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Museum of the Manchester Regiment


The 4th Battalion (1900-1906)

Raised on the same date as the Third, the Fourth Battalion Manchester Regiment came into existence at Aldershot, and for a short time Lieutenant-Colonel Gethin remained in charge of both, but on the 1 May 1900 Lieutenant-Colonel L. L. Steele was brought in from the Wiltshire Regiment to command the 4th Battalion. The summer of this year was passed at Aldershot, and then on the 4 and 5 December the battalion left by rail in two parties and proceeded to Portland, taking over quarters in the Citadel. During its brief existence the 4th Battalion seems to have been regarded by the authorities purely as a draft-producing unit, and from first to last it gave no fewer than 32 officers and 1,726 non-commissioned officers and men to other corps, mainly of course to the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the Regiment.

On the 6 May 1901, 1 officer and 44 other ranks of the 4th Battalion embarked for South Africa with No. 2 Composite Company, Mounted Infantry; and when in July the battalion moved from Portland to Kinsale in relief of the 3rd Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment, it contained 12 officers, 2 warrant officers, and 370 non-commissioned officers and men. At the end of this year the calls for drafts began to be very insistent, and during the next five years the response was as follows:

9 November 1901. Officers, 0; other ranks, 103 to 1st and 2nd Batts
27 July 1902 Officers 1 other ranks 63 to 3rd Battalion
15 December 1902 Officers 1 other ranks 103 to 3rd Bn
7 January 1903 Officers 1 other ranks 154 to 3rd Bn
7 February 1903 Officers 1 other ranks 185 to 3rd Bn
7 February 1903 Officers 1 other ranks 70 to 1st Bn
3 March 1904 Officers 2 other ranks 166 to 1st Bn
23 December 1904 Officers 0 other ranks 114 to 3rd Bn
1 March 1905 Officers 0 other ranks 9 to 1st Bn
2 June 1905 Officers 0 other ranks 7 to 3rd Bn
14 October 1905 Officers 0 other ranks 101 to 3rd Bn
8 December 1905 Officers 0 other ranks 60 to 1st Bn
28 February 1906 Officers 0 other ranks 40 to 1st Bn
16 March 1906 Officers 1 other ranks 62 to 3rd Bn
7 November 1906 Officers 0 other ranks 50 to 1st Bn

Of the 4th Battalion officers who served in the South African War, Captains Terry, Toogood, and Crichton and Second Lieutenant Wickham were mentioned in dispatches; Captain Terry was promoted to a brevet majority. On the 4 February 1902 headquarters and four companies moved from Kinsale to Cork, and here on the 31 July 1903 H.R.H. Field-Marshal the Duke of Connaught presented its first Colours to the battalion, while on the day following the battalion assisted to line the streets on the occasion of His Majesty the King’s first visit to Cork since his accession. Lieutenant-Colonel Steele’s four years in command came to an end 1904 on the 24 February 1904, when he was succeeded by Lieutenant-Colonel C. C. Melvill.

On the 20 October 1905 the 4th Battalion, strength, 23 officers, 2 warrant officers, 527 other ranks, 50 women and 99 children left Ireland for Aldershot, and on arrival there was quartered in Corunna Barracks.

In the following year the order for disbandment was published, and the 4th Battalion was thereupon thus disposed of: To the 1st Battalion in India, 50 privates. To the 2nd Battalion in Guernsey, 23 officers and 311 other ranks. To the Depot, 16 non-commissioned officers and men. To other Corps, 18 non-commissioned officers and men. The Colours of both the 3rd and 4th Battalions of the Manchester Regiment are now in the Town Hall, Manchester.