The Naval Division was formed in August 1914. The Admiralty realized that with the mobilization they would have between 20-30,000 men of the Reserve, for whom there would not be room an any ship of war. This surplus would be sufficient to form two naval Brigades and a Brigade of Marines available for Home Defence or for any special purpose. From this they formed the "Naval" Division.

THIS WAS DONE BY THE FIRST LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY,

WINSTON CHURCHILL,

THEY WERE   MADE INTO BATTALIONS NAMED AFTER

ADMIRALS    NELSON 

                           HAWKE

                           BENBOW

                          COLLINGWOOD

                          ANSON

                          HOWE

                          HOOD

                          DRAKE


                         


THIS PAGE IS A BRIEF HISTORY THAT     STARTS WITH THE FORMATION OF THE ROYAL NAVAL DIVISIONS AND THEIR UNIFORMS AND BASIC EQUIPMENT  ETC.

AND FINISHES WITH THE ATTEMPT TO DEFEND ANTWERP AND  DEFEAT AND, RETREAT FROM ANTWERP OCTOBER

THE 3rd to the 9th 1914

       PART  1 

WHEN I ASK PEOPLE "IF I ASKED YOU ABOUT THE ROYAL NAVY IN WW1 ?

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY?"

WELL TO BE HONEST THROUGH NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN ,

THEY SAY JUTLAND ? BATTLE SHIPS AND IF LUCKY " JACK CORNWELL"

THE SLIDE SHOW ON THE LEFT SHOWS

WHAT REPRESENTS THE PUBLICS IDEA ,

OF THE NAVY IN WW1,

                        "JUTLAND"

THE TRUTH ABOUT THE " RND" IS SO FAR FROM THE PERCEPTION OF WHAT THE NAVY DID IN WW1 , THAT MOST PEOPLE WONT BELIEVE IT,

IN THE  FOLLOWING   ARTICLES AND PHOTOS ,

I WILL TRY TO  TELL THEIR STORY

USING PHOTOS  ARTICLES AND ,

ARTEFACTS , AND COPYS OF DOCUMENTS ,


            PART 1, THE FORMATION OF THE RND.........................................



THE PHOTO ABOVE SHOWS

HOW THE RND WENT TO WAR,

" IN SQUARE RIG!"

PART 2      . BELOW.

THE WEAPONS AND UNIFORMS

AT THE BEGINNING OF WW1

IF YOU LOOK CLOSELY

AT THE PHOTO ON THE ,

RIGHT,

YOU CAN SEE THIS IS AN OLDER PICTURE AS THESE RIFLES  DONT  HAVE THE CONVERSION,

OF THE CHARGER BRIDGE LIKE THE LATER ONES.

THE PHOTOS ABOVE SHOW A RIFLE WITH VOLLEY SIGHTS,

THIS IS A HANGER ON FROM THE DAYS OF MUSKETS , WHICH HAD NO RIFLING AT ALL ( SMOOTH BORE), AND WERE INNACURATE ,

SO THEY FIRED THEM IN RANKS EN MASSE,

TO GET THE MAXIMUM AMMOUNT OF SHOT INTO A GIVEN AREA,

AS WW1 PROGRESSED , VOLLEY SIGHTS WERE DISCONTINUED,

SUPPOSABLY FOR THE COST ?.

ON THE RIGHT IS SOMETHING RARELY SEEN A TRAINING AID .


ALSO  EVIDENT IN THE PHOTOS ABOVE  IS THE MAGAZINE CUT OFF SLIDE,

IN PHOTO 4   ITS CLOSED, THIS WAS THE WAY IT WAS USED WITH THE VOLLEY SIGHTS,

A MASS OF AIMED SINGLE SHOTS THAT PEPPERED AN AREA,

WHEN AN ENEMY  WAS A GOOD DISTANCE AWAY,

THE PHOTO TO THE RIGHT OF THAT ONE SHOWS,

THE SLIDE OPEN,

THE  MAIN SIGHTS WERE THEN USED ,

AND THE MAN HAD ACCESS TO 10 ROUNDS RAPID FIRE............................


THE POSTER ABOVE IS A GOOD EXAMPLE OF THE OLD ADAGES , NEVER LET THE FACTS GET IN THE WAY OF A,

GOOD STORY / ARTISTIC LICENCE,

THE ARTIST  ALTHOUGH TALENTED , HAS THE RND USING LEE ENFIELD No1 MK 3s, WITH 1907 PATTERN QUILLON BAYONETS BUT LOOK HOW SHORT THEY ARE?? I THINK HE GOT CONFUSED WITH THE BOER WAR BAYONETS,

FITTED TO THE LONG LEE ENFIELDS ??

