Ex-Regulars in the TA in 1939

Discussion in 'Sub-forum: The build-Up - 1933-1940' started by Owen, Nov 27, 2018.

  1. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Pre-war TA units must have had some ex-Regulars serving in them who would have still been on their Reserve period.
    With mobilisation in Sept 1939 would the Regular Reservists have gone back to their Regular units or would they stay with their new TA unit ?
    Just something I was thinking about earlier that I don't know the answer to.
  2. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    I'm not sure this provides an actual answer, but there is a 2016 file here, with what I thought was a lot of interesting pre-war British TA detail: https://ora.ox.ac.uk/objects/uuid:38dc5164-f858-4bba-9bfb-a1c4b4a59550/download_file?file_format=pdf&safe_filename=ORA+A.D.+Jones+D.Phil+Pinchbeck+Regulars.pdf&type_of_work=Thesis

    "Pinchbeck Regulars? The Role and Organisation of the Territorial Army, 1919-1940."

    Chapter Seven of which is on "Forging the Wartime Army: The Territorial Army Contribution to Mobilisation and the Flanders Campaign, 1939/1940."

    And has, for example:

    "Territorial units into trained and cohesive military bodies proved a much harder task. Reflecting from 1941, the then Adjutant-General, Ronald Adam, noted that most of the Army’s energies up to May 1940 had to be diverted into bringing some order to the chaos of Territorial manpower. The scale of this undertaking was such that the TA had to undergo a period of considerable disruption directly after mobilisation. This seriously constrained efforts to prepare its units for early service overseas. This should have come as no surprise given the fact that most of these problems had been predicted in peacetime The more thorough medical examination on mobilisation duly led to many personnel being instantly downgraded. Additionally, as nineteen was set as the age limit for service in operational theatres, Territorial divisions earmarked for the BEF had to remove all those classed as ‘immatures,’ or under the deployable age. This necessitated the exchange of some 40,000 Territorials between units, which proved highly disruptive. For example, the re-allocation of ‘immatures’ from 23rd and 12th Division resulted in each formation losing between five and ten per cent of their total manpower. A similar manpower dilemma was encountered over the necessity to release those employed in reserved occupations. By 1 September the ‘comb out’ was finally set in motion, leading to the discharge of between 9,500 to 10,500 Territorials. Some 2,100 key men had been released on the representation of employers and government departments during the initial call-up, and a further 7,100 were discharged after a Ministry of Labour audit. In December 1939 another 3,400 men were released after a similar process was initiated in ADGB units.
    Many Territorial units actively resisted the ‘comb out,’ especially of its longest-serving or more useful men, a fact that reflected the relative lack of experience that existed in the expanded Territorial Army. For example, in the infantry alone sixty-five per cent had less than twelve months service, and fifty per cent less than six. The upshot of this was that men with even only a few years of peacetime training were viewed as indispensable assets, and COs refused to release them. Furthermore, removing all those in one reserved occupational group could easily decimate whole units. For example, on mobilisation the 42nd Divisional Engineers lost over thirty per cent of its total strength to industry, and these could not be replaced until the end of 1939. As a response some men simply rejected their exempted status. The commander of 50th Division reported just after mobilisation that he had up to 100 miners ‘who were frankly refusing to go.’ He urged the War Office to re-think the issue, recognising that ‘expulsion by brute force was an undesirable step."
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
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  3. Benedict

    Benedict Junior Member

    My Father was a pre-war reg with 1RF, left in '36 and was then mobilized back into 2RF (1RF may have still been in India). Don't know whether this was the norm though.
  4. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    Hello Owen,

    2 DLI Dyle to Dunkirk

  5. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Thanks for the replies chaps but they don't answer my question.
  6. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Agreed ;-)

    Re. "would the Regular Reservists have gone back to their Regular units or would they stay with their new TA unit ?"

    The sense I got was it was perhaps case by case? but there may have been some rules?

    Would it also have depended on a lot of various things like rank, age, experience, where their "Regular unit" was and what the requirements of their "new TA unit" was etc.

    My grandfather was mobalized at 2nd September 1939, posted to the Royal Armoured Corps 5th September 1939, Posted to the 55th Tank (Training) Regiment 9th September 1939 and then posted to the 9th Lancers 14th September 1939.

    Prior to this he'd been with other "regular units"

    I think his "regular" pre-mobalisation 1939 unit would have been the 4th but i.e. I see from this: 1918 – 1939

    "On 19 September 1939, two weeks after Great Britain and France declared war, 4 RTR deployed to France, here seen entraining at Cherbourg for the Vimy Ridge area. They were the first tank-equipped regiment to join the BEF."

    So it would have been a "rush" maybe to get him to the 4 RTR on 19 September 1939? and deployed to France.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018

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