Trumpington Volunteer Training Corps (VTC), World War 1

A local Volunteer Training Corps (VTC) was established in Trumpington early in World War 1. There was information about the VTC in the Parish Magazine, particul a rly in 1915-16. There were also regular items of news and photographs of the VTC in local newspapers, copies of which are held in the Cambridgeshire Collection. This information gives a valuable social context to the local War effort. This is one of a number of pages about Trumpington and World War 1 .

The Volunteer Training Corps was a national home defence corps, incorporating men who were too old for military service or required for reserved occupations, etc. Following the declaration of war on 4 August 1914, a central committee was formed in September 1914 and recognised by the War Office as the Central Association of Volunteer Training Corps on 19 November 1914. Local units had to be financially self-supporting.

The first newspaper report of a potential VTC group in Trumpington was in November 1914, “We hear it is possible that a company of “old crocks” i.e. men over the military age, will be organised in the near future on lines similar to the Cambridge Civilian Corps; 50 is the required number we understand. It is also rumoured that an excellent site has been kindly offered for the purpose of drilling and a miniature rifle range will be established in the parish for the use of members. There is no doubt that the older men will rally round and make it a success.” ( Cambridge Chronicle , 27 November 1914, p. 7).

The group was established on 3 December 1914 when a meeting was held at the Institute (Village Hall). The Cambridge Chronicle reported “ ‘V.T.C. for Trumpington’: A Voluntary Training Corps is in course of formation at Trumpington, and a meeting was held at the Institute last Thursday in connection with the movement. The Vicar (the Rev. R.G. Bury) presided, supported by Mr. G.R.C. Foster (Anstey Hall), Mr. J. Colin [Collin], Mr. G.S. Todd, Mr. W. Martin, Mr. Duke, Mr. Gentle, Mr. Hacon, and many others. The Vicar read the War Office conditions in respect to Voluntary Training Corps, and Mr. Foster then very kindly offered to provide a rifle range and courtyard for training. Members, however, will have to provide their own ammunition. Mr. P.R. Robinson is acting as hon. secretary pro. tem., and the first drill was held last Tuesday. All residents wishing to join the corps should communicate with Mr. Robinson at once.” ( Cambridge Chronicle , 11 December 1914, p. 8). There was a full report in the Parish Magazine , January 1915, including additional information that “It was agreed that all members pay one shilling on enrollment, with the exception of agricultural labourers who will be admitted on a payment of sixpence. A route march to Shelford was carried out on 17th Dec., in which 53 members took part. The average attendance at all meetings at present is 49. the Rifle Range was opened on 22nd Dec. by Mrs. G. Foster of Anstey Hall.”

In the new year, “the training of the Trumpington detachment is proceeding apace under the direction of Mr. D.E. Cowell, who is attached to the University range at Cambridge. There is an excellent range for firing practice at Anstey Hall, kindly arranged by Mr. G.E. Foster, and the sections (four in number) attend on alternate evenings for practice prior to the usual drill. Mr. Griffith S. Todd is the responsible head of the Corps.” ( Cambridge Chronicle , 23 January 1915, p. 7).

A further public meeting was held in February 1915 to encourage involvement. “A corps affiliated to the Central Association, V.T.C., has been formed in the above village since December 3rd, but there are many who, either from lack of knowledge of the aims and ideas of the movement, or apathy, have as yet taken no active part in the movement. In order to endeavour to arouse some interest in the matter, a meeting was held in the village hall on Monday last, when Dr Bury gave an interesting address on the principles of the movement. He put forward the following reasons why men, not able to enlist, should join a V.T. Corps; (1) That they might set free younger men to fight on the other side of the Channel; (2) that they should be prepared to resist invasion and to defend our homes; (3) that England should have a good backing when peace is declared. The question of expenses appeared to be an obstacle in the way of some joining, but the only payment required was the entrance fee of 1s, which has been reduced to 6d in the case of labourers. Another drawback was the War Office regulation, whereby a member under 38 years of age is required to enlist if called upon but an extract from Captain Passingham’s address to the Optimists’ Corps was read, and this made it clear that those who had good reasons for not enlisting would not be called upon, and that those who had any doubts on the matter should place themselves in the hands of the Responsible Officer (Mr. G.S. Todd for Trumpington). The following resolution was put to the meeting: “That this meeting is in cordial sympathy with the Volunteer Training Corps movement, and urges its claims on the active support of all able-bodied citizens who are ineligible for enlistment.” In seconding, Mr. J. Collin remarked that he, like a good many more, liked to spend his evening at home, but he felt it his duty to do something for his country, and wondered what reply would be made by those who now held aloof, when, in future years, their children asked them “What did you do to help your country in the great war?” Mr. Porter also supported the resolution, which was carried unanimously, and several present who were not members of the Corps signified their intention of joining at once.” ( Cambridge Independent Press , 5 February 1915, p. 8; also Cambridge Chronicle , 5 February 1915, p. 7).

