RMS Danube Oct 1915 British West Indies Regiment plus Merchant and Planters Contingent (1st)

RMS Danube Oct 1915 British West Indies Regiment plus Merchant and Planters Contingent (1st)

Remembering the second contingent of the 1st Battalion BWIR and a Contingent of Merchant and Planters (168 men in total) who sailed from Trinidad (109) / Barbados (29) on RMS Danube on 18/19 October, stopping at Plymouth (where BWIR were landed) and arriving at Tilbury Docks on 1 November 1915. The contingents, including servicemen from Grenada, Guyana (30) and St. Lucia were invariably given a hearty send off by their friends and well-wishers. On arrival in London, the Merchants and Planters were received by Mr AE Aspinall, Hon. Secretary of the West India Committee, who put them in touch with various recruiting centres, and assisted them in joining their respective regiments. Between October 1915 and March 1916, Seaford was used as a training camp for the men from the West Indies in preparation for fighting in Europe. Withnoe camp, Whitsand Bay, Plymouth was also an arrival camp. The new arrivals were inadequately clothed for the harsh realities of the British cold in winter and the huts badly insulated. As a result the camps became rife with diseases and men lost their lives totally unnecessarily. For those who died extra information has been collected from the Soldiers' Effects records, but for lots of these men there are only medal records because they managed to survive; (the medal rolls are however split by island and show their original battalion). So they sailed from home, served in the war and then sailed home again, with the regiment not invited to the Peace (Victory) Parade held in London July 1919. Still to find: Ralph Lionel Fabien b1887 [c1901 Student in Hertfordshire], Vicente (Vincent) Leon Farfan b1885. // Barbados BWIR service numbers from 1015; Trinidad BWIR numbers from

Created by: Deborah102878

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