London history over 2000 years
[Much of the detail here are excerpts from the text of "The regimental roll
of honour and war record of the Artists' Rifles (1/28th, 2/28th and 3/28th
battalions, the London Regiment T. F.) Commissions, promotions, appointments and
rewards for service in the field obtained by members of the corps since 4th
August, 1914" ]
THE SECOND BATTALION.
Prior to the departure of the original Battalion overseas, a second (Reserve) Battalion, distinguished as "2/28th London," had been raised under the command of Col. Horsley, the late Commanding Officer of the Artists, who was assisted by Officers transferred from the First Battalion (l/28th) or promoted from the ranks. Enrolment started on the 31st August, 1914, and within a week 5,000 would-be recruits had applied for admission, 'Varsity Blues, rowing men and athletes of every description, mostly without any previous military training. Uniforms and arms were for a time unobtainable, but soon every one of the 1,000 selected recruits had succeeded in purchasing a khaki outfit at ruinous prices, from somewhere, and presently the authorities unearthed a large supply of ancient Martini-Henry carbines. The sole equipment then provided was a regulation water-bottle for each man but with no means of attaching the same to the person of the soldier. Mufti overcoats were worn en banderole and rations were carried in neat brown paper packets tied on to waist-belts of every hue and shape.
After three or four months recruit training with only 50 modern rifles available, interspersed with daily journeys into Kent of strong working parties to assist in the construction of "the last ditch," the Battalion was properly equipped and armed and moved to Roehampton, thence to camp in Richmond Park where they also initiated a valuable machine gun school.
Like many similar units this Reserve Battalion was eventually drained dry in supplying drafts to its 1st Battalion overseas. It also furnished Officers for the New Armies and some other Territorial Units. Col. Horsley was then appointed to the command of the 104th Provisional Battalion for Home Defence, stationed at the Tower of London, and eventually finished up his 42 years service in the Artists by proceeding overseas to a Staff appointment as Area Commandant at Englebelmer in France
London pub history directory.