In April 1915, the Parish Magazine reported “A united church parade of the Cambridge and Trumpington detachments of the Volunteer Training Corps was held in the Church on Sunday afternoon, March 21st. The Cambridge detachment, under Commandant Rev. H.C. Cronin, was about 250 strong; and about 33 of our local platoon, under Commandant G.S. Todd, were on parade.”

In May 1915, the local corps had been in training for six months. “In response to an appeal for financial assistance to provide uniforms and equipment the following amounts have already been received or promised: – Lieut. G.R.C. Foster, £5 5s; Mr. T.B. Bumpstead, £5; Mr. T.B. Bumpstead, £5 (for special purposes); Mr. H. Vinter, £5; Mr. C.F. Foster, £5; Mr. G. Duke, £5; Professor Browne, £5; Mr. H.W. Lewin, £3 10s; Mr. G.S. Todd, £2 2s; Mr. W. Briggs, £2 2s; Dr. Bury, £2 2s; Mr. A.W. Bishop, £2 2s; Mr. W. Martin, £2 2s; Mr. J. Venn, £2; Mr. C.E. Grant, £2; Mr. J.E. Whiting, £1 1s; Mr. A.E. Chaplin, £1 1s; Mr. J.B. Bilderbeck, £1; Mr. C. Hering, 5s; Mrs. Pare, 2s 6d; Mr. Stevenson, 2s 6d. Many of the Corps have promised to provide their own uniform, but further donations are necessary to meet the most urgent requirements. The register has been inspected on three occasions by a representative from the War Office and approved as being in proper order. Since the inception, nine members have joined His Majesty’s Forces.” ( Cambridge Chronicle , 28 May 1915, p. 6).

This was followed by “The order for uniforms for the Corps has been given, and it is expected that members will be supplied in the course of a week or two. The following donations in addition to those already published have been received or promised: – Canon Pemberton £5, Mr. A.W. Bishop 2 guineas, Mr. A.E. Bartlett, £2; Sir Clifford Allbutt £2, Mr. J.H. Flather 1 guinea. The amount received is still far short of the sum mentioned in the appeal, and further donations will be gladly welcomed.” ( Cambridge Chronicle , 2 July 1915, p. 6).

The Parish Magazine continued to have regular progress reports. May 1915: “In order to encourage members to shoot, Comdt. G.S. Todd generously provided prizes for a shooting handicap. The platoon was divided into classes, A. B. C., and the winners were: Class A., 1, P. R. Robinson, 2, E.J. Smith, 3, A.F. Edwards; Class B, 1, G. Pamplin, 2, R. Burrell, 3, H. Vinter; Class C, 1, A.C. Hacon, 2, Wynhall, 3, C. Forbes.” June 1915: “A shooting match between Trumpington V.T.C. and N.C.O.’s of B Squadron of the Suffolk Yeomanry took place at Anstey Hall Range on April 24th, and a return match on May 8th. … On May 6th, the V.T.C. had a match with a team from the 11th (Cambs.) Batt. Suffolks. The total scores were (1) Suffolks, 593 (out of 840), Trumpington, 565; (2) Suffolks, 510 (out of 720); Trumpington 568; (3) Cambs. 556 (out of 800); Trumpington, 549. Other matches, we hear, are in prospect.” July 1915: “The Volunteers keep going ahead. They have now received their brassards, and hope shortly to be able to figure in the famous grey-green of the V.T.C. uniform. … Several shooting matches have taken place since those recorded in our last issue …” August 1915 referred to further subscriptions, the arrival of the uniform and the latest matches. “The following members of our Corps have now qualified for the official Proficiency Badges issued by the Central Association of the V.T.C.: Marksmen: Dr. R.G. Bury, H.E. Foster, P.R. Robinson, R. Smith; 1st Class Shot: D.E. Cowell, C. Forbes, G. Pamplin, E.J. Smith; 2nd Class Shot: A. Gentle, A.C. Hacon, H. Vinter.”

