Confirmation came through this week that surviving members of the Jersey Contingent have moved to the Hampshire Regiment.
The transfer follows a petition sent to the Bailiff in September 1917 requesting he intervene on the men’s behalf. In view of imminent plans to disband their parent battalion, the 7th Royal Irish Rifles, the contingent members wanted to either come home or be permitted to remain together in an English regiment of their choice.
While he may have held sympathies with the return to Jersey request, Sir William Vernon was unable to comply. Instead, he pressured the War Office in conjunction with the Lieutenant Governor to meet the Contingent’s demands. Given its close traditional links with Jersey, the Hampshire Regiment was a logical destination for the volunteers, who presently number around 60. This strength is a far cry from the original complement of 326 who left the island in 1915, and who have since served at Loos, on the Somme, at Messines Ridge and in the Ypres Salient.
It is understood that their new unit is the Hampshire Regiment’s 2nd Battalion, in which their commanding officer, Captain Cyril Ogier, has taken charge of Z Company.
A/C2/51/4 contains a letter from the Lieutenant Governor to the Bailiff acknowledging receipt of his letter which was enclosed with a petition from the Jersey Company attached to the Royal Irish Rifles, due to the intention to disband the Company.