Conisbrough & Denaby Main
Heritage Group


This item researched by John Gwatkin
KINGS OWN YORKSHIRE LIGHT INFANTRY Denaby Detachment      
                                                                                                                             
In August 1901 an effort was made by Mr. H.S. Witty, Manager Denaby Main Colliery to form a volunteer battalion of the K.O.Y.L.I.  In the Mexborough and Swinton Times of February 29th 1908, an article read:
A detachment of the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry is to be formed in Denaby Main at a meeting to be held in the Large Hall, Rossington Street School, on March 13th.  A crowded meeting was held on Friday March 13th 1908 in the Large Hall, Rossington Street School, to further forward the new army scheme.   The meeting was inaugurated by Colonel Somerville of Doncaster, who along with fellow officers came over to Denaby Main for the purpose of enlisting recruits.   He was attended by some local volunteers and the Band of the 2nd Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment, who created quite an impression as they marched along the streets of the village to the Rossington Street School, where they played musical selections during the evening.  Mr. W.H. Chambers presided, and said that he hoped the result would be that the Colonel went away satisfied, as he was sure there were plenty of young men in the village who would be only too glad to join the Territorial forces, as it was easy to see that one volunteer was the equal of six pressed men.                         
Colonel Somerville, who had a rousing reception, explained that in view of the rapid approach of the time when the volunteer force, as constituted at the present time, must disappear.   He had called them together in order to explain the minor differences between the old and new conditions.   Mr. Haldane's scheme, the Colonel characterised as an ideal one, he had paid the auxiliary forces the great-est compliment ever conferred upon them by taking them into his confidence, and depending upon their continued patriotism.   He also had a fixed and determined intention of recognising those men who came forward to perform the noblest duty, by improving their status and elevating their social position so that in the case of the Country needing men, he was sure that each one would do his duty for his Country.   Speaking of the change of regiments, he said that no one was more sorry that they had to quit the York and Lancaster Regiment  and were they not going into one that was purely a Yorkshire Force, i.e. the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, he would have been more sorry.   As it was the force they were to join was one that could hold its own with any other regiment. During the evening about eighty recruits were enrolled, the condition being for young men between the ages of 17 and 35 years  and a height of 5 feet 8 inches.   All correspondence regarding this Territorial detachment was to be addressed to:-Lieutenant F.G. Mackenzie, Enquiry Office, Cadeby Main Colliery.  On May 16th 1908 the newly formed company of the K.O.Y.L.I. were said to be putting in some very good drills, which through the kindness of the local Colliery Company  are being held in a large building situated near to the entrance to Cadeby Main Colliery No 2 Office Building.   This, the local volunteers find has been a great boon, as it saves the journey to Doncaster three or four times each week.
During the week ending August 15th 1908, the local detachment of K.O.Y. L. I. Territorials have been undergoing their annual training at Redcar and it is the first experience for some of the soldiers under canvas.   They have found that it is not all spice or home at Brigade camp, the work is just what is required to make them efficient as soldiers of the Imperial Army. There was a very large crowd in the streets of the village on Sunday morning October 18th 1908, to watch the first Church Parade of the local Territorials who attended Divine Service at the Denaby Main Parish Church.                                                            
There was a good muster of officers and men under the command of Captain Hill  and accompanied by the band of the Battalion as they paraded the streets to the Church.   The service was conducted by the Vicar and the singing in the church was accompanied by the band and at the close they played the National  Anthem.   After the service the men re-formed outside the church and were marched back to the depot.                            
On the 17th July 1909, it was reported that the new premises of the local Territorials is now open and are being taken advantage of by the men.   That the rooms are now an acquisition to the men is now recognised.   On Wednesday evening the men had a march out on the Pastures Road.  The Territorials  came home from Annual Camp at Redcar on August 10th 1909, the only objection being raised was the very wet weather they encountered on Bank Holiday Monday.   The local men were complimented on their soldierly appearance and good conduct during the camp, and their officers are to be much complimented for seeing that this was the case. The members of the Denaby branch of the K.O.Y.L.I. volunteers opened their winter sessions at the Drill Hall on Saturday November 5th 1909 with a Whist Drive and Dance to raise funds so that the Institute which has been formed at the Drill Hall for the benefit of the men may be equipped with all kinds of games and books for reading etc.   There was a very large concourse of people at Conisbrough Station on Sunday night August 8th 1910  waiting for the arrival of the Territorials who have been at the Annual Camp on the Isle of Man and there were some misgivings amongst them when ten o'clock came and no news was at hand.   After a further delay the train arrived at last and the men looked very well indeed considering the hard time they had had on the island and the officers were very pleased with the men for the way they have carried out the various duties attended to them whilst they were in camp and their general conduct.    
On Thursday night January 13th 1911, at the Drill Hall, Denaby Main, the annual distribution of prizes to the Denaby detachment  (G  Company of the 5th K.O.Y.L.I.) took place. There was a good muster of men and officers all of whom were in uniform.   Captain Archer (who controls the Denaby Company) presided, supported on the platform by:
Mrs. Williamson
Mrs. Norwood
Colonel Somerville
Captain Brewes
Lieutenant Williamson
&
Second Lieutenant Walker                                                                                
Among those present were :
Mr. A. H. Barnard,
Agent, Denaby and Cadeby Colliery Co.
Rev. Father Kavanagh
Rev. W. J. W. Tunnicliffe
(Curate at Denaby Main Parish Church)Mr. C. Williamson
Mr. H. S. Witty
Mr. W. W. Norwood
Sergeant-Major E. Power
Mr. S. J. Bridges
Colour Sergeant-Major Instructor Mathews
Mr. Hetherington (Conisbrough), and Mr. Ellis
Mr. W.H. Chambers was unavoidably absent.
A feature of the evenings entertainment was the presentation of the handsome Silver Cup (presented by Colonel Somerville), to Private Baines, who, in a shooting competition among the picked men of the whole Battalion, got first place.    

Referring to Private Baines' performance, Captain Archer said he was the best shot in the Battalion.   It was a great pleasure to him to win the cup for the Company as well  'Hear hear'! Passing on, Captain Archer expressed the Company's gratitude to the Denaby Main Rifle Club for allowing the free use of their Firing Range.   They were also very grateful to  Mr. W. H. Chambers who had given them every assistance in their work.   It was a good thing for them to have the sympathy of the managers and deputies at the collieries  and he hoped the present good relations would continue  'hear hear'! The Denaby Company stood one hundred and twenty-eight strong when at camp, and their strength now stood at one hundred and forty. There was room for ten more men, and he hoped the half score would soon come forward and show they were prepared to do their duty (Applause).  Colonel Somerville congratulated the Company on their very comfortable quarters, they had got a very fine room, which could be used equally well for drill and social purposes.   He was glad to say that the Denaby Company was quite as efficient as any in the Battalion.   Of course they had an unfortunate time at camp last year - fourteen out of the sixteen days being wet - but the Denaby Company, like the others retained good spirits all of the time.  They would be proud to know that of the one thousand men who were scattered about this part of Yorkshire, three men belonging to the Denaby Company, Private Baines, Private Oxley, and Sergeant Quinnear, were the three best shots, a fact, which was creditable alike to the men concerned and their Company.  To the Denaby Main Rifle Club, of which they were members, credit was also due.   Colonel Somerville amid applause handed over the cup to Private Baines. Money Prizes in connection with the Company's prize shoot were handed over to the following:-
Private T. Oxley - score 97
Private T. Baines - score 89
Sergeant J. Quinnear - score 78
Sergeant F. W. Rudd - score 75
Privates J. R. Worrall - 72
S .C. Winwood - 65,
G. H. Taylor - 61Lance Corporal C. R. Brice - 53
Privates W. C. Haywood - 50
F. Grantham - 47
Sergeant J. McFarlane - 42
Private - F. Gedney - 41
Sergeant G. Falkingham - 40
Private E. Davies - 38
Colour Sergeant R. Tompkinson - 38
Privates F.A. Westlake - 36
A. Whittaker - 29
C. Cooke - 29
W. Higgins - 20
W. Fawkes - 14
Corporal J. Lines - 11
Private F. Cooke - 10
Lance Corporal E. Parton - 5                                                                    
Sergeant J. McFarlane was also presented with an Efficiency Medal for 16 years and upwards continued service in the Volunteer and Territorial Force.
On the motion of Captain Archer (Chairman), a vote of thanks was accorded Colonel Somerville for attending, and Colonel Somerville suitably replied.    
It was reported in the Conisbrough notes of the 'Times' dated August 2" 1924 that a good number of Denaby and Conisbrough men were in the ranks of the 5th K.O.Y.L.I. which left Conisbrough station last Saturday bound for the annual training camp at Ramsey.  I imagine that on their return when they begin to recount their adventures a stimulus will be given to recruiting, for the camp at Ramsey is very nicely situated, being a kind of permanent institution, and the Isle of Man affords as nearly as possible an ideal holiday, for those who desire to remain within the confines of their own country, so to speak.   There is a fine sea trip and a touch of the continental, without the language difficulty.   The camp is on a slight slope and it will need very heavy rain to cause much inconvenience, but from all accounts it has been torrential, and there has been slight discomfort, but the amenities of Ramsey and Douglas will counter balance.    

