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loujn

What was a "service battalion"

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loujn

Apologies if this sounds a very basic question - but I am struggling to find an actual definition by Google.

 

Please could someone kindly tell me if I am on the right lines with my description -

 

A service battalion was a battalion formed to bolster numbers at the outbreak of WW1.  The word "service" being taken from the fact that the men enlisted for "general service" for the duration of the war.

 

Does this sound about right? or am I way off! lol

 

Any suggestions much appreciated.

 

Thank you,

 

Louise

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Moonraker

It sounds right to me.

 

Moonraker

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Gardenerbill

I stand to be corrected, but in my limited experience regiments generally had 4 regular battalions, then depending on how many TF battalions they had, the new army battalions were raised as 6th (Service) Battalion, 7th (Service) Battalion etc. You can see this in the Long Long Trail. Pick an Infantry Regiment and have a look.

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Chris_Baker

The infantry battalions raised as part of the New Armies were known as Service Battalions, simply to distinguished them as having been raised for war service only and not as a permanent addition to the Armed Forces of the Crown. In every other respect they were organised and (eventually) equipped in the same way as a regular battalion.  

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loujn

Thank you all for your comments, much appreciated.  I’m glad I’m on the right lines. 

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Medaler

Remember the famous poster of Kitchener with the staring eyes and pointy finger? Those posters were aimed at raising enough recruits to form a "new army" which was composed of these Service Battalions. Several of these post declaration of war recruits did however find their way into the "Regular" battalion's of the peacetime "standing army" due to the high rates of attrition that they experienced on active service.

 

Not all the Regiments of the Regular army had 4 "fighting" battalions at the outset, many only had 2. To quote my local Sherwood Foresters, they had .......

1st - Regulars

2nd - Regulars

3rd - Reserve

4th - Reserve

5th - Territorial

6th - Territorial

7th - Territorial

8th - Territorial

Their first "Service" Btn was therefore the 9th, with most of their manpower being recruited in August & September of 1914.

 

Hope that has helped?

 

Regards,

Mike

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loujn
On 06/07/2018 at 20:00, Medaler said:

Hope that has helped?

Yes, thank you Mike this has helped, thank you for your explanation.  Learning a bit more every day! its taken me years to get to this stage..... still a very much beginner! lol

 

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