Army Recruitment Office

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Re: Army Recruitment Office

Postby Roxburgh » Tue May 27, 2008 2:41 pm

I did my thesis (many many years ago) on a comparison between the 1919 strike in Glasgow and the 1926 general strike in Glasgow. I spent many days researching this in the Mitchell library and had access to both original documents as well as microfiche of the newspapers of the day (this was well before the internet). I also have a couple of interesting books on the subject including Nan Milton's biography of John McLean.

When I get a few minutes I will go over the work I did and the books to see if there is any specific comment on the make-up of the troops who were brought in.
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Re: Army Recruitment Office

Postby DMcNay » Wed May 28, 2008 10:49 pm

Dugald wrote:
kosbboy wrote: wouldn't the KOSB's have been doing their recruiting down around Berwick on Tweed and around the border areas.


Not in 1919. By the end of the First World War with manpower at such short supply you went where you were needed. Infact, you could join up in one regiment, go to France with a new regiment, and when you got there you could be posted to a third regiment. It all depended on who needed reinforcements.

Not sure how it worked out in peacetime though. I'll ask around.

As for the regiments involved in the strike....I've not seen any documented proff of what regiments were in Maryhill barracks or indeed what "English" regiments were posted to Glasgow. Everywhere I've read repeats the same story of not using Scottish soldiers and posting in English soldiers. The HLI were associated with Maryhill but both regular battalions were stationed elsewhere in 1919.
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Re: Army Recruitment Office

Postby Roxburgh » Thu May 29, 2008 2:48 am

I have a book at home - with an introduction by Harry McShane - which tells the story of the 40 hours strike in 1919. This book is essentially a reproduction of newspaper articles, photographs and the Strike Bulletin.

One exerpt from The Times of Feb 3rd 1919.

A Veteran Recalls

I had come home wounded from France and (when my wounds healed) was sent back to the Seaforth Highlanders at Cromarty. We had no idea what was going on in Glasgow.But one morning the whole battallion was paraded and all men from Glasgow and district were told to come out to front of the parade. We thought that was us going to be demobbed but instead we were kept in Cromarty while all the rest (around 700 men) were sent to Glasgow to shoot if it were necessary.


Also ... Minutes of the War Cabinet Meeting, January 30th 1919 .........

Sir William Robertson continuing said that there were certain disadvantages in employing Scottish troops but on the whole he thought it would be safer to use them than to import English battallions.

Evening News - January 31st

The soldiers reached Queen St. Station shortly after ten o'clock ............. the long columns of khaki-clad men who belong to the Seaforths, the Gordons and other Highland regiments.
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Re: Army Recruitment Office

Postby DMcNay » Thu May 29, 2008 8:29 am

Sounds like they used Highland regiments rahter than Lowland Scots regiments. The men in a Lowland regiment would be from roughly the same social background as the strikers, whereas the Highlanders were more likely to have a farming background.

Still not very specific as to which Battalion. If I could find that out it would be easy enough to check the battalion diaries to see what orders were given.

William Robertson....there's an interesting man. Joined the army as a private andmade it all the way to Field Marshall. Probably the only man ever to manage that. More on him here:

http://www.1914-1918.net/wully_bio.htm
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Re: Army Recruitment Office

Postby Roxburgh » Thu May 29, 2008 10:14 am

Unfortunately, I don't have the specifics of which regiments were used. The work I did at the time was more focused on the social history aspects rather than the military history. However, I think it is clear that they used Highland regiments rather than Lowland ones and that they removed men from the Glasgow area before deploying the battallions. The two regiments mentioned are the Seaforths (based in Cromarty) and the Gordons so their participation could probably be confirmed and that, in itself, would allow us to contradict the suggestion that it was only English troops that were deployed to Glasgow at the time.
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Re: Army Recruitment Office

Postby Dugald » Thu May 29, 2008 11:55 pm

Well, there seems to have been a fair bit of research into this matter regarding whether or not English troops were deployed to Glasgow at the time of the 40 hours strike in 1919. This information was originally mentioned by Onny, and later corroborated by similar information in an apparent left wing contemporary publication called, "Red Clydeside", referenced by Dexter. I'll assume the source of Onny's "10000 English troops" is the same Red Clydeside publication referenced by Dexter. It states categorically in Red Clydeside that No Scottish troops were deployed [to Glasgow].

