Film ID: YFA 3335 Video of YFA_3335 Green Howards Train For War 1940 GREEN HOWARDS TRAIN FOR WAR (1) 1940 Visitor TabsDescription This is a film that documents the training of new recruits to the Green Howards. The training took place over several months in 1940 at the Richmond Barracks in North Yorkshire. Title – 1940 Fighting Soldiers in the making A tribute to recruits who joined the ITC of the Green Howard’s during the year 1940 From the North East coast and the Industrial Area of Yorkshire the new “Intake” arrives The film opens with a long line of men waiting to be issued with army kit. They are watched over by a Sergeant. Title – Their first march across the square The new recruits, wearing their civilian clothes, march across the training ground. Title – And here they await their turn to go before the M.O. Again the men form a queue and post for the camera. Title – Coming for the beauty contest Two men, carrying small cases, come out of a building. Title – And then on to the ‘Mob’ store The men are issued rucksacks, rifles, and hats. Title – Then by bus to Waitworth – where they learn to be Green Howards The men are aboard a bus waiting to depart, and upon their arrival, the men, all dressed in uniform, sit on the training ground. Title – The first day’s parade The men line up at arm’s length. Title – The four cardinal elements of soldiering are: - (1) DRILL. The foundation of all discipline The men practice marching and presenting arms. Title – To the front – salute A sergeant shouts orders, and the men stop marching and salute. More drills follow. Title – Progress The recruits march with rifles. Title – The final touch The men lock and unlock the safety catch on their rifles before marching backwards. The men are watched over by the officers and continue to march off. Title – As a sentry The men perform various types of training drills. Title – (2) THE RIFLE. Still the prime individual weapon The men practice shooting on a rifle range. Title – What are the three rules of aiming? The men line up their rifles on tripods and load the guns whilst lying on the ground. They take aim at someone running up and down in the distance. Title – Putting it into practice The men practice shooting whist lying on the ground. Title – (3) The L.M.G., with its simplicity and power The men are shown a light machine gun. Title – How’s that for an aim? One man squats down behind a L.M.G. and takes aim. Title – Not to mention PT which makes you put in weight and muscle daily Physical training exercises follow. The men stand in neat rows, and an officer trainer takes them through various exercises such as star jumps. Title – Gosh, it’s hot The men play a game of basketball, and many of them are not wearing their shirts whilst playing the game. Title – Besides these very important things, Bayonet training gives courage and dash Using dummies, the men practice the most effective way to fight with their bayonet. Title – Once after only one month’s training, No. 4 Company had the honour to provide the Guard of Honour for H.R.H The Princess Royal when she came to Catterick The men line up for an inspection by the Princess Royal. Title – We take our sports seriously! 300 men of the Company start for the voluntary (?) cross country run The men start the cross country run. Title – A little quiet betting by the Squad commanders? They ought to be here in a moment now! A group of officers are having a joke. Title – And here they come Once the runners arrive at the finish line, they collect tokens. Title – And so the months pass on all too quickly, livened sometimes by such relaxations as an Inspection by the Area Commander The men march past the Commander. Title – After three months, the inevitable day came – and to the sorrow of the Company Staff, the Recruits, now first class soldiers, leave us for their Battalions The newly appointed Green Howards now march in perfect formation. Title – Here they are loading up and then off they go. GOOD LUCK GO WITH THEM AND THE GREEN HOWARDS I.T.C. WILL EVER PROUDLY WATCH THEIR PROGRESS The men, in full uniform and with their equipment, get ready to leave. Before doing so, they must pass inspection. Finally, led by a brass band, the Green Howards march off. The sergeant who watched them arrive now watches them leave. The film closes with a shot of the Regiment badge. Context This film is the first of a two-part film, one 13 films from the Sir William Worsley Collection. The films mainly feature the village of Hovingham and the surrounding area from the 1930s. They cover a variety of local civic, entertainment and sporting events: such as, the Village Fete; a choral and folk dancing festival at Hovingham Hall; a dramatic performance put on by the Hovingham Women’s Institute; the great flood of 1932; as well as cricket and hunting. The entire Worsley Collection, and catalogue, is held at Hovingham Hall. The Collection is broken down into 32 travel films from 1931 to 1971 (12 