4th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment - 1900 to 1913

The 4th Battalion was formed at Aldershot in February 1900 and was first quartered at Blenheim Barracks, North Camp. The Battalion was raised in Ireland on the 10th March 1900.

After some eighteen months of preliminary work and training, the 4th Worcestershire Regiment was selected to go overseas to the Bermudas, commanded by Colonel A. G. Chesney, where the Battalion was to be employed in guarding Boer prisoners who had been transported there from South Africa.

So on the 18th February 1902 the 4th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment (16 officers and 411 men) boarded the steam ship s.s. Harlech Castle. The battalion sailed to Bermuda, arriving there on the 4th March 1902 and took up their responsible for guarding prisoners of war from the Boer War.

Blenheim Barracks, North Camp, Aldershot

4th Battalion Worcestershire men on board s.s. Harlech Castle (1902)

From the 6th December 1903 to the 12th November 1905 they were stationed in Barbados.

It was there that the 4th Battalion Worcestershire received their Colours from the hands of the Governor, Lieut.-General Sir Henry Le Guay Geary (Governor of Bermuda from 1902 to 1904).

Later, the Battalion moved to the West Indies and was split up in detachments at Jamaica, St. Lucia and Barbadoes until the end of 1905.

Lt.-Gen. Sir Henry Le Guay Geary

A civilian passanger on board R.M.S. Tagus as it sailed in to Carlisle Bay, Barbadoes during the time the 4th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment were stationed there recalls:

"I was a passenger on the boat, and at daybreak, hearing the heavy splash of the anchor, I knew that we had completed one portion of the voyage. It was 3.0 a.m. The moon was still shining and the sun, then but a steely disc, was coming over the horizon. A hundred yards away were cargo lighters awaiting a 'clean bill of health' from the Port Doctor, before they were allowed to come alongside. Silhouetted against the low coast line there were palm trees, manchineel and coconut trees, swaying to the breeze which happily always blew. On the silver sanded coast, perhaps a mile away, were to be seen some hundreds of black moving figures. They entered the water perhaps a hundred at a time and soon the sea was thick with bobbing heads. Most of them swam round a moored boat and returned, but about a dozen of the more lusty swimmers came on to the Tagus. I invited them to breakfast, but they excused themselves as they were not dressed to suit the part. I ascertained that the swimmers were the Worcesters taking their morning bathe. Their limbs were black with sunburn and with their dark bathing suits they looked, at a distance, like so many coloured men. Soon they let go the ropes and rejoined their comrades in the swim home."

When the British garrison was withdrawn from those islands and the 4th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment, then commanded by Lieut.-Colonel C. M. Edwards.

On the 13th November 1905 they were transported by the steam ship s.s. Zaria and carried back across the Atlantic and down the Straits to Malta arriving there on the 2nd December 1905.

The 4th Battalion then spent three strenuous years in Malta under the command of Lieutenant Colonel C. M. Edwards.

In 1906 Britain was experiencing some unrest in Egypt as a result of the dispute over Taba. The British Agency in Cairo warned of possible anti-British feeling due the growing nationalist movement. Additional British Forces were therefore sent to Egypt as a precaution. The 4th Battalion sailed from Malta aboard s.s. Dilwara on the 8th May 1906, arriving in Egypt on the 11th May 1906.

s.s. Zaria

Lieut.-Colonel C. M. Edwards

4th Battalion Worcestershire Regimental men - (Barbadoes 1905)
Blacked up and re-enacting the trial of the Suffragettes
(photo submitted by Robert Hanley)

On the 9th June 1906 the battalion returned to Malta on board s.s. Dufferin, where they stayed until 11th November 1908. Colonel C. M. Edwards retired on the 17th February 1908 to the reserve of officers.

The 4th Battalion next moved east of Suez to India, now commanded by Colonel G. W. Lewis, the Battalion was stationed at Bareilly where they would spend the next 4 years.

In November 1911 the accession of the King-Emperor (King George V who was crowned in England in June 1910) and his Consort was proclaimed in his presence at the great Durbar, which inaugurated the new capital at Delhi. The 4th Battalion from Bareilly were included in the massive force of the British Army, which assembled at Delhi for the parade.

That was destined to be the last occasion on which the Army in India was to stage a great parade in the old-time glories of full dress, and the 4th Battalion Worcestershire made a brave show—closed ranks of scarlet, white and gold glittering against the dull green of the flanking battalion of Gurkhas, as the massed Brigades tramped past the saluting base before their King.

 

4th Battalion Officers - Malta c. 1906

Rear: 2Lt. E. C. R. Hudson, Lt. (Q.M.) H. J. Parker, Lt. G. L. St. A. Davies, Lt. P. T. Bull, Lt. W. Barker, Lt. D'Arcy H. Kay, Lt. G. C. Deans, Lt. E. M. Simpson, Lt. P. C. Guy, Lt. P. Hamilton
Centre: Lt. H. St. J. Jefferies, Capt. Crawshay, Maj. C. H. Seton, Maj. H. de B. Hovell, Lt.-Col. C. M. Edwards, Maj. C. Norbury, Capt. H. R. Eliott,
Capt. C. D. F. Myburgh, Capt. E. W. Moss
Front: 2Lt. A. Northey, Lt. C. S. Linton, Lt. R. W. Pepys, 2Lt. T. H. O. Crawley

 

4th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment - N.C.O.'s - Malta 1906

 

4th Battalion Worcestershire Regimental - Rifle Shooting Cup Winners, Malta (1906/07)
(photo submitted by Robert Hanley)

 

4th Battalion Worcestershire Regimental - Cricket Trophy Winners - Malta (1906)
(photo submitted by Robert Hanley)

4th Battalion Worcestershire Regimental - Pistol Shooting Team - Malta (1906)
(photo submitted by Robert Hanley)

 

4th Battalion Worcestershire Regimental, Sports Cup Winners - Malta (1906/07)
(photo submitted by Robert Hanley)

 

4th Battalion Worcestershire Regimental - Malta (1906)
(photo submitted by Robert Hanley)


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