On October 18th 1924 the following article appeared in the Mexborough and Swinton Times:-

New Drill Hall
Fine Quarters For Denaby Territorials                                                                 A  fanfare of bugles and the smart 'click' of the 'present' of a General's Guard of Honour heralded the arrival of Brigadier General Renney K.C.B., D.S.O., the Officer Commanding the 3rd West Riding Infantry Brigade for the opening of the new Drill Hall of '13' Company of the 5th Battalion Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry on Saturday night.   The building is a commodious one on the Doncaster Road, Denaby Main, at the foot of the North Cliff Crags.   It has a spacious Drill Hall, Officers Room, Armoury, Orderly Room, Sergeants Mess, Lecture Room and men's room or bar.   It is lighted by electricity and is centrally heated.   The architect was Captain Carson of York, architect to the Territorial Association, and the contract has been executed by Messrs. Chadwick of Rotherham.

The Company is at full strength (130) and is officered by Captain Smith and Lieutenant Bracewell, both of Doncaster. Colonel Barber commands the Battalion, Sergeant Instructor H. Hall from the 1st Battalion K.O.Y.L.I. (Rhine Army) has taken up residence as instructor and he turned the men out smartly on Saturday night.  Brigadier General Renney said that it was a very pleasant duty to inaugurate the Drill Hall.   It was an occasion of some importance in the annals of Denaby and Conisbrough and he was glad to congratulate Captain Smith, who, by his personality, zeal, and perseverance had succeeded in raising the Company to full strength.  The difficulties of accommodation for training had not damped their ardour nor hindered their efficiency.   It was a good spirit and he hoped that with a good drill hall they would strive for still higher efficiency.  He was glad to see others of the inhabitants because the support of the leading inhabitants was of importance and it was only by the goodwill of those amongst whom they lived that the work could be carried out.
Many did their training at personal inconvenience and this was not sufficiently realised by the nation.   He thought that if there was more interest the Territorial Army would soon be at full strength. The Territorial Army was not a joke, it was something definite in national life.   One heard it said that the last war was the war to end all wars, but if they looked round the world they would see that the possibility of war was still with us.   Nobody wanted war, least of all those who had to bear the brunt of it, but until nations found other means of settling quarrels, it was foolish to say there would be no more war.   It was common knowledge that the Regular Army had been reduced in strength to the barest minimum consistent with the policy of the Empire.   We could not overrate the importance of the Territorial Army, which proved its value in the late war.   He wished prosperity to the 'B' Company and hoped it would never lack recruits.
Captain Smith proposed a vote of thanks to the General  he was sorry they had lost a good officer in Captain Laidlaw  but he hoped that 'I' Company would be the gainers.   He sympathised with Captain Barker in his illness, and was sorry that Captain Harrison was not present, for Captain Harrison had helped them in every way in his power.
Now they had the finest Drill Hall in the Battalion which was as it should be as they had the finest Company.  They would have to make good use of their instructor or he would get too fat.   In Colonel Barber they had the finest Colonel and he appealed to the men to work and play well.
The remainder of the evening was given over to dancing, music being supplied by Mr. Gee (piano) and Mr. Moses Soar (violin).

On August 14th 1911 the Denaby G. Company of the K.O.Y.L.I. attended Annual Camp at Ripon.

On May 25th 1912 the Denaby G. Company of the 5th K.O.Y.L.I. were at camp in Cantley near Doncaster for annual training. Some five hundred men were under canvas.

On Sunday morning July 17th 1918, on the Cricket Field, Denaby, the 13th Company of the 3rd Volunteer Battalion K.O.Y.L.I. under the command of Captain H.C. Harrison, together with the St. John Ambulance Brigade under the command of Superintendent W.H. Chambers, took part in an impressive drumhead service conducted by the  Rev. H.B. Greaves.
The hymns - 'Oh God Our Help', 'Onward Christian Soldiers', and 'The Church's One Foundation', were accompanied by the massed Ambulance and Volunteer Bands under the conductorship of Mr. Moses Soar.
After the service there was a short drill, followed by an inspection by Major M. E. Clarke (Doncaster), accompanied by Captain A. E. Cooke, Captain R. Clayton, Lieutenant J. Warrinder and Lieutenant Simnet.
The bugle call was sounded, and then followed the inspection, during which the playing of selections by the Bands went on.   The subsequent march-past was excellently carried out watched by a large crowd.
During World War One the 5th Battalion K.O.Y.L.I. was fighting in the Somme battles of 1916 with 1/5 Battalions and in 1917 most of the K.O.Y.L.I Battalions figured in the Arras and Ypres battles,the 5th Battalion suffered tragic losses in the months of March and April 1918 fighting on the Marne, the total losses in men for the5th Battalion as published in July 1921 was 448.
A whist-drive and dance in connection with the local Volunteer Territorial Force was held on Tuesday October 27th 1919.   The M.C.'s were Messrs. A. Robinson and W. Widdison and the prize-winners were Mrs. Needham, Mrs. Hirst, Mrs. Walton, Mr. Platts, Mr. Trout and Mr. Sharpe.

On March 10th 1923 an enjoyable dance was held in the Drill Hall in connection with the local detachment of K.O.Y.L.I.

An article requesting about thirty recruits for 13th Company Denaby K.O.Y.L.I. appeared in the Mexborough and Swinton Times on March 19th 1926  together with the reminder that drills are to begin during the present month and recruits have to get forty drills in before Annual Camp.

