Army Drill Hall, Brecon
A Drill Hall was erected on this site before the First World War. It was here that hundreds of recruits got their first taste of army life. The original hall was later rebuilt for the local Army Cadet Force.
On 5 August 1914, the day after war broke out, local members of the Brecknockshire Territorial Force (reserve soldiers) were inspected at the Drill Hall. Other members reached Brecon that day from outlying areas. That evening, they all left in two special trains for training in Pembrokeshire. Local tradesmen had supplied two days’ worth of food and drink for the full battalion.
Many men eagerly volunteered in the following weeks. The South Wales Borderers created a new reserve battalion for Brecknockshire. It was initially intended for “home service” in place of regular soldiers and reservists dispatched to the conflict overseas. As the war continued, the reservists went into frontline action and many made the ultimate sacrifice.
By the end of October 1914, the reserves in Brecon numbered over 700 officers and men. Others were arriving daily. No arms were available, and the focus was on drill, such as training in marching and other military techniques.
On Brecon’s fair day in early November 1914, the reservists set out from the Drill Hall on a “grand procession” around the town, led by a drum and fife band. Farm labourers and others routinely came to Brecon on fair day to seek employment and the procession and an open-air meeting were designed to boost recruitment.
The local detachment of the Army Cadet Force (ACF), a military themed youth organisation, now trains at the Drill Hall. Young people are given opportunities to gain life-changing experiences whilst enjoying fun with friends and gaining nationally recognised qualifications. Such activities prepare them to take their place in society as responsible adults.
The building is maintained by the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association (RFCA) for Wales, an arm’s length body of the Ministry of Defence with over 100 years of history. As the enabling voice for reserves and cadets in Wales, RFCA provides the places where they work and train. Follow the link below for more information about the ACF and RFCA.
Postcode: LD3 7EU View Location Map
|To continue the Brecon in WW1 tour, walk northwards to Watton and turn left. Follow Watton, then Bulwark to St Mary’s Church. The next QR codes are by the church entrance (north side)|