THE COMING OF THE SOLDIERS
SOME FINE SPECIMENS OF SCOTCH MANHOOD
About three hundred Scotch soldiers, comprising the A, B, and C Squadrons of Lord Lovatt’s Scouts, arrived at Skegness last Wednesday evening. The Battalion, which had been quartered at Grimsby for a few days, commenced the road journey of between 40 and 50 miles, in the early morning, and the Squadrons were distributed at various places en route along the coast, Skegness being the final objective.
A number of horses, with a large amount of luggage arrived by an afternoon train, but the interest displayed in these was as nothing compared to that engendered by the arrival of the ” roadsters.” As early as half-past six people had begun to congregate at the best point of vantage—the Ship Hotel corner — and the number swelled considerably as time went on. The damp, cold weather conditions rendered the period of waiting very tedious, but the majority stamped their feet, talked ”war,” and stuck it. The usual ” false alarms ” were raised at intervals, and one of these was not without its humorous side. A rumbling noise in the near distance was heard, and with a shout of ” Here they come!” the crowd instantly closed up in a solid mass along the roadway, and peered expectantly into the gloom of Burgh Road. A moment’s wait and there emerged into the shaft of light – a local farmer’s waggon filled with hay I ” Now, then! ” shouted the rude driver-man, ” d’you all want running owes?” Followed- a wild stampede, much laughter, and, as Pepys would say, “and so back to war topics.”
About 9.30 the drone of the bagpipes was heard, and a few moments later the Scouts came into view. Riding or leading their tough-looking, shaggy-haired little ponies (the majority of which still stepped out gamely despite their long journey), the “braw Scotch laddies in their khaki uniforms surmounted by Glengarry caps, their rugged faces shining like rosy – cheeked apples in the lamplight, filed through the line of watchers to their respective billeting quarters—the Skating Rink and the Baptist Schoolroom—from which the savoury smell of “hot-pot” soon arose on the night air. Pending suitable stabling accommodation being secured the horses were ” pegged out ” in various fields and paddocks near by.
The, magnificent physique and healthy looking appearance of the men—all of whom hail from the Highlands of Bonnie Scotland—was the subject of universal admiration and flattering comment. Lord Lovatt, who visited Skegness on the following day, may well be proud of the fine body of men who have taken service under him. ” If we’d twenty thousand of them here I would give over worrying about the Germans landing,” was the comment of a local old lady whose, nerves have been terribly unstrung through ” invasion ” rumours. And many others doubtless share her sentiments.
The C Squadron left the town on Thursday noon to take up duties elsewhere along the coast. The remainder of the men, at the time of writing, are billeted in the old portion of the Sea View Hotel, the Vine Hotel, and the Nottm. Poor Boys’ Camp, and stabling has been secured for the whole of the horses. The Scouts are busily engaged each day, commencing duty at a very early hour.
Source: Skegness News 25th November 1914
Note: The Ship Hotel referred to in the article would have been the old inn, situated on the north-west corner of the Roman Bank/Burgh Road junction.
Note: King’s Hall is Scarbrough Avenue Baths.