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Remembered Today:

Provisional Bn's and TF Reserve


ddycher
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Can anyone confirm if men moving to the Provisional Bn's in late 1914 / 1915 were transferred to the TF Reserve and off Bn strength ? These were effectively the TF 4th line and only Home Service men and were consolidated at Brigade level. Officers were seconded but I think at some point they were transferred to the Reserve freeing of positions on the establishment but I can find no real confirmation.

 

Would appreciate any insights.

 

Regards

Dave

 

 

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The men in 26th Bn DLI (which was formally 23rd provisional) were certainly moved on to the strength of that battalion - some injured men of the DLI were posted there after Ypres. As to officers I don't know.

 

Capture.JPG

 

Craig

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Thanks Craig.

 

Same in the Devons. OR's were definitely posted. The officers though seemed to have been seconded. Will post if I find anything.

 

Regards

Dave

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  • 1 month later...

ACI 2364a (Copy).jpg

An interesting ACI from December 1916 for your perusal. I also have other references to the Provisional units, which is a bit more complicated than what it seems.

ACI 2364b (Copy).jpg

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Many thanks for this Graham.

 

If you do have more on these battalions I would be very grateful if you could share. Have been tracking the 86th Prov. Bn as part of my Devons research. Fascinating but difficult to build as I can find very few ref's.

 

Thanks again for sharing. 

 

Regards

Dave

 

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Following on from Grahams lead above I spent an interesting couple of hours tracking this through the Army Lists today.

Initially officers were seconded from a particular Bn within the 2nd and 3rd Line Bde’s. I have only one example where an officer of one of the Bde’s 1st Line Bn’s was sec’d to the Prov. Bn. Others were posted to successive Lines as the original Bn's went overseas. Officers were initially held supernumerary to their original battalions establishment.

In late 1915 there were a number of officers who, whilst remaining with the Prov. Bn, were posted within the Lines moving between 2nd and 3rd Lines when the 2nd Line was sent overseas. I also show a single officer who was posted from the 3rd Line to the 4th Line and was identified as such on the monthly Army List. The 4th Line being the Prov. Bn. However the Prov.Bn list shows him sec'd from his original Bn.

From December 1915 officers were sec'd from the Bn  but no longer held on the specific Line’s establishment. This was not true however for the officer who was sec’d from the first line, he continued to be held on the Bn establishment and remained so until being transferred out of the regiment.

Although the ACI above states men  were transferred to the Prov. Bn establishment from January 1917 officers continued to be sec’d from their original Bn even after the reforming of the Prov. Bn’s to Home Service Bn’s if the Prov. Bn was absorbed by an existing Bn of their regiment. It appears that officers were only moved from the original establishments when transferred away from the regiment.

So far I have only been able to find 1x officer (the reason for the original query) who was transferred to the TF Reserve when being posted to the Prov.Bn (moving from the 3rd Line to the Prov.Bn) and he remained on the Lists as sec'd until resigning his commission due to ill health.

Proving to be far more complicated than I thought.

As always any further insight would be appreciated.

 

Regards

Dave

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April 1915a (Copy).jpg

April 1915b (Copy).jpg

The beginnings of Provisional units within the T.F. - bet this has you confused

Edited by Graham Stewart
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June 1915a (Copy).jpg

June 1915b (Copy).jpg

July 1915 (Copy).jpg

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Graham

 

This is brilliant.

 

Completely reset my view on these Bn's. I had viewed them as the "bottom of the food chain" so to speak. This actually sets these units, atleast initially, above the 2nd Line. Will reset some of my earlier assumptions and post again.

 

Thank you Graham

Dave

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What you'll have to do now is go back to period newspapers, which hopefully will give you information of how the Devons were placed in relation to these new Coast Battalions, which were the fore-runners of the Provisional Bns.

For instance here in the North East we had four coast units;-

Northumbrian Division(Home Service)Bde

1st North Coast Defence Battalion - from H.S. personnel of the 2/4th & 2/7th Bns, N.F.

2nd North Coast Defence Battalion - from H.S. personnel of 2/5th & 2/6th Bns, N.F.

3rd North Coast Defence Battalion - from H.S. personnel of 2/5th, 2/6th, 2/7th, 2/8th, & 2/9th Bns, DLI

4th North Riding Coast Defence Bn - from H.S. personnel of 2/4th Bn, E.Yorks & 2/4th & 2/5th Bns, Yorks

I believe the North Coast Defence title was dropped to simply 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th Bns, c.May 1915

 

On the formation of the Provisional Bdes, the above units were retitled - but  still using H.S. personnel;-

21st Provisonal Bn - (2/4th & 2/7th Bns, N.F.) - transferred to 10th Provisional Bde

2nd Provisional Brigade(later 222nd Provisional Bde)

22nd Provisional Bn - (2/5th & 2/6th Bns, N.F.)

23rd Provisional Bn - (2/6th, 2/7th, 2/8th & 2/9th Bns, D.L.I.)

24th Provisional Bn - (2/4th & 2/5th Bns, Yorks)

25th Provisional Bn - (2/5th Bn, D.L.I. & 2/4th Bn, E.Yorks)

 

 

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Thanks Graham

 

In this case I am following the 86th Prov. Bn.

 

It was formed on the 8th February 1915 as the Devon and Cornwall Bde Coast Defence Bn. By the 15th of February it had been renamed the 3rd Devon and Cornwall Provisional Bn. 1st and 2nd coming from the Hants Bde and South Western Bde respectively. Part of the Wessex Division (Home Service) Bde later the 10th Prov. Bde. It was initially a 3 Bn Bde;  the 21st Prov. Bn only joining once they had reached Blyth in June. Some tie in here with your area of interest.

 

I have been through the local papers and, I thought, had a reasonable understanding of how the Bn was pulled together but had lacked the context your posts above now give. Relooking at what I had I can already confirm that the Home Service Bde was brought up to strength then moved to the North East. Once the Bde had moved the Wessex Division then proceeded to pull together the Wessex Reserve Bn's from the 3rd Line. Initially as A Group, Wessex Reserve's and then the Wessex Reserve Bde from September 1916.

 

So in the case of the 5th Devons where my focus lies the 1st Line went to India in October 1914. The 2nd Line did not go with the 2nd Wessex in December being below establishment remaining unallotted in the UK moving to garrison duties in May. Home Service men from the 2nd Line were posted to the Prov. Bn when the Home Service Bde was formed in February 1915 and then posted to Northumbria with the Bde in June. Followed by the consolidation of the Wessex Reserve Bde's from June and the move of the consolidated 3rd Line to Boscombe, Bournemouth in August. Finally the todate unallotted 2nd Line embarked for Egypt in September. So initial training and posting of the 5th Devons to its initial war stations was not complete until September 1915.

 

As per my note above now looking at the Home Service Bde in a totally new light.

 

Fascinating stuff.

 

Regards

Dave

 

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