THE COLLAGE OF PHOTOS ABOVE AND ON THE RIGHT SHOW THE WEAPON ,

THE RIFLE THAT THEY WERE ISSUED WITH,

A LEFT OVER FROM THE BOER WAR, THE CHARGER LOADING LONG LEE ENFIELD ,

COMPLETE WITH AN ORIGINAL BAYONET ,

PHOTO 7 ABOVE GIVES YOU AN IDEA OF THEIR AGE ,

THE UNIFORMS SHOWN  ARE VICTORIAN!

AND THE RIFLES SHOWN WERE LATER MODIFIED WITH THE ADDITION  OF A, CHARGER BRIDGE , TO FACILLITATE THE LOADING OF,

CLIPS OR CHARGERS X 2 OF 5 .303 ROUNDS,

THE RIFLES HAD VOLLEY SIGHTS AS SHOWN IN PHOTOS  3-4,

THIS PARTICULAR RIFLE WAS ORIGINALY ISSUED TO THE ,

"KINGS OWN RIFLES" AS SEEN BY THE BUTT PLATE PHOTO ABOVE.

AS YOU CAN SEE THE DETAILS HAVE BEEN STAMPED ACROSS ,

POSSIBLY BEFORE RE-ISSUE ?



SOMETHING ELSE   THAT MAKES THIS RIFLE DIFFERENT TO THE OTHERS IS   " THE SAFETY CATCH"

AS SEEN ON THIS IMAGE ON THE RIGHT, SEE ARROW,

IT IS PART OF THE ACTUAL BOLT NOT AS IN LATER SMLEs,

A SEPERATE PIECE .

THIS IMAGE ON THE RIGHT MIGHT ONLY BE A DRAWING, BUT IT IS BASED ON A RATING FROM THE GALLIPOLI,

THEATRE OF OPS

SHOWING CLEARLY ,

NO VOLLEY SIGHTS ..........

ON HIS RIFLE

NOTABLE ALSO IS THE ,

TACHE INSTEAD OF THE FULL BEARD OR SET,

NORMALLY ASSOCIATED WITH THE ROYAL NAVY,

THE RND BY THIS TIME WERE UNDER ARMY .

CONTROL,

THE SAILOR ON THE FAR RIGHT IS AN R N D ,

OFFICER A SUB  LT,

DENOTED BY THE SINGLE RING ON THE SLEEVES,

THE RIFLE IMAGES ,

ON THE RIGHT ARE OF  A LEE ENFIELD, NO 1 MK 111,  DATED 1915,

WHEN THIS MK WAS INTRODUCED , TO MAKE IT EASIER  AND CHEAPER TO, PRODUCE,

THE VOLLEY SIGHTS AND MAGAZINE CUT OFF SLIDE ,

WERE OMITTED




THE 2 PHOTOS ABOVE SHOW  THE APROXIMATE LINE OF SIGHT  USING,

VOLLEY  SIGHTS AND THE NORMAL ,

SIGHTS AS DENOTED BY THE ,

BLACK ARROW

THE  IMAGES  OF THE 2 BAYONETS BELOW  SHOW 2 VARIATIONS OF BAYONETS USED WITH THE NUMBER 1 MK 111,

THE FIRST IS AN EARLY QUILLON (THE HOOK) TYPE THE THEORY BEING  YOU USED IT TO CATCH AN ENEMYS BAYONET ,

IN THE HOOK AND THEN TWIST AND SNAP THE ENEMYS BAYONET,

THE ONE BELOW THAT ONE IS A LATE WAR VARIENT AND SHOWS THE ABSENCE OF THE HOOK, THERE  ARE VARIOUS, THEORYS PUT   FORWARD  FOR   NOT INCLUDING  THE HOOK, TO MANY FOR THIS PAGE,


THE IMAGE ON THE RIGHT,

IS A CLOSE UP OF THE PILING SWIVEL FITTED  JUST BEHIND THE BAYONET LUG,

SEE EXPLANATION OF PILING,

AFTER THE  THE QUILLON

BAYONET IMAGE.

THE PHOTO ON THE RIGHT SHOWS A .C.L. LEE.ENFIELD

TOTALLY DEVOID OF VOLLEY SIGHTS,

AS THERE IS EVIDENCE OF THEM BEING REMOVED

THERE ARE PHOTOS / DRAWINGS  IN EXISTANCE OF BOTH,

 

THE BAYONET ON THE LEFT IS FROM A ,

CHARGER LOADING LONG  LEE ENFIELD

AND ITS,

CONSIDERABLY SHORTER , THAN THE LATER ONES

THE BAYONET ABOVE IS A 1907 PATTERN B235  BAYONET,

USED WITH THE SMLE RIFLE ,

THE DIFFERENCE BEING THE "QUILLON HOOK"

IS NO LONGER  APPARENT,

THE REASON FOR THIS IS SIMPLE , THE OFFICIAL ORDER,

TO CEASE MANUFACTORING THEM  WITH QUILLON HOOKS

WAS ISSUED ON THE 29TH OF OCTOBER 1913,

ALL  1907 PATTERN BAYONETS MANUFACTURED AFTER THAT DATE  WERE MADE WITH NO "QUILLON HOOK" AS THE EXAMPLE ABOVE SHOWS,

ANY THAT CAME BACK FOR REPAIRS HAD THE HOOK REMOVED .

