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voltaire60

NEW ARMY OR NEW ARMIES- WHICH IS CORRECT?

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voltaire60

   Stuck on something that should be obvious-and I hope it is to a colleague on GWF.     If I were to write up a casualty of say, 10th DLI, would it be correct to describe the man as being "New Army" or "New Armies".  Is there a difference? Does it matter? Are they interchangeable?     Might as well get it right and not annoy anyone subsequently.

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thetrenchrat22

New Army 

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QUEX

Usage in 1914 Gazettes is 'New Army' when taking about appointments to command of war raised battalions so I guess that's the official line.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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kenf48

The term 'New Army' appears to have been first used around August 12th in The Times, though Hansard continues to refer to it as the 'new Army' or 'Kitchener's New Army'!

The original advertisement sought 100,000 additional men for the Regular Army

 

In a letter to the Territorial Associations on the 7th August Kitchener referred to a 'second army'.

 

I think only the bravest pedant would take you to task over whatever usage you decided, Beckett and Simpson refer to 'New Armies' (their quotes) 

 

Ken

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QUEX

Abbreviate it to 'NA', avoid pedantic comments.

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Moonraker

"New Army" seems to be the most used of the two, but
 

see here

 

for reasons why some might say there were five new armies.

 

Moonraker

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PhilB

I've always understood New Army to refer to the new battalions raised during the war - those that don't exist in the August 1914 Army List. Of course, it wasn't an army in the normal sense, i.e. a collection of corps. By my definition, a late 1914 volunteer who went straight into a regular battalion would not be a New Army man. And New Armies wouldn't be an applicable term. But we all know what both names mean!

 

Edit:-  Unless you count the first 100,000 as the first New Army and so on....:unsure:

Edited by PhilB

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Ron Clifton

These "Service" battalions (and units of other arms) were raised in groups of six divisions. 9th to 14th Divisions were the First New Army, 15th to 20th were the Second New Army and 21st to 26th were the Third New Army. Then there were three additional Regular battalions brought home from overseas, then 30th to 35th were the Fourth New Army, and 36th to 41st were the Fifth New Army.

 

The first three New Armies were those raised by Kitchener, and are sometimes referred to as K1, K2 and K3. The Fourth and Fifth were raised by various local worthies, MPs or councils, and are often referred to as "Pals" units.

 

I would speak of "a New Army unit", but collectively of men of "the New Armies". I think the latter was used, in conjunction with "Regular" in the London Gazette at the head of lists of officers and men being promoted or decorated, as distinct from "Territorial Forse" which were in separate lists.

 

But whichever you use, you are unlikely to cause confusion.

 

Ron

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voltaire60

Thanks Ron- I was waiting for your input. I suspect then that the term "New Army" is correct to describe a battalion of K1 - but that after the raising K2 until MSA, then "New Armies" would be proper. A small thing but would like to get it right

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PhilB

Makes sense, Ron! I think I was influenced by the fact that the larger units, the brigades and divisions into which the new battalions were arranged, contained other regular units of cavalry, artillery etc which detracts from their new army purity.

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Bordercollie

In 1914 it was commonplace to describe a phase of the army's expansion as, for example, the 5th New Army as the attached War Office letter shows. This helped with the administration of the expansion but it was never the intention that any of these New Armies would be used as an entity in an operational theatre.  So when newly raised divisions reached France they were described as New Army divisions as the distinction between what might be called the Administrative New Armies was no longer relevant.

19141210 WO Letter 5th New Army.pdf

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Ron Clifton
20 hours ago, Bordercollie said:

This helped with the administration of the expansion but it was never the intention that any of these New Armies would be used as an entity in an operational theatre.

It actually seems to have been considered early on that the First, Second etc New Armies would go to France as complete formations of six divisions, to fight alongside the two Armies formed on 26 December 1914 under Haig and Smith-Dorrien, and I have seen  a list of appointments to command them, including the likes of Ian and Bruce Hamilton and Leslie Rundle. However, it seems to have been abandoned early on, and the divisions were sent out individually as they were considered ready. Possibly the decision to send troops to Gallipoli may have forced the abandonment of this plan, or it may be that, like the Territorials, they were moved overseas in order to cover the losses sustained by the Regulars. In any case, it does seem to have been a dangerous idea.

 

The titles of First, Second and Third New Army were in fact made official by an Army Order (389 of 1914), issued on 14 September.

 

Ron

Edited by Ron Clifton

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Bordercollie

I thought others might be interested to see this War Office Memorandum that supports Ron’s comment that there was a plan to deploy each of the New Armies in the field as an Army.  I was relying on Martin Middlebrook’s account in his book published in 2000 'Your Country Needs You' that the New Armies were “never intended to become operational field armies”.

Even more interesting is a footnote to the chapter on Loos in the Official History which shows that Sir John French thought that New Army troops should not even be deployed as complete divisions.  If anyone has any ideas on where in the National Archives Sir John’s memorandum of 3rd January 1915 might be found I would be interested hear.

DSCN1510.JPG.c54711bb89f07a488a609bbb2afde1ae.JPGDSCN1511.JPG.4ec70b613674df66bee4646e614c69fd.JPG2107524087_FrenchonNewArmies.png.146bffc0772d74281c272564ee2c5bdb.png

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