Recruitment In the Lewisham Area
Metropolitan Borough of Deptford
In December 1914 the Metropolitan Borough of Deptford set up a Recruiting Committee formed of The Mayor Alderman Berryman, Borough Surveyor J Sutcliffe (he resigned 1915 from the Council), Councillor F J Bryer, Councillor C H Kipps and Alderman W A Schultze JP (later Scot).
On 18th May 1915 the Mayor of Deptford Councillor Sir W A Wayland JP announced to the Council that he (along with many other municipalities) had been asked by Lord Kitchener to do something more for recruiting, by forming either an infantry battalion or artillery brigade. He had replied that he would use his best endeavours and appealed for the whole hearted support of the Council in that direction. The Council approved a reply expressing confidence in Deptford and they would raise a unit in record time.
On 27 May 1915 the Mayor announced that 200 men had already given their names for the 174th Brigade. He also stated that the voluntary system had failed to recruit the number of men necessary to ensure the successful termination of the war. It had failed because neither the Government or the people had realised that they had to contend with and overcome 40 years of preparation and a nation with 70,000,000 at the beginning of the war. The Council passed a resolution to pledge to do all in its power to promote the formation and completion of the Brigade.
Recruiting offices were open in the Town Hall, the response was overwhelming at times with men from all types of employment, mechanics, shopmen, clerks and labourers and aged 19 - 38. Neighbouring boroughs such as Greenwich sent men too. In 6 and half days they had 750 men attested, in record time the Brigade was formed. In fact so many had been attested that 2 Gun Brigades were formed the 174th and 179th. Later a further 2 Brigades were added the 184th and 186th. A memorial to these Brigades was placed in the old Deptford Town Hall
In November 1915 an Recruiting Appeals Committee be set up, consisting of 5 members 2 from the Council and the other 3 appointed by the Recruiting Committee. Councillor Berryman and Knight were elected to the committee. This later formed the Deptford Military Appeals Tribunal
By 1916 the Deptford Recruiting Officers Advisory Committee consisted of Councillor Frederick J Bryer, James Grenfell Hicks (later a Councillor), Councillor C H Kipps, Captain J T Prestige (Military Representative), Sydney Prestige, Arthur Purkis (Town Clerk and Hon Sec), C D Redman (Hon Sec Clerk), J W Reid, Mrs R Richings (Military Representative’s Clerk), Alderman W A Schultze JP (Chairman) and A T Tuck. As seen in the photograph above.
Metropolitan Borough of Lewisham
This area is still being researched but the Metropolitan Borough of Lewisham also raised a local Regiment 11th The Queens Own Royal Royal West Kent Regiment
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