Spalding and district men form Volunteer Force in 1917

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Almost 200 members of the Spalding and district Volunteer Force paraded at the Drill Hall in 1917.

They were inspected and addressed by recruiting officer for the area Major Edmund Royds, County Commandant of the Lincolnshire Regiment of the Territorial Force.

He was accompanied by Major Foster, who was in command of the 4th Lincolnshire Battalion of the Force, of which the Spalding Company was a unit.

Contingents of men from Spalding, Moulton, Weston, Pinchbeck and West Pinchbeck, Deeping St Nicholas and Cowbit heard it was hoped that the “fine body of volunteers” would “very quickly be a thoroughly efficient and fully equipped unit”.

Major Royds explained to the men that he had been asked by the War Office to go round the Volunteer Companies to tell them what the authorities “were anxious should be done”.

He had been told to tell them “the safety of the country depended upon them at the present moment and therefore it was necessary they should become efficient as quickly as possible”.

He read an extract of a letter from the King to the Lord Lieutenants of the country, saying: “While our Regular and Territorial Forces are fighting the battles of the Empire abroad we must organise and equip a force to take their place as defenders of these shores in case of invasion. I am confident that all who are now prevented from undertaking service abroad will join the Volunteers to show the enimies [sic] that my subjects of all ages are ready to serve in defence of our beloved country.”

The men heard it was the intention to make the Volunteer Force “a real and fully equipped one as soon as possible”.