Funny Goings On in Leicestershire
Or it’s a Very British Civil War in the Heart of the Country
|Map of Leicestershire & Rutland|
A left leaning city dominated by the Shoe and Boot industry and fabrics. Following the Trade Unions in the city, most areas formed local militias usually centred around a factory or industry or around a local person or area. Most of these militias had a tendency to lend left and as the city governing council supported the left, socialist view so did most of the militias.
These militias and defence groups ranged from large formations of a couple of hundred men or a group of factory workers, usually for the same union grouped together to form companies and battalions to small local militia and LDV of tens and twenty centred around a part of the city. The city council has tried and some would say failed to organise these into local defence companies to protect areas and wards of the city, but most tend to be independence of each other with the own independence command and supplies.
The quality of these ranges again from green troops with little in the way of weaponry and equipment to well trained and equipped units. The quality of the leadership and command of these units also ranges for poor, armatures with very little or no experience of warfare to well trained veterans or union leaders with experience of both organising men and of warfare. Added to this is the plan that the city has put in place to use the local Regiment, mainly TA, to help train these militias to a standard where they could at least drill and follow simple orders and battle plans.
The city is lucky enough to have some professional soldiers, TA and Yeomanry unit’s stations in the centre. The Leicestershire “The Tiger” headquarters were at the City’s Magazine and surrounding barrack buildings. Also there is another Barrack at the Drill Hall in Loughborough. However the Depot for the regiment was in South Wigson at Glen Parva Barrack and this part of the city and surrounding area stood for the King and Parliament. This meant that the regiment was split between the socialist in the city and Kings/Royalists to the south. The regiment itself tries to keep out of the conflict that was developing, but this was not easy, specialist after the units in the city started helping with training of the city’s militias.
The territorial units were mainly barracked within the city too at the new barracks on Ulvertoft Road. These TAs were the backbone of the city’s defence in the absence of the regular forces reluctance. A number of the officers and other ranks seem to be regulars who have “left” the regiment and joined up with them, being much needed training, support and equipment. This is not to say that all the TAs units fight for the city and the socialists as with the regular Leicestershire regiment and the Leicester Yeomanry they are found in both sides.
The Leicestershire Yeomanry also had its Headquarters within the city, also at the Magazine. B Squadron was also based here. The regiment were being converted to Artillery at the time of the outbreak, but have since reverted back to cavalry, leaving the artillery in the hands of the TA. Unlike the Leicestershire Regiment the Yeomanry has actively supported the city leading many of the attacks charging into the ranks of the Royalist forces and patrolling the areas on the fringes of the city’s and the socialist governing council’s control.
This a prize town held by the socialists with its bell foundry and railway network. The bell foundry is now turned over to production of armour plating, weapons manufacture and munitions manufacturing. The town has a large railways militias and these re strongly independent. The foundry also has a small but well trained militia to defence the foundry and the town if the needs arise.
The town also has C Squadron of the Leicestershire Yeomanry and H Company of the 1st Volunteer Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment as the backbone of the town defence.