D Coy, 4th KSLI leaving Ironbridge.
At the outbreak of war the first soldiers to be mobilised were members of the Regulars – full time soldiers, and Special Reserve and Territorial Battalions made up of part time soldiers. This photograph shows D Company, 4th Battalion, Kings Shropshire Light Infantry which consisted of Territorials from the Ironbridge area. These men were mobilised on the 5th August 1914, but were not sent to Germany as the caption suggests. Instead they were sent to India and the Far East where they replaced Regular soldiers who had been dispatched to the Western Front.
The Wellington Journal reported tearful scenes at their departure. “The town on Wednesday morning presented quite an animated appearance on the occasion of the local Territorials awaiting orders in the Market Square to entrain. The streets were thronged with people discussing the war. Within a short period, nearly 40 recruits were enrolled. A great multitude assembled on the old bridge, and at its approaches, and cheered the men as they marched to the railway station, and as the train steamed out of town for Shrewsbury, shouts of “God [sic] luck” rent the air whilst women and girls wept.”