What Royston Did …

The Great War

How Royston was used

image royston map

The Heath

September 1914 : 1000 men of the Royal Field Artillery came here.

February 1915 : 1100 men from the 5th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusilieers (territorials) came here.

The local paper, “The Crow”, reported that all the men are in private houses with public buildings only being used as mess halls and stores, etc.

Man were marched twice a day for exercises at 9.00 a.m. and after diner.

Cricket and football matches took place with the regular and wounded soldiers.

The Royal Welsh Fusiliers left and were replaced by 4th Cheshires. A postcard shows them on guard in 1915.

Hay was grown on the heath and is mentioned in “The Crow” in August 1916.

Church House

Used as Battalion head quarters.

Kneesworth Street Schoolroom

A soldiers’ welcome run by the Volunteer Aid Detachment.

(This building is now the Royston and District Museum and Art Gallery.)


Baths used by soldiers each morning in batches.

Queens Road Schools

An auxiliary hospital linked to Cambridge Eastern 1 run by Herts Volunteer Aid Detachment (VAD) 18.

Drill Hall

Used for stores and enlistments until December 1915.

Town Hall

February 1915 : Requisitioned as a mess room with cooking being carried out in the garden on the west side of the hall.

Used for patriotic concerts, e.g. February 1915 - A grand entertainment by the Welsh Fusiliers with proceeds to the Knitting Club, who had sent over 1200 items to our soldiers, and the YMCA coal fund.

Used by the children from Queens Road school.

British School, Market Hill

February 1915 : Royal Welsh Fusiliers used the school as a mess and cooked in the yard.

Used by the children from Queens Road school.

John Street school was taken over for storage and the upper room was taken over as a mess.