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Territorial Army (100th Anniversary)


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From Hansard (on line)

Territorial Army (100th Anniversary)

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Mr. Adam Ingram): I am pleased to announce that the Centenary anniversary of the Territorial Army (TA), and the Reserve Forces and Cadets Association (RFCA) will be commemorated in the United Kingdom in 2008.

The commemorations, which will be designated TA100, will commence from the anniversary on 1 April 2008. The main national level event will take place on Horse Guards Parade on Saturday 21 June 2008, and between April 2008 and Remembrance Day 2008 there will be a number of regional and local activities, with a broad emphasis on TA veterans and members of the TA currently deployed on operations. The Army will be working with the RFCAs, the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency, the National Army Museum, Regimental and Corps museums and Service charities to plan events throughout the United Kingdom. Further details will be made available in due course.

Let us hope that the often underated contribution made by the T.F. in the Great War will be duly recognised.

A :unsure:

Some useful images here: Mary Evans Picture Library : 100th anniversary of Britain's forming of the Territorial Army in 1908

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This anniversary is a bit fanciful: the 1908 creation was the Territorial FORCE. The TA was a much later construct. And, if we are to say [TF + TA service] = TA service = 100 years, then the immediate linear forerunner to the TF [with just as much claim for kinship as the TA] was the Volunteer Force, which was founded, if memory serves, c. 1860 [out of my period].

So the centenerary is very artificial.

But, of course, the service and valour of the TF in the Great War was beyond praise.

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You're living up to your name my friend

The Golden Jubilee was celebrated in grand style in 1958 so there is more than enough precedence

Even nearer to its formation so was the 21st Anniversary in 1929 (the name change was 1920). Here is the message of HM King George V:-

"The Empire will never forget the inestimable services rendered by Territorial troops throughout the Great War, more especially during those early and critical days before the New Armies were ready to take the field. The gallantry and self-sacrifice of the men who fought and fell will be an inspiration for all time."

King George V, 21st Anniversary of the TA, 1929

The TF/TA was definitely a new body, although the units were older. Volunteer Force from 1859 (the QVR's can trace themseves to the Napoleonic volunteers, but were ony a Rifle Club in the intervening period) and the Yeomanry 1793. The two forces were quite distinct and had varying terms of service. The present TA includes the old Army Emergency Reserve as well.

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This anniversary is a bit fanciful: the 1908 creation was the Territorial FORCE. The TA was a much later construct. And, if we are to say [TF + TA service] = TA service = 100 years, then the immediate linear forerunner to the TF [with just as much claim for kinship as the TA] was the Volunteer Force, which was founded, if memory serves, c. 1860 [out of my period].

So the centenerary is very artificial.

But, of course, the service and valour of the TF in the Great War was beyond praise.

What really IS 100 years old is the territorials be it force or army . It was formed in 1908 originaly for home defence so as to allow the regs to go and fight . A man called Halldane was the instigator and it would bring into line all the volunteer and militia units to make ONE force. I do not think it a bit fancyful as it is about time this reserve force of BRITISH SOLDIERS was recognized for what it really is. In november 1914 the British Army was finished . It was the TA and reservists who stood to whilst the army was re enforced. They are still fighting alongside the regs

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post-1258-1191850419.jpg

Hector,

The photo is a group of 1/8th Royal Scots(TF) and 1/8th HLI(TF) taken in France in November 1915.Although this photo was not printed in the Paper the ones that were said the Battalion had been serving in France for 12 months when the photos were taken.

The seated Sgt is my Uncle and had already seen his Brother mortally wounded some 10 months before the photo was taken.

Many of us on the Forum are either serving or ex-TA so we know both, the History and current role of the organization.

It is correct to say that the TF was formed in 1908, from earlier organizations, and it is also correct to say that it was dismissed by some Senior Officers in 1914 who questioned its fighting qualities.

We are by nature, on this Forum, a cynical bunch as we know from History the bungles made by Politicians and Generals when "managing" the TF/TA.

George(who did his bit in the 1970's)

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Before people get a head of steam up, my point is that the TA is either older or younger than 100 years in 2008 because if the TF is taken into account, so also should the VF. The Special Army Order of 18th March 1908 was entitled:

Scheme for the transfer of the HAC, the IY and the VF, and their reorganizatio into the TF.

The order is quite clear that 'The units .... will ..... be transferred'. ie continuity

Individual soldiers [currently in the above units] ...... may ..... enlist..... [in the several arms and services of the TF]. ie not continuity, but re-enlistment.

