Thursday, 8 October 2015

Diary of a somebody - Frank Simpson's war diary part 8

Frank Simpson (1863-1942) was a prominent figure within his native city of Chester. During the First World War he was Quartermaster of the Chester Volunteers formed for home defence in 1914. One of our volunteers has begun to serialise his diaries. Our eighth installment fast forwards to June 1916, at which point Simpson has become Quartermaster of the Chester Volunteers.


Thursday, June 22, 1916

The men on parade this evening were asked to undertake ‘guard duty’ to which there was a good response. Particulars of the duties to be performed will be settled in a few days time. Twenty-two men took the oath and enrolled as volunteers. Nine Youths, between the ages of 16 and 18, were enrolled as volunteers and received brassards and coat badges.

Tuesday, June 23, 1916

Met the Adjutant, the Hon: secretaries and platoon commander J. E. Bennett at Old Bank Buildings. It was agreed to find a permanent guard for the Railway Bridge (Roodee) as requested at Headquarters, Stockport; the party went to the bridge where they were met by Lieutenant C. Smith who explained the duties. The Headquarters ask for 18 men- that is for the three shifts of six men who with an N.C.O would each be on duty for eight hours, but this will be arranged during the next day or two.

The Adjutant (Major Wilberaham) at the request of the Quartermaster instructed him to procure fifteen pouches for ammunition, the same to be charged to the Battalion. He also requested the Quartermaster to have the Rifles examined by the gunsmith as to their safety with ball cartridge. Each man on duty to receive a pocket of ten cartridges but not to break the package unless strictly necessary.

The ammunition to be handed over to the successive guard.

Corporal Edgar Williams was appointed acting company Quartermaster Sergeant of the Chester Company.

It was also decided that the Quartermaster should make enquiries as to the insurance of volunteers.