Last week I mentioned the start of the new BB session which in all companies will involve recruiting new members.
Last year’s successful national ‘Growing Bigger, Growing Better’ recruitment campaign will continue into 2014-15 session and resources to help companies maximise their efforts are available on the website and from Supplies.
One hundred years ago another recruitment campaign was also in full swing as Lord Kitchener sought to boost men in uniform with his ‘Call to Arms’ for the Great War. It was suggested more might volunteer if they knew they could serve alongside men they already knew. Such units soon became known as ‘Pals Battalions’.
The BB of the day offered to raise such battalions from existing and former members who, after all, were already used to discipline and drill - even rifle drill, though this was discontinued after the conflict.
Records are scant as to the national numbers recruited, but four days after the call the 16th paraded through the centre of Glasgow, carrying the Glasgow BB Battalion Colours, singing Scottish songs, as they had no band! Certainly this national fervour was repeated in many thousands, throughout the land. The lads from Glasgow suffered over 500 men killed in the Battle of the Somme. These men were our predecessors who took part in drill, Bible classes, inspections and camps.
As they were mourned, many older officers who had ‘hung up their Glengarries’ had to take a proverbial deep breath and carry on doing God’s work while the next generation grew up in safety till they could take their place.
“They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old. Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them”
The Highland Light Infantry was known as the Glasgow BB Army Battalion.