‘The first attempts at route marching were round the outer circle in Regent’s Park and even this proved too much for some.
Colonel Christie had always been a great believer in the efficacy of singing on the march, so much so that when he commanded the battalion originally they came to be known as ‘Christie’s Minstrels’, and it certainly kept the battalion going in those early days.
Before long, as the men became fitter, greatly daring, the climb to Hampstead was attempted and achieved, although one of the company commanders, a veteran of the South African War, completed the journey in a taxi cab.
On one occasion, two companies, with Captain Stokes in command, ventured as far afield as Totteridge, and halted for the midday meal in close proximity to the Orange Tree Inn.
The rush of business so taxed the resources of this pleasant establishment that the junior officers were detailed to assist behind the bar, an event probably without precedent up to that time in the annals of the British Army.’
Captain FW Eames, 2/19th London Regiment