Who Were The Men Of The King’s Own Royal Regiment? Interview with Regiment's Curator Peter Donnelly (2014)

Sep 14, 2014, 06:02 PM

Peter Donnelly, the curator at the #King’s #Own Royal Regiment Museum in #Lancaster, looks at the response to the outbreak of the #First #World #War, from men across North #Lancashire, South #Cumbria and from all over the North West.

The King’s Own developed a strong relationship with Lancaster after the Crimean War and thousands of ordinary men had been based at the regiment’s Bowerham Barracks in the city during the Boer War.

However, the long #history between the two led them to building an even stronger link after the outbreak of the First World War in the summer of #1914.

With calls for volunteers to come forward to enlist in August, hundreds of ordinary men from the surrounding areas knew that they would be relied upon to come forward to join the King’s Own Royal Regiment.

Thousands of men from North Lancashire, South Cumbria and across the North West passed through the old Town Hall, which is now the City Museum in Lancaster, to be processed. Here they would have had medical examinations before being passed fit for war and they were then sent off for training and eventually to the battlefront.

Peter Donnelly, the curator at the King’s Own Royal Regiment Museum, estimates around 50-60,000 men served in the regiment during #World #War #One.

Mr Donnelly is responsible for creating the exhibition “War! 1914” which is currently open in the City Museum in Lancaster.

Among the stories on display at the exhibition, is the tragic case of “The First Soldier.”

Private James Hall of Fleetwood committed suicide on 5th August 1914 after receiving his mobilisation papers for war.

Peter Donnelly tells The Bay’s Amy Scarisbrick more about this heartbreaking story and about the men who made up the King’s Own Royal Regiment. Audio is property of the CN Group/Bay Radio and has been uploaded for portfolio purposes.