The 13' Company of the 5th Battalion K.O.Y.L.I. went to a Territorial Camp at Ripon on Sunday July 29th 1926.
Captain Smith was in charge, Lieutenant Bracewell second-in-command aided by Lieutenant Kinnear.   The other ranks included Sergeant Instructor Hall (permanent staff instructor for the Company), Company Sergeant-Major Brooks and Company Quartermaster Sergeant Lunt.
The Company, which is one hundred and forty strong, are to compete for a cup presented by Colonel E.M. Barber for the smartest platoon they have held it for two years and if they win it this year it becomes their property.   They also hope to win the silver mounted Football-Sticks, they have been in the semi-finals for the past few years.  The Company is steadily rising in numbers, forty recruits having joined this year.                         
At camp the Company gave a good account of themselves in the Battalion sports held on Minden Day (August 1st) with Captain Smith in command of the Company.   The company football team for the fourth successive year were beaten in the semi-final by `D' Company. Private Hinchliffe of `B' Company won the Battalion mile race in which Private Thomas was second.  Private Faulkner won the swimming contest and Private Evans was third.   Pillow-fighting on the greasy pole was won by Private Evans (R).  EV Company also won the tug-o-war.  For the third year in succession the Company won the inter-platoon competition
for the smartest platoon through No. 5 Platoon, and the Company also won the Recruits Cup presented by General Brookes C.M.G., D.S.O., M.P., the recruits having been trained by Sergeant Instructor Hall.
The 5th Platoon carried off the Brigade Shield for best platoon, and Private Hinchliffe came third in the Brigade Mile. The tug-o-war team was beaten by 4th K.O.Y.L.I. in the Brigade final, eight of this team belonged to EV Company.                                                
A further prize-shoot was held at the Cantley range a few days later.   EV Company 5th K.O.Y.L.I. returned from Annual Camp at Catterick on Sunday August 6th 1927 looking fit and fresh.  Their work in the camp this year mainly consisted of field Battalion and Brigade manoeuvres.  They had an enjoyable time and carried off trophies in the Battalion and Brigade sports.
The annual musketry course for EV Company (Denaby) 5th K.O.Y.L.I. was held at the Cantley firing range on July 22nd 1928.   There were one hundred and twenty-six members who took part in the course and some excellent results were obtained, especially in the Lewis Gunnery, which was taken by sixty of the Company.
The prize-shoot was held also, and the winner was Captain Smith, and the Silver Cup and 30/- was won by Corporal Jarvis. In the Sergeants group the winner was Sergeant Squires, with Sergeant Cheetham in second place.

The recruits from 'IT Company attended their annual musketry course on the following Saturday July 28th 1928.
Annual Camp was held at Beverley and departed Sunday July 29th 1928 at 5-30 a.m. from Conisbrough Station.

An article in the Mexborough and Swinton Times dated December 14th 1928 reads :

Denaby 'Terriers'
Best Company In The Battalion
In the gaily decorated and specially lighted Drill Hall at Denaby, on Saturday awards won during the past year were presented to the Denaby detachment of `B' Company 5th Battalion K.O.Y.L.I. Captain A. Smith, the Company Commander paid tribute to the excellent standard of the Company, which was the strongest at the last camp.
Colonel N.E. Barber, commanding the 5th K.O.Y.L.I. stated that hopes had been exceeded at Denaby, where there was the best company in the battalion numerically, and in quality. At camp they carried all before them.   Prior to the presentation Messrs. Scott and Company.
The Company paraded under C.S.M. Brooks for the presentations which were made by Colonel Barber.

The awards were:

Miniature Range Competitions

Honorary Members - Mr. F. Robinson, Conisbrough                                    
                                                               All Ranks Challenge Cup
1.  Corporal Ashton
2.  Corporal Jones
3.  Private W.H. Beasley

Challenge Shield Boxing
Heavy-weight Shield - Private S. Faulkner
Runner-up Private A. Cook

Challenge Cup  Boxing
Light Heavy weight Shield - Private E. Clark
Runner-up Private W.H. Beasley

Challenge Rose Bowl Boxing
Middle-weight Rose Bowl - Private Hodgetts
Runner-up Private Elks

Special Boxing Prize Light-weights - Private Leighton.
Runner-up Private Oldfield

Challenge Cup (best turned out man) - Private Jordan.

Inter-Platoon Challenge Cup - No.5 Platoon (Sergeant Squires)

This award was for the most efficient platoon in the Battalion and has been won by Denaby 5 times in the last 7 years.

Inter-Section Challenge Cup - No. 2 Section (Corporal Jepson).
Company Prize Shoot Cups
1.   Corporal Jarvis
2. Corporal Ashton
3. Sergeant Squires

Special Prizes were awarded to C.S.M. Brooks
and to C.Q.M.S. Lunt.
In the Conisbrough notes of the Mexborough and Swinton Times dated September 13th 1929 a report reads :-
Terriers Success - At the recent training camp at Cartmel, 'EV Company of the K.O.Y.L.I. won the principal honours, taking first place for guard mounting, boxing, football, and best platoon.
The Company is slightly under strength and recruits would be welcome at the Drill Hall, Denaby Main.
A report in the Mexborough and Swinton Times dated October 11th 1929 reads:-
Denaby Terriers.
Farewell To Colonel Barber.
Bidding farewell to 'EV Company of the 5th Battalion of the K.O.Y.L.I. Regiment, which he has commanded for seven years at the annual presentation of prizes at the Drill Hall, Denaby Main, on Saturday, Colonel M.E. Barber expressed his gratification to the company for the splendid manner in which they had supported him since their inception and congratulating them on their excellent reputation, he hoped they would never look back, but accord his successor the same loyal support.
Continuing, Colonel Barber said that the first essentials of a good company was that they should be good and keen at work and play. 'EV Company had won so many prizes that he was sure they had achieved both objectives.   As Captain Smith was to be Second-in-Command, he was sorry they would have to lose him, because he had made the Company what it was.
Captain A. Smith, who presided, said that the Company had one absentee at camp, and that was a hospital case, and that only one out of the one hundred and fourteen men had failed to qualify.   They had entered all the six competitions for trophies and won five.

Colonel E.H. Hamilton, who has just returned from Germany, and who is succeeding Colonel Barber, also addressed the men.
The presentation of the prizes was made by Colonel Barber and the chief winners were:-
Shooting - Corporal Ashton.
Miniature Range - Sergeant Squires, Private Thompson and (Honorary Member) Mr. Kelly
Tug-o-War - Sergeant Robins' Team
Best Turned Out Man - Private Thompson
Best Section - Lance Corporal Wright  No. 5 Section
Best Brigade Guard - Sergeant Chatham's Guard
Lewis Gun Competition - Private Stephenson
Recruits Musketry - Private Thompson
Football Cup - Sergeant West's XI
Boxing Cups - Private Oldfield - Catch-weight
Private Laughton  Light - Heavy-weight
Heavy-weight Shield - Lance Corporal Faulkner
Colonel Barber's Platoon Cup - Sergeant Robins  No. 5 Platoon
Battalion Boxing Challenge Cup - Corporal Jones
Running - Private Hinchliffe
Battalion Sports Shield - Corporal Jepson

The following article appeared in the Mexborough and Swinton Times on November 28th 1930, and reads:
Denaby 'Terriers'
A Fine Harvest Of Trophies
In the Drill Hall, Denaby Main, on Saturday evening there was an imposing array of thirteen silver cups and a shield. These were all trophies which had been won 'EV Company K.O.Y.L.I., which has the distinction of being numerically the strongest company in the battalion.   It also has the honour of possessing the best platoon Sergeant Robins'.   This platoon cup has never been taken away from this company for the past eight years.
Captain Bracewell, the company commander, presided, and Colonel Royle D.S.O., Officer Commanding the Battalion, presented the awards.
Supporting were Major A. Smith formerly Company Commander  Major Laidlaw, Captain and Adjutant Douglass, Lieutenant Kinnear and Lieutenant Parkes.
Colonel Royle complimented the Company on its efficiency and congratulated it on its successes, particularly in winning the  'Soldiers' Cup'.  In addition to the several cups and shields there were many cash prizes.

The chief winners were:
Musketry Competition  Battie-Wrightson Cup - Private T. Whitehead.Bell Brothers' Cup  Recruits - Private Todby
other winnersSergeant J. Robins, Corporal T.E. Jones, Lance Corporal T. Havenhand,Private Goodwin, Private Robins, and Private Guest.
Lewis Gun Competition  Doncaster Detachment Subscription Cup  - Private S. Wright
other winners Sergeant Cheetham, Sergeant Squires,Private W. Hemingfield, and Private A. Roebuck.
Miniature Range Competition Perry Cup - Sergeant Major Brookes.
Running - Private Hinchliffe.
Battalion Sports Shield - Corporal Jepson

Ind Coope Cup Honorary Members - Mr. T. Kelly
other winners
Corporal J.E. Jones, Sergeant Robins, Private Hinchliffe,
Lance Corporal Evans, Private Goodwin, Mr. Harrison and
Mr. Beasley.

