August 11th 2014


A Century on, soldiers of C Company, 4th Battalion the Mercian Regiment have re-enacted The Great March that saw hundreds of Territorial soldiers leave the Nottinghamshire town of Newark for the trenches of France.


The Great March 2014 The Great March 2014 100 years to the day on Sunday 10 August, around 20 Army Reserves from C Company set off from Newark Market Place to re-enact the march to Radcliffe-Upon-Trent. They were joined by Army Cadets, veterans and members of the local community.

The rain beat down as a Drum-head Service was held prior to the start of the march that made its way through the villages of Flintham, and East Bridgeford before arriving in Radcliffe-On-Trent where a Service of Reconciliation was held.

This was the first stage of the march completed by the soldiers of the 1st/8th Battalion The Sherwood Foresters; C Company’s direct descendents.  Accompanied by wagons and horses carrying provisions the Sherwood Foresters had an overnight stop in the town before continuing the next day to Derby. From there they went on to complete their training before they deployed forward to France. Sadly many of them did not return.

Private Daniel Boycott, aged 28 years, who has been in the Army Reserves for 11-years took part in the march: “It was an honour to take part and take time to remember the soldiers who set off on that day not knowing when they would return home. It’s hard to imagine what it was like for them as they marched off into the unknown.  When we deploy we know how long we are going for and when we will be home on leave. I can’t imagine what it was like for them.”

Major Chris Massingham, Officer Commanding C Company, 4th Battalion The Mercian Regiment said: “The soldiers of C Company, the 8th Battalion were based in Mansfield and we are the direct decedents of that unit so it was a great honour to be invited to take part in the march by Newark and Sherwood District Council. Hundreds of men went to war from Newark, all of whom served with distinction and their tremendous sacrifice will never be forgotten. We were all honoured and proud to take part in the parade.”