Life on the East Coast.

Information taken from a local  newspaper dated  29/8/1914  - The County Cyclist Battalion. A member of the Hunts. Cyclist Battalion writes: -"Some of our party have moved into some very comfortable quarters here (Withernsea) and are doing some useful work on the coast.  With a very few exception, the entire Battalion has volunteered to undertake service abroad should it be asked of them.  Without going into details, it may be said that the Hunts. Battalion - the "baby" Regiment of the Army - has received many congratulations on their work, and the zest they throw into it.  The following have been promoted to the rank of   Colour Sergeant, in each case a well deserved recognition of good work: A. Company. Sergt. Walton; B. Co. Sergeant Clayton; C. Co. Sergeant W. Dawson; D. Co. Sergeant Taylor; E. Co. Sergeant Hitch; F. Co. Sergeant Chesterfield; G. Co. Sergeant Baxter; H. Co. Sergeant Wiles. 

Information taken from a local  newspaper dated 18/9/14  =  The Hunts. Cyclist Battalion.

The Hunts. Battalion was augmented by the first draft of recruits last week, and it is understood there are so many applications that another Battalion may be formed. There are rumors of some useful gifts coming to the Peterborough side men (they are at Withernsea) and certainly the heavy night work on the cliffs is playing the deuce with socks and underclothing. Another anticipation is the list of promotions, which is understood to be "on the road."

Photo from the Steve Farrant Collection.

From a local Huntingdonshire paper dated 25/9/14  =  Hunts Cyclists on the Yorkshire Coast.

The Hunts Cyclist Battalion which forms part of the East Yorkshire Mounted Brigade continues to carry out its work of coast patrol  under weather conditions which are gradually getting less favorable. Sunday night was a particularly rough night, and in some cases it was impossible to ride cycles against the wind. The sea ran very high, and at Withernsea - where the men of Peterborough and Fletton are stationed extensive damage was done. A new esplanade in course of construction was torn to pieces, and masses of concrete (they call it "reinforced" but under the circumstances the adjective to savers of sarcasm) many tons in weight, were carried yards by the waves. The cliffs were torn down the masses, in some cases quite altering the paths trodden by the night patrols and as adding to their dangers and difficulties. On Monday morning those who were not on duty went prospecting on the cliff, noting new inroads, and removing dangerous obstacles which might have been thrown in the path. Sunday's Church parade was in the afternoon, and the Colonel was welcomed as a visitor, with the Chaplain and Sergeant Major. The Colonel does not confine his visit to the daytime, however, his car may frequently be seen on the roads when other folk are abed. A general vaccination of the Battalion has been ordered, commencing on Monday, small sections of the companies being taken in turn. At present no arm has been done at Withernsea, but they will have a dose tomorrow (Tuesday).

Information taken from a local  newspaper dated the 16/10/14  =  Territorial vocalists at Filey.

A programmed to hand from the Huntingdon Cyclists at Filey shows they are using their vocal abilities in a good cause. Those taking part in a musical programmed included Colour Sergeant Clayton, Private Barker, Private G. Mann, Private Froment, Private Dawson, Corporal Wilderspin and Private Hunter.

From a local Huntingdonshire paper dated 23/10/14   =   The Huntingdon Boys at Filey.

Colour Sergeant Clayton sends an interesting letter from the Hunts Cyclist Battalion at Filey. The B Company recently gave a concert in aid of Hornsea Convalescent Home, where they send all at the sick from a whole Battalion. "Our large room," he says, "was crowded, and we were able to send four pounds ten shillings. The next day (Sunday) at our service a collection was made for the same subject, and 25s. 7d. was collected from the men of A and B Companies. I have just come in (10 o'clock) a from a special job where some of my men are watching a farmhouse and at 10.15 I am off again with Captain Lowe visiting sentries along the cliffs and shall be out most of the night. Last night a bad accident happened to Willows, of our company. He was on duty on the cliffs near Clayton, and, on getting over a wide fence, fell on his head. His leg was also injured by the wire, and it was at first thought the limb broken. A motor lorry was sent out for him, with stretcher-bearers, and he was quickly conveyed to our billets, where he had every care and attention given him. We have many bad arms just now. All the boys are quite well except Willows and Hector, from Brampton, who broke his leg playing football about three weeks ago. I wish I had my little Rover here now; it would be most useful. I am thinking of fetching it up here, but the roads are something awful, as sharp as knives. B Co. are holding their own here are very well; they have never been beaten yet in a football match. Their concerts are always crowded out, and both companies have won the esteem in respect of towns people of Filey, be seen as if they cannot do enough for us. I have a very comfortable room to myself, and the men have three blankets each, and can have straw mattresses if they wish, but they don't seem to want them, as they say they want to get hardened, ready for going to the front. They are not half anxious to get at 'em. "

Information taken from a local  newspaper dated the 20/11/14  =  Presents to Cyclist Battalion.

During the week presents of clothing have been received by the Battalion from Miss Heathcote on that behalf of Conington.  Mrs. Howard Coote, and Mrs. Senior, a large box of gloves from the Empire League, two large barrels of apples from Mr. Howard Coote and a quantity of potatoes from Mr. J. Miller, of Stukeley, for all of which the men are most grateful.

Under Battalion orders, issued by Lieut. Col. M. D. Barkley, officer commanding 2/1st Huntingdonshire Cyclist Battalion issued at Beechlands, Skegness on 10th July 1918, and signed by W. J. Satchell (Captain and Adjutant), on 9th July 1918 at 7-30 p.m., records indicate that he was to be a Sergeants Mess Meeting to be held in the Sergeants Mess, Skegness at 10:30 am on the 10th inst. All members off duty to attend.

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Photos identified = from collection of Steve Farrant   -   Many thanks to him for allowing publication on my website. Martyn Smith.