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Hull Rifles (Hardback)

A History of the 4th Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment, 1914–1918

Regimental History WWI Yorkshire and Humberside Photographic Books 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 Military

By David Bilton
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 240
Illustrations: 100 integrated pictures
ISBN: 9781473833654
Published: 30th July 2022

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Hull Rifles looks at the 4th East Yorkshire Regiment during the Great War and examines the origins of the battalion and its history over the three years it fought in France and Belgium. The battalion was involved in some of the bloodiest battles of the war and suffered such high casualty rates in early 1918 that the unit ceased to exist, except in name.

The men of the original battalion were Territorials, part-time soldiers who gave their free time to provide home defence during a war. Officially formed on 1 April 1908 as a result of the Haldane changes, the unit could trace its history back hundreds of years and was one of the oldest in the country. All the men were volunteers and held a full-time job. They had committed themselves to regular weekly training and a camp in the summer where they practised large-scale manoeuvres with other units. When the call came to volunteer for overseas service, 80 per cent came forward. Their ranks were quickly filled with new volunteers who were prepared to fight abroad.

Volunteer numbers were high and quickly the overseas battalion was at full strength, as was a second for home service. A third battalion was also formed to provide replacements for the men at the Front. As well as fighting on the Western Front, a battalion was sent to guard Bermuda for the duration.

The text uses letters, newspaper cuttings and the war diary to provide a detailed picture of a typical Territorial battalion at war. Also included are many previously unseen photographs, a nominal list of the men who volunteered before Christmas 1915, including a convicted murderer, awards, casualty details and lists of officers.

Featured in:

Cher Ami, GWSIG Newsletter – International Plastic Modellers Society (UK) – March 2021
 David Bilton

About David Bilton

David Bilton is a retired teacher who spends his time looking after his family, working as a university lecturer and researching the Great War; an interest ignited by his paternal grandfather’s refusal to talk about his experiences at Gallipoli and on the Western Front. He is a prolific author whose books includes works on the British and German Army, the Home Front and Great War badges; this is volume three of the badges of the British Army in the Great War. Since he started writing he has contributed to television and radio programmes, appeared on Country File and Look North, and given talks on his work.

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