St. John Ambulance Brigade At Blackpool – Denaby Corps In Camp

June 1906

Mexborough & Swinton Times, June 16, 1906

St. John Ambulance Brigade At Blackpool.
Denaby Corps In Camp.

‘Well done, Denaby!’ Such were the remarks heard on Saturday evenings, when the corps arrived at the Conisboro’ Station. They were met there by the band of the corps, and marched to their headquarters, where they were divisioned by their chief officer, H. S. Witty, who conveyed to them the messages of congratulation upon their smartness and good conduct from Deputy Chief Commissioner, S. Wardell, who has stayed in Blackpool all the week, and attended the inspection.

The experience under canvas will be a very good training for the men, and the only complaint that was heard was that the time passed away too quickly. The arrival in Denaby was witnessed by a large crowd, the station being crowded, and the streets all along the route to headquarters. At the sports which were organised by the officers and friends of the Corps, the Denaby men brought back with them seven prizes. The corps have received an invitation from Derby to send a staff of men to that town for the King’s visit. This is indeed an honour which it is hoped will be accepted.

We append the doings of the corps while in camp: – On Saturday, 3rd June, two officers, one sergeant, two corporals, and 18 men of the above journey by G.C. Railway to Sheffield, where they joined the Sheffield Corps, who had arranged a special train to Blackpool. In the same train were divisions from Keighley, Batley, Dewsbury, Huddersfield, Lincoln, Rotherham, Ilkeston, Chesterfield, and Sutton, to the number of about 250, with 15 officers, under the command of about Chief Supt. H. C. Face, of Tinsley. All were formed up at Blackpool into one battalion, and marched with the Sheffield bugle bard to the camp which had been prepared by an advance party at Squire’s Gate, about halfway between Blackpool and St. Ann’s, arriving there about two o’clock. After dinner the men filled their tents for the week’s lodgings. A church parade drum-head service was held at 3p.m. on the parade ground. After tea the damp was quickly deserted, except by the guard, consisting of a sergeant and 12 men of the Denaby division. These were visited during the night by the commandant, and were complimented upon their smartness in turning out to the grand rounds. Each day the following specimen order was adhered to:
Reveille, 6 a.m.Parade; 9-30 inspection of lines by company officers; 9-45 staff parade; 9-45 dress for parade; 10-00 company drill under company officers; 11-0 assembly on general parade ground under Commandant; 12-0 Commandant’s inspection of tents; 12-30 p.m. dinner; 2-0 ration returns; 2-0 adjutants’ parade, with stretchers; 4-30 tea; 4-0 orders; 6-0 retreat, first post; 10-0 p.m.; last post, 10-30; lights out, 10-45. The officers paraded for squad and company drill instruction by First Officer Witty, at 7 a.m. the first four days. The company commanders were: A., Supt. Clough, Keighley; B. Supt. H. Chambers, Rotherham; C. First Officer H S. Witty, Denaby; D. Supt. W. Ratcliffe, Dewsbury, E., Supt. Allot, Batley.

The men paraded in their own lines for inspection by their commanders and were then marched to the parade ground or to the mess tent, whichever was due. All the men messed in a large marquee pitched close to the camp kitchens, where the met was divided by the butcher into rations, an cooked on the ground. The sergeants had a smaller marquee, where they dined together. The officers’ dining room was a large passage, and had its own kitchen and cooking and waiting staff. Just a military camp, such as Volunteer corps have in their training.

The inspection was held on Friday, June 8th, by the Inspector-General Surgeon-General, who expressed satisfaction with all he saw. He complimented the Commandant out the clean and neat appearance of the camp and the steadiness of the men.

The officers having subscribed to a fund to provide prizes for competition, sports were held on Friday afternoon, when the Denaby men were again to the fore, the following being amongst the successful competitors: Pte. Flinders, portmanteau: Corpl. Philips, portmanteau, in the three-legged race; Privates Wallis, B. Parry, and C. White.

The Sutton Brass Band arrived on Wednesday, and livened up the camp, playing during the officers’ mess, and at intervals. After a most enjoyable week, during the leisure hours of which the men visited the various and wonderful places of amusement in Blackpool, St. Anne’s, Douglas, etc., the camp was struck on Sunday. June 10th, and at 11 a.m. the men marched off to the special train which was to take them back to their homes.