Best Turned Out Man  Fletcher Hibbert Cup  - Private Grice

Recruits Cup presented by
Brigadier General C.R.I. Brooke, C.M.G., D.S.O.
Won by thirty-three recruits

Platoon Cup presented by Colonel M.E. Barber
Sergeant Robins and
twenty-one others

Annual Boxing Competition ;
W.I. Gibbs' Heavy-weight Shield - Lance Corporal Evans
Alderman Smith Rose-Bowl - Private Whittingham
Heath and Smith Cup - Private Elkes and Private Oldfield  drew

Other winners Privates Clark, Guest, Swift, Richardson, and Smith

Best Section of '13' Company Denaby and Cadeby Collieries Cup
Corporal Jones and No. 5 Section, No.5 Platoon

Other prizes were for :
Boxing at Camp - Private Leighton and Private Oldfield finalists
Private Elkes and Private Harrison runners-up
Privates Hodgetts, Smith, Whittaker, Knowles, Walton, Swift, and
Harris -  consolations
Tug-o-war Prizes - Sergeant Squires and nine others
Robins, Scott, Evans, Stevens, Ashton, Cooke, Roche, Coney, and Bingham
Also on view was the Sports Championship Cup of the 1st Midland Brigade of the Army of Occupation, Germany, which 'B' Company won on July 30th 1919.  A concert party from Doncaster provided a splendid entertainment.

The strength of the Company is 120.
A report dated November 27th 1931 in the Mexborough and Swinton Times reads :-
Denaby 'Terriers'
Annual Prize Distribution
There was a large assembly of all ranks of the 'IV Company 5th K.O.Y.L.I. and their friends in the Drill Hall, Denaby Main, on Saturday.
Prizes were presented to the successful competitors by Colonel C.E. Royle D.S.O., of Ripon  Captain W.E. Bracewell, IT Company presided, and he was supported by:
Major A. Smith, Major L. Laidlaw,
Major H. Barker M.C., O.B.E., T.D., and
Adjutant A,D. Douglass, M.C.
After the presentation a concert was given by Mr. Fred Melburn's concert party.

The following is a list of prize-winners:

Musketry Competition
Substantive N.C.O.'s - 1. Corporal J.E. Jones

Subscription Cup
Other Ranks - 1  Private H. Moore, 2  Private F. Tedby,
3  Private H. Goddard and Private W. Meetied
Recruits - 1 Private C. Lawley
Bell Brothers' Cup
2 Private H. Regan, 3 Private G.A. Robson

Lewis Gun Competition.

Substantive N.C.O.'s - 1 Corporal H. Jones  Battie-Wrightson Cup Other Ranks - 1 Private G.E. Jones, 2 and 3 Private T. Hinchliffe,Corporal H. Andrews, and Lance Corporal A. Roebuck
all tiedMiniature RangeSubstantive N.C.O.'s

1 Corporal G. H. Jones Perry Cup2 Corporal F. Rockett
3 Sergeant J. RobinsOther Ranks - 1 Lance Corporal Evans and
Private E. Goodwin tied3 Private G. Botwood
Honorary Members -
1 Mr. T. Kelly  Cup
2 Mr. J. Shires
3 Mr. F. Bott
Annual Boxing.Heavy-weight Shield - Lance Corporal J. Evans
Rose Bowl - Private C. BotwoodRunner-up - Private G.H. SwiftConsolation - Lance Corporal W. BellinghamCatch-weight Cup - Private C. Oldfield and Private J. Elkes drew
Camp BoxingLance/Corporal Evans ( Cup )Middle-weight - Private G. Leighton  runner-up Private G.H. SwiftConsolation - Privates G. Cousins G. Elks, and H. WaltonWelter-weight Runner-up Private B. HamptonConsolation - Corporal G.E. Jones, Private C. BotwoodLight-weight Runner-up C. Oldfield
Tug-o-WarC.S.M. Brooks and 10 others
Platoon CupSergeant W.J. Robins, Sergeant Squires, and 25 others.
Best Section CupNo.3 Section, Corporal C.E. Jones and 6 men
Best Recruit CupPrivate G. Cousins

In the Conisbrough Notes of 26th August 1932 in the South Yorkshire Times appeared the following report:
Personal - After a stay of four years as instructor to '13' Company of the 5th Battalion K.O.Y.L.I. at Denaby, Sergeant Balcombe leaves in October for Tidworth to join the 1st Battalion.   Since he has been with the Denaby Territorials the standard of the detachment has been maintained at a high level and the company has been consistently the smartest in the battalion.
Sergeant Balcombe's place will be taken by Sergeant McGrath of the 1st Battalion, who arrives on 1st October.

A report dated December 1st 1933 appeared in the South Yorkshire Times, and reads:

5TH K.O.Y.L.I.
Denaby Company's Prize Night
Appeal To The Ladies
There was an ample array of prizes at the annual 'social' of 'EV Company,  5th  Territorial  Battalion King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, in the Drill Hall, Denaby Main.
For the first time ladies were invited to the meal which preceded the prize distribution, and there was a crowded hall.
Captain Bracewell, Officer Commanding the Company said they had had a successful year, having regard to the fact that last year there was no annual training.   The Company had more than held their own, they had won three of the Regimental trophies, they had sent two teams to fire in the West Riding competitions at Strensall and did well in the rifle and machine-gun contests.   They also had a successful weekend at the musketry camp where most of the improvement was shown in the Lewis Gun firing.
He welcomed the presence of lady friends of the members and honorary members.  It was important that the women should take an interest in the Company for if the men did not get any encouragement at home they were not likely to be very enthusiastic about their work.   In one practical detail the women could assist very much the care of uniforms and he suggested that they might be a little more critical of how their men turned out.
There was a rumour that they were to have an annual camp this year and at Scarborough. It would not be all holiday but Scarborough was a pleasant place to camp at.   He hoped the camp would be a means of stimulating recruiting at Denaby, he had been disappointed in the number of recruits obtained during the year.
He  welcomed Colonel Royle  who had come down to present the prizes.   He also mentioned that that was probably the last time they would have with them Captain Edwards  whose service with the Company was almost expired and whose influence had been very good.
Colonel Royle, Commanding Officer of the Battalion said he was very glad to be with '13' Company again and to see the ladies present.  They met under rather happier circumstances than last year, because the omission of the annual camp did a certain amount of harm.   He hoped that at next year's camp they would not only be the strongest battalion in the 49th Division  but would have nearly their full establishment.   All who had been to previous camps must have realised that the Battalion's standards in training and sport was as high as ever. He did not think they would be disappointed about going to camp next year.  He supported Captain Bracewell's appeal to the men and their women to look after their clothing.   Nothing that had happened during the past year could alter the fact that their service in the Territorial Army was worthwhile.
The Secretary for War the previous week said the Territorial Army was the only alternative to conscription in England.   He hoped every member of that Company would be proud of it. That they had reached a certain standard of efficiency meant some pretty hard work on somebody's part and he took that opportunity of paying tribute to Captain Bracewell and the Company officers for their loyal support.


