Leicestershire Regiment (?) - World War I.

By Christopher Harris

Leicestershire Regiment (?) - World War I.

This image I am less sure on details.  It is World War I.  Earnest William (Bill) Christmas is far left at the rear.  Training camp?  Overseas camp?  Any thoughts or observations?  Any  individuals recognized by others?

This page was added on 09/01/2008.

Comments about this page

  • I do believe that the gentleman in the centre bottom row could be my Grandfather, Thomas Edward Bend, My father remembers as a very small boy his Dad telling him of his Regiment in the war that only eight of them returned alive to England and that they had a photo taken of them all together. Thomas E Bend was in the Grenadier Guards Leicestershire and was born in Harby Leicestershire, He joined this regiment in 1913 to the 2nd Battalion, I do hope that this may help, The resemblance to my Father as a young man is uncanny, Best Wishes Jude

    By Judith Cook (06/11/2009)
  • Thank you very much for this suggestion, which comes just at the time when we are remembering those who fought. Perhaps someone with specialist knowledge of uniforms and badges will have a close look at the picture and will be able to tell us more about the rank and regiment of the men in it. They all seem to be wearing Leicestershire Tiger cap badges.

    By Kate Pugh (07/11/2009)
  • I am a keen amateur rather than an expert but I would comment as follows. (a) It appears to be early WW1 given that the men are wearing the much hated puttees on their legs. (b) They are all Leics Rgt. The Indian Tiger cap badge is a give away. (c) They all appear to be private soldiers although the man seated in the centre may have a lance corporals stripe on his left arm (or is it a crease in the material?) (d) This also makes me believe it is at a camp in the UK prior to embarcation to France as if they were veterans of bloody fighting , I am sure some of them would have been made up to corporal or seargeant. (e) None of them are showing any sign of wearing a long or good conduct stripe and none of them are wearing wound stripes – again another reason to think it is before arrival in France and Flanders. (f) All of the men are carrying swagger sticks – most likely as a photographic prop as they were the preserve of senior NCOs on parade. Hope this helps.

    By Jonathan D'Hooghe (10/11/2009)
  • Thank you very much for your helpful response to our request for information. Now we will be able examine other photographs for the points you mention.

    By Kate Pugh (16/11/2009)
  • I have just come back to this wonderful photo and now have some more info. (1) Ernest William Christmas, in the photo is Private 1893 1st/5th Battalion The Leicester regiment. His Medal Index Card shows that he reached the rank of sergeant and eventually transferred to the Tank Corps as sergeant 301947. He went to France on 27/2/1915 and earned the Victory and British Medal and the 1915 Star. To serve in tanks makes him a very pioneering soldier as they only came into being for the first time during WW1. (2) Sadly, I have to tell Judith Cook that the photo does not show her grandfather. Thomas E Bend served only in 2nd Battalion the Grenadier Guards as private 16833 and was never in the Leicesters. However, he went to France on 20/9/1914, war was declared in August 1914 and thus he is one of the “Old Contemptibles” i.e. a member of the pre war regular army, which confirms his joining date in 1913, and thus an original member of the BEF. (British Expeditionary Force). He was entitled to the British and Victory Medals, the 1914 Star and a Silver War Badge with Clasps. This indicates a wound and his MIC shows that he was eventually discharged.

    By Jonathan D'Hooghe (17/01/2010)
  • Many thanks for the comment and extra information.

    By David Middleton (18/01/2010)
  • Thank you to Johnathan D’Hooghe. At least we now know that this is not my Grandad (although he is the image of my father). It has been very difficult to find any information on Thomas E as my Dad has very little memory of him, being only a little boy when they lost touch. We would like to thank you for the information that you have provided to us as we now have something new to work with. Do you know if there would be any surviving records or photographs of him or his regiment? and where we can get copies from. Once again my thanks for your interest, Best regards Jude

    By Judith Cook (30/01/2010)
  • Almost certainly a pre-war Territorial training camp. Leicesters’ (minus battle honour badges,) black leather clasp-belts and T.5 Titles (1st/5th Battallion) on the shoulder boards are a giveaway. Swagger sticks were permitted to be carried by other ranks during leave times or “Furlough” as it was termed then, as senior N.C.O’s carried “Pace-Sticks” not swagger sticks. Leicesters Pre-war training camps were as follows: 1908 Garendon in Leicestershire, 1909 High Tor, 1910 Hindlow, 1911 High Tor, 1912 Aberystwyth. 1913 and 1914 planned for Aberystwyth but were, I believe, cancelled due to mobilisation.

    By Richard Bradshaw (15/02/2010)
  • Once again I am drawn to this picture, it seems to be haunting me! Because of the strong family resemblance to my father I have once again looked for a likely match and have found Reuben Bend, born 1892 who served in the Leicestershire regiment during WW1 his Regiment No was 203846 rank private, as he was a cousin to my dad that would explain the likeness, I know I may be clutching at straws here but if one member of the photograph is identified it may help to find the names of the others in the picture, I do hope that someone may be able to tell me if Reuben was in the Tigers and if anyone else recognises him. Thanks once again to your team. Best regards, Jude.

