that the Town Council wished him to express the Town Council's appreciation of the exemplary conduct of the Cheshire Volunteers during their encampment at Abergavenny.

On the 15th September, we had Church Parade, the Regimental and Detachment Bands attended and Long Service medals were presented to Col. Sgt. J. Mitchell, Cpl. F. Cheetham and Pte. S. Brown. The Chaplain, Rev. W.J. Canton, preached an excellent sermon, his text being, "Take the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God." On the 23rd November, Lieut. R. Ollerenshaw was promoted to Surgeon Captain.

At the Annual Distribution of Prizes on 2nd December, reference was made to the new Territorial scheme, and much sorrow was expressed by several of the visiting officers, that the Glossop Volunteers would probably be converted into Derbyshire Territorials, which did not happen.

On 31st March, 1908, the Volunteer movement expired, and the Territorials came into being. The Glossop Detachment of the 4th Vol. Batt. Cheshire Regiment, became H Company, 6th Batt. Cheshire Regt., with a strength allowed of three officers and 117 segts and rank and file.

Cheshires Volunteers Cheshires Volunteers
Cheshire Regiment 6th Batallion Volunteers, pictured outside the Drill Hall in 1907.

The event did not pass without notice. At Stockport, many of the volunteers assembled at the headquarters; "First post", "Last post," and "Lights out," were sounded, three volleys fired, and the battalion was interred as a volunteer battalion. On the 3rd March, Captain G.B. Heywood, of the 5th Vol. Batt, Manchester Regt., was gazetted as 2nd Lieut. to the Detachment. On the 10th of April, a meat tea was provided in the Drill Hall, and those present were addressed by General C.B. Ridley, C.B., who explained how the Territorial scheme differed from the Volunteers, There were to be 15 days in camp, army rates of pay, with separation allowance for N.C. Officers. Territorials would be under military law when performing military duties, and the period of enlistment was to be four years. A number of the Volunteers were attested, a smoking concert was held, and Sgts. Darwent and Kenworthy were presented with Long Service Medals by Col. Johnson, V.D.

The following is a list of the officers and the length of their service.
Lieut. Col. Com. (Hon Col.) William Sidebottom V.D., January 15th 1876, May 2nd 1986.
Capt. Edward Partington, January 15th 1876, March 3rd 1888.
Lieut. Col (Hon Col) John Wood, V.D. January 15th 1876, July 13th, 1901.
Brigade Surgeon Lieut. Col W.E.S. Burnett, V.D. January 15th 1876, March 29th 1899.
Sub-Lieut. John Thomas Armitage, January 15th 1876, December 25th 1877.
Lieut. D.H. Hesslegrave, January 15th 1876, April 5th 1881.
Lieut. John Walton, January 15th 1876, May 27th 1886.
Quartermaster George Ford, January 15th 1876, March 1878.
Captain Frederick Buckley, September 23rd 1876, February 25th 1889.
Act. Chaplain Rev C.B. Ward, M.A., September 5th 1877, June 9th 1892.
Lieut. J.H.C. Dalton, March 20th 1878, September 14th 1881.
Lieut. G.W. Rhodes, August 7th 1878, June 11th 1884.
Lieut. Herbert Partington, June 5th 1886, April 18th 1888.
Lieut. Charles W. Shepley, June 5th 1886, November 26th 1887.
Hon Major Arthur Sidebottom, December 21st 1887, April 30th 1904.
2nd Lieut. John Kidd Hollinbery, May 5th 1888, May 31st 1890.
Captain and Hon. Major Francis G. Knowles, May 26th 1888, February 26th 1910
Captain S. Hill-Wood, May 4th 1889, December 3rd 1902.
Act. Chap. Rev. W.J. Canton, December 17th 1892.
Captain O Partington, June 12th 1895, December 3rd 1902.
Lieut. Cyril Ellison, June 12th 1895, July 20th 1903.
Lieut. Ernest Sumner, June 12th 1895, March 26th 1902.
Surgeon Captain R.B. Sidebottom, February 3rd 1899.
Lieut. E.E. Dowson, February 14th 1900, 10th April 1908.
2nd Lieut. Robert Ollerenshaw, March 4th 1903.

The success of the National Reserve Movement has been remarkable, but it is sadly hampered by insufficiency of funds. There are so many incidental expenses which are unavoidable, and for which the Secretary for War will not allow a grant, that a local fund is imperative if the force is to remain in existence. The Glossop Reserves have appealed to the public, but have met so far with a poor response; the public generally does not understand that the National Reserves are an important unit of the British Army, otherwise, I am sure the local force would be better encouraged. Our strength on the 1st October, was 497. Of these, 40 have volunteered for general service, and 232 have volunteered for home defence, 149 are over the age limit, but in time of imminent national danger, the majority of them would be found fit for home service. Many of those who have not joined class I and II have declined mainly on account of their occupations, but in time of danger would flock to the colours.