The trophies presented were:
Regimental Cup for Best Platoon - Sergeant Robins  No. 5 won for theseventh consecutive year

Regimental Cup for Best Recruits Squad - Sergeant McGrath
Shooting Prizes
1 Sergeant Rocket
2 Sergeant Robins
3 C.Q.M.S. Squires

Other Ranks
1 Corporal Hinchliffe
2 Private Whitehead
3 Private PlantLance Corporal Attwell
Private Jevons equal

Lewis Gun
1 Corporal Thompson
2 Corporal Mulligan
and Corporal Jones equal

Other Ranks
1 Lance Corporal Attwell
2 Corporal Botwood
3 Privates Bradley
and Falkingham  equal

Best Recruit - Private Bradley


Best all round section at Camp - Corporal Evans  No. 2 section
Tug-of-War - C.S.M. Brook's team

Boxing
Heavyweight - Private L. Whitehead  runner-up Private G. Smith.
Middleweight - Private J. Elkes ; runner-up Private C. Botwood consolation
Private Oldfield
Featherweight - Private J. Hart
Cup to Captain of the Company boxing team presented to Private Oldfield.
     
Miniature Range

Honorary members
1 Mr. J. Kelly
2 Mr. 0. Houghton
3 Mr. R. Grice

Musketry medals won in All England Territorial competition were handed to:

Sergeant Jarvis
Corporal Monaghan
Sergeant Robins
C.Q.M.S. Squires and
Sergeant J. E. Jones

A vote of thanks to Colonel Royle was moved by Lieutenant Kinnear and seconded by Captain Kinaire.
On Saturday August 3rd 1934 `13' Company 5th Battalion K.O.Y.L.I. entrained at Conisbrough station for their annual two week camp, which was held at Scarborough that year.  The Denaby Company of the 5th Battalion K.O.Y.L.I. left Conisbrough Station on Sunday 2nd August 1935 for Beverley to attend their annual camp.   The party  was under the command of Captain W. F. Bracewell and Lieutenant Sykes.

The following report appeared in the South Yorkshire Times on November 1st 1935 and reads:

Denaby 'Terriers' Presentation Evening
Conisbrough and Denaby Territorials were warmly praised at the Drill Hall, Denaby, on Saturday, when, in the presence of a large number of officers Colonel St. Andrew Warde-Aldam, newly appointed Honorary Colonel of the Battalion, presented the prizes at the annual prize distribution of the `B' Company of the 5th K.O.Y.L.I.
Captain W.F. Bracewell  Doncaster, Officer Commanding the Company, who was presiding said that this was the sixth occasion on which he had had the opportunity of addressing them on the occasion of their annual prize distribution.   The people of Denaby should be extremely proud of their Territorials.   They had acquitted themselves well in the last twelve months.   They had been placed among the first ten in the National Small Bore Competition, in which 400 teams were competing, a very creditable feat.   Next year they were hoping to win.  In local circles they had also done well, winning four of six Battalion trophies.
The Company, continued Captain Bracewell, had managed to keep fairly well up to strength, but they were still anxious for young men to come forward, young men who were keen and who did not join simply because of what they could get out of it. They had been quite satisfied with the number of recruits who had come forward.
Referring to his impending departure from the command of the Company, Captain Bracewell said he wished to thank everyone for their support.   He had been with the Company 14 years  and he wanted to pay a tribute to Major Smith to whose foresight and energy the company owed so much.
He had to apologise for Major Smith's absence that night.   It was the first time he had missed a Denaby prize distribution and he could not pay too high a tribute to the work Major Smith had done at Denaby.
They were to have in command an officer whom they knew and whom they trusted.   They knew Mr. Kinnear and he felt convinced that with him as their Commanding Officer, `13' Company would go on from strength to strength.
Captain Bracewell said when in camp the Company had made only a poor show in sports. He did not know why it was that they had not many men who were athletically inclined. He hoped that the men would join and help the company in that respect.   A fortnight ago he went on a course of instruction to the Northern Command at York, as a result of which a corporal would have to be trained to instruct the Company in physical training.
This course of classes would be open to anyone who cared to join.   It was not a recruiting stunt but a definite opportunity for any young man in Denaby to improve himself physically. They were hoping to start the classes before the end of the year.
Colonel Warde-Aldam said he was proud to make his first appearance in their uniform.   He had always taken a great interest in the K.O.Y.L.I.   His home was in the centre of the district in which the K.O.Y.L.I. were recruited and he had fought alongside them.   In the last year of war, when he was in the 62nd  West Riding  Division he had as a neighbour Colonel Barker Doncaster  who was present that evening.
He congratulated 'IV Company.   It was particularly fine that the Battalion Cups they had won were for subjects which were important to soldiers.   The fact that they had won the cup for recruits not only reflected on the past, but promised well for the future.   He was also pleased they had won the cup for boxing as he attached great importance to boxing.
Colonel Warde-Aldam said he wanted to congratulate the men and women of Denaby as well as 'IV Companyon the way they supported their Territorials.   It was because they were so proud of their IV Company that their lads could be so proud of themselves and put up a very good show in the Territorial Army.
He wished the Company the best of luck  and advised them to keep up their numbers, their efficiency, and their heads.
Colonel R.G. Royle, whom Colonel Warde-Aldam succeeds as Battalion Commander proposed a vote of thanks to his successor and added that he was very grateful for all 'IV Company had done during the time he had been connected with the Battalion.
The prize-giving concluded with cheers for the three speakers.
The prize list was as follows:

Musketry Competition
Substantive N.C.O.'s - 1 Sergeant H. Jarvis - Subscription Cup
2 C.Q.M.S. Squires and Sergeant W.J. Robins drew

Other Ranks
Bell Brothers' Cup
1 Private Bond
2 Private Shakeshaft
3 Private Garside

Recruits
1 Private Lidster
2 Private Shelton
3 Private Timmins
Lewis Gun Competition
Substantive N.C.O.'s
1 Corporal Monaghan


Battie-Wrightson Cup 2 Sergeant West and Corporal West  drew
Other Ranks
Private R.J. Harris
2 Privates Bradley and Wigley drew

Miniature RangeSubstantive N.C.O.'s
Perry Cup 1 Sergeant J.E. Jones  2 Sergeant H. Jarvis
3 Sergeant J. Hinchliffe
Other Ranks
1 Private Bond
2 Private Shakeshaft
3 Private GarsideHonorary Members Cup
Honorary Members
1Mr. W. Redfern
2 Mr. S. Lawrence
3 Mr. J. Batty
Boxing
Heavyweight Shield - winner Lance  Corporal G. Swift  Middleweight Rose Bowl - winner J. Tierney  Welterweight - winner Lance Corporal C. BotwoodLightweight Heath and Smith Cup winner Private F. Dainty
Platoon Cup No.5 Platoon -Sergeant Robins and 26 others
Recruits Cup - Sergeant McGrath and 21 othersBest Section Cup - No.4 SectionBest Recruit of the Year Cup - Private LidsterBattalion Tug-of-War - C.S.M. Brooks and 10 others

The following article appeared in the South Yorkshire Times on March 12th 1937, and reads:-
K.O.Y.L.I. Prize List.
Presentations At Denaby.
Sergeant Off To Gibraltar.
Presentations of gifts to Sergeant and Mrs. McGrath who had been at the Denaby Drill Hall for the past four years were made last Friday evening at the annual distribution of prizes at the Drill Hall of `B' Company  Denaby Detachment  of the 5th K.O.Y.L.I., and tributes were paid to their excellent services during that time.
Sergeant McGrath, who is leaving shortly for Gibraltar to take the place of Sergeant Thomas Mercer, who has arrived at Denaby to relieve him, has been Resident Staff Instructor for 13' Company. Mrs. McGrath, who has been in charge of the club in connection with the Drill Hall, will follow shortly .   Captain H. Kinnear, presiding, said it was the first occasion on which he had had the pleasure of addressing the company as their company commander and he wanted to welcome them.  He understood that there were between five and six hundred people present. They were pleased to see Colonel Aubrey their new Brigade Commander, and it was saying a lot for his interest in the Battalion that he had time to come to Denaby to see them.  Captain Kinnear also welcomed Colonel St. Andrew Warde-Aldam, the Honorary Colonel of the Battalion, and Colonel A. Smith, the Battalion Commander. Both, said Captain Kinnear, had taken great interest in their work at Denaby, and he would remind them that Colonel Smith started the company. 13' Company had always been a good company, and he wanted to say they were very glad to have Colonel Smith present their prizes that evening.   Referring to the work at Denaby, Captain Kinnear said Sergeant McGrath had done a lot of good work at Denaby and he wished him the best of luck. Sergeant Robins had a record of having gained the platoon prize for eleven successive years. He had now been promoted to Company Sergeant-Major, and Sergeant Jones had taken over his job and Sergeant Jones had walked away with the competition this year.


