East Yorkshire Regiment Guard House and Camp

Today we have a pair of very small photographs of 3/East Yorkshire Regiment’s camp at Hedon during World War One. The first of these two photographs depicts the guardhouse at the entrance to the camp: 

The regiment has its own flag flying here with the regimental badge and the words ‘3rd Battalion East Yorks Regiment’: 

Below this can be seen a corrugated iron guardhouse with a sentry box in front. On the right can be seen a bicycle with a member of the regiment in front: 

The second photograph is of the same guard house, but from the main road: 

The same sentry box can be seen here with a soldier in front of it: 

The same flagpole can be seen, with the huts of the camp behind: 

A pair of soldiers can be seen nonchalantly leaning against the front gatepost: 

The following account of the camp in Hedon comes from their town’s website: 

On 6th August 1914, just two days after war had been declared, the 4th East Yorks. Regiment and the East Riding Royal Garrison Artillery were mobilised and marched out of the city to set up camp on Hedon Racecourse. Hedon also became the garrison town for the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment – a training unit that became the Humber Garrison. 

Camps were also set up on Twyers Farm and Magdalen Hill for those that couldn’t be found billets in the houses, and the heavy artillery was parked on the racecourse too. The town must have been full, especially on pay day. Despite this five pubs had their licences removed in 1917. These were the Sun on St. Augustine’s Gate, Tiger on the Market Place, The Dog and Duck opposite the Kings Head, the Keel on Sheriffs Highway and the Rose and Crown at the crossroads of Fletchergate, Sheriff’s Highway, Hull Road, and St. Augustine’s Gate. The pubs had been forced to close at 9pm since early 1915. 

The troops kept the local police busy, getting involved in petty crime such as stealing chickens, selling fencing for firewood, and stolen Army issue oats and bran to the locals. There was also a case of bigamy when a soldier from Sheffield married a girl at St. Augustine’s when he wasn’t free to do so. There were at least two suicides and one case of murder or manslaughter of a local by a soldier when George Hopper was killed. 

As the realities of war became apparent to everybody there were cases of absenteeism and desertion that went before the local court. Thomas Turnbull, a bricklayer of Hedon was found guilty of assisting his son in breaking out of the guardroom of the 14th East Yorkshire Regiment. The son gave himself up but Thomas was fined £5 5s (the equivalent of over £300!) or 46 days in prison. Annie Robson was accused in 1918 of harbouring a deserter from the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry by sheltering and feeding him for several days. She had 6 children but the soldier was not related. 

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