Contrary to the information obtained from Red Clydeside, Roxburgh provides information obtained from a publication showing essentially a reproduction of newspaper articles, photographs, and the Strike Bulletin; this, together with further investigation used by Roxburgh in a thesis, may lead us to believe two regiments, the Seaforths and the Gordons, British regiments generally, but not exclusively, recruited in the Scottish Highlands. There is further confirmation in the use of Highland regiments in the excerpt from The Times of Feb 3rd 1919, with the recollections of a veteran providing convincing stuff towards concluding that the British soldiers sent to Glasgow at the time of the 40 hours strike in 1919 were from Highland regiments.

Which of the opposing assertions are we to accept as the correct one?.Were there10000 English troops sent to Glasgow, or were the soldiers sent to quell any disturbances, non-Glaswegian soldiers serving in Highland regiments? I tend to agree with Roxburgh's conclusion that his presentation successfully contradicts the suggestion that it was only English troops that were deployed to Glasgow at the time of the of the 40 hours strike in 1919.

I made no previous assertions in reply to Onny's original claim about the English troops. My point was more one of semantics: I took exception to his use of "English troops". Had Onny simply said : "British troops" or even for example, "British troops from English County regiments", rather than "English troops", I'd probably have had nothing to say because until the opening of this topic I knew very little about the 1919 disturbances. Anyway, it's all very interesting and worthwhile material about Glasgow.
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Re: Army Recruitment Office

Postby DMcNay » Fri May 30, 2008 7:39 am

I think that whether it was "English" or "Scottish" troops that were used, I would say the figure of 10,000 troops is wildly inaccurate. That's the equivalent of nearly ten battalions, which would mean that there would have been more fighting troops in Glasgow than in an entire Division on the Western Front.

1000 seems more likely since that's the average size of a single battalion.
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Re: Army Recruitment Office

Postby onyirtodd » Fri May 30, 2008 10:04 am

Doc Lightning wrote:I think that whether it was "English" or "Scottish" troops that were used, I would say the figure of 10,000 troops is wildly inaccurate. That's the equivalent of nearly ten battalions, which would mean that there would have been more fighting troops in Glasgow than in an entire Division on the Western Front.

1000 seems more likely since that's the average size of a single battalion.


Wildly inaccurate it may well be but it's the figure which is widely quoted, along with the assertion they were English troops (whilst Scottish troops were locked in Maryhill Barracks). I lifted the number from a copy of Glasgow 1919. The story of the 40 hours Strike which I found at the Sgoil Ghàidhlig Ghlaschu Book and Craft Sale a few weeks back. 50p well spent.
238 to 127. All in all a good afternoon's work
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Re: Army Recruitment Office

Postby DMcNay » Fri May 30, 2008 10:54 am

I don't doubt it's been widely quoted (in fact it's the same figure and information I've seen everywhere), I just think it's likely to be wrong.

10,000 is a ridiculously high figure (although I will hold my hands up if it's proved to be correct) - as for which regiment, I find it odd that no source anywhere can name which regiments were actually involved.

I did a search on the Scotsman archive and there's quite a few hits for 1919 on this subject. Unfortunately I don't have any credit so can't view any of the articles. I know someone who can help me with that - leave it with me and I'll come back.
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Re: Army Recruitment Office

Postby DMcNay » Fri May 30, 2008 11:01 am

Not sure of the accuracy of this, but wikipedia has a footnote saying that the 4th (reserve) Battalion of the Royal Scots was deployed to Glasgow in 1919:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Scots

It's footnote number 79. I'll ask one of my friends to look up the Royal Scots regimental history, it might mentioned something about this.


