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Service Overseas - 1919

British Isles Genealogy | 23rd Service Battalion Royal Fusiliers

January found the Battalion in billets at Niederaussem, forming part of the British Army of Occupation in Germany. Training was still being carried on, however, but sport was not lost sight of. There were platoon football matches, whist drives, paper-chases, and so on, while there was also voluntary educational training in such things as English, French, and shorthand.

On January 24 came the presentation of the King's Colour to the Battalion by Major-General Pereira. Later, on the reorganization of Divisions taking place, the Battalion on February 27 left the 99th Brigade, 2nd Division, in which it had served so long, proceeded by rail through Cologne to Ehreshoven, joined the London Division, and took over the outposts of the Occupied Zone at Lindlar on March 18.

On April 15, the Battalion then being back in Cologne, the command was taken over by Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel L.F. Ashburner, M.V.O., D.S.O., Lieutenant-Colonel Winter being appointed to the command of the British Camp at Antwerp. On May 6 the Battalion was inspected and complimented by General Sir William Robertson, G.C.B., K.C.V.O., D.S.O., Commander-in-Chief British Army of the Rhine.

In the event of the non-acceptance of the Peace Terms by Germany, preparations were made between June 8 and June 19 for an advance, but the orders on June 20 were held in abeyance and subsequently cancelled.

Presentation of Colors: Niederaussem, Germany, June 24th, 1919

On June 22, at the Brigade swimming gala, the Battalion won two-thirds of the prizes put up for competition, although they had previously lost (2-1) in the "Kalk" football cup final to the 57th Siege Battery.

Battalion sports were held at Klef, near Vilkerath, on July 19, the championship being annexed by "C" Company. A competition for the best company in the Division was won by "D" Company, who were subsequently called upon to furnish a guard of honour on the occasion of the visit of the Army Council to Cologne.

The Battalion also scored in another way, for on August 1 the War Savings results for July were announced. The amount subscribed by the 23rd Royal Fusiliers was 1,137 19s. 1d., the percentage of members being 51 per cent, of the Battalion strength, and the Battalion being top of the VIth Corps list for the amount subscribed.

Finally, the 23rd (Service) Battalion Royal Fusiliers (1st Sportsman's) ceased to exist in March, 1920, after having had a longer life than any other Service Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers.

23rd Battalion

The 23 (Service) Battalion Royal Fusiliers, 1920

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