pre-war); and 48 family films from 1928 to 1973 (30 pre-war). Sir William Worsley not only edited all the films but also provided detailed catalogue notes for each one. He would occasionally show the films at village film shows. The family still have their own small cinema using a projector to watch their films. For more background on the Worsley family see the Context for Personalities In Hovingham Village. It is no surprise that Sir William Worsley was able to film so freely given that he himself was a Lieutenant, and subsequently a Captain, with the Green Howards. The Green Howards feature in a number of films held at the YFA: including a fundraising event in Beverley sometime during the Second World War, with General Charles de Gaulle in attendance, Salute The Soldier; a film on the Wings for Victory week held in Bridlington in June 1943, and later in the 1980s in films made by Keith Snowden in Pickering. So too can Princess Mary, the Princess Royal, be seen in various other films held by the YFA, see especially Princess Mary Visits Malton (1928). Princess Mary was married to Viscount Lascellesand lived in Harewood House – the Context for Princess Mary Visits Malton has more on Princess Mary. In World War One he was wounded and taken prisoner. The training takes place at Richmond Barracks, built between 1875-77 as one of only 26 purpose built barracks, after Parliament declared a need for more organised and formal military training. It remained a training barracks until 1961, then became an Approved School for boys before renovation and conversion into private accommodation in the 1980s, and new homes in 2000. Yet despite what seems to be good basic training, Timothy Harrison Place has argued that the training of the British Army during the Second World War was inadequate, and that different agencies promoted conflicting tactics (see References). It is interesting to compare the rifle training with that used for the Home Guards, as seen in Formation Of The Homeguard (1944); here too what looks like the standard .303 Lee Enfield Mk 4 is being used, although the army also trains with Beta light machine guns. At the time this was filmed, at some point in 1940, there would have been a steady call up of conscripts. Initially the Military Training Act of April 1939 required all men aged 20 and 21 who were fit and able to take six months military training, although not as part of the regular army – they were called ‘militiamen’ instead. But this was quickly superseded by the National Service (Armed Forces) Act once war was declared. This made all able men between the ages of 18 and 41 liable for conscription, with single men going before married men – men aged 20 to 23 were required to register by 21st October 1939, gradually working its way up to those in their 40s by June 1941. Already the Emergency Powers (Defence Act) of August 1938 had empowered the British government with some one hundred measures in defence of the nation and to maintain public order. At the time the British Army was nowhere near prepared for a major war; as Jock Haswell puts it: ‘The politicians had chosen the worst possible moment to declare war. The field force was utterly inadequate for a global conflict, and the effects of long stagnation still permeated the staff and command structure and all schools of instruction.’ (p. 142) Volunteers were not enough: when war broke out the British Army could muster only 897,000 men, whereas France had five million. Yet by the end of 1939 more than 1.5 million men had been conscripted. Conscripts were integrated into the existing regiments of the standing army. Given that the recruits in this film require basic training, they probably weren’t already in the Territorial Army which would have already had basic training. The structure of the British Army can seem a bit baffling. Regiments form the largest permanent tactical unit, commanded by a Lieutenant Colonel. These in turn are divided, in order of size, into companies commanded by a Captain, a platoon commanded by a Lieutenant, and a section, just consisting of, usually, 8 soldiers. Along with battalions, regiments are brought together to form larger units: corps, divisions and brigades. The first English standing army was Cromwell’s New Model Army formed in the English Civil War. Before then armies were made up of irregular troops raised for specific campaigns, often of mercenaries. Cromwell’s army was more or less disbanded by Charles II, who then went about gradually forming a standing army without actually calling it such. Based initially on the last surviving regiment of the New Model Army, that of George Monk, it incorporated elements from the Royalist side, purportedly just to protect the King. One excuse for raising a standing army was the possibility of another uprising in the wake of that by led by Thomas Veneer and members of his Swan Alley congregation, in London in January 1661. This policy was expanded upon by James, the