    By judith cook (29/07/2010)
  • Many thanks for your interest and most helpful observations

    By David Middleton (04/08/2010)
  • I would also go for a pre War Territorial Camp. If Ernest’s number is 1893 that would mean he enlisted ~1912-1913. I would go for the 1913 Camp. Richard are you sure the 1913 Camp was cancelled? The others Brigades of the North Midland Division (of which the 1/5th Leicesters were a part) held Camps in 1913. The 1914 Camp was cancelled due to mobilisation. Great picture though.

    By Mike Briggs (04/08/2010)
  • For Judith: Reuben Bend did indeed serve as a private soldier in the Leicestershire Regiment. However, his service No. of 203846 means (I believe) that he would not have been a pre war soldier. I have found his Medal Index Card and he was awarded a Victory Medal and a British War Medal but not a 1914 or 1915 Star which he would have had had he been a pre war TF soldier. Therefore, he is unlikely to be in this photo. Interestingly his MIC is noted under King’s Regulations 1743 (12) which means that 10 years after the award, his medals had not been claimed.

    By Jonathan D'Hooghe (09/08/2010)
  • After some delving, I believe that the TF Leicesters did attend a 1913 camp at High Tor, Whitwick. It was only 1914 that was cancelled due to the outbreak of war.

    By Jonathan D'Hooghe (27/08/2010)
  • Johnathan D,Hooghe, You asked a question on one of the war pages about the Bevan brothers from Kilgwrrg Chepstow, they were my grandmothers brothers.

    By Janet Eleanor Nowell Smith (16/03/2011)
  • Further to Jain Burdett’s enquiry re Ernest Gutteridge. The 3rd Leicestershire Regiment was a Reserve Regiment which he was attested into at in August 1914. Please see http://www.1914-1918.net/leicesters.htm for further details. His service records survive and give details of his family and loss at Armentieres in 1915 and are available via Ancestry.co.uk. His attestation papers also indicate that he had Territorial Force experience (‘6.05’ this might indicate the number of years. Which would fit given he was 36 years old in 1914). He was subsequently appointed to Lance Corporal but reverted to Private on posting abroad with the British Expeditionary Force. This might have been a way of obtaining a posting into an active service unit from a reserve regiment given his age. His records are stamped as ‘Landed. Joined 1st Battn.’ Regimental War Diaries for the date of his loss might give further details of the actions of the 1st Leicestershire Regiment. It could be that he served with the 18th Field Ambulance given that they are listed in connection with the recording of his dying of wounds. One Capt. J.S. Dewhurst signed the records. It might be worth following up to see if his whereabouts at that time reveal any further clues. The War Diaries for the 1st Leicestershire are currently not available online. However the National Archive will be releasing further online War Diaries in 2014. I note that he resided in Leicester with his wife and children. Please do let us know if there is any local connection with Bottesford. 

    By David Middleton (19/11/2013)
  • Thank you for your enquiry. We would be most interested to learn about any local connections? He is not named on the service list from the Bottesford and district. His Medal Index Card in the National Archives indicates he was in France by the 15/11/14 and died of wounds on the 22/2/15.

    By David Middleton (19/11/2013)
  • I am trying to trace information on Ernest Henry Gutteridge who was a private in the 1st Battalion Leicestershire Regiment. His number was 11522 but the papers we have say he was in the third regiment so are misleading. Any help will be much appreciated. Thank you

    By Jain Burdett (19/11/2013)
  • Thank you David Middleton. Your information is invaluable. I think he may not have had links to Bottesford but found your webpage via a Google search which I was drawn to by the photo and subject thread. I am a novice at this and am researching this for my partner’s family. I’m trying to obtain a photo of him in which I believe he is not wearing standard WWI uniform. His papers are confusing as they refer to the 3rd Regiment which I know were in the UK for the duration and believe, as you say, that he took a rank as Private due to his age in the 1st Battalion. Thanks again.

    By Jain Burdett (20/11/2013)
  • E H Gutteridge is also listed at the Tigers web site http://www.royalleicestershireregiment.org.uk. There are two E H’s, one in the Boer War and one in WW1 – given his age could he be both of them?

    By Bill Pinfold (27/11/2013)
  • Hello,

    I know I am really late to this thread, but was looking at the photo of the territorials and we have recently found a photo that I have been told is the Leicestershire territorials and pre WW1. Was wondering if anyone had any info on where they were based or who was in the regiment so I can maybe find out if it was anyone in our family in the photo

    By Michelle McIntosh (12/03/2019)
  • Hi Michelle, you will find information about them pre-1914 in the Long Long Trail website, which describes them as being called the Leicestershire Yeomanry, adding: The regiment was formed on the creation of the Territorial Force in April 1908 and placed under orders of the North Midland Mounted Brigade. It was headquartered in Leicester with the squadrons being headquartered as follows:
    A Sqn: Melton Mowbray (and drill stations at Uppingham, Rearsby, Harby and Oakham)
    B Sqn: Leicester
    C Sqn: Loughborough (Whitwick, Mountsorrel and Leicester)
    D Squadron: Lutterworth (Market Bosworth, Market Harborough, Wigston, Ibstock and Hinckley)
    There is also a photo of their memorial in Bradgate Park, just outside Leicester.
    I hope this is at least somewhere to start your enquiries. Neil

    By Neil Fortey (17/03/2019)

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