Friday, 15 January 2016

Who Cancelled Christmas?

An anonymous correspondent writing in the Cheshire Observer (12 December 1914) was anticipating if not one of the lucky few to be allowed home, “a good old Cheshire Christmas in Norfolk.” Lt.-Col. Sir Richard Verdin in his history “The Cheshire Yeomanry 1898-1967” relates how these plans were to be shattered.
“Christmas day was indeed to bring plenty of excitement but not of the kind that had been anticipated.
“On December 23 the Regiment received intelligence reports of a pending German raid. As a consequence it stood to in full marching order on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day from an hour before dawn until 9 a.m. Nothing happened. It was reported afterwards that German barges had actually been loaded with troops before the order came to cancel the operations.”
The disappointment led to questions being raised in the House of Commons!

Cheshire Observer - Saturday 06 February 1915



In House of Commons, on Thursday, Mr. Brunner* asked the Financial Secretary to the War Office if would state the reason why the Cheshire Yeomanry did not receive a free railway pass for their Christmas furlough.

Mr. Harold Baker said the Cheshire Yeomanry was one of the trained forces which were not given Christmas leave owing to military exigencies, and inquiry was being held into certain particulars.

Mr. Bridgeman asked if it was not the case individual members, both of the Cheshire and Shropshire Yeomanry, got Christmas leave, but were refused their fares.

Mr. Baker said that was the point which was being inquired into.

* Sir John Brunner – Constituency: Northwhich January 1915, 1910 to December 14, 1918

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