About 'on this day'

On this day is a listing of historical events associated with the actions of the Lonsdale Battalion, from formation in 1914 through to its disbandment in 1918. The Lonsdales were a 'Pals' battalion, volunteers answering Field Marshal Earl Kitchener's call to arms - to fight for King and Country.

Who were the 'Pals'? - The call to arms

On the 6th August Kitchener's plan to swell the ranks of the regular army with volunteers was approved by Parliament to an of increase of 500,000 men. Each man would sign up for no less than three year's service or the duration of the war (whichever the longest option) and thus, agree to be sent anywhere the army required them.[1] On the 11th August 1914, the official 'Your Country Needs You' call to arms was publish and the first 100,000 men became known as K1 of Kitchener's Army. Just two weeks later on the 28th August 1914, Kitchener asked for another 100,000 men. These became K2 and with news of the British fighting in retreat on the front the number of volunteers enlisting in Kitchener's New Army increased. Soon after there were enough enlistees to fill K3 and some of K4, which were to be reserves. The numbers were filled with men from Regular Army units serving elsewhere in the Empire.[1]

Details of Kitchener's Army are beyond the scope of this piece but suffice to say, K4 becomes a little convoluted at this point. K4 did not become a reserve force but were trained as regular fighting units. Then it was reconverted into reserve units. But by the 10th December 1914 an order was issued to create the Fifth New Army as it was apparent there were still enough volunteers coming in. The Fifth New Army was subsequently titled K4 and was made up of men raised from from localised communities, which were later referred to as 'Pals'.[1] Men that grew up together enlisted together, trained together, fought together and in many cases, died together. K4 comprised of six Divisions - the 30th through to the 35th and the Lonsdales belonged to the 97th Brigade of the 32nd Division. The actions of Lonsdale Pals battalion throughout its four year's existence are included here as daily events 'on this day'.

What are 'events'?

In this case, an event is the term used broadly to describe a particular action or set of actions. An event could be a reference to bayonet training, digging entrenchments, receiving orders by the commanding officer, detailed fighting on the front line, or it could be a simple report on casualty figures, among many others. The events are listed with specific intent to make clear the structure of a particular day's action, or inaction as the case may sometimes be. Events are set out under a single day with the headings: 1 January, 2 January, 3 January etc. Each event is bulleted under separate year headings with the oldest listed first. For example, events that happened in 1914 are placed above events that happened in 1915, 1916 and so on. A single month calendar is included on each page to enable easy navigation between days of the month and months of the year.

Events comprise a variety of subjects, including:

  • Births and deaths of officers, NCO's and other ranks;
  • Actions of individuals and small groups;
  • The Battalion's movements throughout France and Belgium;
  • Casualty figures, reports, honours and awards;
  • Letters and other form of inter-battalion communications;
  • Most importantly, war diary extracts.

This list is by no means exhaustive and remains open to the inclusion of other relevant information. But nonetheless, they form the backbone of the project and have been used specifically to reinforce a seamless series of events.

References and notes

The events are conveyed in a concise and coherent manner to ensure that what you read on this site is succinct and, more importantly, genuine. While every effort is made to ensure accuracy there may be events where dates appear misleading. This can result in conflicting sources although human error is also a real factor to consider; errors can often be overlooked but in most cases this is not intentional.

  • References – are the various source materials referred to compiling each day's events. These are usually in the form of citations and links to other pages within the site that have been transcribed from original source documents.
  • Notes – are usually additional items of information that help describe the main subject it is referring to. These do not always fit within the body of event and are, therefore, included in the references section as note.

Months and days of the year calendar

References / notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Kitchener's Army 1914-1918. 1914-1918.net. N.p., 2016. Web. 9 July 2016.
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