Drill Halls in World War One

The drill hall for E Company 7th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment built in 1913, Rugby. Now the headquarters of the WRVS Meals on Wheels.
Photograph (c) Ian Robb, originally published on www.geograph.org.uk

Drill halls originate from the mid 19th century, when they were built in order for volunteer forces to have a place to meet and train. They also functioned as a social and administrative space, and there is no one consistent style for the buildings. Many were of standard design, yet some demonstrated an architectural flair that showed the importance of their function to the community. Indeed, these halls were often a focal point for a connection between the local community and the unit stationed there.

Surviving buildings

English Heritage states that come the outbreak of World War One, there were about 500-600 drill halls in England, of which about 300 survive. Many of the buildings survive and have been re-used in some way, but development has equally meant that others have been lost, and some of the ones still in existence are under threat.

As part of a countrywide project on Geograph the surviving drill halls at the onset of the Great War have been recorded, and you can see the known surviving Warwickshire drill halls on the Geograph webpage here. The map above gives the location of the halls in the present county administrative boundary.

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