The Lonsdale Battalion of the Border Regiment September 1914 – November 1915.

 David’s talk will focus mainly on the period September 1914 – May 1915 when the Battalion will still based in Cumberland and Westmorland.  It will include topics such as: recruitment; the camp and equipment at Carlisle Race Course; the roles of Col. Machell and the 5th (Yellow) Earl of Lonsdale; uniform, clothes, personal equipment and field glasses; health; bad behaviour; food; rifle and other training; comforts for the troops; weapons; a brief insight into trench warfare; sports, Christmas 1914; and ‘Monty’.

David Bowcock

David Bowcock worked as an archivist for Cumbria County Council’s Archive Service in Carlisle from 1976 until 2014; most of that time was spent in Alma Block at Carlisle Castle.  The most important private archive in our custody was that of the Lowther family, Earls of Lonsdale.  In the 1990’s, as part of a programme of backlog cataloguing, I listed nearly 300 files relating to the Lonsdale Battalion.  As David’s retirement coincided with the centenary of the outbreak of World War I he resolved, with the encouragement of Jim Lowther of Lowther Estates, to research the Battalion archive (which had never been done before) to uncover the story of the young men of Cumberland and Westmorland who volunteered to go to war.

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