4th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment - 1919-1922

Thus during 1919 the British Armies overseas were gradually demobilized. One after another the fighting Battalions of the Regiment were disbanded or reduced to cadre, and the soldiers who had gained the final victory came back in small parties to England.

More fortunate than other battalions, the 4th Battalion was ordered to be reformed at Norton Barracks, and the cadre were given a splendid welcome on their arrival back in the county. After reaching Dover on the 19th April 1919 the cadre of the Battalion were sent by train to Lichfield and thence to Worcester.

On May 20th, 1919, the cadre, 6 officers and 46 other ranks under the command of Lieut.-Colonel R. H. Marryatt, D.S.O. reached Worcester. At the station the cadre were met by an escort from the Depot, and marched with Colours flying through the streets of the city to the Guildhall. There they were made welcome by the Mayor and Mayoress, Alderman and Mrs. Canton, and by many representatives of the County, including Admiral Cuming, D.S.O., Lieut.-Colonel J. S. Wood and several members of the City Council. After a welcoming speech by the Mayor, to which Lieut.-Colonel Marryatt replied, the representatives of the Battalion were suitably entertained in the Guildhall before marching onward to Norton Barracks. There Lieut.-Colonel H. E. Gogarty, D.S.O. took over command, with Lieut. T. Moilliet as his Adjutant, and began the work of creating the Battalion a new.

The battalion was then involved in various roles and finally moved to barracks at Aldershot (during this period the 4th Battalion was commanded by Colonel Grogan before he was transferred to command the 3rd Battalion in India).

Lieut.-Col. H. E. Gogarty

Lieut.-Col. H. E. Gogarty

Private L. C. Langstone

Private L. C. Langstone

Private L. C. Langstone was a member of the Colour Party that returned the Battalion Colours home to Worcester in May 1919. Private Langstone served with both the 1st and 4th Battalions of the Worcestershire Regiment between 1915 to 1919 (photo submitted by his son Brian Langstone). Private Langstone was batman to Captain R. H. Marryatt who commanded "W" Company in 1918, becoming Major and second-in-command of the 4th Battalion in the autumn 1918 and on the 5th February 1919, Lieut.-Colonel Marryatt took over command of the 4th Battalion from Lieut.-Colonel T. FitzJohn.

Early in 1920 the 4th Worcestershire went overseas to join once more the Army of the Rhine at Cologne. In the spring of 1920 the command of the Battalion was taken over by Lieutenant-Colonel M. R. Walsh C.M.G., M.C., and a year of varied interest ensued. One company was kept on detachment at Antwerp, acting as guards over docks and stores. In the summer of 1921 a great railway strike in England caused the recall of the Battalion to the unpleasant duty of maintaining order in Glasgow. Then after some uncomfortable weeks at Maryhill Barracks, orders were received for yet another move.

The Irish troubles were ending in a final splutter of murder and arson. During that last phase of the trouble fresh re-enforcements were brought in, including the 4th Battalion from Glasgow. The 4th Battalion (temporarily commanded by Major J. O. Nelson O.B.E) landed in Ireland on the 7th July 1921, they were played through Dublin by the Drums of the 2nd Battalion, as the 4th Battalion drums had been left in Cologne, and camped that night in Phoenix Park.

The 4th Worcestershire were under orders for Galway, and next day the Battalion marched westwards in lovely weather. The march right across the centre of Ireland was made under active service conditions and with all due precautions, but no opposition was encountered, and quarters in Galway were reached without incident.

By that time the troubles were at an end. A truce had been proclaimed, and the Battalion stayed pleasantly in Galway for several months; during which time the command was taken over by Lieutenant-Colonel H. Needham, C.M.G., D.S.O., and all ranks received much hospitality from the surrounding country-folk.

The end of the Irish troubles gave the opportunity for extensive reductions in our country's military forces, and late in 1921 orders were issued for the disbandment of the junior regular battalions of the Line which included the 4th Battalion. One concession to sentiment was indeed secured. In response to an appeal signed by the Colonel of the Regiment, General Sir George Higginson, the Army Council gave a formal promise that the record of our 3rd and 4th Battalions should not be obscured by any subsequent renumbering of the other Battalions of the Regiment; and the memory of those two splendid Battalions has been maintained by their places being left vacant in the Army List.

In the autumn of 1921 the 4th Worcestershire moved from Galway to Ulster. There the sad work of disbandment was carried out, the greater part of the personnel were sent south to join the 2nd Battalion in Dublin and the cadre of the Battalion were sent home to Lichfield. From Lichfield the Colours of the Battalion were despatched to Worcester, and on the 16th June 1922 they were laid to rest in the Cathedral.