By this point, the VTC involved a cross section of Trumpington men, including the local vicar, Dr Robert Gregg Bury; the owner of Anstey Hall, George Ralph Cunliffe Foster; the school master, Percy Robert Robinson; the head gardener at Anstey Hall, Charles Forbes; and four members of the Haslop family, including the Coachman at Anstey Hall, Henry Haslop. The facilities at Anstey Hall were a valuable base for the group, through G.R.C. Foster who was a Lieutenant in the Suffolk Yeomanry ( Cambridge Independent Press , 30 April 1915, p. 2).

In July 1915, the local newspaper gave a summary of the VTC: “ ‘Trumpington Training Corps. Story of a Successful Village Organisation.’ The Trumpington Volunteer Training Corps has now been in existence for a period of about seven months. A preliminary meeting was held on December 3rd last when it was decided to form a Corps in the village. Dr R. G. Bury presided and outlined Lord Desborough’s scheme. Lieut G. R. C. Foster kindly offered the free use of his courtyard for drilling purposes and a site for a miniature rifle range. ……..On December 10th it was decided to form a working committee …..Lieut G. R. C.Foster was elected president, Dr R. G. Bury vice-president, Mr C. Forbes treasurer and Mr P. R. Robinson hon sec.” ( Cambridge Independent Press , Friday 9 July 1915, p.8)

On Sunday 29 August 1915, the first of three village Rolls of Honour was unveiled in the parish church. “The service was attended by thirty-five members of the Trumpington Volunteer Training Corps, under the Commandant, Mr. Griffith S. Todd, and accompanied by Mr. A.W. Peel, of the O.T.C., who has done so much for the Corps. The Corps, wearing their new uniforms, gave a semi-military touch to the service, which was in every way appropriate to the occasion.” In his service, Dr R.G. Bury said “I must not close without one special word of welcome to our V.T.C. on the occasion of their first Church parade in full uniform. I need not say what satisfaction it gives me personally to see such a fine turn-out of the Corps in which I have taken such a deep personal interest from the beginning.” ( Cambridge Chronicle , 3 September 1915, p. 8).

In November 1915, the Parish Magazine reported “The Corps welcomes a new member in Chas. Careless, late Inspector in the Metrop. Police. There are still a number of eligible men in the parish who are over-bashful about joining; their policy seems to be “wait and see”! The thanks of the Corps are due to Mrs. Pemberton, Mrs. G.R.C. Foster, Mrs. H. Vinter, Mrs. Jenkinson, T. B. Bumpsted, Esq., Mrs. Todd, and Mrs. Bury, who each supply coffee on one evening a week to men on Guard Duty. Also G.W. Stevens, Esq., has to be thanked for his gift of seven overcoats to the Corps and for generously allowing members to purchase coats at a greatly reduced price.”

In October 1915, a photograph of a VTC patrol was published in the newspaper. In November 1915, the VTC met in front of Anstey Hall and a group photograph of this event appeared in the newspaper. The following week, there were more photographs of the “Trumpington V.T.C. on Duty”, in this case “Patrol No 3, on duty guarding a railway bridge “somewhere in Cambs.” ” ( Cambridge Chronicle , 20 October 1915, p. 8, 10 November 1915, p. 6, 17 November 1915, p. 7). Very usefully, the newspaper reports included the names of the individuals. Three of the photographs were included in the collection put together by Percy Robinson and used in lectures he gave in later years.

Trumpington Volunteer Training Corps, November 1915. Percy Robinson collection.

Trumpington Volunteer Training Corps, November 1915. Percy Robinson collection.
Trumpington Volunteer Training Corps, November 1915. Percy Robinson collection.
Trumpington Volunteer Training Corps at Anstey Hall, November 1915. Percy Robinson collection.
Trumpington Volunteer Training Corps at Anstey Hall, November 1915. Percy Robinson collection.

Trumpington Volunteer Training Corps at Anstey Hall, November 1915. Photograph by Stearn, Cambridge. This photograph was reproduced in Cambridge Chronicle , 10 November 1915, p. 6. Percy Robinson collection.

