The 1/ 4th and 1/ 5th (Territorial) Battalions of the (Queen’s Own) Royal West Kent Regiment were intended for service in Britain and were not required to take up service abroad (until Conscription in 1916) unless they volunteered for foreign service.
In August 1914 all the officers and most of the men of these battalions did volunteer. However, to their surprise they were not headed, for the trenches, with the mud and slaughter of the Western Front or the horrors of Gallipoli. Instead, they headed south to the heat, monsoon rains, insects, snakes, and diseases of India (only about 100 men died). These battalions (and many other foreign service battalions) were sent to India to release the Indian Army for active service on the Western Front. The 4th battalion went to Jubbulpore and the 5th to Jhansi, the hottest stations in India.
Some of the men were great letter writers and many of these letters were printed in The Bromley Times. In this BLOG I will let the men tell their own story – in the order they were published.