4th Sept. 1914: QMS OLD BOYS COMPANY MARCH OFF FOR TRAINING

Sponsored walk from  Bertie's old Theological College, Burgh to Skegness, in aid of Christian Aid.
Still Marching : Sponsored Walk on his 74th Birthday. AHH. 1969.

MY MEMORIES OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR. The Revd Arthur Hubert Hibbett. 1967.

‘ My elder brother, Sydney, and I decided to enlist with the Territorials, 1/5th South Staffordshire Regiment, rather than wait to be conscripted into Kitchener’s Army.

On the morning of September 4th  1914 a column of young men, all in mufti, marching four abreast, passed the Town Hall in Walsall, en route for the Station and training in Luton, Bedfordshire. The tallest QMS boys, including my brother, Sydney, were in the front row; I was in the second row, behind my brother (1).

I shall never forget the Art Master going to each of the railway carriages in turn, giving the King’s Shilling to all the Old Boys, their heads out of the windows; or forget how we waved to friends and relatives as the train left Walsall. ‘

ELIZABETH HIBBETT WEBB 2009 NB. The QMS Old Boys Company are marching to the Station down Bridge Street, in this photograph. Sydney is marching next to the uniformed soldier (left), with Bertie just visible behind him. Does anyone know the name of the soldier and the other three boys in the front row? – perhaps even the name of the Art Master?

Sydney Hibbett was at QMS from 1908 -1911. He won the Blythe Shooting Prize  in 1911 and passed both Junior and Senior Oxford Examinations with Div. I. Pass .  He was apprenticed to the Old Park Works, Wednesbury.  Bertie Hibbett was at QMS  from 1910 – 1911, the last year of his schooling before being apprenticed as a Mining Surveyor in Walsall. He joined his brother in the School’s Cadet OTC. Both boys had been educated previously at the Blue Coat Elementary School in Walsall.

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SAFE  ARRIVAL  IN  LUTON,  BEDFORDSHIRE.

Bertie in UniformPte  BERTIE HIBBETT 8832 ‘ A’ Company 1/5th Bn. S. Staffordshire Regiment .

POSTCARD to his Mother at 95, Foden Rd, Walsall.

MARIE NEAL HIBBETT: 53 in 1914.
MARIE NEAL HIBBETT:
53 in 1914.
Market Hill, Luton Sept 4. 1914
MARKET HILL, LUTON. 1914.                                                                                                               

Dear Mother,                                                                                                            Sept. 4th

Arrived safe & sound  –  queer sensation but comfortable journey & good chums here.  Nothing but soldiers  –  soldiers  – soldiers!

 

Seen F. Hemming (1)–  came to our digs & also saw 3 ptes salute – and Sydney. Oh it’s grand so far, but I wish I had come in my best boots. These give me footsore, but I have stuck those pads in (2). We shall both look after ourselves carefully.  Syd will give you our address in a day or two, but cannot tell you yet for certain.

With love to Father &  the rest.  Bertie.

PS. Tell Dodger (3) to practice shooting. See Sheffreys (4) there’s a notice up by the shop. Tell Ida we sang ‘Glory Alleluia’ in Luton!

ELIZABETH HIBBETT WEBB 2009

NB (1) F. Hemming was one of his father’s teachers in Walsall. (2) Bertie was plagued by ill-fitting boots and sore feet from the very beginning.  (3) ‘Dodger’ – a family nickname for Basil. (4) Was ‘Sheffreys’ a gun-shop?

 SOLDIERS  –  SOLDIERS  –  SOLDIERS !

QUEEN  MARY’S  GRAMMAR SCHOOL  MAGAZINE for DECEMBER 1914  lists some 170 Old Boys and Masters who Volunteered  for the War;  many of them would have arrived in Luton with Pte Bertie on 4th September,1914  –  little more than three weeks after the Headmaster had sent his Recruitment Postcard.

Q.M.S. Roll of Honour.

This England never did, nor never shall, Lie at the proud foot of a conqueror.

‘Surely this must have been the thought which animated so many of our Old Boys and Masters when they threw up everything in which they were engaged, so that they might respond to their country’s call.  We of Queen Mary’s are very proud of those whose names are given below, and, when this war is over, we intend to inscribe their names on an honours board in the Big Schoolroom as those of men whom the Old School is delighted to honour.

“Though the seas divide us, we will not forget”, rather shall we follow their movements with all possible interest, and pray always for their safe return.  We extend our sympathy to those Old Boys, who, although eager to serve, were unable to pass the doctor…’

Queen Mary's Club Life Membership  Shield. presented to AHH in March 1926. It shows the pink & white Tudor Rose of Mary 1st. 
QUEEN MARY’S CLUB SHIELD.  The Revd. A.H.Hibbett became a Life Member on 4th March 1926. The Shield. shows the red & white Tudor Rose, symbol of Henry VIII , impaled with a sheaf of arrows, symbol of Katherine of Aragon..The Certificate signed by E.N.Marshall, is on the back. Oil on wood.  AHH. 1926.

QMS  OLD  BOYS , OFFICERS  & MEN serving in 1/5th SOUTH STAFFORDSHIRE REGIMENT listed in the QMS Magazine. (Names in bold are those frequently mentioned in Pte Bertie Hibbett’s Letters.).

OFFICERS: Capt. F.L.Overend;  Capt.W.Wistance; 2nd Lieut J.N.H. Smith.

NON-COMMSSIONED OFFICERS:  Colour Sergeant M. Somerfield; Sergt  H. Allen; Sergt H.W. Harriman; Sergt C. Wilkes; Corpl. H.C.L.Hartley; Corpl. W.Williams.

PRIVATES:  B.W.Bailey; F.J.Bailey; L.J.Bailey; R.W.Ball;  I.Boulton; A.E.Brown;  E.Beebee;  W.L.N.Cope; J.G.Allsopp; W.H.Cliffe; H.V.Crooke; R.Canby;  C.H.Denham;  B.B. Davis; G.E.Bradbury; E.V.Evans; J.Foster; T.E.Fenton;  S.Hattin; G.Hewitt;  S. Davis; C.Hacket;  A.C.Harrison; S.Hibbett;  A.H. Hibbett; C. Hinde;  H.Hinde; C.H.Harriman; H.W.Houghton;  A.O.Jones; C.H.B. Hammonds; E.Joberns;  A.E.Machin;  A.V.Shaw; J.F.Price;  W.Price; S.J.Parkes; W.A.Payne;  J.A Shipley; S.T. Richards; C.A.Thompson; C.V.Taylor; A.H.Wilkins; F.H. Wootton; A.C.W.Lyon; J.S.Smith; F.Lawton;  F.Cotterell;  H.Spencer.

5th S.Staffs Battery  RFA:  H.H.Lawley; W.E.C.Pullen; F.J.Gee; E.G.Birch; W.F.Hudson.

NEXT POST: 5th Sept 1914: Training in Luton.

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