Essex Regiment & Essex Militia History

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The first day

The first day was one of the toughest in the life of mant recruits.

Most had led lives within one community in a family lifestyle and enlisting was to change their lives entirely.

A recruit would be given a place to recruit for duty. This meant travelling away from their home and in the case of those from rural villages it would have meant the longest journey of their lives.

The first step was to report for duty at the main gate and then be allowed into the administrative centre where the recruits credentials were checked, a service number was issued and a Company allocated.

The recruits were then taken to the Medical Centre where they were seen by a Doctor who rechecked medical fitness and compiled the descriptive form which can still be seen on the remaining service record files.

Once the medical details were completed the next stop was to the Quartermasters stores where the recruit was provided with his uniform and kit. For the first time the recruit would be asked for his name, rank and service number which would be engraved onto various items of  equipment. The recruit entered the stores in civilian dress and left a soldier in uniform.

Then the recruit was taken to his company and given a space in the barrack room where he would meet the men who would be his colleagues for the future.