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The post office and the first World War.

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BerichtGeplaatst: 15 Okt 2011 7:38    Onderwerp: The post office and the first World War. Reageer met quote

By 1914 the Post Office employed over 250,000 people with a revenue of £32 million making it the biggest economic enterprise in Britain and the largest single employer of labour in the world.

On the eve of war the Post Office not only handled a yearly total 5.9 billion items of post but was responsible for the nationís telegraph and telephone systems, as well as providing savings bank and other municipal facilities at thousands of branch post offices.

Many of these services changed as a result of the First World War and the Post Office was crucial to both Britainís communications and war effort during this great conflict.

When war was declared in 1914 an outbreak of national fervour saw huge numbers of men clamour to enlist with the armed forces, including 11,000 Post Office staff.

Every male employee was sent a letter encouraging him to enlistóa plea that was echoed by union leadersóand by December 28,000 staff had obliged.

In fact, the government used the GPO to distribute recruitment forms throughout the countryólater mass distributions organised by the Post Office include the circulation of ration books in 1917. By the end of the war the Post Office had released 73,000 staff for war services.

Verder lezen:

Canadian Field Post Office
A covered wagon serves as a Canadian Field Post Office. The seated soldier was likely assigned to sorting the mail. Canadian mail went through London where it was bagged and delivered to units by ration train. It took a minimum of about three weeks for Canadian mail to arrive at the front.
George Metcalf Archival Collection

The Post Office Rifles
To accommodate the swell of recruits in the First World War, a second Post Office Rifles Battalion was formed in September 1914. They were titled the 2nd/8th Battalions, London Regiment.

The 2nd Battalion initially served as a reserve regiment, supplying reinforcements for the 1st Battalion but in January 1917 the battalion also moved to the front line in France. They first saw action in the Second Battle of Bullecourt in May 1917.

The Post Office Rifles fought at Ypres and at Passchendaele and suffered tremendous losses. More than half of their fighting force was lost at the Battle of Wurst Farm Ridge in September 1917. Alfred Knight was awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery during this battle. They lost 1,800 and 4,500 men were wounded by the end of the War.

Although unique in its composition, the experiences of the PORs were entirely representative of life on the Western Front. The 1st Battalion embarked from Southampton on 17 March 1915 and after a period of training and acclimatisation, entered the trenches to fight in the battle for Festubert on 11 May that year.

The Post Office Rifles fought resiliently to secure and reinforce the British position there but the experience was traumatic.
Loos and the Somme

Loos and the Somme
The regiment saw further action at Loos in the same year and in 1916, POR battalions were involved in some of the worst carnage of the war at the Battle of the Somme. For their part, the PORs entered the hostilities late in the battle (October) but still sustained forty dead, 160 wounded and some 200 missing.

However, the Post Office Rifles were in the thick of the fighting through 1917, at Ypres from the start of the campaign. Many POR descriptions of fighting on the front vividly tell of the grim realities of trench warfare.

Those that survived were commended for the Battalion's achievements. "I thought" said the Divisional General, on parade after an aforementioned attack, "you were a lot of stamp lickers, but the way you foughtÖ, you went over like a lot of bloody savages".

The Post Office Rifles received 145 awards for gallantry including one Victoria Cross for Sgt. A.J. Knight.

Battle honours
The battle honours awarded to the 8th (City of London) Battalion, The London Regiment {Post Office Rifles) for the "Great War" were announced in March 1924. Ten honours (shown in bold type) were selected by the regiment to be displayed on the King's Colours:[4]

Festubert, 1915
Somme 1916, '18
Le Transloy
Messines, 1917
Ypres, 1917
Menin Road
Cambrai, 1917
St. Quentin
Bapaume, 1918
Albert, 1918
Hindenburg Line
Pursuit to Mons
France and Flanders 1915-'18

Bron: Wikipedia

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BerichtGeplaatst: 15 Okt 2011 20:15    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

mooi stukje historie,thanks tanorini!
owner of a unique WW1 museum-B&B:
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