History – 1890s

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1890


Monday 26th May 1890

The 1st Enfield holds its second annual inspection on a field adjoining Christ Church. Rev H S Toms acts as Inspecting Officer, and A J Ridge reads the report. It is hoped that other Companies in Enfield would soon be formed.

Friday 31st October 1890

The 2nd Enfield holds its first parade evening in the presence of A J Ridge. He speaks to the boys about the aims, Object and the rules of the Brigade. During the address he makes special reference to the folly of smoking, betting and the use of bad language. Of the 29 boys present, 27 accept the terms of membership. Any tobacco found on the boys is collected in a heap and burnt.

Wednesday 3rd December 1890

The 3rd Enfield holds its first parade night. The Company is formed by the second son of the Christ Church minister, Mr Norris Storer Toms. The Company Captain is Charles Coote. The Company has 33 boys.


1891


During 1891

The below shows a 1st Enfield recruitment poster signed by Captain Harry Toms.

Friday 16th January 1891

A public meeting is held in support of The Boys’ Brigade at 8 o’clock at the Lecture Hall in Chase Side and is attended by Mr J Downing and Mr Robinson (President of the London Battalion). This was the first public appearance of the 3rd Enfield, but not in uniform. The aims of the BB were discussed; it was attempted to bring out the positive benefits of the Brigade.

Monday 26th January 1891

The 3rd Enfield’s application for enrolment is made.

Thursday 29th January 1891

The 3rd Enfield is registered, on the same day as the 2nd Enfield.

The below shows a page from the BB Gazette mentioning the enrolment of the 2nd and 3rd Enfield, along with short articles on the 1st and 2nd Enfield.

Sunday 19th April 1891

The 1st, 2nd and 3rd Enfield hold their first Church Parade, at Christ Church. Rev H S Toms presents the Stripes to the NCOs of the newly formed 2nd and 3rd Enfield.

May 1891

The Boys’ Brigade, with the Cricket Club and the Band of Hope, rents the field adjoining the manse grounds for cricket and other open air sports.

May 1891 to June 1891

Several letters complaining about the BB are published in the Gazette; the letters are from local Churchmen who believed that military drill could not be combined with religious teaching for the benefit of the boys.

Monday 18th May 1891

The third annual Inspection of the 1st Enfield takes place on Whit Monday. The newly formed 2nd and 3rd Enfield and the 1st New Barnet also take part in the proceedings. The 1st gives an exhibition of rifle exercises. A J Ridge reads the report, which talks of the formation of the 2nd and 3rd Enfield.

At the Christ Church Institute two rooms are devoted to the use of the boys.

Friday 26th June 1891

A letter is published from William A Smith, the Founder, explaining the aims of the BB. This stops any further bad press.

Thursday 1st October 1891

The 3rd Enfield sets up a small printing press in one of the rooms in its headquarters.


1892


February 1892

Thomas Room Plowman becomes Captain of the 3rd Enfield.

Thursday 24th March 1892

The United Enfield Companies (1st, 2nd, 3rd Enfield) give a demonstration at the Bycullah Athenaeum. Captain Bowles MP takes the chair for the evening. The Drum and Fife Band of the 16th London is present. The 5th London gives a demonstration of Ambulance Drill.


1893


Monday 3rd April 1893

A Battalion parade is held on Easter Monday, and after drill they play football, tug of war etc. until 7:00pm. In the evening a lantern slide show is held.

May 1893

The first issue of the magazine of the 3rd Enfield is published. It is called “Union Jack” and is four pages long.

Monday 22nd May 1893

The Whit Monday Parade: The first ever inter-Company competition is held. This is for sport and a handsome silver cup is presented by Mr W H Brown to the Companies. The 3rd is the first winner of the cup.

August 1893

The first Summer Camp is held at Burnham-on-Crouch, with twenty boys attending.


1894


During 1894

A new headquarters opens for The Boys’ Brigade at 51 Lancaster Road, after being given to the BB by the Liberal and Radical club.

The headquarters has one large room downstairs and two small rooms upstairs. One of the rooms upstairs is for games and the other for reading; this room contained a library for boys’ books and a fire in the corner, with boys being allowed to take books home.

Bible classes are held there (the 1st downstairs and the 3rd upstairs), club rooms and a printing press featured on weekdays, while on Sunday evenings sometimes 200 boys crowded in for a lantern service. Football, cricket, ambulance drill and woodcarving are also started.

Monday 14th May 1894

The annual Whit Monday Inspection is held at the Guild Field, Chase Side. A J Ridge talks of the increased numbers, the Sunday evening lantern shows, then cricket, football and athletics.

The 1st Enfield wins the Sports Cup with 77 points to the 3rd Enfield’s 48 and then the 2nd Enfield’s 29 points.

During 1894

The annual Summer Camp is held at Burnham-on-Crouch.


1895


Monday 3rd June 1895

The annual Whit Monday Inspection and Sports is held at the Brigade Field, Chase Side. The Companies are inspected by Captain J A Hunt. The lantern services prove very attractive to the 3rd Enfield boys.

The 1st Enfield win the Sports Cup with 65 points to the 3rd Enfield’s 50 points and the 2nd Enfield’s 29.

