Spalding and district men keen to join Volunteer Corps in 1916

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The men of Spalding not serving at the front showed their “patriotic keenness” to play their part in the war in 1916.

They attended a public meeting set up to discuss forming a Volunteer Training Corps in the town.

Chairman of the Urban Council Mr E I R Stapleton, who was chairing the meeting, said Spalding was “rather behindhand” in starting a Volunteer Corps, but that the Government “at last considered it necessary to encourage the volunteers as much as possible so as to secure a force to take home duties and relieve regular soldiers for more important service”.

The Government of the day had also agreed to assist the volunteers by providing equipment, rifles and uniforms.

The chairman suggested that men exempted by tribunals from war service would make good volunteers and thought between 250 and 300 men should join the Spalding corps.

The report said: “We who remained at home must do our bit at home as the other brave men were doing away. It might mean a little inconvenience, but that was not to be considered at a time like the present.”

Those at the meeting resolved to form a branch of the Volunteer Force for Spalding and neighbourhood and pledged “to give its whole-hearted co-operation and assistance”.

Mr W S Royce, who proposed the resolution, said the chairman’s hope of an early end to the war was one devoutly shared by everyone in the country, but he could not see any immediate prospect of a cessation of hostilities.

He said he was an “ardent supporter and advocate” of the necessity of providing a force which could take the place of regular troops who could be released for better service.