Members of the South Staffordshire Regiment have been in Jersey since September 1914, when the 4th Battalion arrived along with thousands of volunteer soldiers. As with other British Army units before them, the men from the Midlands have since become an integral part of the Island community.
There was great pride, therefore, at a ceremony in the Royal Square this week in which a member of the regiment received a Distinguished Conduct Medal or DCM. Lance Corporal Ball left Jersey in November 1915 for active service. He won his decoration after continuing to man and fire a machine gun after the other members of its crew were killed. Wounded in action, he has returned to Jersey to recuperate.
As they complete their training, drafts of South Staffordshire men are continuously leaving the Island as reinforcements for the regiment’s active service battalions. However, there have been instances of local women hiding men who have received orders to leave. The military authorities wish to impress that men trying to hide themselves will be considered as deserters while those hiding them can be prosecuted under the Defence of the Realm Act.
Associated Record: D/Z/H2/6 contains correspondence about a Mrs Vasse hiding Private Pitch of the South Staffordshire when he was due to leave the Island as part of a reinforcement draft.