Duke of York, who succeeded his brother to become James II in 1685. It was the actions of the Catholic James that led indirectly to the formation of the forerunner of the Green Howards. In going against Parliament, and fathering a son – thereby threatening a Catholic succession – James set up an opposition that was to bring in William of Orange and the so-called ‘Glorious Revolution’. It was in support of this that Colonel Francis Luttrell of Duster Castle raised a regiment in November 1688. This went on to become ‘Howard's Regiment’ in 1744, named after the second son of the 3rd Earl of Carlisle. However, in order to distinguish itself from another regiment also named after a Colonel called Howard it took the nickname ‘Green Howards’, from the green facings to its uniform (colours, badges and insignia count for a lot in the British Army). In 1920 this became the official title of the regiment – ‘The Green Howards (Alexandra, Princess of Wales's Own Yorkshire Regiment)’, aka the 19th (1st North Riding of Yorkshire) Regiment of Foot. Before then the regiment became affiliated to the North Riding of Yorkshire in 1782, taking the title of "The 19th (First Yorkshire North Riding Regiment) of Foot". It then underwent several other name changes – in 1875 ‘The Princess of Wales's Own’, amended in 1881 to ‘The Princess of Wales's Own Yorkshire Regiment’ – before it actually become based in Richmond in 1873. It is not clear what happened to the troops seen in the film. In the Second World War the Green Howards raised twelve battalions fighting in Norway, the Western Desert, Sicily, Italy, Burma, France, Holland and Germany. In the early part of 1940 they would have sent troops to Norway, for the ill-fated campaign there, before withdrawing to France. There is certainly a strong connection with Norway as even today, with the King of Norway acting as Colonel-in-Chief of the Green Howards. Although the Second World War has popularly become known as ‘a people’s war’ (as with the BBC website), it wasn’t entirely. Juliet Gardiner claims that the term was probably coined by the ex Communist Party member Tom Wintringham, whose slogan was 'a people's war for a people's peace' – he has also been credited with transforming the Home Guard, see Context for Formation. Although the great majority supported the war, not everyone did: about 60,000 men and 1,000 women applied for exemption from armed service, with nearly 3,000 were given unconditional exemption. Yet many of those hoping for peace were forced to re-think given that Hitler was clearly not going to be appeased – the Peace Pledge Union was later to recognise the limitations of its position at the time. The situation was confused by the fact that anti-war campaigners had opposing motives, with some siding with fascism. Opinion remains as divided as ever over issues of war and peace. The University of Bradford helps to place Yorkshire in the forefront of discussion around these issues through its Department of Peace Studies, which claims to be the leading academic centre for the study of peace and conflict in the world. At the time of writing (October 2009) the Green Howards are still making their contribution by serving in Afghanistan, although now as part (2nd battalion) of the recently formed, in 2006, Yorkshire Regiment – amalgamating with the Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire (14th/15th Foot) and the Duke of Wellington's Regiment (West Riding) (33rd/76th Foot). References Juliet Gardiner, review of ‘Which People’s War?’, in History Today, (p.80) Vol. 53 (11) November 2003. Timothy Harrison Place, Military Training in the British Army, 1940-1944: From Dunkirk to D-Day, Frank Cass, London, 2000. See also the review by Michael Howard in The English Historical Review, (p.550) April, 2003. Peter Griffin, Encyclopedia of Modern British Army regiments, Sutton Publishing, Stroud, 2006. Jock Haswell, The British Army: a Concise History, Thames and Hudson, London, 1975. Timothy Harrison Place, Military Training in the British Army, 1940-1944: From Dunkirk to D-day, Routledge, London, 2000. Dan Hebditch, The 4th and 5th Battalions, The Green Howards, 1938-42: Organisation, Recruitment and Training, MA Dissertation Wartime memories Project The Green Howards Museum Structure of British Army Further Information The main sources for information for this period are probably copies of the Green Howards’ Gazette, which are kept in the Archives of the Green Howards Regimental Museum in Richmond. Martin Ceadel, Semi-Detached Idealists: The British Peace Movement and International Relations, 1854-1945, Oxford University Press, 2000. Hugh Purcell, The Last English Revolutionary: Tom Wintringham 1898-1949, The History Press Ltd, 2004. Andrew Rigby, ‘The Peace Pledge Union: From Peace to War, 1936–1945’, in Peter Brock and Thomas P. Socknat, editors, Challenge to Mars: Essays on Pacifism from 1918 to 1945, University of Toronto Press, Buffalo, 1999.