T.E. Sandall, History of the 5th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment (1922)


The End

The Battalion was stationed at Bousies from November 14th, 1918, to February 24th, 1919, and was occupied during that period chiefly in salvage work, filling in of trenches, and a certain amount of Company training, but the details of a somewhat weary time of waiting are of no interest. On November 26th, the educational classes, which occupied one hour a day, were started. Ceremonial guard-mounting was established for Battalion and Brigade guards, each Battalion finding the Brigade duties in turn. On November 30th the King's and Regimental Colours, brought from England by Lieuts. Stanley and Mansfield, were received with due ceremony. Recreational training was the rule in the afternoons, and as many forms of entertainment as possible were arranged for the evenings. The Divisional Concert Party, the Whizz-Bangs, gave their entertainment each night for a week at intervals, various lectures were given, boxing competitions held, and every endeavour was made to provide amusement and recreation for the men.

Christmas was spent in the usual fashion, excellent Company dinners were provided, and the Christmas Comforts Fund again contributed largely to the enjoyment of all ranks.

On January 1st, 1919, the preparations for demobilization began, and to the great relief of all ranks the regimental censorship of letters was abolished. Salvage work and the filling in of [p195] trenches continued, with Platoon and Company-training. A Platoon competition in drill and general training was held during the month, and after very keen competition No. 2 Platoon, Sergt. Wilson, was declared the winner, No. 5 Platoon, Sergt. A. Arvell, being second. A mock election provided amusement and excitement during the 3rd week in January, the candidates being "Sir John Boosey," "Mademoiselle Burton," "Mr. R. U. Thursty," and "Mr. Bully Beef."

On February 5th demobilization began, 41 Other Ranks being demobilized on the first day, and parties varying in number from 11 to 68 daily on each succeeding day during the month. On the 24th the Battalion, much depleted in numbers, moved from Bousies to Solesnes, where salvage work and demobilization continued. On March 10th the Battalion moved to St. Hilaire, and the demobilization of officers began. On April 4th, 3 officers and 80 men left to join the 190th P. of W. Escort Co., and 3 officers and 80 men the 263rd, and next day a further 3 officers and 80 men left to form the 93rd P. of W. Escort Co. at Calais, and the Battalion, thus being reduced almost to cadre strength, moved by lorry on April 7th to Inchy. On April 12th the remainder of the retainable personnel left to join the 216th P. of W. Escort Company at Caudry, and the strength of the cadre Battalion was now 8 officers and 50 other ranks, including 2 attached.

The cadre devoted itself chiefly to football, and the cadre team had a brilliant career. Lieut.-Colonel H. G. Wilson from April 29th onwards commanded the Divisional packet, as well as the Battalion cadre, who now waited with what patience they possessed, to proceed to England. On May 20th the cadre strength was reduced and from that date consisted of 5 officers and 38 other ranks. Week after week [p196] passed, but on June 24th Lieut.-Col. H. G. Wilson, D.S.O., Captain and Adjutant B. G. English, Lieut. H. B. Linley, with 23 Other Ranks, proceeded to England with the Colours, arriving at Grimsby on Sunday, June 29th, where they were received with great enthusiasm and the Colours were deposited in Grimsby Parish Church, with due ceremony. The baggage guard, Captain W. H. Plumtree, Lieut. P. Uppleby, and 13 Other Ranks, with the equipment, moved to Caudry to await orders, which were not received till July 19th. On the 20th the baggage guard left Caudry for Dunkirk, where the equipment was loaded up at the docks, and on July 25th they proceeded to Boulogne and embarked for England.

The history of the Battalion, which left England on February 27th, 1915, thus ends. The reconstitution of the Territorial Force in 1920 once more brought the 5th Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment into being, with all the traditions of the old Battalion, and there is no doubt that it will worthily maintain those traditions, and that reputation, of which every member of the old Battalion is justly proud.