Hall perfect for training young troops
THIS photograph of the 70th Young Soldiers Battalion Sherwood Foresters was taken in 1940 at Holme Pierrepont Hall.
In 1940, my late father Arthur Beniston served in the 70th (YS) Battalion Sherwood Foresters and was stationed at Holme Pierrepont Hall.
Ready for action: Members of the 70th Young Soldiers Battalion Sherwood Foresters outside Holme Pierrepont Hall in 1940.
The young soldiers battalions were formed to take volunteers under the age of conscription.
According to notes made by my father, in the 1940s, the War Office made an appeal for young men aged 18 to volunteer for service in newly formed young battalions.
Nottingham was one of the recruitment centres chosen and on June 21, 1940, a number of young men attended the Derby Road Drill Hall for medical checks prior to attestation for service in the Sherwood Foresters.
The original group of volunteers were attested, under Territorial Army regulations, into the 10th (Home Defence) Battalion Sherwood Foresters and it was not until September 19, 1940, that the unit became the 70th (Young Soldier ) Battalion Sherwood Foresters.
The officers were mainly veterans of the First World War. The commanding officer was a Major Cyril Beck.
For the first few days the volunteers were billeted in the schoolrooms in Raleigh Street and from there, bussed to Holme Pierrepont, where the grounds were near perfect for infantry training purposes.
Gradually, personnel were drafted to active service units until September, 1942, when the 70th was redesignated 16 Battalion.
JOHN BENISTON (via email)