4th (Extra Reserve) Bn The East Surrey Regiment
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The 4th (Extra Reserve) Battalion East Surrey Regiment was raised in 1852 on the 3rd Royal Surrey Militia. (A battalion of the same name had been raised in 1798 but disbanded in the following year). The battalion served in South Africa in 1902, mainly on garrison and blockhouse duties in the Sterkstroom district but took part in the attack on the Boer position at Steinkop on 28th April.
On returning to England it was granted the distinction of “South Africa 1902”. It was at Kingston-upon-Thames on annual training when on 3rd August 1914, it received orders to mobilize. Within a few days it was made known that Reserve Battalions would not be sent overseas as complete units, but would be employed on garrison duty in the United Kingdom and to supply drafts to the line battalions in the field. Fulfilling these functions, the battalion served in Plymouth and Saltash and later, in 1917 at Felixstowe where it took over the Harwich Defences. During the first twelve months of the war the Battalion sent drafts of 34 officers overseas of whom 12 had been killed and 3 wounded by 4th August 1915. 1,131 other ranks had been similarly drafted and by the end of the war this number had swollen to 4,732. Demobilisation commenced on 9th November 1918, and continued until completion in 1919.
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