Wartime worries were put out of mind for one night this week as the Royal Garrison Artillery held a seasonal dance. Members of 110th Company RGA, who fire the heavy coastal artillery guns emplaced on South Hill, transformed the nearby Military Gymnasium into a reported ‘wonderland’ for the occasion, which was well-attended by both military and civilian revellers.
The 110th Company of the Royal Garrison Artillery formed after the Militia disbanded at the start of 1917. Under the command of Major Herbert Le Rossignol, the unit took over from the Royal Jersey Artillery. Its established strength is 250 men, all considered unsuitable for active service overseas. Their weapons are several mobile horse-drawn guns and the two six-inch guns of the South Hill Battery, which commands the approaches to St Helier Harbour.
For the dance, which began at 7.30pm sharp, the men decorated the gymnasium lavishly, draping flags and pennants around the walls and hanging Japanese and Chinese lanterns from the ceiling. Drapes and other paraphernalia were supplied by Le Gallais and Sons of Bath Street. An orchestra drawn from the island’s army garrison provided musical entertainment, which started with a rousing National Anthem.
A/C2/40/24 contains a pre-war reference to the South Hill Battery, and damage it caused to windows of a nearby property.