Left, right, left right!

Throughout the summer of 1914 the local Ramsgate branches of the Territorial Army continued to meet for their weekly training and drill practice. According to the announcements in the Thanet Advertiser of 6th June 1914 the Left Section 3rd Kent Battery 3rd Home Counties Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery commanded by Second Lieutenant Chard met on Monday evenings for a lecture, Tuesdays for NCOs re-drilling and harness fitting, Wednesdays for signaller’s practice, Thursdays for section gun drill and harness instruction and Friday for Semaphore signalling and gun laying. No meetings on Saturdays but early Sunday morning there was drill order.

The A Company of the 4th Battalion of the Buffs commanded by Second Lieuteant Witts had a similarly demanding schedule as did the G (Ramsgate) Company of the Kent Cyclist Battalion and the No 3 (Kent) Signal Section of the Home Counties Division Signal Company. The Cyclists still had vacancies for a respectable boy to act as bugler and for six respectable young men aged 17 years upwards, over 5ft 2 inches, to join the battalion.

In the Thanet Advertiser of July 25th a correspondent rallied support for the Territorial Force saying it would be more successful if:-

Those who went about the country decrying it in the hope of bringing about conscription would give it their support. The Territorial Force was worthy of the support of all who claimed to be patriotic Britishers, seeing that the gallant fellows who made up the citizen army sacrificed their time and their holidays for the purpose of drill and training.

The Thanet Advertiser of August 8th reported on the departure for Dover of the 3rd Home Counties Brigade of the RFA on August 7th:-

Chatham House grounds, where the men and horses were stationed, was in a state of bustle all morning, and a crowd of people gathered at the entrance. As the hour of departure drew near, the public assembled in the High Street in large numbers. The detachment set out on the twenty-mile march at two o’clock, and were heartily cheered as they passed through the main streets.

When the 4th Batallion left Ramsgate in August 1914 Daniel Keating, commissionaire at a local bank composed a song for the occasion which included the lines:-

Have you seen the Buffs a-marching?
Have you heard their battle song?
Their fifes and drums a-rolling
As they proudly march along.
For they fear no Prussian vampire
Who on smaller states would sit.
They are true sons of an Empire
That was made by British grit.
Then shout “Hurrah” for the Buffs, my lads;
The jolly Men of Kent.
May victory ever be their share, Wherever they are sen

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *