Flag The Hampstead Heavies
138th Heavy Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery


War Diary
(04/16 - 01/18)

Walter Wright
(Narrative, 1926)

Hampstead and
Highgate Express
(1915 - 1954)

The Hampstead & Highgate Express, 17 July 1915

Hampstead Howitzer Brigade
The Mayor's Appeal for Recruits

Yesterday (Friday) the Mayor of Hampstead (Alderman E.A. O'Bryen, J.P.) was able to give one of our representatives some details as to the steps which are being taken in regard to the proposed formation of a military unit for Hampstead, to take the name of the borough.

It will be remembered that at the last meeting of the Hampstead Borough Council his worship stated that he had been approached with a view to the formation of such a unit, and he then appealed for helpers, though it was not then decided what form the unit should take. It has now been decided that the unit shall, if possible, take the form of a "Hampstead" Howitzer Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery.

Such a brigade at full strength for headquarters staff, four batteries, and ammunition columns, should consist of a total of 676 officers and men, to be made up as follows:- One lieut.-colonel; one adjutant; two majors; three captains; fourteen subalterns; one sergeant-major; five battery sergeant-majors; five battery quartermaster-sergeants; twenty-three sergeants; five farriers; ten gunners as trumpeters; twenty-six corporals; forty-three bombardiers; sixteen shoeing smiths; ten saddlers; twelve fitters or wheel smiths; 250 gunners; and 249 drivers. To these should be added first reinforcements of one lieutenant; five storemen; two sergeants; thirty-six gunners; twenty-five drivers; and one clerk. The age limit is from nineteen to forty, with a minimum chest measurement of 35 inches for both gunners and drivers; the height of gunners must be from five feet seven to five feet ten, and of drivers from five feet three to five feet seven.

At a private meeting on Thursday night, at the Town Hall, a strong committee was formed, and amongst those who promised to help, and guarantee sums of any extra cost which might not be borne by the War Office in connection with the formation and equipment of the brigade, were Mr. J.S. Fletcher, M.P., Sir William Lever, Bart., Mr. Andrew T. Taylor, L.C.C., Mr. Walter Reynolds, L.C.C., Alderman William Woodward, Mr. and Mrs. Wharrie, Messrs. Herbert Marnham, Alfred Langton, C. Walton Sawbridge, W.S. Gwyn, Howard Figgis, J. Rochford, J. Strangways, Ernest Owers, Councillor H. Cadbury Brown, etc. Subscriptions are invited by the Mayor for the cost of printing, advertising, and other incidentals. Col. Warrener has consented to act as temporary commanding office.

A public meeting to inaugurate the movement will be held next Friday night at West Hampstead Town Hall, details of which will be found in our advertisement columns. The formation of the brigade should make a patriotic appeal to eligible Hampstead men who have not yet made up their minds to serve.

Top of page