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First World War

3rd/4th Battalion and 3rd/5th Battalion, King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment

15 June 1915 3rd/4th Battalion Formed
16 January 1916 2nd/4th and 3rd/4th Battalions merged
April 1916 2nd/4th Battalion moves to Oswestry as part of the North Lancashire Brigade
1 September 1916 2nd/4th and 3rd/5th Battalions merge to become 4th (Reserve) Battalion in Oswestry.
7 June 1915 3rd/5th Battalion Formed
1 September 1916 3rd/5th Battalion and 2nd/4th Battalion and becomes 4th (Reserve) Battalion in Oswestry
1919 4th (Reserve) Battalion move to Dublin



What does 1st/4th, 1st/5th or 2nd/5th mean?


3rd/4th and 3rd/5th Battalions King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment in the Great War.

22nd August 1929
To The Editor of The Lion and The Rose, Lancaster

Dear Sir,

I noticed in the August number of the Regimental Magazine that you are asking for some information with regard to the part played by the 3rd/4th and 3rd/5th Battalions of the Regiment during the Great War.

Perhaps the following short note may be of some assistance to you in compiling their records.

On being passed fit for duty again after my return from commanding the 1st/4th Battalion, in France, I took over command of the 3rd/4th Battalion at Blackpool on 13th December 1915.

This Battalion was then occupying billets at the South Shore end of town, the Officers quarters being established in the Grand Hotel, South Shore.

The metier of this Battalion was the training of recruits for drafts to be sent overseas, in this training wounded men returned from the front and passed as fit for light duty were attached to the Battalion to assist until such time as they were passed fit to return to the front.

On 16th January 1916 the title of the Battalion was changed from 3rd/4th to 2nd/4th.

On 19th April 1916 the Battalion moved to Oswestry where it occupied No. 1 West Camp, and there continued the training of men for drafts. This Camp was an extensive one and included the Welsh in addition to the North Lancashire Brigade. There being in all about 35,000 troops under training there.

On 1st September 1916 the 3rd/5th, at that time under the command of Lieutenant Colonel J H Bates, was absorbed into the 2nd/4th Battalion, and the consolidated Battalion came under my command, the title being again changed to that of the 4th Reserve Battalion.

The consolidation involved a move to No. 4 North Camp, a much larger camp with more modern huts.

At the same time the very excellent Band of the 7th Battalion, The King’s (Liverpool) Regiment, was transferred to my Battalion at the special request of the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel W H Stott, TD. I retained command of this battalion, to which later on a Company of Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps was added until 14th January 1918, when I handed over command to Lieutenant Colonel J Hamilton Hall, CMG, DSO of the 2nd Battalion, Middlesex Regiment, under the scheme for giving Officers Commanding regular Battalions from overseas command of Territorial Force Reserve Battalions at home for a period of six months “as a rest”.

At that time the strength of the 4th Reserve Battalion was approximately 1,900 all ranks. During my period of command 206 Officers and 3012 other ranks were trained and included in drafts (all proceeding to France with the exception of 75 men sent to India in November, 1916, and 60 Officers and 1347 other ranks were transferred to other units.

These drafts included, in addition to recruits, men passed fit for General Service again after a period at home, others who had previously been overseas in some other branch of the service, including one particular crowd who originally started in the London Yeomanry Regiments, then had a turn in the Tank Corps and were subsequently sent to Oswestry to be turned into infantry.

I hope these notes may be of some slight assistance to you in compiling the record which you are engaged upon.

Yours faithfully,
Walter F A Wadham

PS At a later date the Battalion proceeded to Ireland and was quartered in Dublin.


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