Above Strength

The Company had always had a good strength but now they had had to stop recruiting because they were right up to strength and above.   If there were any slackers in the Company they should remember that there was a waiting list and that there were plenty of people waiting to take their places in the company if they did not keep up to scratch.
Colonel Smith also thanked Sergeant McGrath for his excellent work and welcomed Sergeant Mercer, the new Resident Staff Instructor.   Some of the boys who had joined 13' Company said Colonel Smith in the last four years would not realise the work their predecessors had put in when the company was formed.
In 1921 he was asked to form a Company at Denaby he was given no quarters and he had no personnel, but within twelve months they had one hundred and twenty-five members which made them the strongest company in the Battalion.
All the accommodation they had was a little hut they used to call Spion Kop.   It was situated at the top of the Crags and it was a stiff climb to get there but it had the advantage of keeping the Generals away.   He wanted to pay tribute to the members of the company in those days who used to have some rotten weather and the men used to have to make the climb, but they used to do their work and drills with the result that they made the Denaby Company what it was.
In 1924 the Drill Hall was opened and since that day the Company had been second to none in the Battalion.
He wanted the boys in the company to realise that in the Denaby Company they had joined a very good company with a great tradition.
In the last year he was in command of the Company they won the competition for the best platoon in the Battalion, the competition for the best recruiting company in the Battalion and won the boxing and football competitions and if there had been any other competitions they would, Colonel Smith said amid laughter, have won them.  He urged the boys in the Company to play the game and keep up the record of the Denaby Company.   As Territorials they had a great responsibility at the present time for the defence of the country and they should, therefore, make themselves as efficient as possible.  Last year the Queen visited the Battalion and she told him how pleased she was with the appearance of the Battalion.
A few weeks ago he received from Colonel Soal, the late Brigade Commander, a message in which he said that if he was going into a war he would like to have the 5th Battalion K.O.Y.L.I. with him.  That was a great tribute and he was looking forward to the future knowing that not one boy of the whole Battalion would let the Battalion down.
After Colonel Smith had presented the awards Mr. T. Guest, Secretary of the Honorary members of the Drill Hall club made the presentations of a handsome timepiece to Mrs. McGrath and a suitably inscribed cigarette case to Sergeant McGrath.


Posthumous Award.
Colonel Smith mentioned that Private D. Jones gained a Lewis Gun competition prize and an efficiency medal, but he had died since the annual camp and he would ask Colonel Warde-Aldam to present the awards to Private Jones' widow.
Mrs. Jones then came forward and was so moved that following the presentation she burst into tears.
Colonel Warde-Aldam congratulated Captain Kinnear on the start he had made as Company Commander.   It was apparent from the enthusiasm shown that night that Captain Kinnear had a got good hold of the Company and was going tokeep it the best company in the Battalion.
Last year, said Colonel Warde-Aldam, he appealed to the young lads and women of Denaby to make the Company as proficient as possible, and it was quite obvious that the lads and lasses had done their share.  He also wanted to congratulate them on the fact that they were over strength and that there was a tremendous desire on the part of the men to attend extra drills.  Colonel Aubrey, the new Brigade Commander, said that on re-organisation two Battalions of the K.O.Y.L.I. had been allocated to his brigade and he was very glad to receive them because he had spent all his experience in an infantry brigade.
During the evening an enjoyable time was spent dancing.

The prize list was as follows:
Musketry Competition
Substantive N.C.O.'s - 1 Sergeant J.E. Jones

Subscription Cup
2 Sergeant Hinchliffe
3 C.Q.M.S. Squires and Sergeant Jarvis tied
Other Ranks
Bell Brothers Cup
1 Private Scott
2 Lance Corporal Blakemore
3 Private G. Lidster
and
Private W. Whitehead  tied

Recruits
1 Private H. Humphries
2 Private F. Wood
3 Private R. Mannion

Lewis Gun Competitions
BattieWrightson Cup

Substantive N.C.O.'s
1 C. S. M. Robins and Corporal Botwood tied
2 Corporal Judge

Other Ranks

1 Lance Corporal Cooper
2 Private P. . Jones
3 Corporal W. Bradley

Miniature Range Competitions

Substantive N.C.O.'s
Perry Cup

1 Sergeant Hinchliffe
2 Sergeant Jarvis
3 Corporal Judge

other Ranks
1 Lance Corporal H. Botwood and Private L. Mason
2 Lance Corporal H. Workman
Lance Corporal H. Cooper and Private Careless tied


Honorary Members
Honorary Members' Cup
1 Mr. J. Badger
2 Mr. J. Batty
3 Mr. S. Lawrence

Best Platoon in the Battalion
Sergeant J.E. Jones and 28 others

Best Recruit of the Year Cup Award - Private Powell
Best Section in the Company
Cup Award - No.2 Section under Corporal Whitehead

Boxing Awards

Heavyweight  Shield Award - winner Corporal Swift
Middleweight  Rose Bowl - winner Corporal Botwood runner-up Corporal Whitehead
Welterweight - winner Lance Corporal Elkes
Heath and Smith Cup
Lightweight - winner Private OldfieldRunner-up Private Goodwin
Bantamweight - runner-up Private J. Harris

However Mrs. McGrath failed a medical examination and was unable to go to Gibraltar and she and her children found accommodation at the rear of Wray's Buildings until Sergeant McGrath's tour of duty was completed 18 months later when they were re-united at Strensall Barracks .
Large crowds gathered at Conisbrough station early on Sunday morning 30th July 1937 to watch the Denaby contingent 13 Company of the 5th K.O.Y.L.I. entrain for their annual camp at Redcar for a fortnight's training under canvas.   A total of one hundred and forty N.C.O.'s and men travelled under Sergeant Mercer the Resident Staff Instructor, supervision.
The following article appeared in the South Yorkshire Times on March 18th 1938, and reads:-
Denaby & Conisbrough K.O.Y.L.I.  Have No Recruiting Difficulties.
About two hundred people attended the annual prize istribution of B Company the Denaby and Conisbrough detachment of the 5th Battalion K.O.Y.L.I. at the Drill Hall, Denaby, on Friday when a desire was expressed by Colonel A. Smith of Doncaster that the company should be the strongest in the Battalion.    Colonel Smith presented the awards and the officers came on to Denaby after being entertained to dinner at Doncaster.   Captain H. Kinnear, Company Commander, said that the Company had done better this year and there was no difficulty in obtaining recruits because the Company was over strength.
Three of their men had managed to reach the Territorials boxing finals in London.
Presenting the awards Colonel Smith recalled the time when 13 Company was formed in 1922 and added that the 5th Battalion, with a strength of seven hundred was the strongest battalion in the regiment.
Colonel St. Andrew Warde-Aldam, Honorary Colonel of the Battalion also addressed the Company and dancing for which Sergeants H. Jarvis and J. E. Jones were M.C.'s followed.

