Fauldhouse Territorials cycle off to war

Fauldhouse Territorials cycle off to war

The war came as a shock – few people were expecting it. Fauldhouse had a company of the local Territorial battalion - the 10th  (Cyclist) Battalion Royal Scots - whose base was at the Drill Hall in Bridge Street. The territorials were part-time soldiers who trained several evenings a week, and spent two weeks at the annual summer training camp. All the territorial battalions were called up immediately on the outbreak of war. Just ten days into the war, 'F' company (Fauldhouse) assembled at the Drill Hall, and crowds of folk turned out to see them off.   

On 17 August 1914, the West Lothian Courier  reported:

The crowd at the Drill Hall on Wednesday at 12 o’clock must have numbered several hundreds. A heavy shower of rain drove the people to shelter, but they still lingered quite near the scene of interest. Shortly after one o’clock excitement ran high among the spectators at the Drill Hall as the "terriers" were seen getting ready for the road. Most or all of the men were provided with capes, and on reaching the top of the Store Brae they mounted their machines, and were soon out of sight. Three transport motor lorries conveyed their kit bags and other necessaries.

The 10th Royal Scots was a cyclists’ battalion. For the first few months of the war, they were stationed for coastal defence work on the East Lothian and Berwickshire coast. By 1915, many of them were on active service in France or the Dardanelles. They were used to provide replacement drafts to infantry battalions; later they were converted to an infantry battalion and saw active service in Northern Russia in 1918-19.

©1914-18: Fauldhouse Remembers Group

For more information on any aspect of West Lothian and the First World War, contact localhistory@westlothian.gov.uk.

http://www.westlothian.gov.uk/article/2055/Local-History-Library

 

Soldiers
Fauldhouse volunteers at their annual summer training camp in 1913. Just one year later they would be going off to war. One or two of these young men probably died in the war. (West Lothian Local History Library)
Cyclists' battalion
The Bathgate company of the 10th Royal Scots Cyclists' Battalion on parade (Courtesy of the High Church, Bathgate)