Photo No. 1.......... A. E. Searle
Up to the beginning of April, 1916, two hundred and eighty men from Ashton Bro’s. had joined the colours, and nine had been killed.
After the local Reservists and Territorials had left the town, recruiting for Kitchener's Army proceeded with considerable briskness. There also arose several local Citizen Training Corps. 0n the 11th. January, 1915. the new Mayor (Councillor Welch) initiated a movement which led to the formation of the Hyde Volunteer Training Corps at a public meeting held in the Town Hall, about three weeks later - On the 2nd February. Not long afterwards this Corps became a detachment of the Cheshire Volunteer Regiment. Its primary object was home defence. Up to April, 1916, there had been 320 men entered on the membership roll, and about 50 had enlisted, which was a large proportion, considering that the great majority of the men were above military age, the eldest being nearly sixty. The uniform of the men was paid for out of a Battalion fund, subscribed by members and friends. Up to the time named, Hyde had subscribed to the fund £268. The Battalion was made up of five detachments - A. Detachment, Stalybridge; B. Dukinfield; C, Hyde; D, Glossop; E. Bredbury, Romily, and Marple. The full numerical strength of the Battalion was over a thousand. A remarkably high state of efficiency was obtained all round. Mr. T. Victor commanded the Hyde Detachment for a few months, until he obtained a Lieutenant's commission, and the duties of commander were then undertaken by Mr. H, L. Plant, of Romily, with Mr. Daniel Pennington, the well known Hyde Solicitor, as sub-Commander. The following were the officials of the Corps:- President, Lord Ashton of Hyde; acting President, the Mayor (Councillor Welch); secretary and treasurer, Mr. D. Pennington. Committee: Messrs. C. H. Brogden, Robt. Gregory, Joseph Heginbotham. Ed.Ogden, John Torkington. H. E. Poole, C. E. Moore. Albert Slater, (Councillor) Percy Hibbert, (Councillor) W. Pope and Mr. J. W, Danby (the Chief Constable), the three last-named elected by the Corporation. There were four platoon commanders:- viz, No.1 Platoon, Frank Shenton; No 2. Wm. A. Aspland; No.3, William ---ton, junr: No. 4, J. W, Sutcliffe. The Corps had frequent drills and marches, the longest march in one day being fully twenty miles. One of the results of these exercises was a remarkable improvement in the physique of the men. They also learnt the Maze Dance, which was an effective test of physical endurance for men between forty and fifty-five In April, 1916, the working strength of the Hyde Corps was about 200.
Mr. H. L. Plant, of Bredbury, joined the Hyde Volunteer Training Corps on its formation. He was at once appointed a platoon commander, and succeeded Mr. T. Victor as commander of the Corps when the latter gentleman received a Lieutenant’s commission, about October. 1915. A native of Staffordshire, Commander Plant had previously been in the Wolverhampton Yeomanry for about twelve months, and had spent ten years in the Leicestershire Volunteers, the latter half of the period as Sergeant; so that on taking charge of the Volunteer detachment at Hyde he was fortified with much useful military experience. His skill in shooting was another valuable asset to the Corps, whose efficiency is in no small measure due to his capable instruction and commend.