Hull Pals Toughing it Out
And you thought you were cold!
9 January 1918, “a soldier of the 12th Battalion [aka Hull Sportsmen, or 3rd Hull Pals], East Yorkshire Regiment, on sentry duty on the firestep of a snow-covered trench in the Arleux sector near Roclincourt, France.”
Part of Kitchener’s Pals Battalions of the “New Armies,” the Hull Sportsmen picked up its nickname easy enough as it was originally a service battalion formed at Hull on 2 September 1914– during the Battle of the Marne– by Lord Nunburnholme and the East Riding TF Association. Also known as the Hull Tradesmen’s Battalion, it joined the 10th Battalion, East Yorkshire under orders of 92nd Brigade, 31st Division, and shipped out for Egypt in late 1915, just missing the joy that was Gallipoli.
More needed on the Western Front than in the push against the Ottomans in Palestine, it moved to France in March 1916 and took part in the butchery that was the Somme followed by the Arras Offensive in 1917.
Suffering extremely heavy casualties, the Hull Sportsmen were disbanded on 8 February 1918, roughly a month after the above image was snapped. Its survivors who could still serve were folded into other units as replacements while those that couldn’t were sent back home.