1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment - Egypt 1913 - 1914
In the trooping season of 1912/1913 the 1st and 2nd Battalions exchanged roles, the 2nd Battalion coming home from India and the 1st Battalion proceeding overseas. The old Twenty-Ninth embarked at Southampton on the transport ship "Dongola" and were carried eastward to Egypt.
H.M.T. Dongola - taking the 1st Battalion to Egypt
Lieut.-Colonel A. E. Lascelles
Early in February 1913, the 1st Battalion, commanded by Colonel A. E. Lascelles, disembarked; and the tattered Colours which had seen the battles of the Sikh Wars were borne proudly through the streets of Alexandria to barracks at Mustapha.
1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment on the march in Alexandria (1913)
A few weeks later the transport "Rewa" entered the Suez Canal carrying the 2nd Battalion homeward from Karachi; and many representatives of the 1st Worcestershire went over to Port Said to greet the sister Battalion.
1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment men of 'F' Company in Alexandria (1913)
The 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment had passed two pleasant years in Egypt—years of which the most notable events of military importance included minor riots at Alexandria, the organisation and training of successive Camel Corps troops at the Central School in Cairo, and the manoeuvres of the little British Army of Occupation in heat and dust across the desert near the Pyramids.
Besides those events, the tour in Egypt was notable for much hospitality at Alexandria to the visiting warships of many nations, and for the great interest taken in the Battalion by Lord Kitchener who made it clear that he had not forgotten that his father had been an officer in the old Twenty-Ninth.
Below is a unique photo of 1st Battalion Officers who would shortly be fighting in the Great War 1914-18 and 2 of them would be awarded the highest honour of the Victoria Cross.
1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment Officers at Cairo, Egypt (1914)
Back row: Lieut. K. W. Wilkins, 2/Lieut. M. A. Hamilton-Cox, 2/Lieut. F. C. Roberts, 2/Lieut. L. G. Phillips, 2/Lieut. J. H. Tristram.
Second row: Lieut. & Quartermaster C. Henson, Lieut. E. L. G. Lawrence, Lieut. E. O. Underhill, Lieut. C. F. G. Crawford, Lieut. J. F. Leman,
Lieut. J. S. Veasey.
Front row: Capt. T. K. Pardoe, Capt. G. W. St. G. Grogan, Major E. C. F. Wodehouse D.S.O., Lieut.-Col. A. E. Lascelles, Major B. K. W. Bacon,
Capt. & Adjutant J. F. S. Winnington, Capt. T. Fitzjohn.
The photos below were taken in Cairo in 1914 before the men set sail for England in September 1914. The photos were kindly provided by Coral Beavis who's grandfather John Thomas Beddow was a regular soldier with the Worcestershire Regiment from 1907 to 1919 serving in the 1st and 9th Battalions. In the First World War he was wounded twice. His 2 sons were both with the Worcestershire Regiment in the Second World War and they too survived.
YOU CAN CLICK ON ANY OF THE IMAGES BELOW TO VIEW A LARGER PHOTO
The Citadel, Cairo (1914)
Troopship "Deseado" taking the 1st Battalion to Liverpool
The 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment had sailed from Alexandria on board the troopship "Deseado" on 30th September 1914. The voyage home had not been without incident, for the French battleships escorting that convoy had insisted on taking their proteges to Marseilles instead of allowing them to go home via Gibraltar. But the mistake was rectified and, after a short delay at Gibraltar, the convoy from Egypt passed unmolested up the coast of Portugal (from Gibralter onwards the convoy was escorted by H.M.S. "King Alfred.") and across the Bay. Southampton had been the original destination, but a scare of German submarines caused the route to be changed, and it was at Liverpool that the Battalion arrived at 9.15 p.m. on the 16th October 1914. The night was spent in disembarking the troops and stores, and at dawn next morning (October 17th) the Battalion entrained for Winchester.