WITH the Germans advancing, August 4, 1914 saw Burton Army reservists called up. The Burton men in 6th Battalion North Staffordshire Regiment, who were part of the Staffordshire Infantry Brigade that numbered approximately 4,000 men, packed away their kit with great haste, in order to return to their respective headquarters as part of the general mobilisation plan.
Around the town the realisation sank in that almost 1,000 local men, Territorials and Regular Army Reservists, who ordinarily would be living with their family and working in local jobs, would almost immediately be leaving to go off to war.
If it was to happen today, 100 years later, I am quite sure that this would be seen as a major catastrophe for the town, and its industries, commerce and its people.
The evidence is that there was an atmosphere of excitement and anticipation in the town back in 1914.
On August 4, the nominal strength of the Burton contingent of the 6th North Staffordshire Regiment was thought to be 330 men, who made up "A", "B" and "H" Companies (Coys).
Soldiers from the Uttoxeter area made up "D" Coy, Tamworth "C" Coy, and Men from Lichfield, Brownhills, Rugeley and Stafford made up "E", "F" and "G" Companies.
On Tuesday, August 4,1914, Britain found itself at war. What did this mean to the good people of Burton? Well there was no great surprise at the news; war with Germany had been expected