LEAVING CHELTENHAM ..............and all that was dear
Cheltonians Who Gave Their Lives In The Great War
Cheltonians volunteered, and were later conscripted, to serve in all the Armed Services during the Great War. At the outbreak of war many rushed to the Recruitment Office at the Drill Hall in North Street and later to a central recruiting point in Great Western Road, to enlist in the Regulars, the Territorial's or the New Army. Over the following 4 years some signed up for service in the Royal Navy and, from 1st April 1918, for the Royal Air Force.
Voluntary enlistment was encouraged and The Derby Group System of Registration was started in October 1915 which "earmarked" single and married volunteers for later enlistment when the Army Training Organisation could take them. Due to the constant demand for manpower conscription was authorised by Parliament in May 1916 in the National Service Act. By this time, some 4,000 Cheltonians had already enlisted.
Those conscripted could state a preference of Service and Regiment, but there was no guarantee whatever that this would be achieved. It will be seen that after conscription Cheltonians served in all Regiments and Corps of the Army and on return to duty from sickness or wounds Cheltonians originally serving with locally raised units may have found themselves transferred to other Regiments and Corps.
Many Cheltonians emigrated to Commonwealth/Empire countries prior to 1914 and enlisted into the forces of that country at the outbreak or during the Great War and many made the ultimate sacrifice whilst serving in the forces of the country they emigrated to, including 22 professional officers serving with the Indian Army.
Listed below are the Services, Regiments and Corps in which Cheltonians who are commemorated on local War Memorials were serving when they were killed in action, died of battle wounds or of illness or accident, or, if they were civilians at the time of death, the last Service, Regiment or Corps they served in prior to their death.
Page last updated: 22nd November 2016
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