I do not have the equivalent 1920 order whereby the TF was subsumed into the TA, perhaps others do, but I expect it was on similar lines. So, if we count the VF/TF continuity the centenary was 1959, and if not, we must wait until 2020. Can't have it both ways.

And I held a dormant commission in the RAFVR so am well aware of Volunteer service and its vital role in war and peace.

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The Territorial Force was originally formed by the Secretary of State for War, Richard Burdon Haldane, following the enactment of the Territorial and Reserve Forces Act 1907 which combined and re-organised the old Volunteer Army with the remaining units of militia and yeomanry. The TF was formed on April 1, 1908 and contained 14 infantry divisions, and 14 mounted yeomanry brigades. It had an overall strength of approximately 269,000.

The individual units that made up each division or brigade were administered by County Associations, with the county's lord lieutenant as president. The other members of the association consisted of military members (chosen from the commanding officers of the units), representative members (nominated by the county councils and county boroughs in the lieutenancy county) and co-opted members (often retired military officers). Associations took over any property vested in the volunteers or yeomanry under their administration. Each regiment or battalion had a regular army officer attached as full-time adjutant.

The use of the word territorial signified that the volunteers who served with the force were under no obligation to serve overseas — in 1910, when asked to nominate for Imperial Service overseas in the event of mobilisation, less than 10% of the Force chose to do so. In August 1914, after the outbreak of World War I, Territorial units were given the option of serving in France and by August 25 in excess of 70 battalions had volunteered. This question over the availability of Territorial divisions for overseas service was one of Lord Kitchener's motivations for raising the New Army separately.

Territorial formations initially saw service in Egypt and India and other Empire garrisons such as Gibraltar, thereby releasing regular units for service in France and enabling the formation of an additional five regular army divisions (for a total of eleven) by early 1915. Several reserve units were also deployed with regular formations and the first Territorial unit to see action on the Western Front was the Glasgow Territorial Signallers Group, Royal Engineers at the First Battle of Ypres on the 11th of October 1914. The first fully Territorial division to join the fighting on the Western Front was the 46th Division in March 1915, with divisions later serving in Gallipoli and elsewhere. As the war progressed and casualties mounted, the distinctive character of Territorial units was diluted by the inclusion of conscript and New Army drafts. Following the Armistice all units of the Territorial Force were gradually disbanded.

[edit] Interwar re-establishment and World War II

New recruiting started in early 1920, and the Territorial Force was reconstituted 7 February 1920. On 1 October 1920 the Territorial Force was renamed the Territorial Army. The 1st Line divisions (that were created in 1907 or 1908) were reconstituted in that year. However, the composition of the divisions was altered with a reduction in the number of infantry battalions required. There was also a reduced need for cavalry, and of the fifty-five yeomanry regiments, only the fourteen senior regiments retained their horses. The remaining yeomanry were converted to artillery or armoured car units or disbanded.[4] [5] The amalgamation of forty pairs of infantry battalions was announced in October, 1921.[6] [7] As part of the post-war "Geddes Axe" financial cuts the TA was further reduced in size in 1922: artillery batteries lost two of their six guns, the established size of infantry battalions was cut and ancillary medical, veterinary, signals and Royal Army Service Corps units were either reduced in size or abolished.[8] An innovation in 1922 was the creation of two Air Defence Brigades to provide anti-aircraft defence for London.[9] [10]

On March 29, 1939 it was announced that the size of the TA was to be doubled by the reforming of the 2nd line units. The total strength of the TA was to be 440,000: the field force of the Territorial Army was to rise from 130,000 to 340,000, organised in 26 divisions while an additional 100,000 all ranks would form the anti-aircraft section.[11] [12] When the 2nd Line was reformed they were a little different from their WWI predecessors. They had slightly different names and the regiments assigned were different. After VJ Day in August 1945, the Territorial Army was significantly downsized with all 2nd Line and several 1st Line Divisions once again disbanded.

This is an extract off wiipedia

2008 says it for me 100years

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Will the Centenary celebrations include a gold medal medal for all serving and ex Territorials?

If so, then Gordon Brown gets my vote!!!

But not before It's pinned on my chest.

Steve :lol:

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Daggers is correct, I have a Centenary booklet ( 1859-1959 ) for the 287th Medium Regiment R.A.,T.A.

A published history of the 359th ( 4th West Lancs) Medium Regt. ( 1859-1959) celebrates " 100 years of unbroken Volunteer Gunner Service"

As Grumpy says ,it depends when you start counting.