With the help of the Cambridge Chronicle caption, the individuals have been identified as:

top row: 1) J.N. Wynhall; 2) H. Haslop; 3) A.C. Hacon; 4) E.L. Peters; 5) H. Dasley; 6) C. Careless (in suit); 7) A. Haslop; 8) G. Pamplin; 9) T.H.J. Porter; 10) W.R. Haslop

middle row: 1) A. Mansfield; 2) J. Medlock; 3) A. Warley; 4) R. Haslop; 5) H.J. Haslop; 6) A. Parker; 7) H. Gray; 8) R. Smith; 9) H. Wilson; 10) A. Gentle; 11) E.J. Smith; 12) I. Parker

seated, front row: 1) C. Forbes; 2) Section Leader H.E. Foster; 3) Section Leader W. Duke; 4) [P.J. Collins]; 5) Sub-Commandant D.E. Cowell (Cambridgeshire Western Division); 6) Platoon Commander G.S. Todd; 7) Lieut. G.R.C. Foster (President); 8) Cadet Instructor Peel; 9) Dr Bury (Vicar, Vice President); 10) Section Leader P.R. Robinson (Secretary); 11) Section Leader R. Burrell; 12) F.W. Lander; 13) H. Vinter

Trumpington Volunteer Training Corps guarding the railway line over the river bridge �Somewhere in Cambs.�, November 1915. Percy Robinson collection.
Trumpington Volunteer Training Corps guarding the railway line over the river bridge �Somewhere in Cambs.�, November 1915. Percy Robinson collection.

Trumpington Volunteer Training Corps guarding the railway line over the river bridge “Somewhere in Cambs.”, November 1915. These photographs by “Haslop, Trumpington”, were reproduced in Cambridge Chronicle , 17 November 1915, p. 7. Percy Robinson collection (above and left).

Trumpington Volunteer Training Corps guarding the railway line over the river bridge �Somewhere in Cambs.�, November 1915. Percy Robinson collection.
Trumpington Volunteer Training Corps guarding the railway line over the river bridge �Somewhere in Cambs.�, November 1915. Percy Robinson collection.

With the help of the Cambridge Chronicle caption, the individuals have been identified as (left to right):

Above: 1) W.R. Haslop; 2) T.H.J. Porter; 3) P.J. Collins; 4) Sergt P.R. Robinson; 5) F.W. Lander; 6) I. Parker; 7) R. Haslop

Left: 1) P.J. Collins (sentry); 2) P.R. Robinson (sergeant); 3) T.H.J. Porter (patrol); 4) W.R. Haslop (patrol)

The firearms training continued to be very effective, with the Trumpington VTC performing well in a number of shooting matches with other local groups through 1915. For an inter-platoon match in December 1915, “In order to give increased stimulus to the members of the Corps to attain greater proficiency in musketry, the Responsible Officer, Platoon-Commander G.S. Todd, generously promised to present spoons to the winning patrol.” with the item on 10 December 1915 headed ‘Trumpington V.T.C., Inter-Platoon Shooting Match’, this described the event and recorded … No. 2 Patrol – Section Leader H. E. Foster, Volunteers R. Smith, G. Pamplin, E. Smith, H.J. Haslop, H. Vinter, A. Mansfield…. Average 91.1 and No. 1 Patrol – Section Leader R. Burrell, Volunteers Dr Bury, A. Gentle, J. Medlock, C. Forbes, A. Hacon, H. Gray…. Average 88 ( Cambridge Independent Press , 30 April 1915, p. 2; Cambridge Independent Press , 25 June 1915, p. 7; Cambridge Chronicle , 2 July 1915, p. 6; Cambridge Independent Press , 27 August 1915, p. 8; Cambridge Independent Press , 10 December 1915, p. 5).

The Trumpington Volunteer Training Corps took part in a church parade led by the Cambridge Volunteer Training Corps on Sunday 5 December 1915. “The Trumpington V.T.C., under Commandant Griffith S. Todd, joined the Corps at the corner of Trumpington Street. The Corps attended the 11 o’clock service at Great St. Mary’s.” ( Cambridge Independent Press , 10 December 1915, p. 5).

