Territorial Force Cigarette Cards (Part 4)

THE 4th BN., THE QUEEN’S OWN (ROYAL WEST KENT REGIMENT), 1914

The 4th Battalion The Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment owes its origin to the volunteer units raised in Maidstone in 1859, long known as the 1st Kent Rifle Volunteers. The unit was one of the early T.F. battalions to proceed overseas to India and the picture shows a sergeant in the mixed British and Indian uniform worn in the winter of 1914. In the background is an Indian scene. The battalion sent drafts of officers and men  to the 2nd Bn. The Royal West Kent Regiment in Mesopotamia, and as a battalion served in the 3rd Afghan War. It did not return home until November,1919, thus having five years’ continuous service abroad.

5TH BN., THE LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS, 1915

The 5th Battalion, The Lancashire Fusiliers, owes its origin to a volunteer force raised in Bury in 1859. The battalion formed part of the 42nd Division which fought at Helles in the Gallipoli Peninsula in May 1915 and the picture shows a fusilier of the regiment in the uniform and equipment as worn at the time of landing. It will be seen that owing to the exigencies of the situation, a very extemporised kit was adapted out of material available at the time. In the background are the cliffs of the Gallipoli Peninsula. The battalion afterwards saw service in Egypt and in France.

THE 49TH DIVISIONAL ARTILLERY, 1916. Now: 49th (West Riding) Divisional R.A.

The divisional artillery of the West Riding Division is formed of territorial regiments from Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield and Otley. In the war of 1914-18 the division was one of the first to go overseas, landing in France on April 15th, 1915, and remained on the Western Front throughout the war. The picture shows a typical gunner of the Somme period, with a gun crew in the background. Since the Great War the West Riding Divisional Artillery has excelled in its technical efficiency, being in the final of the King’s Cup, and being winners on three occasions of the Dartmouth Trophy for Signalling.

2ND/23RD (COUNTY OF LONDON) BN., THE LONDON REGIMENT, 1916. Now: 42nd Bn. Royal Tank Regiment

The Newington Surrey Volunteers were formed in 1798. Later titles of the unit were the 7th Surrey Rifles and the 4th Volunteer Battalion East Surrey Regiment. In 1908 they became the 23rd (County of London) Battalion, The London Regiment; their present official title is 42nd Bn. (7th [23rd London] Bn., The East Surrey Regt.) Royal Tank Regt. The 2nd/23rd was one of the few T.F. units to fight on the Macedonian front in the Great War. The picture shows a member of the battalion in the dress and equipment of that campaign, with mule transport in the background. In 1939 the unit was converted to an Army Tank Battalion.

THE 4TH/5TH  BN., THE BLACK WATCH (ROYAL HIGHLANDERS), 1917. Now: 4th/5th (Dundee and Angus) Bn., The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment)

In both Dundee and Forfar, volunteer corps were formed in 1859. After various changes the two units became the 4th and 5th battalions, The Black Watch. Both these Highland Battalions went out early to the Great War, and after heavy casualties were amalgamated, continuing to serve with distinction in the Salient, on the Somme and in the final advance. The drawing shows a bomber of the Great War period, about to draw the safety pin of a Mills bomb.

2ND/19TH (COUNTY OF LONDON) BN., THE LONDON REGIMENT (ST. PANCRAS), 1917. Now: 33rd (St Pancras) Anti-Aircraft Battalion, R.E.

This unit can trace its history to Armed Associations formed in St. Pancras in 1798. In 1859 it became the 29th Middlesex (St. Pancras) Rifle Volunteers, and in 1908 the 19th (County of London) Bn., The London Regiment. During the Great War the second line battalion served in Palestine, and on December 9th 1917, two sergeants of the 2nd/19th met a party of civilians advancing with a flag of truce. Led by the Mayor of Jerusalem, they had to surrender the keys of the city. The picture, based on a photograph taken at this momentous meeting, shows in the background the Jaffa Gate of Jerusalem.

THE 1ST/9TH BN., THE DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE’S OWN (MIDDLESEX REGIMENT), 1918. Now: 9th Bn. The Middlesex Regt. (Duke of Cambridge’s Own) (60th Searchlight Regt.)

Formed as the 9th Middlesex Volunteers in 1859, this unit became the 5th West Middlesex Volunteer Bn. of the King’s Royal Rifle Corps in 1898 and later, in 1907, a Territorial battalion of the Middlesex Regiment- “The Die Hards.” From 1914 to 1919 the battalion served in India and Mesopotamia, and the picture shows a private in khaki drill service dress, as worn by the unit in the East, with the regimental flash on the helmet. The background gives a view of the city of Baghdad. The battalion has now been re-equipped as a searchlight unit, but still remains part of the old County Regiment.

1st/4Th BN., THE KING’S OWN (ROYAL LANCASTER REGIMENT), 1918. Now: 56th Anti-Tank Regiment R.A.

This unit owes its origin to companies of Rifle Volunteers raised in 1859-60 in and around Ulverston. During the Great War the 1st/4th Battalion The King’s Own formed part of the 55th Division and with it took part in the historic defence north of La Bassée Canal in April, 1918. The picture shows a Lewis gunner of the Great War, as he appeared in the spring of 1918. The service chevrons on the right sleeve were introduced late in 1917. With the reorganisation of the Territorial Army in Nov. 1938, the Battalion became the 56th Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Artillery.

THE 8TH (1ST CITY OF LONDON) BN., THE ROYAL FUSILIERS (CITY OF LONDON REGIMENT), 1937

This battalion was formed in 1859 by Thomas Hughes, author of Tom Brown’s Schooldays, as the 19th Middlesex Rifle Volunteers and was recruited largely from the technical colleges of the time. In 1908 it became the 1st City of London Bn. of the London Regiment and on the outbreak of the Great War was one of the earliest territorial battalions to leave England. It proceeded to Malta early in Sept. 1914, thence to Gallipoli and Southern Egypt, and finally fought in France as part of the 56th (1st London) Division. The battalion has 22 battle honours. The picture shows a sergeant in service dress, full marching order, with the Mansion House in the background.

51ST (WEST HIGHLAND) ANTI-TANK REGIMENT, ROYAL ARTILLERY, 1939.

The 51st West Highland Anti-Tank Regiment occupies a unique position in the Territorial Army. Its batteries are scattered along the sea-board of the Western Highlands, from Campbeltown in Kintyre to the Outer Hebrides. Many of the men are natural Gaelic speakers. The present unit was formed in 1938 by the conversion of an artillery unit, which as the 4th (Highland) Mountain Brigade, R.G.A., claimed to be the first artillery unit to land at Gallipoli in April 1915. The picture shows a gunner in service dress; in the background is the 2-pounder anti-tank gun, with which the regiment is at present armed.

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