THE  PHOTO  BELOW  PURPORTS TO SHOW ,

MEMBERS OF THE R N D , LEAVING A CAMP IN FRANCE/BELGIUM.

NOTE THEY ARE IN " SQUARE RIG " "AND  IN SUMMER RIG " AS DENOTED BY THE WHITE CAP COVER (REMOVABLE)

FOR WINTER RIG JUST THE NAVY BLUE COLOUR.

ON THE LEFT IS A RATING FROM COLLINGWOOD DIVISION,

POSSIBLY FROM THE GALLIPOLI THEATRE OF OPS,

COLLINGWOOD DIVISION WERE DISBANDED IN JUNE 1916

WEARING THE SAME SORT OF BANDOLIER ,AS IN THE SLIDE SHOW ABOVE ,

BELOW IS A 

WW1 1903 pattern 50 round cavalry bandolier of the mkII 1903 pattern with double buckle.

HGR marked for the firm Hepburn , Gale & Ross & 1918 dated . thanks to Chris  from C.S MILTARIA FOR THE GREAT DISCOUNT AND THESE PICTURES ,

WINTER RIG IS EVIDENT IN THIS IMAGE ON THE LEFT ,.................

NO WHITE CAP COVERS.

PART 3 ONWARDS TO ANTWERP,AND THE DEFENSE OF 3RD /9th OF OCTOBER   1914


THE NEXT SERIES OF IMAGES DEAL WITH THE PREPARATIONS,

FOR THE DEFENCE OF ANTWERP,

THEY ARE DRAWN FROM NEWSPAPER  CLIPPINGS,

AND ORIGINAL SOURCED PHOTOS,

AND APART FROM ANYTHING ELSE THEY SHOW , THE  RESOLVE OF ALL CONCERNED TO GET THE JOB DONE,

BUT IN TYPICAL  JOLLY JACK STYLE,

AS IN THE PHOTO DIRECTLY BELOW, YOU CAN SEE RATINGS ACTUALLY,

WORKING! "BUT IN THE TOP RIGHT HAND CORNER ,

YOU CAN ALSO SEE, A RATING ON GUARD AT THE SLOPE ARMS POSITION, WITH THE EQUIVILLANT OF TODAYS " BLUE LINERS ARRY RAG" OR MORE LIKELY A HAND ROLLED CIGGY,

FROM HIS BACCY RATION, FROM HIS TICKLE TIN (BACCY TIN)

HAPPILY SMOKING AWAY WHILST OTHERS TOIL AWAY,

LOL TYPICAL JACK BEHAVOUR .


THE PIC ON THE LEFT SHOWS THE LADS HAVING 5 MINS REST,

ALL SMILES ,

IN REALITY IF I WAS THEM I'D BE THINKING WHY DOESNT THAT CHAPPIE ,

CLEAR OFF, ?

