As we remember Passchendaele it is appropriate to remember that for centuries we were always on a war footing. The Drill Hall in Sidmouth was built so that the Volunteers had somewhere to practice drill …. after they were thrown out of the Market Hall by the Council of the time who wanted the room.
Sidmothians, both native and incomers, raised the money for the building and the land was given by J.G.G. Radford. The architect, James Jerman, a prominent Exeter citizen and architect to the Earl of Iddesleigh, gave his services for free. Jerman also designed the Masonic Hall in Sidmouth High Street.
The building was designed to be a space for the town as well as for the Volunteers. Dinners and balls were held there as well as meetings and lectures. It was a building constructed of the best materials and meant to be an ornament to the town.
Some of the details of the original front can be seen in this picture of the Volunteers.