December 4th 2018

Green plaque honour for Melton’s Drill Hall

The Gathering around Plaque

Gathering around the plaque

A historic Melton Mowbray building from where troops departed to fight in the First World War and is now the home of the local Army Cadets and Air Cadets was honoured with a green plaque last week.

Close up of Plaque

Close up of the plaque on the Drill Hall

On Thursday, 29 November, the plaque was installed at the Drill Hall, Asfordby Road, Melton Mowbray. Representatives from the Reserve Forces and Cadets Association (RFCA) will join other dignitaries for the unveiling of the plaque.

Built in 1914, the Drill Hall was the headquarters for the ‘A’ Squadron of the Leicestershire Yeomanry, who bravely fought and held the line at the Battle of Frezenberg Ridge.

After four hours of bombardment and a further seven of fighting off infantry assaults, only 50 of the troops – who came from Melton, Rearsby, Harby and Rutland – were accounted for. In June 1915, a draft of 206 troops paraded at the Drill Hall to replace the severe losses in that battle.

Local historian Derek Simmonds, from Melton Mowbray, nominated the building for the county council award. He said: “I think it is absolutely wonderful that Drill Hall has been chosen to receive this prestigious award.

Cllr Richardson & Dep Chief Exec RFCA Simon Worsley

Cllr Richardson & Dep Chief Exec RFCA Simon Worsley

“The green plaque is a fitting tribute to all the people who left their jobs and families to fight for our country, creating a lasting legacy that will keep their memory alive for many years to come.”

Councillor Louise Richardson, cabinet member for green plaques, said:As the headquarters of the Melton and District Territorials, who answered the call of duty in August 1914, the Drill Hall has tremendous historical significance. It is great to see that, more than a hundred years on, there is still huge support from the people of Leicestershire.”

Simon Worsley, Deputy Chief Executive of East Midlands Reserve Forces and Cadets Association, said: “I am delighted that the people of Leicestershire have chosen to honour this building because it was and is such an important part of the local community. Over 100 years ago, it saw young soldiers from Melton Mowbray going off to war some of whom would never return, now it houses the local cadet units which provide opportunities for the young people of Melton Mowbray to build confidence, make friends and develop into young adults. I hope it will continue to be a valuable part of the local community for many years to come.”

Today, the building acts as the headquarters for the 1279 Squadron Melton Mowbray Air Cadets and the town’s detachment of Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland Army Cadet Force.

“I think it is absolutely wonderful that Drill Hall has been chosen to receive this prestigious award."