The Day They Marched Away

Notice is hereby given by their Lordships that all Naval and Marine pensioners under the age of 55 and all men of the Royal Fleet Reserve and Royal Naval Reserve, are to proceed forthwith to the ship or establishment already notified them.......’

Admiralty proclamation, 9pm 2nd August 1914

On the 3rd August 1914, fishermen from Beer who were members of the Royal Naval Reserve were called up for full-time service with the Royal Navy.  They marched along the main street, led by the village band, with most of the remaining residents of Beer looking on, and then made their way to Seaton, from where they took a train to Plymouth. 

An unknown photographer recorded the occasion in a series of remarkable photos which also captured the call-up a little later of local men in the 4th Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment, a unit of the Territorial Force.

The photos originally belonged to Norman Aplin, one of the RNR men from Beer who marched away that day, and were kindly loaned to the Beer 2014 Group by his grandson, John Aplin.