THE 2 BELOW

SHOW THEM STOCKING UP ON SUPPLIES READY FOR THE GERMAN ONSLAUGHT,

AND FINALLY THE LAST PIC SHOWS THE TRENCHES IN USE

THE RND EVEN RAN ARMOURED TRAINS,

THE GLASS SLIDE

ON THE RIGHT ,

IS AN ORIGINAL ACTUAL PERIOD ONE ,

SHOWING THEM MANNING NAVAL GUNS MOUNTED ON,

AN ARMOURED TRAIN, IN THE DEFENCE OF ANTWERP,

BELOW IS A COPY OF AN ADMIRALTY DOCUMENT ,

I FOR ONE HAD NEVER SEEN BEFORE, ITS DATED ,

THE 5TH OF DECEMBER 1914 AND EXPLAINS HOW AND WHY THE LARGELY ABORTIVE DEFENCE OF ANTWERP,

CAME ABOUT AND THE REPERCUSSIONS OF IT,

THE LAST PICTURE SHOWS SOME RND  AFTER THE FALL OF ANTWERP,

POSSIBLY AT A COASTAL PORT AWAITING TRANSPORT BACK TO BLIGHTY,

IT SHOWS QUITE CLEARLY THE STATE OF THEIR EQUIPMENT AND THE DEJECTED LOOK IN THEIR BATTLE WORN FACES,

THE DOCUMENT ALSO GOES TO PROVE THAT THE DECISION BY COMMODORE W. HENDERSON TO TAKE 1500 MEN,

INTO NEUTRAL HOLLAND, INTO INTERNMENT,

AND IT IS MY CONSIDERED BELIEF , THAT HIS DECISION WAS THE RIGHT ONE, AND A VERY COURAGEOUS ONE,

HE POTENTIALLY SAVED THEIR LIVES , AND ENSURED THAT THOSE FAMILYS WOULD SEE THEIR LOVED ONES ,AFTER THE WAR ENDED,,

IN THE ENDT HE WAS RIGHT  THE ALLIES DID WIN,

AND AT HIS ADMIRALITY BOARD OF ENQUIRERY  AFTER THE WAR HE WAS VINDICATED,

MY ADMIRATION GOES OUT TO HIM FOR TAKING THE RIGHT COURSE,



THE PHOTO ABOVE BRINGS TO AN END OF CHAPTER   1-3

THE NEXT CHAPTER WILL BE CONCERNED WITH,

THEIR LIVES AFTER ANTWERP ,

AND THEIR INCASERATION ? /INTERNMENT IN HOLLAND

JUMPING AHEAD SLIGHTLY, THE WRITING  BELOW AND THE  2,

PHOTOS THAT ACCOMPANY IT,

ARE  A  TASTER,

OF THINGS TO COME ,

id like to introduce you to eric,

in the photo on the right,


he is sporting a RND type rig ,


which includes a Sam Browne,


double strap ensemble,and a leather,


bandolier similar to those worn by the,

 

individual the second photo ,


by this time the RND were at Gallipoli in 1916.


the bayonet on the left ,

were known as  sword bayonets because of their length , the theory being if your bayonet was longer than your opponents , you could get the first " stab in" the hook (quillon) was designed to trap the oponents bayonet blade , in it , and then to twist hard to snap it, , the down side was the bayonets made aiming difficult when it was windy as it made the rifle unstable, and their length was also unsuited to the confines of trench warfare..........

THE PILING OR STACKING OF ARMS IS AN ART THAT GOES BACK CENTURIES ,

TO THE EARLY DAYS OF THE MUZZLE LOADING MUSKETS, AS THE FLINTLOCK ,

MECHANISM WAS PRONE TO MISSFIRING, WHEN THE MUSKETS WERE NOT BEING USED THEY WERE PILED OR STACKED IN TRIANGLES TO KEEP THE  FLINTLOCK ,

OUT OF THE MUD OR DIRT,

THE IMAGES ABOVE AND TO THE LEFT AND,

AND RIGHT

AND  DIRECTLY BELOW,

SHOW MUSKETS IN THE PILED POSITION

THE 5  IMAGES BELOW SHOW  THAT BY WW1 LITTLE HAD CHANGED  APART FROM  THE FITTING OF PILING SWIVELS ,

YOU CAN SEE THEY WERE FITTED TO THE LONG LEE ENFIELDS ,

AS THE 2 IMAGES DIRECTLY BELOW  SHOW A PILING SWIVEL ON THE EXAMPLE BELOW

THERE WERE  OTHER RECUITMENT, CENTRES ETC,

THIS PAGE IS JUST A BRIEF HISTORY

MORE WILL BE REVEALED IN LATER PAGES.................

THE  IMAGES BELOW SHOW A LEE ENFIELD N0 I MK 111

DATED 1915,

AND A CLOSE UP OF A PILING SWIVEL FITTED TO IT,

THE IMAGE ON THE FAR RIGHT  SHOWS THEM IN USE IN THE TRENCHES,

THEY SURVIVED ON RIFLES  IN THE GREAT WAR,

BUT AS FAR AS I AM AWARE THE PRACTICE OF PILING ARMS WAS DISCONTINUED IN FRONT LINE TRENCHES AND WAS RESTRICTED TO REAR  TRENCHES AND REST AREAS,




Whilst on holiday in Cornwall  i went into an Antiques emporium in Penzance,

Where to my Astonishment ! i came accross a set of ww1 overseas service Chevrons,

now what sets these apart from others is they were worn  on the right sleeve cuff ,

by the Seamen in the Royal Naval Division and the Royal Marine Light Infantry,

the set shown are roughly 2 inches from the tip at the top to the tip of the red one ,

and 2 .1/4 across .

The red signifies the rating wearing this was overseas from the beginning ,

the Blue ones signify  each year after that served overseas  so this idividual served,

from 1914 - 1917, the image  on the far right shows one on a RMLI member  sitting ,

next to an  RN Sailor .i managed to design and print a proper backing piece,

showing the Divisions and when the RND was formed and disbanded  also ,

showing the type of uniforms the chevrons would have been sewn onto.