1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment (1919 - 1921)
On the 10th February 1919 the 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment moved from Meslin l'Eveque to billets in Ath. In that city the dwindling Battalion remained during the & ensuing two months. The strength of the units shrank day by day as small parties of demobilized men left for home, shrank until it was decided to absorb the 24th Brigade into the sister Brigade, the 23rd (amalgamation of Brigades took place on March 3rd). That Brigade was still commanded by Colonel Grogan; so that the 1st Worcestershire during their last days in France were once more under the direct orders of their former Commanding Officer.
By that date (March 3rd) the Battalion had been reduced to a mere remnant. Three weeks beforehand (on February 20th) a strong draft of all available personnel had been despatched to join the 2/8th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment. The remainder were gradually reduced, until little more than the Battalion cadre was left on April 12th.
On that day the cadre of the 4th Worcestershire arrived at Ath by train from Cologne. The 4th Battalion had been sent from the Rhine to replace the 1st Battalion in France. Next day the 4th Battalion took over from the 1st Battalion all transport, equipment, and surplus personnel. The transfer took a few days; then on April 16th the 1st Battalion said farewell to their old comrades of the 8th Division (The 18th Division had technically ceased to exist, Divisional H.Q. having been closed down on March 20th). Headed by the drums of the 4th Worcestershire and the band of the 2nd Rifle Brigade, the cadres of the 1st Worcestershire, 3 officers and 36 men, with the Colours of the Battalion, and the 2nd Northamptonshire marched through the streets of Ath to the station. At dusk the train moved out, amid the cheers of a great crowd.
Next morning the train reached Dunkirk. The troops went into camp for two days. Then, on April 19th, the little parties which represented those two old Regular battalions (The 1st Worcestershire and 2nd Northamptonshire had come home together on the same ship from Egypt to the war in October 1914.) embarked on the S.S. "Antrim" for Dover.
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