Others are better placed to detail events affecting the Regiments and Corps of the British Army during the Great War. The intent here is to give the briefest of overviews of the situation immediately preceeding the fighting. For more detail go the web pages of the Regimental Museum.
This page covers the battalions of the Wiltshire Regiment where many Burbage soldiers served. Numbers in brackets denote service in other battalions of the Wiltshire Regiment.
1st Battalion Wiltshire Regiment. The 1st Battalion returned to England from Pietermaritzburg, South Africa in 1913 and was barracked in Tidworth. The battalion was mobilised on 4th August 1914 at 5.45pm. Commanded by Lieutenant Colonel A W Hasted, 505 all ranks departed for France on 13th August and joined 7th Infantry Brigade, 3rd Division which held the right of the Second Army position in Mons.
Burbage Soldiers Serving with the 1st Battalion:
2nd Battalion Wiltshire Regiment. The 2nd Battalion, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel J F Forbes, was hurriedly recalled from Gibralter on the outbreak of war, arriving in England on 4th September 1914. The Battalion was billeted at Lyndhurst and after receiving a draft of approximately 250 all ranks (including 195 from the 3rd Batalion) embarked at Southampton on 4th October. After landing at Zeebrugge, Belgium on 6th October, it formed part of the 21st Brigade, & 7th Division.
Burbage Soldiers Serving with the 2nd Battalion:
|3/9828||Pte||Albert George||Bushnell (3)|
|18654||Pte||Herbert George||Grant (3)|
|7443||Sgt||David George||Vardy (3)|
3rd Battalion Wiltshire Regiment. The 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion mobilised on 8th August 1914 and proceeded, under Lieutenant Colonel Lord Heytesbury, to Weymouth where at first they were billeted on the inhabitants. The duty of the Battalion was to garrison the town and protect protland harbour from attack. The Battalion moved to Lodmor in early 1915. It became a training and holding unit for the Regiment in the South of England for the duration of the war.
Burbage Soldiers Serving with the 3rd Battalion:
4th Battalion Wiltshire Regiment. The 4th territorial Battalion was under canvas on Salisbury Plain in August 1914. It was mobilised immediately and embarked for India in September under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Lord Radnor. The title 1/4th Battalion was assumed and the Battalion proceeded to Dehli.
2/4th Battalion Wiltshire Regiment. The Battalion was formed in Trowbridge in October 1914 and embarked for India on 12th December under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Parsons. It was initially based at Poona and Kirkee.
3/4th Battalion Wiltshire Regiment. The Battalion was raised as a Depot Battalion and served in England and Ireland until absorbed by the 3rd Battalion in March 1919.
5th (Service) Battalion Wiltshire Regiment. The first Wiltshire Battalion of the New Armies raised by Lord Kitchener at the outbreak of war. Formed in August 1914 in Tidworth, they trained in Cirencester and Woking before leaving for Gallipoli in July 1915 under command of Lieutenant Colonel Carden.
Burbage Soldiers Serving with the 5th Battalion:
|18653||Pte||William George||Flippance (3)|
|19400||Pte||Frederick William||Fribbence (3)|
|21076||Pte||John Herbert||Pye (3)|
|21075||Pte||Daniel Richard||Spanswick (3)|
|21018||Pte||Frederick William||Spanswick (3)|
|9291||Pte||William Charles Hubert||Spanswick|
6th (Service) Battalion Wiltshire Regiment. Raised in September 1914, the Battalion was trained on Salisbury Plain, Basingstoke and Weston-Super-Mare. It embarked for France in July 1915 under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Jefferies.
7th (Service) Battalion Wiltshire Regiment. The Battalion was raised in October 1914 and trained at Marlborough And other Wiltshire towns. The Battalion proceeded to France in September 1915 under Lieutenant Colonel Rocke and then embarked at Marsaille, arriving at Salonica in November 1915.
Burbage Soldiers Serving with the 7th Battalion:
8th (Service) Battalion Wiltshire Regiment. Two battalions were raised at Weymouth & Trowbridge but both had a short existance. Personnel were transferred to other battalions to make good the shortfall from losses.
1st Volunteer Battalion Wiltshire Regiment. The battalion was raised in the early days of the war for the purpose of home defence and was composed largely of men who were too old or too young for more active service.