SHEFFIELD CITY BATTALION: A History of the Battalion

SHEFFIELD CITY BATTALION: A History of the Battalion

RALPH GIBSON & PAUL OLDFIELD    Book Number: 85259    Product format: Paperback

Centre of the steel industry and home to four of Britain's nine armaments factories, Sheffield made a pivotal contribution to the war effort. Less well known is the fact that Sheffield raised its own battalion from the volunteers who responded to Kitchener's call to arms, one of the many 'Pals' battalions' from a single region. By and large the men came from the city's élite, and were professionals and businessmen. Their first parade was a 'complete shambles', but in three weeks they had achieved what normally took three months' training. Blue uniforms were issued until the national effort could provide the regulation khaki. This fascinating and detailed story takes the battalion first to Egypt, where the task was to defend the Suez Canal in the wake of the disastrous Gallipoli campaign, then through France to the front line, going north up the tourist route via Arles and Avignon, and greeted with enthusiasm by the women in the villages. Preparation for the Somme was the immediate task, and a particularly telling photo shows a horse struggling with provisions up a muddy bank. The battalion went into action with about 3000 grenades, but when the moment came they lost men with every step they took, while those who arrived at the German wire found it had not been cut as planned and became easy targets. The Somme was followed by Arras and in 1918 the brigade was disbanded and redistributed. Numerous archive photos accompany the whole fascinating story. 320pp, softback, biographical list, decorations, facsimiles of battle orders.
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ISBN 9781848843448
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