The Annual Camp at Castleton in 1903 and the YMCA Tent is clearly indicated in the top right corner. This land was acquired by the War Office in the late 1890s, however, by all accounts is was not a popular site with the men, possibly due to its isolation.
Very little has changed over the last 110 years and the dry stone walls, woods and road are still easily identifiable.
[Photograph Courtesy of Bernard Heathcote – see here for more details on the Heathcote brothers]
The YMCA Tent
Interior of YMCA Tent (#13C unknown publisher).
Men of the 2nd Volunteer Battalion (Grantham) the Lincolnshire Regiment taken in a YMCA tent c1903-1906. The other Volunteer Battalions were 1st Volunteer Battalion (Lincoln) and the 3rd Volunteer Battalion (Grimsby). This particular post card was part of a collection belonging to Herbert Rhymes of the 4th VB Notts & Derby Regiment (1903-1908) and later the 8th Battalion Notts & Derby Regiment (1908-1916).
The Sergeant is wearing the Senior NCO Proficiency Star above the chevrons and crown denoting Colour-Sergeant. He also has Musketry Marksman crossed rifles (left sleeve) and five efficiency stars (right sleeve).
Amongst the group of men are several bandsmen in tunic order with white piping, a corporal pioneer and stretcher bearer, whilst one man appears to belong to the Brigade Supply Detachment.
The Lincolnshire Volunteers
The Lincolnshire Volunteer Battalions were present at the 1904 and 1906 Brigade Camps with the Sherwood Foresters suggesting that this picture was taken at one of those camps. The 4th Lincolnshire Regiment was formed by the merger and reorganisation of the 1st and 2nd Volunteer Battalions of the Lincolnshire Regiment in 1908. The headquarters were at the Drill Hall in Broadgate, Lincoln and its eight companies were based at:-
- A, E and H Companies; Drill Hall at Broadgate in Lincoln
- B Company; The Barracks in Harrowby in Grantham
- C Company; Drill Hall at Main Ridge in Boston
- D Company; The Armoury at 43, High Street in Stamford
- F Company; Drill Hall at Haversfield Road in Spalding
- G Company; Drill Hall in Boston Road, Horncastle