There was a further newspaper report on the corps in early 1916, under the heading ‘Trumpington, The Volunteers’: “A social evening in connection with the V.T.C. was held in the village hall on Tuesday. The members sat down to a good ‘spread’ contributions to which were generously given by Messrs. H. Vinter, T.B. Bumpsted, Mrs. G.S. Todd, Mrs. Bury and Mrs. G. R.C. Foster, whilst Messrs. C. Forbes and G. Pamplin provided the table decorations. Dr Bury, Vice-Pres T.V.T.C. presided (in the absence of the President, who is on military duty), and was supported by Adjt G.G. Goodman, Platoon Commander G.S. Todd, Sub-Commander J. Collin (West Cambs) and Cadet-Instructor Peel. A number of the Cambridge V.T.C. were also present. During the evening, Commander Cronin arrived. He addressed the Corps and complimented the members on their general efficiency, mentioning particularly their shooting, and thanked all for their loyal devotion to duty. He afterwards presented prizes to those who had won them in the shooting handicap held on December 27th. The target used was the 1in, decimal card, and considering the unfavourable weather conditions the results were very satisfactory. Vol. R. Smith and Vol. A. Wardley tied for 5th place, and Commander Todd and Acting Sergt. Burrell for 7th. On the ties being shot off, the positions resulted: 1 Vol.E.L. Peters …, 2 Acting Sergt. P.R. Robinson …, 3 Vol. Dr Bury …, 4 Acting Sergt W. Duke …, 5 Vol R. Smith …, 6 Vol A. Wardley …, 7 Acting Sergt. Burrell … . Songs and anecdotes by Messrs. H.E. Foster, J. Medlock, A. Wardley, C.Instr. Peel, J. Parker, Commander Todd, G. Pamplin, E.J. Smith, Dr Bury, Sub-Commander J. Collin, Cadet J.T.P. Collin, Cadet G. Smith and Sergt. Cowell caused the evening to pass in a very pleasant manner, whilst a special word of praise is due to Acting Sergt. H.E. Foster, who presided at the piano. Dr Bury thanked the Committee for their work in arranging the evening’s pleasure, which was brought to a close by the singing of the National Anthem.” ( Cambridge Independent Press , 14 January 1916, p. 8).

In March 1916, the Parish Magazine reported “The Village Hall is now being used, by permission of the Trustees, as Headquarters and Guard Room. The Corps is doing its best to help forward Derby recruits with their preliminary drills, etc. Below will be found a Statement of the Year’s Accounts and it will be noticed that there is still opportunity for some generous patriot to come forward and help to equip the Corps with rifles. Which of our readers will respond?”

Trumpington VTC Number 4 Patrol. Cambridge Chronicle , 20 October 1915.
Standing: H. Haslop, A.H. Wardley, H. Wilson, H. Dasley
Seated: E.L. Peters, Sergt. D.E. Cowell, A. Parker.

Trumpington VTC Number 4 Patrol. Cambridge Chronicle, 20 October 1915.
Trumpington VTC Number 4 Patrol. Cambridge Chronicle, 20 October 1915.

In February 1917, there was an “emergency call on volunteers: Yes they were quite ready. An aeroplane having descended in the district, the police asked for an armed guard to be sent to do duty through the night. Within 20 minutes all the emergency men in the village had been acquainted of the ‘call’ and told to be in readiness, and the first guard in uniform, with arms and ammunition, were ready to proceed to duty, when a message was received stating that their services were not required.” ( Cambridge Independent Press , 16 February 1917, p. 8 and Parish Magazine , March 1017 ).

There were further reports in the Parish Magazine in 1917 and 1918. March 1917: “The winners of the Easter Monday Shooting Competition were: A. (for previous prize winners), Sgt. H.E. Foster (rec. 3), 92; B. (Novices), Pte. Henry Wilson (rec. 14), 106; C. (Tribunal men), Pte. G.E. Geeson, 87. Our congratulations to Sapper Gordon Smith, a late member of our Platoon, on obtaining 3rd prize in his Battalion shoot. … This shows that Volunteer training is by no means amiss for men who want to hit the mark, not miss it, in their country’s service.” July 1917: “Over 30 have now been supplied with new rifles, and other equipment is to follow.” January 1918: “On Saturday, Dec. 15th, the Volunteers were called out to mount guard over an aeroplane which had made a forced landing in the district. The call was received about 5 p.m. and by 5-20, the men were on duty; the guard was continued throughout the night, and until the plane finally ascended, about 11-30 on the 16th.”

