Sidcup 1902 - Latimer 1903

The annual camp was an important training activity for all British army regiments especially the volunteers.  A fortnight under canvas annually was supplemented for the King’s Colonials by intermediate trainings at Easter and Whitsuntide holidays which became annual features from 1904.  The first annual camp of the newly formed King’s Colonials was held at Sidcup in Kent from 14th to 29th June 1902.  The Regiment in camp totaled fourteen Officers and 201 Other Ranks with a strong Squadron released under the command of the Adjutant for the Coronation Review. Figure 40 is a photograph taken from that first annual camp of the Quarter Guard being mounted by several Troopers of the Australasian Squadron.

Figure 40:  Annual camp in Sidcup, Kent in June 1902.  

The photograph in Figure 41 shows some of the attendees of the Sidcup camp. Privates Foster (four possibilities from KEH Nominal Roll but with 202 Other Ranks enrolled by 1903 it is unlikely to be any of these as the Regimental number s are all higher - 603, 652, 731 and 1373), Henry S. Cubit, 32 (enlisted 4/01/1902) and Price (possibly Elias W. Price, 415) with Herbert MacIntosh (standing). Private Herbert MacIntosh was from New Zealand (note the New Zealand flag proudly displayed on their tent) and went on to be a Squadron Quarter Master Serjeant and his photograph appears as Figure 99 with his uniform depicted in Figures 97-98, 100-105.

Figure 41: Annual camp at Latimer Park in Chesham, Buckinghamshire in 1903. 

In 1903, the annual camp was held at Latimer Camp in Chesham, Buckinghamshire in August of that year under the encouraging and watchful eye of the land holder, Lord Chesham. Unlike some irregularities with the previous camp the Latimer Park experience was very soldierly. The camp was attended by eighteen Officers and 202 Other Ranks illustrating its humble beginnings. The band didn't attend the opening of the camp due to a dispute over pay and under Band Master Ambrose Hulley all sixteen members were absentees. This became a police matter and all eventually joined the camp.

The annual camps were great training opportunities for marching, parading and horsemanship.

Figure 42: Captain Robert R. Thompson (an Australian who had served as a Sergeant in the 4th Dragoon Guards and Adjutant of the 1st (Volunteer) Australian Horse) and Squadron Sergeant Major Ernest S. Wells (who had served as Regimental Sergeant Major in the 4th Hussars and was promoted to Regimental Sergeant Major in the later King Edward’s Horse in 1911) passing and inspecting recruits at Latimer Camp in 1903.