Volunteers guarded coast against invasion

Posted by - 3 years ago

The Volunteer Training Corps was the First World War forerunner of the Home Guard.  Its members were men who were either too old for regular military service or who were in occupations which were deemed too important for them to serve in the forces.

These details were provided by the Branscombe Project, having been found in the Branscombe detachment’s Parade Roll Book.  Not all of the men can be definitely identified on the basis of the limited details in the parade book.

The Volunteers patrolled the coast overnight, on the lookout for any sign of a German invasion.  In July 1915 the detachments officially became Volunteer Regiments, and in August 1916 they became numbered battalions of their local infantry regiment.  The Beer detachment thus became part of the Devonshire Regiment. They were finally disbanded in January 1920.

Serving in the Beer detachment were: W Rodgers; WJW Gush; WJ Miller; HJ Franklin; W Gill; J Bryant; GW White; BG Newton; WJ Miller Snr; WB Perkins; and J Saunders. It is likely that WJW Gush is Walter Gush, father of Archibald and Charlie Gush, both of whom served in the army and who died within days of each other, on different continents, of influenza shortly after the end of the war.

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