Small Book

Herbert's small book The "Small-Book" was to be kept by the soldier as a record of his service and to provide him with useful information during his service. They were only issued to Regular soldiers of the British Army.

In broad terms there were three types of soldier who served in the British Army during the First World War. The Regular Army were the long service soldiers who had made the army their career. The Territorial Army were part-time soldiers, essentially for home defence, but who at the outbreak of war volunteered for overseas service. The New Army (Kitchener's Army) were the volunteers who joined up for the duration of the war.

The book was stamped at the top by the Royal Horse and Royal Field Artillery (R.H. & R.F.A.) section of the Royal Regiment of Artillery. It shows Herbert's name and regimental number - 79709 R.H. & R.F.A. Unfortunately, the pages on the particulars of his service have not been filled in and so there is no family record of his service. However, pages 6 and 7 have been filled in and give some useful information on his enlistment.

A transcript of page 6 is shown below.

Name__Herbert Halliday_________________
Enlisted at__Accrington___________________________
in the County of_________Lancs_____________________
on the_____12th August 1914_____________________
at the age of_21__ years___3___months
for theRoyal Regt. of Artillery (R.H. & R.F.A.)__
for__6_ years in the Army and__6_ years in the Reserve.
Born in the Parish of________________________________
  in or near the Town of__Keighley____________________
in the county of________Yorks._____________________
Trade or calling_Dyers Labourer.___________________
Last permanent residence_12 Union St. Rawtenstall_____
* Religion __Methodist___________________________
+ Signature of SoldierHerbert Halliday_______________
* This should be described under one of the following denominations, viz.:-
"Church of England," "Presbyterian," "Wesleyan," "Baptist," or "Congrega-
tional," "other Protestant denomination" (name of denomination to be noted),
"Roman Catholic," or "Jew."
+ Whenever a Soldier who cannot write makes his mark in acknowledgment of
having received pay or allowances, etc., such mark is to be witnessed by the
signature of a witness (other than the pay-serjeant).

It can be seen that on Wednesday 12th August 1914, just eight days after the outbreak of war, he volunteered for service in the Royal Field Artillery (conscription was not introduced until January 1916). He enlisted at Accrington for six years in the colours and six years in the reserve. This was the standard period of service for regular soldiers of the artillery. However, Army Order 296 of 1914, published on 6th August, stated that men could enlist for three years or the duration of the war. Herbert appears not to have taken this opportunity. I can only conclude that at that stage he wanted to make a career in the army. It also shows that he was 21, born in Keighley, lived at 12 Union Street Rawtenstall and worked as a dyers' labourer.

Below is shown a transcript of page 7.

Any change becoming known is to be duly noted, with the date of such change.
Note.--No entry on this page has any legal effect
as a Will.
Nearest degrees of
NAMES. Latest known address to
be given in full.
1st. Wife.    
2nd. Father.    
3rd. Mother.    
E Abraham
E Mary Hartley
12 Union St.
and nieces,
if children
of deceased
brothers or
4th. Other
Signature of Soldier. Herbert Halliday
Regimental number. 79709
Signature of Com- W.G.Willi
pany, etc., Commander  
Date of Signature.
ams L'-
Capt R.F.A. 15/8/14
+ State whether brothers are younger or older. Comdg. No. 2 Depot R.F.A.

His next of kin are listed as his brother Abraham and sister Mary Hartley of 12 Union Street. The name Hartley does not tie up with my mother's recollection of his married sister being called Mary Harvey. In the register of electors for the central ward north of the Borough of Rawtenstall for 1914 - 1915 the sole name registered at 12 Union Street was George Robert Harvey. The "Small-Book" therefore has his sister's name incorrectly spelt. The page was signed by Lieutenant W. G. Williams on Saturday 15th August as commander of number 2 depot RFA. Number 2 depot was based at Preston, as was 2a reserve brigade. It seems likely that Herbert travelled to Preston on the Saturday after enlistment to be kitted out at number 2 depot and given his initial training in 2a reserve brigade.