Mobilization and New Auxiliaries
The international situation deteriorated as July progressed. The decision by Admiral Prince Louis of Battenberg, First Sea Lord, on 26 July 1914 to reinstitute what had been a test mobilization rather than the usual annual naval manoeuvres, meant that the fleet was at its war stations by 31 July. The War Office, too, was preparing for what seemed the inevitable and on 28 July ordered Special Service Sections of Territorial Force units to proceed to their Precautionary Period stations on the coast.1 Forty-five men of the 8/Essex patrolled the coast near Harwich and thirty men of the Northern Cyclist Battalion watched the Tyne estuary. When they arrived at their designated positions, cyclists of the 25/London discovered many of the coastguard stations near Rye were already deserted; their naval personnel had already gone to man the naval war signal stations or were still with the fleet for the test mobilization.2 The Special Service Section of the 4/Buffs moved to their positions at Thanet wireless station and the cable landing point at Dumpton Gap and 102 men of the 4/Duke of Wellingtons arrived at Grimsby docks.3 By 2 August, Ipswich wireless station was guarded by a section of the 1/Cambridgeshire and, by the same date, 120 men of the 7/Black Watch were already at their position in Kinghorn Fort. A much larger number of their comrades in the 5/Black Watch had been manning sections of the Tay defences since Tuesday 28 July.4
KeywordsExplosive Drilling Sewage Hull Tral
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