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new army


les 1RHA
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Hello All, Can anyone explain the difference between, Pals Battalions and Service Battalions. as apposed to the TF and regular battalions. also were the Bantams classed as either Pals or Service battalions.

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so were the Bantams.

NB: for all intents and purposes, the Army only dealt with two concepts:

1. Regulars, include Regular reserve, special reserve, and service/ pals/ new army/ bantams, and

2. Territorial Force.

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Hi Les. Regulars were full time soldiers. TF were part time who had joined before the war and expected to serve in their own area, hence Territorial Force. Most agreed to serve overseas when war broke out. Service Battalions were part of the New Armies, Kitchener 1,2,3. These were the men who answered Kitchener's call in August 1914, and volunteered in their tens of thousands. Pals battalions were Service battalions who usually came from the same town. Bantams were men who were too short but wished to serve. The height minimum was dropped to allow them to join. This was only partly successful. The height difference made it very difficult to cater for them. Everything needed altering, from uniforms to trenches. As someone who only just scraped in to the normal sized army, I can confirm that it is a big problem( pun intended).

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While I agree with Tom about the Bantams being only partly successful the "originals" were sorely tried , being used in penny packets attached to other units, however they used the same weapons . Alas replacements were not of the same calibre & led to the loss of the Bantam status , they were very useful in the Tank corps later.

Colin.

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