Wednesday 16th October 1895

Thomas Plowman replies to the complaint made about the noise of the Drum and Fife Band of the 3rd Enfield, which was formed in 1894, and practices at the United Enfield Companies’ Headquarters. The complaint comes from Mr J W Grainger of the Herb and Drug store next door.


1896


February 1896

The Battalion Church Parade is led by the Drum and Fife Band of the 3rd Enfield.

Monday 10th February 1896

The annual Parents and Friends Entertainment and Display is held in the Lecture Hall, Chase Side. The boys give a display of dumbbell drill under Lt Toms. The band, under Mr W Clements, also gives a display.

April 1896

A concert takes place at the Lecture Hall in aid of the camp fund of the United Enfield Companies.

Monday 25th May 1896

The annual Whit Monday Inspection and Sports is held at Brigade Field, Chase Side. The Inspecting Officer is Captain Hunt. The Drum and Fife Band of the 3rd plays at the event.

The 1st Enfield wins the Sports Cup with 70 points, the 2nd Enfield has 38 points and the 3rd Enfield 36.

Saturday 27th June 1896 to Saturday 4th July 1896

The Summer Camp is held at Hayling, costing 12s 6d for each boy.


1897


Saturday 30th January 1897 to Monday 1st February 1897

The visit of Sir William A Smith to Enfield takes place. He visits the Enfield headquarters (30th January) and inspects the comfortable reading rooms and the printing press. He also visits the 1st Enfield drill evening.

On 31st January Smith speaks at a Bible class of the three United Enfield Companies. In the evening he attends a lantern service for boys only (220 were present).

On 1st February a parade from the Market Place is held in the slush. The 3rd Enfield Drum and Fife Band plays outside the Bycullah Athenaeum. The evening involves a sword drill exercise by the 3rd.

The below shows an article in the BB Gazette about Smith’s visit to Enfield.

February 1897

The 3rd Enfield holds its fifth annual Entertainment and Display evening to parents and friends in the Lecture Hall at Chase Side.

May 1897

The first London Display is held at the Queen’s Hall.

Monday 7th June 1897

The annual Whit Monday Inspection and Sports is held at Brigade Field. Mr A J Ridge talks about the Summer Camp the previous year year at Hayling Island, which was the first only United Enfield Companies Camp. He also mentions the visit by William Smith and the squad of Enfield boys who gave a display of bayonet exercises. As part of the Queen Victoria Jubilee celebrations, 40 boys go to the Royal Military Tournament.

The first inter-Company Drill competition is won by the 2nd Enfield. The 1st Enfield wins the Sports Cup (65 points) with the 2nd Enfield second (42 points) and the 3rd Enfield third (37 points).

Saturday 26th June 1897 to Saturday 3rd July 1897

Summer Camp is held at Hayling Island.

September 1897

The Brigade Council is held in London, and makes a visit to the Headquarters of the United Enfield Companies in Lancaster Road. The Officers are given a photo of the Headquarters as a souvenir.


1898


During 1898

Below is an article from the BB Gazette about the Company Band by Norris Storer Toms, founder of the 3rd Enfield.

During 1898

The below shows a photo of the 3rd Enfield.

Back row left to right: Lt Norris Toms, Charles Chopping, H Smith, Fox, unknown boy, H Marshall, W Chopping, F Stinton.
Middle row sitting, left to right: J Randall, unknown boy, Captain Tom Plowman, unknown boy, G Kirby Standing right hand side: J Birse, J Jordan.
Front row sitting, left to right: unknown boy, C Trappschuh, G Randall, F Randall, Titmus.

This picture contains Lt Norris Toms, founder of the 3rd Enfield; Captain Thomas Plowman, famous Captain of the 3rd; and Charles Chopping, the man associated with the 3rd for 72 years of his life until his death in March 1966!

February 1898

A concert is held in aid of the Summer Camp fund of the United Enfield Companies.

April 1898

A Battalion Church Parade takes place at Christ Church. Pte Trappschuh is presented with a silver watch as first prize in the Christmas competition. Captain Thomas R Plowman reads a letter from Mr William A Smith. The winning letter was entitled “How does prayer help a boy to seek first the Kingdom of God?”.

Monday 30th May 1898

The Annual Whit Monday Inspection and Sports takes place at the Brigade Field. The Companies are inspected by Captain J A Hunt. Captain Plowman reads the report; the activities of the Companies include Company and sword drill, ambulance classes, football, cricket, Drum and Fife Bands and Bugle Bands.

The inter-Company Drill competition is won by the 1st Enfield. The Sports competition results are as follows: 1st – 1st Enfield (66), 2nd – 3rd Enfield (46), 3rd – 2nd Enfield (32).

Saturday 16th July 1898 to Monday 25th July 1898

Summer Camp is held at Hayling Island.


1899


March 1899

The United Enfield Companies hold their annual concert at the Lecture Hall in aid of the Summer Camp fund.

Monday 22nd May 1899

The annual Whit Monday Inspection and Sports is held at the Brigade Field, where Captain Plowman reads the report.

The Sports competition results are as follows: 1st – 1st Enfield (72), 2nd – 2nd Enfield (34), 3rd – 3rd Enfield (38).

July 1899

An old boys camp is held.

Saturday 15th July 1899 to Saturday 22nd July 1899

Summer Camp is held at Hayling Island.

The below shows the 3rd Enfield Band at the Hayling Island Camp. In charge of the band is Mr Davis of Gordon Hill.