Object of the Month - April 2014
Recruitment Meeting, 1914, taken by George Ward
Before the passing of the Military Act in 1916, which introduced conscription, men volunteered for service and recruitment drives and meetings by individual regiments were held throughout the country. (We believe) this meeting took place on 7th September 1914, led by the King’s Royal Rifle Corps, a regiment based in Winchester, but with battalions formed across the south of England. There was another big drive in 1915, for the Oxford & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry.
The meeting was arranged by Ronald Grist, a local bank manager, who later served and was killed. The meeting was led by a parade of the National Reserve, Special Constables and Boy Scouts, headed by a band of pipers, starting from the railway station, and with the fire brigade and engine joining in, they proceeded to Little Shardeloes to be met by the Amersham Band who played marches and patriotic music. There were speeches, and it was reported that 55 men had volunteered their services.
The museum is carrying out a research project, leading to an exhibition in the autumn, looking at the effect the war had on the town and its people. We shall be regularly adding content about the project on a dedicated page, to be launched later this month, on the museum’s Amersham History Web site (www.amershamhistory.info).
The exhibition, Amersham at War, 1914-1918, will visit three venues in and around Amersham in October and November this year. There will be a series of talks and events to complement the exhibition.