Church of England Diocese of Oxford Holy Trinity, Windsor

Trinity Tour 5

20 Apr 2020, 9 a.m.

The Battalion Colour of The Household Battalion 1916-18 is situated about half way down the church on the south side. It is unusual in that it doesn’t have any battle honours as these were awarded to the regiments instead. The silk Union Flag was awarded for Service in the Great War but the presentation did not take place because the Household Battalion was disbanded in 1918.

The King's Colour of the Household Battalion was laid up on Sunday 25 July 1920.  <span style="font-size: 1rem;">Lt Col W R Portal DSO MVO, late Commanding the Household Battalion presented it to the Rector, Rev H Tower MVO.</span>

The Carved altar rail is in memory of the Officers, Warrant Officers, NCO's and Men of the Household Battalion who died for their Country 1916-1918. It was designed by Sir Gilbert Scott, Architect of Liverpool Cathedral and was dedicated by the Bishop of Buckingham, the Rt Revd Philip Herbert Eliot (1921-1944) on Sunday 16 October 1921. At one end the rail widens to a small shelf on which sits the Roll of Honour listing 444 names.

In September 1916 the Household Battalion was formed from the Reserve Regiments of Household Cavalry under the command of Lt Col W Portal MVO DSO First Life Guards.

On 8 November the Battalion proceeded overseas and joined the Fourth Division. They were put into the line near Sailly-Sailisel and suffered severely from enemy action and exposure in the trenches. On 12 October 1917 they led the advance in the Battle of Flanders and suffered enormous casualties until relieved on the 14th. Afterwards on the Arras Front in January 1918 they were up to full strength and efficiency, but owing to the shortage of men in the Foot Guards the Battalion was disbanded.

The Reserve Household Battalion was formed at Windsor on 21 October 1916 under the command of Lt Col L H Hardy MC and the memorial should have been unveiled by him (his name was printed in the Order of Service but the press report records that he was absent owing to a family bereavement). Lt Col Wyndham Portal MVO DSO, Commanding Officer of the Household Battalion, unveiled the memorial and also placed the Roll of Honour on the shelf.