4th Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment

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An informal photograph of soldiers of the South Staffordshire Regiment with local Militia members and a sailor
Wounded officers of the South Staffordshire Regiment convalescing in Jersey in 1915

The 4th Batallion South Staffordshire Regiment was mobilised as a reserve unit in 1914 on the outbreak of the Great War and sent to Jersey to replace the 1st Battalion Devonshire Regiment. They remained until 1916.

The Batallion was stationed at St Peter's Barracks and its function was to train and prepare the men who had joined for service at the front.

One incident during this time is recorded in the London Gazette of 19 May 1916:

Whitehall 16 May 1916
The King has been pleased to award the Decoration of the Albert Medal of the Second Class to Lieutenant Charles Edward Cox Bartlett, South Staffordshire Regiment, in recognition of his gallantry in saving life at St Peter’s Barracks, Jersey, in February last:-
On the 22nd February, 1916, at St Peter’s Barracks, Jersey, one of the men under instruction at a bombing class, of which Lieutenant Bartlett was in charge, was practising with a catapult bomb thrower, and had removed the safety pin from a bomb, holding back the lever with his finger. In placing the bomb in the sling he dropped it, and, in a fright, ran backwards, colliding with Lieutenant Bartlett, who had started to pick up the bomb. Lieutenant Bartlett, however, succeeded in reaching the bomb in time to throw it over the parapet into the air, where it exploded harmlessly. The bomb was timed to explode five seconds after the lever was released. This Officer has already been awarded the Military Cross.

A fortnight earlier another South Staffordshire officer, 2nd Lt Gerald Alexander Dutton, was killed by a bomb explosion.

In March 1915 100 men from the batallion were sent from Jersey as reinforcements to the 2nd Battalion of the Regiment in France. Some who were wounded in Battle were returned to Jersey to convalesce later in the year.

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