So...if that's true, it wasn't an English regiment, or a Scottish Highland regiment. It was a Scots Lowland regiment.

Always remembering of course that Wikipedia can be totally unreliable.
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Re: Army Recruitment Office

Postby Roxburgh » Fri May 30, 2008 11:49 am

Doc Lightning wrote:I don't doubt it's been widely quoted (in fact it's the same figure and information I've seen everywhere), I just think it's likely to be wrong.

10,000 is a ridiculously high figure (although I will hold my hands up if it's proved to be correct) - as for which regiment, I find it odd that no source anywhere can name which regiments were actually involved.

I did a search on the Scotsman archive and there's quite a few hits for 1919 on this subject. Unfortunately I don't have any credit so can't view any of the articles. I know someone who can help me with that - leave it with me and I'll come back.


The War Cabinet minutes stated that they had 12,000 troops available for deployment to Glasgow. I did not see any mention of the number actually deployed but will check again over the weekend.

My newspaper source (which is, I think, in the same book Onny has) mentions the Seaforths and the Gordons so surely this can be checked by someone with access to the regimental history. The newspaper cutting also mentions that they arrived at Queen St. station which suggests they came from the north and/or east.
Last edited by Roxburgh on Fri May 30, 2008 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Army Recruitment Office

Postby Roxburgh » Fri May 30, 2008 11:52 am

onyirtodd wrote:
Doc Lightning wrote:I think that whether it was "English" or "Scottish" troops that were used, I would say the figure of 10,000 troops is wildly inaccurate. That's the equivalent of nearly ten battalions, which would mean that there would have been more fighting troops in Glasgow than in an entire Division on the Western Front.

1000 seems more likely since that's the average size of a single battalion.


Wildly inaccurate it may well be but it's the figure which is widely quoted, along with the assertion they were English troops (whilst Scottish troops were locked in Maryhill Barracks). I lifted the number from a copy of Glasgow 1919. The story of the 40 hours Strike which I found at the Sgoil Ghàidhlig Ghlaschu Book and Craft Sale a few weeks back. 50p well spent.


I think that is the book I have Onny. Cost me a pound in 1975 8O

This might bring a smile to your face:

http://www.antiqbook.co.uk/boox/byr/BYB6726.shtml
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Re: Army Recruitment Office

Postby onyirtodd » Fri May 30, 2008 1:43 pm

Roxburgh wrote:
onyirtodd wrote:
Doc Lightning wrote:I think that whether it was "English" or "Scottish" troops that were used, I would say the figure of 10,000 troops is wildly inaccurate. That's the equivalent of nearly ten battalions, which would mean that there would have been more fighting troops in Glasgow than in an entire Division on the Western Front.

1000 seems more likely since that's the average size of a single battalion.


Wildly inaccurate it may well be but it's the figure which is widely quoted, along with the assertion they were English troops (whilst Scottish troops were locked in Maryhill Barracks). I lifted the number from a copy of Glasgow 1919. The story of the 40 hours Strike which I found at the Sgoil Ghàidhlig Ghlaschu Book and Craft Sale a few weeks back. 50p well spent.


I think that is the book I have Onny. Cost me a pound in 1975 8O

This might bring a smile to your face:

http://www.antiqbook.co.uk/boox/byr/BYB6726.shtml


Thank you. It did, indeed, bring a smile to my face.




and, before onnybuddy else chips in - it's no' often that happens nowadays
238 to 127. All in all a good afternoon's work
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Army Recruiting

Postby kosbboy » Mon Aug 31, 2009 12:32 pm

Hello Folks,
I am trying to locate where, in Bath Street, there was a Recruiting Centre. On a document of one of my family members it declares that he enlisted in the KOSB (1919) in Bath Street before being sent on to Berwick upon Tweed. I have been unsuccessful using Google.
I'd appreciate any help.
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Re: Army Recruitment Office

Postby Josef » Mon Aug 31, 2009 5:01 pm

Is this going to be an annual event, kb? :)

Moved to last year's thread as a *nudge*.
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