Monday, 20 February 2012

54 Years with the 1st Devon Militia

My thanks to one of my correspondents, Black Sapper, who has provided extracts from the above publication which was written by William Shepherd in 1907 and subsequently transcribed by Helen Barlow (date unknown).  Helen Barlow's full transcription can be viewed online here as a PDF file on the Open University website.

1853 – Exeter Castle noted as HQ

18.12.1854 – Regiment was Embodied for Permanent Duty on account of the Crimean War; At that time the Regiment had 10 Companies (Grenadier Coy, 8 others & a Light Coy)

26.02.1855 – Left half of Regiment moved to Newport, Monmouthshire.

27.02.1855 – Right half, HQ & Band moved to Newport via Bristol.

Regiment stayed at the Barracks on the Hill, Newport; They recruited hard for the Crimean War;
Regiment stayed at Newport until middle of December 1855.

December 1855 - Regiment moved to Limerick in Ireland via Birkenhead, Liverpool, Mersey &amp Kingston, Ireland; Then train to Dublin & eventually stationed at Boherbuoy Barracks, Limerick.

05.06.1856 Regiment left Limerick for Cork, stationed at the Barracks on the Hill for 7/8 days before being ordered to England.

After an eventful journey by sea they arrived in Portland & Weymouth Barracks probably on 17.07.1856.

New colours issued on 22.07.1856.

The Regiment marched for home on 25.07.1856 via Dorchester, then Bridport, Axminster, Honiton on 30.07.1856 a final march into Exeter.

1858 – Training at Topsham Barracks. The Regimental strength was 778, there were 261 Absentees; battalion billeted at various Inns in Exeter.

1859 – Regimental strength was 512, there were 275 Absentees; battalion billeted at Topsham Barracks.

Regiment stayed throughout the 60’s at Topsham Barracks.

1860 – Regimental strength was 590; battalion billeted at Topsham Barracks.

1861 – Regimental strength was 629; battalion billeted at Topsham Barracks.

1861 – Death of their late Colonel Hugh Earl Fortescue on 14.09.1861.

1862 – Regimental strength was 715; battalion billeted at Topsham Barracks.

1863 – Regimental strength was 754; battalion billeted at Topsham Barracks.

1864 – Regimental strength was 759; battalion billeted at Topsham Barracks.

1865 – Regimental strength was 658; battalion billeted at Topsham Barracks.

1866 – Regimental strength was 663; battalion billeted at Topsham Barracks.

1867 – Regimental strength was 693; battalion billeted at Topsham Barracks.

1868 – In consequence of the Fenian Scare full guard was mounted day &amp night over the Ward in St Thomas.

1869 – Regimental strength was 828 & Billeted at Topsham Barracks.

1869 – Regiment were in Plymouth for a Brigade Field Day at Devonport, returning the same day by train.

1870 – Billets were in St Thomas at Public, but with a strength of 802, part were in Cavalry Barracks the remainder in the billets.

1871 – Regimental strength was 803, Billeted in Inns & Private Lodgings; The Crown took Command of Militia Units from the County Authorities.

From this year it is noted that Topsham Barracks were denuded of regular troops for many years.

1872 – Regiment under canvas for the first time since 1812, at Exmouth & their strength was 882.

31.03.1873 – Recruits were assembled at the Ward & proceeded to Raglan Barracks at Devonport, returning on 11.05.1873 before being dismissed.

14.07.1873 – 428 men were called up to forma Battalion for Maneuvers on Dartmoor for up to 6 weeks – 2 weeks at Egg Buckland & 1 month with the Flying Column; They returned to Exeter on 22.08.1873 & were dismissed.

1874 – Regiment was 765 strong & encamped for Training at Dawlish.

1875 – (& for a few years after) Regiment was Billeted in St Thomas at Public.

In 1881 when the Regiment was 628 strong the 1st & 2nd Devons & the 1st & 2nd Devon Militia were formed into the Devonshire Regiment

1888 – Regiment moved from St Thomas to the Higher Barracks & then the Camp Field behind Topsham Barracks; New colours were issued about this time.

1890 – Training in the Camp at Barnstaple.

1891 to 1898 – Training was carried out in the Old Camp Field, Topsham.

1899 – Training was at Honiton in a camp on the Exeter Road.

11.05.1900 – Regiment was up for Permanent Duty on account of the South African War & went to Salisbury Plain, via Queen Street Station &amp Porton Station until arrival at Bulford Camp; They stayed here for 3 months before moving to another Camp at Parkhouse some 2 to 3 miles away; Camp Parkhouse was mostly Volunteers.

16.10.1900 Regiment left Camp Parkhouse for Jersey, Channel Islands via Grately Station, Andover, Southampton; They arrived in Jersey on 17.10.1900 & marched to St Peter’s Barracks.

At this time the 3rd Devon Regiment was embarking for Plymouth & the 1/4th were billeted at Fort Regent, St Hellier.

14.07.1901 the Regiment left Jersey for home but the Band remained in Jersey until at least 30.09.1901 when they returned to England via Weymouth & Exeter.

1902 – there was no Regimental Training.

1903 – Regiment training at Honiton.

1904 – Training at Honiton.

1905 – Training at Honiton.

1906 – Training in "a big field" at Honiton with 3rd Somersets.

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