TA in the Army during WW1

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by Thamesview, Nov 9, 2009.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Just been asked how many TA served during the First World War and how many VCs where awarded to reservists. In the back of my mind there is a thought that the TA was 'mothballed' for the war period and everyone was included within Regular numbers - however, I am on very thin ice. The medal experts are working on the latter but as to the former - not sure where to start- can anyone help?
  2. msr

    msr LE

    More than 700 Territorial Force Battalions and 71 VCs according to the TA 100 magazine.

  3. maninblack

    maninblack LE Book Reviewer

    TA was mobilised, not mothballed.
  4. msr

    msr LE

  5. There doesn't appear to be a reliable total (although 'north of two million' sticks in my mind) but...
    1. By 1918 a total of 692 TF battalions had existed*.
    2. TF casualties totalled 577,016 by 1918.
    3. By the end of voluntary enlistment (Dec 1915), a total of 725,842 men had enlisted in the TF.

    Hope that helps.

    * The TA 100 magazine was thrown together in an unseemly hurry with the historical pieces taken straight from the centenary book. Maybe they found another nine, but somehow I don't think so.
  6. Ah, memories...
  7. a. 71 to pre-war TF soldiers?

    b. 71 to a. + those who had enlisted in the TF after 4 Aug 14 and the end of enlistment to the TF (May 16?)?

    c. 71 to men serving in TF battalions?

    I'm not trying to belittle the TF in WW1 - I'm genuinely interested in the basis of these calculation.

  8. The TF was very seperate to regular or new army formations, as a Territorial you would normally serve with territorials. Those that didn't volunteer for overseas duty also remained in TF Bns but obviously in the UK. Even when this ended in circa 1917, disbanded TF Bn's reinforced other Bn's e.g. 1/7th (RHR) Notts and Derbys soldiers were moved into 2/6 DLI.

    It appears the TF Divisions were generally some of the strongest divisions by the end of the war. That might be a biased opinion as I've read many books by Martin Middlebrook and he has a similar intrest in 46 (North Midland) Division (they won the war BTW by 'Breaking the Hindenburg Line').

    Depending on what level of info your looking at 'Your Country Needs You' by Martin Middlebrook, would give an overview of the makeup of the British Army in WW1 before delving deeper. Again he seems to have a pro TF bias, also for some reason many Day on the ....... by penguin books also have a very high number eyewitness accounts by members of TF.

    On the medal front it will also get confusing e.g. Capt Albert Ball VC RFC ----- was in fact 1/7th (RHR) Notts & Derbys, a Territorial Robin Hoods Rifleman attached to RFC. 1/7th (RHR) means 1st Bn of the Robin Hoods.
  9. 'Call to Arms' by Charles Messenger is very good if you want to understand the evolution of the TF in WW1 and how the coming of conscription (among other things) served to change the composition of TF units.

  10. I know it isn't related to WWI but all this talk of TF rather than TA makes me think that's a lot more proper term for it today really - for Territorial members of an Army (i.e. a lot of filling gaps in Reg units) rather than a separate Army on its own.
  11. Polar, '1/7th' actually means the first line battalion of the 7th Battalion. These were the men who volunteered for overseas service in 1914. Those who remained behind became the 2/7th although most of those battalions went overseas eventually too. It is a hostilities-only classification which was also used to a limited extent in WW2.
  12. maninblack

    maninblack LE Book Reviewer

    Stickybomb is broadly correct on the suject of 1/X and 2/X Battalions however wounded soldiers from overseas deployments with 1/X would often go to 2/X for a period of training before rejoining 1/X at a convenient time.

    For a snapshot of a successful though unremarkable battalion from the TF look at 9th Battalion The Manchester Regiment at The Ashton Pals

    The story of a few thousand men from a few small towns in what was then East Manchester.
  13. Picketty-picketty MIB! :D
    You forgot the 3rd line battalions which were created to replace the recruit/convalescent training role of the 2nd line when they were sent overseas...and the re-joining of 1st and 2nd battalions made necessary by the German March 1918 offensive. So there!
  14. Many thanks for everyone that contributed, I have a couple of hours to put the speech together - I think that I will start with the TA 100 quotes and include some historic references you have mentioned - thanks again
  15. Our pleasure...but be sure to quote the TA100 book rather than the magazine. The former was written by a history professor, the latter by a film production company.