Pte BERTIE HIBBETT on Home Leave in Walsall: POSTCARD to Sig. (1) SYDNEY HIBBETT, 8830, ‘A’ Coy, 5th South Staff Reg. 29 Gold Street, Saffron Walden.
12 Jan / 15
Got to Walsall 2pm – Birmingham 1pm. Arrived safe and sound after a delightful journey straight from S.W. to Birmingham via Ely, Peterborough and Rugby; changed at Birmingham for WORSLE train (2). Was in carriage with Walsall Tommies when I caught sight of Basil passing. At once got out and Basil and I travelled to Walsall (3). Met Boothroyd in Foden Road, with Davies and Frith spoke to me (4).
Don’t forget the Imp. Service Badge (5).
All at home very well. All’s well – about go on ‘fatigue’. Mother sends her love. Bring this PC home when you come see.
* Names: see Menu Page.
(1) Sig./ Signaller. (2) Worsle /Walsall. (3)No corridor train. (4)J? Boothroyd (Borough Surveyor’s Department, Walsall), lived at 93, New Rowley Street (i.e. next house to Hibbett Home at 95 Foden Rd cum Rowley St after the War); 2nd Lieut.J. Davies, old boy QMS, brother to Taff Davies; A.G.Frith, MA, Classics Master at QMS, Walsall, (late Exhibitioner, Sydney Sussex College, Cambridge).
(5)Imperial Service Brooch. Bertie wants his parents to see this before he leaves for the Front. The Long, Long Trail website <www.1914-1918.net> has image and the following description:-
‘ When TF (Territorial Force/ Terrier) troops agreed to overseas service, they signed the “Imperial Service Obligation“. They were then issued with a special badge, known as the “Imperial Service Brooch“, to be worn on their right breast. . .
‘ On 15 August 1914 orders were issued to separate the “home service” men from those who had undertaken to serve overseas, with the intention of forming reserves made up of those who had not so volunteered. Those men that did not agree were separated out into “Home Service” or “Second Line” units. The original units now became known as the “Foreign Service“ or “First Line“.
‘ In 1915 the “First Line” and “Second Line” units were given a new title; for example the 1/5th and 2/5th South Staffordshires were what had been the first and second line formed by the original 5th Battalion. ‘
NEXT POST: 13th Jan. 1915. Saffron Walden. War Horse & Uniforms.