If you were cynical you might think it is the reliance on the Territorials on which we now depend that is responsible for creating this "opportunity" to celebrate their achievments.

Unfortunatley there are none ( or very few ) of the original Territorial units existing in the same format in which they were originally formed.Politicans were more than happy to see the original units disbanded or reduced in size over the years.

P.B.

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As PB hints at - there may be a political dimension to the '100th Anniversary'

From MoD Army website

Throughout 2008, events around the UK will celebrate 100 years of service to the nation, during which TA soldiers have served alongside their Regular Army comrades in almost every major operation around the world.

But we will do more than simply look back. Whilst our heritage has been vital in shaping the organisation, TA100 will also recognise and demonstrate the TA’s vital role today in supporting operations and its contribution to the UK’s overall defence capability.

And we will look ahead, to a TA that is increasingly integrated with the Regular Army to create one cohesive force, a force that simply consists of full-time soldiers and part-time soldiers. It will be a force that will shape, and be shaped by, the nature of defence in the 21st Century.

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I take Grumpy's point in that it does depend when one starts counting. There were militia units during the Napoleonic Wars, most of of were disbanded afterwards, with the next round of raising being in 1859-60. The HAC are of course much much older than that.

However, I would argue that 1 April 1908 is a date worth commemorating as it does mark the professionalistion of the volunteer soldier in a way that I don't see in the ad hoc/amateur nature of much of the Volunteer Forces. Things somehow seem more 'modern' from 1908. A comparison of the 1908 TF Divisions does show continuity with the TF Divisions as reconstituted in 1920 and through to 1945. (WO 114 contains the TF/TA unit strength returns from 1908 and from 1920 onwards and this continuity is evident.)

In the one unit that I have looked at in detail, the 19th Londons, the regimental journal (pub from 1920 - 1939) doesn't draw any distinction between the TF and TA that I have noticed, though there is the occasional comment about the terms of service and the difficulties of recruiting in the 1920s.

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Now here's a turn up for the books! An Official History by Ian Beckett...

As the author of three other related works on the subject he should know what he's writing about!

Found at :

http://www2.northampton.ac.uk/portal/page/...rofiles#beckett

Professor Ian Beckett

I am Professor of History, Research Leader for History, Director of the University’s new Centre for the Historical Experience of War (CHEW), and course leader for the MA in War and Society. I joined the University in 2005, having previously been Major General Matthew C Horner Distinguished Professor of Military Theory at the US Marine Corps University, Quantico, Virginia (2002-2004), and Professor of Modern History at the University of Luton (1994-2001).

Research interests

My research is primarily on the British Army between 1870 and 1914, and on the First World War, and I have published extensively on both of these areas. I am also known internationally for my work on insurgency and counter-insurgency. A Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, I am also Chairman of the Council of the Army Records Society, and Secretary to the Buckinghamshire Military Museum Trust. Currently, I am writing the official centenary history of the Territorial Army, to be published for the TA100 celebrations in 2008.

Other publications

The Amateur Military Tradition, 1558-1945

This work, part of a series on the British Army, is concerned with the means the British have used to avoid having a large standing army from earliest times (1558) to this century, preferring to opt for amateur or temporary arrangements for soldiers when the need arose. The amateur military tradition has taken varying forms. The origins of auxiliary forces, for example, are rooted in the military obligations of the Anglo-Saxons and were transmitted through mediaeval legislation to be enshrined in what might properly be called the first militia statutes of 1558. Thereafter, the militia had a formal statutory existence until 1604, and then from 1648 to 1735, to be followed by two similar periods - 1757 to 1831 and 1852 to 1908. The intricacies of the military as an institution of state are explored further in the book, which lays out the complexities of the types of compulsion that the state has used over the years to raise sufficient forces as circumstances have dictated.

RIFLEMEN FORM: A Study of the Rifle Volunteer Movement 1859-1908

Gen. Sir Garnet Wolseley commented that history would record the formation of the Volunteers Movement as one of the most remarkable events in the century. In this study of the Rifle Volunteer Movement, the author Ian Beckett has drawn from a wide range of primary source material such as official, regimental, local and private repositories. He has been able to put into perspective the Movement within the structure of the Victorian and Edwardian social, political and military affairs from its formation in 1859 to its absorption in the Territorial Force in 1908.

A Nation in Arms: A Social Study of the British Army in the First World War by Ian F.W. Beckett (Editor), Keith Simpson (Editor)

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