MILITARY – The Volunteer Encampment Redcar

Accreditation The Redcar and Saltburn-by-the-Sea Gazette 08/06/1877.


            The First Administrative Battalion of the North York Rifle, Volunteers is at present encamped on the Redcar racecourse for its annual period of training. This is the third annual visit of the corps, and if the experience of their two previous outings at the seaside are repeated, as there appears little doubt will be the case, the five days of life under canvas will not be without their pleasant recollections to officers and men alike. The corps constituting the battalion are: 4th, Leyburn; 8th, Bedale; 9th, Stokesley; 14th, Catterick; 15th, two companies Richmond; 18th, Skelton; 19th, Northallerton; and 20th, Guisborough; representing in the aggregate a body of about 470 men of all ranks. The various corps began to arrive at Redcar by train on Tuesday afternoon (05/06), and later on the camp was a scene of bustle and activity. Much, however, has been done in the way of preparation by a fatigue party. This consisted of 72 men, selected from each corps under the charge of non-commissioned officers, and they proceeded to the course. On Monday morning (04/06), and were soon hard at work, pitching the tents, which by nightfall they had erected. Altogether there are nearly 100 tents, 24, being set apart for the officers and the servants, while the rest, which are arranged in eight parallel lines, are for the use of the men, each line representing a corps, and the appearance of the camp, as seen from some little distance, is at once unique and striking. Internally the tents are made as comfortable for their occupants as is consistent with military regulations. Eight men on the average sleep under one roof, and each man is supplied with a palliasse, or straw mattresses, a ball starts stuffed with the same material, a waterproof, and a couple of rugs. With these he is expected to pass the night in comfort, and he can generally do so, unless the weather be so inclement as to render sleep and rest impossible. The offices quarters are to the rear of the camp, and our of course, a little more elaborate in their internal arrangements. Besides the directions spoken of, and which are exclusively for the lodging of the battalion, there are others which go to make up the completion of a camp, and these include a dining tent, capable of accommodating the whole body, canteen, orderly room, &c. The whole of these were erected by the fatigue party on Monday, but as far as regards the dining-room and canteen the work done was Labour lost, for early on Tuesday morning, a tremendous wind sprung up, which continued with more or less violence of afternoon, and directly after breakfast, when the fatigue party had concluded the meal, the strong gale ripped the former up from its fastenings, and swept it level with the ground, doing damage estimated at over £100. The canteen appeared all so to be in imminent danger of sharing a like fate, but to prevent accident to the “stores,” it was taken down till the hurricane subsided. The main body of the men on their arrival by special train, had consequently to be marched to the Central Hall, for tea, and during the time the damage done by the gale was been remedied, they had their meals there. The course of drill through each day is much the same as that of previous trainings. At six a.m. the reveille sounds, the men turn out for drill at half-past six, continuing on parade till about eight o’clock, when breakfast is provided. At half-past ten, after the interval allowed for cleaning of accoutrements and other necessary work, the battalion again assembles for two hours’ drill, and at one o’clock the bugle for dinner sounds. There is two hours more drill in the afternoon, and after the evening meal at five, the men are at liberty to dispose of themselves as they please till the last post at ten p.m., when every man is expected to be in his tent. If, however, he fails to put in an appearance by that time, it is the duty of his sergeant to report him as being absent. Half-an-hour later, and the order “Lights out” is given. It may be mentioned that the meals of the men are of a most substantial and palpable nature, and no grumbling can arise on this score of deficiency, as the amount required is measured by the appetite. The supplying of the provisions has again been entrusted to Mr. Wilkinson, of Sheffield, who has also charge of the canteen. The arrangements for the benefit of the men are complete in every respect, and in case of sickness or accident their needs will be attended to by Dr. Fothergill, of Bedale, who is with the camp. The battalion has also an excellent band, which musters the regulation number of three per company, and is under the charge of Bugle-Major J. Alderson. The staff includes Lieutenant Colonel Wilson, commanding, Major Scrope, Major Sowerby, Capt. and Adjutant Powell, and Hon. Surgeon Fothergill. The offices of the various corps are:- Captains Fowler, Mason, Croft, Sowerby, Chapman, Yeoman, and Booth, Lieutenants. Hutchinson, Atkinson, Harrison, Pierson, Burrell, and Thomson. The inspection of the battalion will take place today (Friday), by Colonel Adams C.B., commanding the 4th Brigade depots, and tents will be struck on Saturday (09/06).


Lol Hansom November 23, 2014 Military & War Years