Awards were as follows
Musketry Competitions
Subscription Cup
Substantive N.C.O.'s
1 C. Q. M. S. Squires
2 Corporal L. West
3 Lance Sergeant F. Monaghan
Other Ranks
Bell Brothers Cup
1 Private A. Goddard
2 Private A. Straw
3 Private J. Till

Recruits
1 Private C. Ball
2 Private W. Bellingham
3 Private J. Blackwell

Lewis Gun Competitions
Battie-Wrightson Cup
Substantive N.C.O.'s - 1 Sergeant G.H. Jones
and Corporal F. Judge  drew
3 Lance Sergeant F. Monaghan

Other Ranks - 1 Private F. Wood
2 Private J.W. Marsh
3 Private G. Jollands

Miniature Range Competitions
Perryman CupSubstantive N.C.O.'s 1. C. Q. M. S. Squires
and Sergeant G. H. Jones tied
3 Corporal L. West
Other Ranks
1 Private Stephenson
2 Private B. Hampton
3 Private J. Poppleton.
Honorary Members
1 Mr. J. Badger  Honorary Members Cup 2 Mr. S. Lawrence
3 Mr. G. Hinchliffe
Other AwardsBest Platoon in Battalion  Cup Winners - No. 5 Platoon
Sergeant Jones and 25 others
Best Recruits Platoon in Battalion  Cup Winners
Sergeant W. Hazel and 17 othersBest Section in Company  Cup Winners   No. 3 Section
Corporal F. Judge
Best Recruit of the Year  Cup Winner
Private A. Raynor
Boxing At Camp
Heavyweight Shield Winner - Corporal SwiftWelterweight runner-up  Rose Bowl - Lance Corporal ElksCatchweight Winner  Heath and Smith Cup - Private A. WrightRunner-up - Private J. RoseLightweight runner-up - Private J. TierneyFeatherweight runner-up  Private S. Griffin
On August 12th 1938  IV Company of the 5th K.O.Y.L.I. attended annual camp at Holyhead on the Island of Anglesey for two weeks annual training.
In the Conisbrough notes in the South Yorkshire Times of February 10th 1939 an article reads:
Honour - Contesting an eliminating bout in the K.O.Y.L.I. Amateur Boxing Championships at Leeds on Thursday, Sergeant C. Botwood, Denaby 'IV Company 5th Battalion was successful and qualified for the finals at the Albert Hall, London. Botwood has been successful in one other eliminating contest at Leeds and two further contests at Sheffield.
On Sunday February 10th 1939 a friendly rifle shooting contest took place at the Drill Hall of '13' Company K.O.Y.L.I. between teams from 'EY Company the Northcliffe Workingmen's Club, the Conisbrough British Legion branch, Cadeby Colliery Officials, and Denaby Colliery Officials.  During the competition some of the competitors were required to fire in service respirators to test their skill in wartime firing conditions and the results were remarkably good, despite the 'fogging' of the eyepiece.
Sergeant Hazel Staff Instructor of 'EV Company  was Range Master and the teams of seven shot over a 25 yard range with converted .22 rifles.
The competition results

1 IT Company - 376 points
2 Conisbrough British Legion - 357 points
3 Northcliffe Workingmen's Club - 319 points
                            4  Cadeby Colliery Officials - 317 points
                            5  Denaby Colliery Officials - 311 points

On March 24th 1939 an article in the South Yorkshire Times Read:
Boxing Fame For Denaby 'Terrier'  Fought In London Championships
Army boxing fame has been brought to Denaby by a 25 year old Denaby boxer, Lance Sergeant Clarence Botwood, a member of 'EV Company of the 5th Battalion K.O.Y.L.I., who this year, for his second successive year, gained the honour of appearing at the Army and Territorial Army Individual Boxing Championships and semi-finals at the Albert Hall, London.
The championships were held at the beginning of this month  and Botwood was this year the only representative of the Battalion.
An interesting feature of Botwood's promising career is that his first lessons in boxing were given him by his father, Mr. Horace Botwood, Barnsley Avenue, Conanby, who trained him with such success that he won the 5th Battalion K.O.Y.L.I. Rose Bowl, one of the most coveted awards, in 1931, when he was a light-weight. Botwood, who resides in Barnburgh Street, Denaby Main, and is a miner at Cadeby Main Colliery, received valuable experience at the annual Territorial camps he has attended from the time of his enlistment at the age of 18 and after winning many smaller awards - his home is well supplied with timepieces - he won the Brigade Championships at Sheffield as a middle-weight last year and followed up that success by winning the Divisional Championships at Halifax in the same year.   These victories earned him the right to appear for the first time at the Albert Hall annual contests last year, but he was narrowly defeated.
This year he again won the Brigade championship at Sheffield and Divisional championship at Leeds and at the Albert Hall this month he reached the semi-finals of the middle-weight championship but was defeated by a small points margin by Gunner R. Elliott of the 91st Field Brigade  London Regiment.
Botwood, who tips the scales at 10st. 6lbs. and three other boxers represented the 49th Division and were in front on points right up to the semi-finals but each boxer was unsuccessful at that stage.
On May 3rd 1939 a drive to obtain new volunteers for the 159th Battery L.A.A Regiment R.A.  T.A, took place.   The Battery was formerly known as `IV Company of the 5th Battalion K.O.Y.L.I.  Permission was granted for the formation of a second Battery at Denaby and of the additional compliment of one hundred and thirty-nine men required fifty have already enrolled.  The officers and Staff Instructor have only been awaiting new equipment to make a real drive towards achieving its new strength.  The equipment which consists of two of the latest 'Bofors' anti-aircraft guns, two tractors, two lorries and motorcycles arrived this week.   Hitherto training has been confined to one day per week, but in future two days will be allocated to practice on this new equipment.   The first important step will be the formation of two teams of which there are twelve to each battery.  Considerable excitement prevailed on Wednesday evening August 22" 1939, when six 2 inch ant-aircraft guns arrived in the district and were placed in Kilners Field near Conisbrough Station.  The guns are attached to the 159th (Denaby) T.A. Light Anti-Aircraft Battery and have been placed in the field which is owned by the Amalgamated Denaby Collieries Ltd.,  to meet any emergency; they will be constantly guarded.   A party consisting of Lieutenant Kinnear and thirteen other ranks are sleeping at the Drill Hall until further notice.
The 171st Battery, the second line of the 159th, who have been at camp since August 13th returned to the township on Wednesday evening, having been recalled from Cork-in-Cartmell, near Morecambe where they should have remained until Sunday.
Their arrival, and that of the guns was watched by hundreds of people.

1939
Their Role In World War Two

Notes taken from:A Short History of the 57th Light Anti-Aircraft RegimentRoyal Artilleryby Major J. P. Allen
The Drill Hall at Denaby Main was shared by 159 Battery of the 53rd Regiment and 171 Battery of the 57th Regiment L.A.A.  T.A. Royal Artillery and in June and the early part of July 1939 each battery in turn attended a weekend camp at Cantley Rifle Range on the outskirts of Doncaster.  Each battery paraded at full strength for these camps and most of the young officers and other ranks had their first experience of the joys of tents under the most adverse of weather conditions.
On the 13th August 1939 the 57th Regiment most of the men having been issued with uniforms only the previous evening, proceeded to the light anti aircraft practice camp at Flookburgh, near Cork-in-Cartmell with six equipments borrowed from the 53"I L.A.A. Regiment.  The training had just got into full swing and all batteries had some experience on the range firing however only their sub-calibre practice, when on 22" August, owing to the tension in international affairs, the Regiment was ordered to break camp and return to its headquarters at Doncaster.   Although the practice camp was cut short the firing practice and mobile training carried out proved of the greatest value when equipments and transports were eventually issued to the Regiment.
The Regiment was embodied on the 28th August, the Officers and other ranks at this time were drawn from the Doncaster District.   The men of 171 Battery were almost exclusively miners from Denaby and Cadeby Collieries and the rest of the Regiment also had a considerable number of miners.   It was generally appreciated from the outset that a very high proportion of the men were of a much superior category as regards physique and intelligence than could be expected in normal circumstances in peacetime; the motive in their enlistment being a keen sense of duty and determination to do an unaccustomed and unpleasant job to the best of their ability.   This undoubtedly was a considerable factor in the attaining of the exceptional reputation which the Regiment subsequently gained.
The following were the officers of 171 Battery upon mobilisation:

Major F.N. Corby-Hall
Captain F. Scudamore
Second Lieutenants
R. Casselles
G.A. Baylis
J.C. Hunt

The Regiment was accommodated in the Beechfield Secondary School, Doncaster, with the Officers at nearby Elmfield House and its operational role was to provide guards for the vital works and bridges around the town and surrounding area and to provide piquet's for the streets in the event expected heavy air attacks.  The men of the Denaby Battery moved into the school and the whole unit began to take shape.   The ground defence of the Aerodrome at Doncaster was allotted to the unit but consisted only of the provision of guards.   For the next two months training was entirely restricted to marching and rifle drills as no other equipment was available - even uniform was almost nonexistent.

