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Artists' Rifles Notes on Training (1915)

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NOTES ON
TRAINING

ARTISTS' RIFLES

ARTISTS RIFLES, 1915
Privately printed at the Wessex Press, Taunton

'This book has been made up by extracts from “Notes from the Front”, “Trench Warfare”, and other official publications, and from notes taken at the Machine-Gun, Bombing, and Cadet Schools in Flanders. It is for use in the Artists’ Rifles School of Instruction, is the property of the Artists’ Rifles, and has been loaned to…..2/Lt C. A. G. C. Keeson'….on the honourable understanding that he shall not part with it or permit any extracts to be made from it.'

An extremely rare, original WW1 Artists’ Rifles officers training manual. Undated, but produced soon after the start of the war, early in 1915. The book is signed on the front endpaper by 2/Lt C. A. G. C. Keeson.

Captain Cuthbert Alfred Garnet Cuthbert Keeson M.C. was commssioned as a 2/Lt in February 1915, before going on to serve with the 9th Battalion of the London Regiment. He went out to France in April 1917, was promoted to Captain, and was awarded the Military Cross in September 1918 'for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. His M.C. citation stated that'This officer led his company to the final objective with great dash, and although his left flank was exposed and the enemy behind him, he quickly grasped the situation and taking command of all the troops in the area, he consolidated and held the position. By the decisive manner in which he handled his men he was responsible for the capture of fifty prisoners and some machine guns. His clear and accurate reports on the situation were of great value. Captain Keeson was wounded in action near Amiens near the end of the war and was evacuated to England where he recuperated in Brighton. After the war he continued to serve in the army and was commanding officer of the Queen Victoria Rifles from 1934-1938. During WW2 Keeson served on the Staff as a Brigade Major for the 71st Infantry Brigade. He ended his career as a Lt-Colonel and died in 1968.

Notes on Training covers a wide range of subjects which would have formed an essential part of the training of a junior officer in 1915-16. These include: enemy tactics, trenches, rifles, bayonets, artillery, attack and defence, communication, intelligence, supplies, marching, kit, reconnaissance, defensive positions, sniping, bombing, loopholes, German field defences, machine gun tactics, machine gun posts, and general information on machine gun warfare. The book is very well illustrated with sketch maps, diagrams, and line drawings, including weapons, trenches, defensive positions, loopholes, and machine gun posts.


The Artists Rifles: Before WW1 the Artists Rifles was one of 26 volunteer battalions in the London and Middlesex areas that combined to form the new London Regiment. It became the 28th (County of London) Battalion of The London Regiment on 1 April 1908. The Artists Rifles was a popular unit for volunteers. It had been increased to twelve companies in 1900 and was formed into three sub-battalions in 1914, and recruitment was eventually restricted by recommendation from existing members of the battalion. It particularly attracted recruits from public schools and universities. After the outbreak of the First World War, enlisted members of The Artists Rifles were often selected to be officers in other units of the 7th Division. This exercise was so successful that, early in 1915, selected Artists officers and NCOs were transferred to run a separate Officers Training Corps, in which the war poet Wilfred Owen trained before his posting to the Manchester Regiment. Over fifteen thousand men passed through the battalion during the war, more than ten thousand of them becoming officers. The battalion eventually saw action in France in 1917 and 1918. Casualties suffered by both members of this battalion and amongst officers who had trained with The Artists Rifles before being posted to other regiments were 2,003 killed, 3,250 wounded, 533 missing and 286 prisoners of war. Ex-Members of the Regiment won eight Victoria Crosses (though none did so while serving with the Regiment), fifty-six DSOs and over a thousand other awards for gallantry.


Condition:

In very good condition. The boards are in very good condition, with minor signs of use and a couple of small marks. The binding and hinges are very good and secure. The text and illustrations are in very good condition. The book is signed on the title page by ‘2/Lt C. A. G. C. Keeson’. There is also a decorative personal bookplate of C. A. G. Cuthbert Keeson on the front endpapers.

Published: 1915
Grey boards with black titling
Illustrated with line drawings and diagrams
Dimensions: 185mm x 240mm
Pages: 176