'The Bantams' at Burton Joyce, in front of the Cross Keys pub

Image ID: 24400

'The Bantams' at Burton Joyce, in front of the Cross Keys pub

Courtesy of Nottinghamshire Archives

Main Street

During 1914-18 countless men from Nottingham and the surrounding towns and villages answered 'the call'. Many of these enlisted in battalions of the local regiment, The Nottingham and Derbyshire Regiment (Sherwood Foresters), which raised 32 battalions during the Great War. The Nottingham 'Bantams' were the 15th and the 18th (Service) Battalion of the Nottingham and Derbyshire Regiment (Sherwood Foresters). As the new Kitchener Armies were raised in 1914, the 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th (service) Battalions of The Sherwood Foresters were formed, followed later by the 15th (Bantams) 16th (Chatsworth Rifles), 17th (Welbeck Rangers), 18th (Bantams), 19th and 20th Battalions. The 15th (Bantam) Battalion, made up initially of men who although fit were below the normal minimum service height of 5'3, moved to France with the 35th (Bantam) Division in 1916. The Battalion fought with great distinction and heavy casualties throughout the 1916 battles on the Somme. However at the end of 1916, the problems of finding 'bantam' reinforcements in sufficient numbers became too difficult; the 15th Foresters was redesigned a normal 'service' battalion and fought as such until the end of the War. The overall cost in lives was high as there can hardly have been a village or city street that did not produce men to serve in The Sherwood Foresters - 11,409 of whom did not return. See also NCCC000488 for the same view today.

Date: 07/05/2015

Organisation Reference: NCCC000481


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