News from the Green Howards
During Easter 1914 the 5th Battalion (a territorial battalion of the Green Howards) were on a four day Easter Camp at Colonel Sir Mark Syke's house at Eddlethorpe, Malton. Fifteen officers and 65 Non Commissioned Officers and men attended. The Green Howards Gazette records,
'The officers were the guests of the Colonel, and the n.c.o's and men were made very comfortable in the stables, where they were provided with an unlimited supply of straw and two blankets each.'
Work commenced each morning at 6.30am and finished with a lecture in the evening from 6pm to 7pm. In a field at the foot of the Wolds a miniature village was erected comprising of a castle, houses, windmill and small pieces of wood were used to represent soldiers. When the 5th Battalion opened fire the castle and houses suffered severely but the dummy soldiers formed a more difficult target and were less frequently hit.
A church parade was held on Easter Sunday (12th April 1914) and the troops more than half filled the little church at Langtoft. According to the Green Howards Gazette the, 'lusty singing, led by Sergt Joy, was at times a bit too much for the organist.'
In July 1914 the 5th Battalion were once again enjoying a training camp but this was cut short as the European situation was already serious and at 6pm on the 4th August the Battalion received its mobilization orders.
Twelve months later the Officers and men found themselves on the battlefield of Ypres. Sergeant David Graham Joy who had sung so lustily was killed on the 25th April 1915. Sir Mark Sykes who had hosted the Easter Camp died whilst attending the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, a victim of the Spanish Flu pandemic.
The 5th Battalion served throughout the First World War including the battle of the Somme 1916. The battle of Ypres 1917, the battle of Arras, the battle of the Scrape, the battle of the Somme 1918 and the battle of the Aisne, 1918.
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