In February 1920, “at the conclusion of the Parish Council meeting, Mr. P.R. Robinson was presented with a collection of plate and cutlery in recognition of the valuable services he rendered as platoon sergeant of the Trumpington V.T.C.. Lieut. G.S. Todd presided, and testified to the enormous amount of time and service devoted by Mr. Robinson to the movement. The gift was subscribed for by his fellow Volunteers, and was accompanied by an address. Sergt. Robinson responded feelingly, and said he had made many good friends, and would always remember with pleasure the happy time he had spent with them, and their gift with gratitude and appreciation. Many of the old Volunteers were present, amongst whom were Messrs. J. Collin, T.H.J. Porter, C. Forbes, H. Gray, A. Gentle, C.G. Pamplin, J. Medlock, H. Dasley, H.E. Foster, F.W. Lander, etc., also Messrs. J.H. Chapman and F. Freestone. Expressions of regret for inability to be present were received from Dr Bury (chaplain), Lieut. G. R.C. Foster and Mr. H Vinter.” ( Cambridge Independent Press , 20 February 1920, p. 12).

There were a number of reunions of the VTC after the War, including December 1921, ” ‘V.T. C. Re-union’ The annual re-union of the Trumpington V.T.C. took place in the Village Hall on Friday. Owing to the absence of the late Commander, through a bad cold, the oldest Volunteer, Mr. C. Forbes, occupied the chair. After supper the Chairman explained the reason for Mr. Todd’s absence, and the secretary was asked to convey to him the regret of the meeting. A letter was read from Mr. R. Burrell, a very old Volunteer, expressing his regret at not being present, but wishing all a very pleasant time, and Mr. Cowell at once conveyed the sympathy of the gathering to Mr. Burrell. Major Cronin, Major Morgan and Capt. Young were also unavoidably absent. The toast of the King having been duly honoured, a pleasant evening was spent with songs and anecdotes, interspersed with toasts. The Chairman made touching reference to departed comrades, and all stood silent for few moments. Mr. E.J. Smith proposed the T.V.T. C., to which Mr. Pamplin responded. The secretary proposed the toast of “The Visitors” to which Capt. Goodman responded, remarking on the happy association of the Trumpington Platoon with the 1st Cambridge Regt. The stewards were not forgotten, and the names of Messrs. Cowell, H.E. Foster, C.G. Pamplin and F. Lander were well received. Mr. H.E. Foster was also thanked for his very able services at the piano. During the evening the late president, Mr. G.R.C. Foster, accompanied by Dr. Bury (late Hon. Chaplin to the 1st Cambridge Regt.) looked in, and the latter was accorded an enthusiastic welcome. Dr. Bury expressed his pleasure at seeing so many old friends and thanked them for the hearty reception. Mr. Foster suggested that a rifle club should be formed and younger members incorporated, promising to give it support. Messrs. D.E. Cowell, H.E. Foster and P.R. Robinson were appointed to make the necessary arrangements. Songs were given during the evening by Messrs. Geeson, G. Smith, J. Medlock, I. Parker, E. Lawrence, G. Pamplin and P.R. Robinson. After musical honours for the chairman, the evening closed with the National Anthem.” (Cambridge Chronicle, 14 December 1921, p. 5)

The last VTC reunion was held in May 1923, when the VTC and the British Legion agreed to form a Rifle Club. “At the last annual re-union of the late Trumpington Volunteer Training Corps, Mr. G.R.C. Foster suggested that the T.V.T.C. should join forces with the British Legion and form a miniature Rifle Club for the village, and promised that if the suggestion was adopted he would place the range on his property at the disposal of the members for shooting. A meeting of representatives of the T.V.T.C. and the British Legion was held in the British Legion Club Room on Friday last, when it was decided to form a Club. Mr. P.R. Robinson took the chair, and the following officers were elected: President, Mr. G.R.C. Foster; Vice-Presidents, Brig.- Gen. Bainbridge, Major Stanley, Messrs. D.B. Ginn, W.W. Pemberton and F. Jackson; Hon. Sec., Mr. P.R. Robinson; Assistant Sec., Mr. H. Haslop; Hon. Treasurer, Mr. C. Forbes; Committee, Messrs. H.E. Foster, C. Fordham, S.J. Colbourne, A. Medhurst, and F.W. Alnder; Instructor and Armourer, Mr. D.E. Cowell. It was agreed that residents of Trumpington over 17 years of age should be eligible to join, and the subscription should be 2/- per annum. …” ( Cambridge Independent Press , 11 May 1923 and Parish Magazine , July 1923)

Finally, in the August 1923 Parish Magazine : “Rifle Club: A general meeting was held at the Unicorn Club Room on Monday 9th July. Mr. W.W. Pemberton was elected chairman for the evening. The Secretary was authorised to … arrange that the Club should be able, if possible, to hold its first competition on July 28th.”