At the end of November, 171 Battery with one troop of 170 Battery attached moved to Newcastle-upon-Tyne and the R.A.F. Group Headquarters at Kenton.
At the end of March 1940, 170 Battery relieved 171 Battery at Benwell Hill, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, but was subsequently relieved on the 27th April for the mobilisation of the Regiment still no equipment other than rifles  but lorries, guns and tractors began to arrive shortly after. On the 12th May the whole of the equipment and transport moved by road to St. Agnes under the command of Major Corby-Hall.   The fact that it was accomplished without a casualty and with vehicles taken over a matter of hours before the journey commenced and in some instances with drivers who would have been the first to admit that the description of inexperienced would have been complimentary to them was perhaps the first instance in the life of the Regiment of the spirit and determination to cope with any job to be tackled however strange or new the physical and mental ability of the men 'to put up a good show' and the 'wonderful team spirit' of all ranks which was to stand them in such good stead in their subsequent career.   The journey even involved going through Bristol on Whit-Saturday.
The Regiment on arriving at the anti-aircraft practice camp at St. Agnes entered upon intensive training for the role it would immediately have to under-take that of a Mobile L. A. A. Regiment a 'faster mover' in the Royal Regiment.
The Regiment remained at the St. Agnes practice camp until the 22nd May 1940  and underwent in addition to firing practice, intensive mobile training.
171 Battery sailed from Southampton on the evening of June 19th  for St. Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands on a small train ferry, re-embarked the following day and returned to Southampton and were deployed defending the Southampton area.
Embarkation orders were received early in March 1941 and the Regiment sailed from Glasgow aboard the Empress of Canada, calling at Freetown and Capetown before disembarking at Suez and moving to the Cairo area.
The Syrian Campaign opened on June 8th 1941 and 171 Battery took part in the initial breakthrough at Merdjaypoun and then advanced with the 5th Indian Brigade, 'G' troop of 171 Battery for a time was employed primarily in an anti-tank role.   The battery then advanced through Damascus and Nebek towards Horns and also along the Damascus-Beirut road up the Abana Gorge.  On October 13th 1941 the Regiment moved west and arrived at Wadi Halazin near Mersa Matru on October 24th and during the next three months fought in battles between Benghazi and Derna.  Ultimately the gun troops which constituted the Battery were split up into differing areas of the Desert War so it would be impossible to mention their exploits without writing a short history of the events, suffice to say that they fought with distinction in Syria, the Western Desert, in the Delta and Italy.

Officers in 171 Battery won 3 Military Crosses and 1 Mentioned in Dispatches.
Other Ranks won 1 Distinguished Conduct Medal, 12 Military Medals, and 4 Mentioned in Dispatches.



Roll of Honour
Died in Action or of Wounds
Syria  -  1
Western Desert  -  October 41 to August 1942  - 14
October 42 to May 1943  - 12
Italy  -  January 44 to October 1944 - 8
Greece  -  November 44 to January 1945 - 3
* * *


K.O.Y.L.I.
Another account of the exploits of members of 'B' Company 5th Battalion K.O.Y.L.I. who became part of 159 Battery Royal Artillery
The 159 Battery Royal Artillery of the K.O.Y.L.I. was formed on August 24th 1939. Although 159 Battery was to become a small cog in the wheel of the vast armies of World War Two together with 179 Battery it was amongst the first Territorial units to be mobilised and moved by road to meet any threat to the country's security in the possibility of a German air bombardment.  When the outbreak of war was officially declared the 159 Battery had just returned to Denaby from Norwich and took part in many Bofors Ack-Ack gun practices in the field adjoining Kilners Glassworks.
The 159 Battery based in Denaby Main and in France during 1939 -  1940  consisted of three troops, namely `G', 'H', and 'I', but when in North Africa it consisted of 4 troops 'A', 'B', 'C', and 'D'.
G Troop was commanded by Second-Lieutenant Douglas Middleton Walker, whose father was secretary and General Manager of the Conisbrough Cliff Company Quarry, later becoming Major Commanding 159 Battery in Sicily and Italy.
G Troop was commanded by Second-Lieutenant Max Davies, Doncaster.  G Troop was commanded by Second-Lieutenant Anthony Barber from Doncaster, who during the evacuation from the beaches at Dunkirk was rescued in a tiny boat with others from his troop.  Landed in France at Cherbourg on September 30th 1939, moved in convoy to defensive positions around Lille and later into Belgium, then withdrawal to the beaches at Dunkirk where the gunners and their commanders were among the last to leave destroying their guns and ammunition before they left.   Landing in ports all over the south-east coast, eventually re-forming at Lenhale, Cornwall, and moving by troop train to Dorset.  Then deployed around the country to various defensive positions.  Sailed from Liverpool May 1942 for Egypt, calling at Durban, South Africa, and fought in the battle of Alam Halfa against Rommel's Afrika Korps. In September 1942.   Offensive at El Alamein in October 1942 went on for twelve days, fought with distinction during the battles in the Western Desert at places like Tobruk,  Mersa Matru and Benghazi.  On up to Tripoli in January 1943, then into Tunisia with the final defeat of the Germans in North Africa in May 1943.
Went by sea to Alexandria and given the responsibility for defence of the

At 10 p.m., a message was sent by General Montgomery to General Leclerc at Khsar Rhelne simply say 'well done'. Winston Churchill records the event in his work on the Second World War (Vol. 8) as on March 10th, General Leclerc's troops were severely attacked by a mixed for of armoured cars and artillery, supported by our action the French stood firm and helped by the R.A.F. drove off the enemy with considerably less."
On March 12th 1943, the 159 Battery ( Denaby ) Commander, Major Alistair Wylie, lunched with General Leclerc, and the General issued an order-of-the-day thanking everyone.  He indicated that a major battle honour was due for 159 Battery Denaby.
This was Rommel's last battle action in North Africa.
A Tale Of Heroes.

2000 - Millennium Year
A Denaby Main war hero is hoping to publish an account of his wartime exploits.   Herbert Knight, of Graganour Place, Denaby took part in a crucial battle which saved the Free French Army from Rommel's Panzer divisions in March 1943.
Herbert, now 82, was a Lance Sergeant with 159 Battery enaby 53rd Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, which played a vital part in the Allies North-African Campaign, and thanks to Herbert, who was just 21 when he went off to war in 1939, the movements of 159 Battery were recorded for posterity.   He wrote a personal diary detailing the movements and battles 159 Battery faced while in the desert.
The original copy of the diary was presented to Doncaster Museum in 1995, but now Herbert is looking to publish the only accurate account of 159 Battery  Denaby wartime exploits.


World War Two Veteran Herbert Knight With A Copy Of His Diary and Herbert Knight  at a Training Camp just before the start of World War Two in 1939.