Volunteer Corps for Spalding in 1916

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A big effort was being made in 1916 to form a Volunteer Corps for Spalding.

Leading townsmen J W Gleed, E I R Stapleton, Leopold C Harvey and A L Seymour had formed a committee and were to arrange a public meeting to explain the movement and appeal for volunteers.

The committee hoped for a corps of at least 400 from Spalding and the immediate district.

The role of the Volunteer Corps was explained. The report said volunteers were only to be called out for actual military service if and when it became necessary “for the purposes of repelling the enemy in the event of an invasion being imminent, but they can render valuable service in the meantime by assuming responsibility for guarding, on the rota system, certain vulnerable points, lines of communication, etc, thus releasing full-time troops for other duty, and by performing other military work upon which Regular or Territorial soldiers would otherwise have to be employed”.

The report said it was of the essence of the movement that those who volunteered “prior to the emergency” would do the work without pay, the service being seen as “an active contribution to their country’s defence by men who are precluded for various reasons from serving with the colours”.

Free travelling warrants were to be issued to the volunteers, and a ration allowance calculated at the rate of 5d for each six hours’ continuous duty (the ordinary Army rate) was payable to the funds of the corps providing the men.

• Last week’s First World War story was about the first war memorial in south Lincolnshire – at Pinchbeck parish church. We would like to clarify that the memorial was to the 101 villagers who volunteered before compulsory service was introduced, some of whom survived the war.