Thirty men have not been seen on account of working out of the district, but when the classification is completed, it will be found that the Glossop District, Cheshire National Reserves, are second to none in the County of Chester. The force is well organised, worked on business lines, and the Non Coms. will not be content until every man in the district, eligible to be a National Reservist, becomes one. The Territorials from a numerical point of view have not been a success, hence the formation of the National Reserves.


1. The National Reserve is a register of trained officers and soldiers, who being under no further obligation for military service, are organised under the auspices of County Associations with a view to increasing the military resources of the country in the event of imminent national danger.
The National Reserve is supplementary to the Army.
Its members are not required to undertake a definite liability for military service, but those who desire to register their names in Classes (I) and (II) will be invited to sign an honourable obligation to the effect that they will present themselves for service when required at the appointed place in time of imminent national danger.
National Reservists of these two classes will then, so far as their services are required, be made use of to reinforce existing units of the Regular Army or to fill up existing vacancies and provide for wastage on and after mobilisation of the Territorial Force, to strengthen garrisons, guard vulnerable points, for employment as specialists or tradesmen in technical branches, or in hospital, veterinary, remount, clerical, recruiting or other military duties.

2. County Associations will frame their own rules for the formation and organisation of the National Reserve in their counties, subject to the following provisions. The names on the register are to be classified in the following manner:-
Class (I). Officers and other ranks under 42 years of age who satisfy the medical requirements as to their physical fitness to join a combatant unit for service in the field, at home or abroad.
Class (II), Officers, warrant officers, and sergeants under the age of 55, and rank and file under the age of 50, who satisfy the medical requirements as to their physical fitness to join a combatant unit for home defence, or for duty in fixed positions, or for administrative work at home.
Class (III). This class will consist of those who are unable to undertake any obligation, and will be divided into three sections:-
(a) Officers and other ranks who are qualified by age, etc., for Class (I).
(b) Officers and other ranks who are qualified by age etc., for Class (II).
(c) Officers and other ranks who are not qualified for either Class (I) or (II), and who will be regarded as honorary members of the National Reserve.

3. The following only will be eligible for registration in the National Reserve:-
(a) Officers who have rendered satisfactory service for at least one year in any of the military forces of the Crown, provided that they are not on the Active or Unattached List of the Territorial Force, and that they do not belong to the Special Reserve of Officers. Officers who have rendered satisfactory service for at least one year in any of the military forces of the Dominions, Colonies, or Protectorates of the Empire and are no longer liable for any service therein.
(b) (i) Naval and Marine Pensioners over the age of 55, and men who have served in the Royal Fleet Reserve, but have left that force on completion of time for pension or gratuity, or for any reason, other than misconduct or inefficiency.
(ii) Ex-Naval Ratings and Marine ranks who have left the Naval and Marine Forces for reasons other than misconduct or inefficiency, and who are not under any liability to be called upon for further service in these Forces.
(iii) Officers and men who have served in the Royal Naval Reserve, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, or kindred Colonial Forces, and who have left these Reserves and Forces for any other cause than misconduct or inefficiency. Royal Naval Reserve men who enrolled prior to 1st April, 1906, and are in possession of Deferred Pension Certificates, are not eligible for registration in the National Reserve until they are 60 years of age.
(c) Ex-soldiers of the Regular Forces who have completed their term of service, or who have been discharged for any reason other than misconduct or inefficiency after not less than one year's service.
(d) Ex-soldiers of the Special Reserve who have been discharged for any reason other than misconduct or inefficiency after not less than one year's service.
(e) Ex-soldiers of the Territorial Force, including the Territorial Force Reserve, after not less than eight year's service with the colours, or with the colours and in the Territorial Force Reserve, and who have been discharged for any reason other than misconduct or inefficiency.
(f) Ex-Militiamen who have completed one period of engagement.
(g) Ex-Imperial Yeomen and ex-Volunteers not serving in the Territorial Force, and ex-members of analogous Colonial Forces, who served the full term of their period of engagement, provided such period was less than three years, and who have not been discharged for any reason other then misconduct or inefficiency.
(h) Ex-members of the Royal Irish Constabulary who have completed not less than four years service with that force, and who have been discharged for any reason other than misconduct or inefficiency
(i) Individuals in possession of a War Medal duly granted to them.
Local military authorities will assist County Associations in giving the National Reserve a privileged position in the public life of the country. Its members will be officially recognised on national ceremonial occasions and at local military functions
If they desire to do so, members of the National Reserve may take part in the funeral of a comrade in military formation and act as a firing party.

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