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A History of Horncastle by James Conway Walter

Has at its head the name of Henry Francis Conington


[Picture: The Stanch]

The Muster Roll, which is still preserved, of the corps then formed, and designated the "G Company of the 1st Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment of Volunteers," has at its head the name of Henry Francis Conington, as Captain, March 9th, 1860, with Richard W. Clitherow and Robert Jalland, as officers under him, at the same date; then follows a long list of non-commissioned officers and privates, numbering, in the course of a few years, more than 2,000 names. Captain Conington, promoted Major in 1870, was succeeded in due course, on his going abroad, by Captain, afterwards Major, Robert Clifton Armstrong, who had begun service as Sergeant, and then Lieutenant; having under him, as Lieutenants, Messrs. W. Jeffery and W. S. Clitherow, who were succeeded by Richard W. Clitherow and Robert C. Isle; with Dr. Hugh George as surgeon.

Mr. Arthur Ellwood, of Mareham-le-Fen, who had joined the corps in 1865, succeeded to the command in 1891, with Dr. Keogh, of Coningsby, and F. S. Dymoke, Esq., as Lieutenants, Dr. Hugh George still acting as Surgeon; Ellwood was promoted as Captain in 1891, succeeded to the Colonelcy of the head-quarters staff in 1894, and is now Hon. Colonel of the Battalion, entitled to wear the regimental uniform.

In 1894 Mr. H. Tweed succeeded to the command as Captain, with Messrs. T. Levett and Granville Sharpe

acting as Lieutenants (Mr. F. W. S. Heywood, of Holbeach Hall, being temporarily attached). In 1899 Granville Sharpe succeeded to the command, but his health failing, he resigned after a year's service. He was succeeded in 1900 by Dr. J. W. Jessop as Captain, who had joined in 1895, and was in 1906 promoted Major of the Battalion; A. A. Ellwood becoming Lieutenant. Dr. Herbert A. Howes, who had joined in 1900, succeeded in 1906 to the command, which he still holds, 1908.

Senior officers in command of the Battalion have been Col. Amcotts (deceased), Col. Seddon (deceased), Col. Preston (deceased), Col. J. G. Williams of Lincoln, and at present Col. J. Ruston of Lincoln. Clergy who have served as Chaplains have been Revs. S. Lodge; C. Reginald Blathwayt, Vicar of West Ashby; A. Scrivenor, Vicar of Horncastle; H. Benwell; and at the present time (1908) Paul O. Ashby, Incumbent of Revesby.

Among those who have done good service in the corps, we should mention the first Drill Sergeant Beeton, who had previously served in the 22nd Regiment of the Line (the Old Cheshire), and afterwards in the South Lincolnshire Militia, as Colour Sergeant. He drilled the corps during about 20 years; dying in Horncastle, after about 40 years service. He was followed by Sergt. Major Bartlett; then by Sergeant Doggett, who had been Colour Sergeant in the 1st Royal Sussex, and previously to that in the 2nd Battalion of the North Staffordshire Regiment (the old 98th). He still resides in Horncastle. In later years the post has been held by Sergeants Towne, Ashley and Bamber.

As to the buildings connected with the volunteers, their history is briefly this: In the early years of the corps' existence drill was carried on in the Corn Exchange. After a time the building adjoining the north-east corner of the Wong, which had been a British School, was secured; and this, after structural renovation, was used for several years as the head-quarters. It is now in the occupation of Messrs. Danby and Cheseldine, Coach Builders; as in 1901 a new site was obtained at the south-east corner of the Wong, and here on the 13th day of June in that year the foundation stone of the present Drill Hall was laid, with much ceremony, by the Earl of Yarborough, supported by other public functionaries. We here give, in full, the official programme of the proceedings, which may be worthy of preservation, in memory of this important occasion.


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