SUMMER CAMPS 1909 - 1914

These photos have been kindly provided by Andrew Thornton. Andrew is currently doing research into the 6th Battalion, The South Staffordshire Regiment, 3rd North Midland Field Ambulance (based at Stafford Street), and the batteries of 3rd North Midland Field Brigade, Royal Field Artillery (based at West Park) for an MPhil thesis at Birmingham University on the Territorial Force in Staffordshire.

If anyone has any family reminiscences, photos, documents or whatever, would they please contact Andrew Thornton, at 29 Foxes Rake, Cannock, Staffs, WS11 2UD or tel: 01543 572784.

Private Sid Wade, later Farrier Sergeant Sid Wade, who collected most of these photographs. Sid was in 'D' Squadron (which was based in Wolverhampton with a drill station at Himley) of the Staffordshire Yeomanry (Queen's Own Royal Regiment. It is this Regiment (and usually this Squad) who appear in these photos.

The Annual Summer Camp was quite a logistic exercise. Here horses are being entrained for Croxton Camp (Leicestershire) in 1910.
Watering the horses at Croxton Camp, 1910.
A training exercise at Trentham Camp, 1909. The white bands on their forage caps show that these men are playing the enemy in this exercise.
The officers attend a briefing at a cross roads during the Keele Park camp, 1911. For these men the activity was not too much unlike riding to hounds. Officers often provided their own horses.
Some of the men at Towcester Camp, 1913. There was one more camp, at Patshull Park, in 1914 (though there seem to be no photos of it). It would not be long before these men would be in foreign fields.
A break during an exercise at Croxton Camp, 1910.
Croxton Camp 1910. Today we would find this number of horses incredible. Then horses were not just used for racing and hunting but for everyday transport, hauling carriages and omnibuses and for almost every bit of farm work; and the Army had them in large numbers. During the First World War large numbers of horses were requisitioned for war service. 

But the demands of war lead to rapid developments in cars, motorbikes, lorries and planes; and many men learnt to drive, and even fly, in the Army. After the war those men and the new machines provided services that saw the end of the horse as the ubiquitous motive power.

Church Parade at Keele Park, 1911. The Band of the 5th North Staffs has been drafted in to provide the accompaniment.
It looks like a kit inspection, though the kit seems a bit untidy. This is Croxton Camp, 1910. The young officer on the left is Lieutenant C. A. Mander; on the right, with moustache and monocle, is his father, Lieutenant-Colonel C. T. Mander. It was common for the now-patrician industrialists of Wolverhampton to take a commission in the Staffordshire Yeomanry. The amazing Colonel Thorneycroft of Tettenhall Towers is one of the best known of them.
Officers at Croxton Camp. In the background one can just make out men in suits and a lady with a parasol. It was probably an "open day" at the camp when the Regiment displayed its prowess to visitors.
Relaxing at Keele Park camp in 1911. The man in the flap of the bell tent on the right is half way through shaving.
Barton-under-Needwood Camp, 1912. Third from the left at the back is Lt. Mander. Everyone is from D Squadron and they would all be from Wolverhampton. For most of these men the summer camp was the nearest thing they would get to a summer holiday.

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