The 1st (Cambridge) Battalion Cambs. Volunteers, Trumpington Church, Sunday 3 September 1916. Cambridge Chronicle, 6 September 1916, p. 7.
The 1st (Cambridge) Battalion Cambs. Volunteers, Trumpington Church, Sunday 3 September 1916. Cambridge Chronicle, 6 September 1916, p. 7.

The 1st (Cambridge) Battalion Cambs. Volunteers, Trumpington Church, Sunday 3 September 1916. Cambridge Chronicle , 6 September 1916, p. 7.

Hotel Ritz sign: “a sense of humour displayed by the War-time Volunteers, who tacked this imposing sign and the menu on their hut when they were guarding the Pile Bridge” (caption for this photograph when it appeared in the Cambridge Chronicle report on Percy Robinson’s lecturers in 1931). “Menu. Clear Pewit Soup; Sleeper Sauce, Tender Corns; Devilled Water Snakes; Saddle of Heifer; Roast Rats, Bats, Owls; Diplomatic Granite Pudding; Crème Otter on Toast; V.T.C.’s Own Dessert; (R.D.C.) Camp Coffee, Woodbines; Proprietor: John Bull”. The sign had been on the Trumpington Volunteer Training Corps hut beside the railway bridge carrying the Cambridge-Bedford line over the River Cam, between Trumpington and Grantchester. Percy Robinson collection.

Hotel Ritz sign: “a sense of humour displayed by the War-time Volunteers, who tacked this imposing sign and the menu on their hut when they were guarding the Pile Bridge” (caption for this photograph when it appeared in the Cambridge Chronicle report on Percy Robinson’s lecturers in 1931).

“Menu. Clear Pewit Soup; Sleeper Sauce, Tender Corns; Devilled Water Snakes; Saddle of Heifer; Roast Rats, Bats, Owls; Diplomatic Granite Pudding; Crème Otter on Toast; V.T.C.’s Own Dessert; (R.D.C.) Camp Coffee, Woodbines; Proprietor: John Bull”.

The sign had been on the Trumpington Volunteer Training Corps hut beside the railway bridge carrying the Cambridge-Bedford line over the River Cam, between Trumpington and Grantchester.

Percy Robinson collection.

Cambridge Chronicle caption: Members of the Trumpington V.T.C., Patrol No.3, on duty guarding a railway bridge “Somewhere in Cambs.” Left to right: F.W. Lander (sentry), R. Haslop and I. Parker (patrol), P.R. Robinson (sergeant).

Cambridge Chronicle caption:

Members of the Trumpington V.T.C., Patrol No.3, on duty guarding a railway bridge “Somewhere in Cambs.” Left to right: F.W. Lander (sentry), R. Haslop and I. Parker (patrol), P.R. Robinson (sergeant).

The Parish Magazine continued to report on shooting matches and other progress. June 1916: “The winners of the Easter Monday shooting handicap – for 3 silver spoons generously presented by Pl.-Cdr. Todd – were Act.-Sgt. Foster (rec. 5), Sgt. Cowell (rec. 7) and Vol. H. Dasley (rec. 7), who all tied with a score of 92.” July 1916: “Tests for Proficiency in Musketry have been fired during the past month with very satisfactory results: 17 Members are now entitled to wear the ‘Marksman’ badge and 2 the ‘First-class’ Shot badge.” August 1916: “An Enrolment of Members, under the New Regulations, took place on July 6th. Canon Pemberton, as Magistrate, Col. Gowis, and Pl. Comm. Todd, were present and 22 men were sworn in. It is hoped that more of the original members will join presently, and new recruits are needed to fill up the numbers. The Kaiser won’t wait!”

From August 1916, the War Office included the VTC battalions in the County Infantry Regiment system and they became numbered as Volunteer battalions of the local regiments. The Trumpington volunteers were part of the 1st (Cambridge) Battalion Cambs. Volunteers who paraded and marched to Trumpington Church on Sunday 3 September 1916, when the second Roll of Honour was dedicated ( Cambridge Chronicle , 6 September 1916, p. 7).

VTC Accounts, December 1914 – February 1916. Parish Magazine , March 1916.