The Territorials 1908-1914: A Guide for Military and Family Historians, Ray Westlake

The Territorials 1908-1914: A Guide for Military and Family Historians, Ray Westlake

The Territorial Force was founded in 1908, replacing the previous Yeoman and Volunteer forces. The new force consisted of over 600 individual units, ranging from small cadet units to entire divisions, and including its own artillery, cavalry and support units. The Territorials were expected to serve at home in the case of an emergency, although eventually many of them were serve overseas during the First World War.

The book is split into three sections. The first provides background information on the Territorial Force, including unit types, rates of pay, recruitment and general definitions. All three sections are organised alphabetically, an idea that fits better in the second and third sections than in the first.

The second section looks at the over 600 units within the Territorial Force. The number of units limits the amount of information that can be included - indeed for some units (such as the Lowland Clearing Hospital) only the location of the headquarters is given. Larger units are given a paragraph, giving the component parts and headquarters. For any individual several different entries will thus be of interest - someone serving in the Derby Post Office Cadets would also find information under the Sherwood Foresters (the associated regiment) and the North Midland Division.

The third section is a gazetteer of 3,000 locations mentioned in part two. Once again space is limited, so most entries consist of location information, a comment on the local churches and a list of territorial units associated with the place. Some larger places get a little more background information, mostly related to the period in question. The main use of this section would be to identify which territorial units a particular person could have served in, with some locations being linked to several different units.

This is a pure reference book, which will be of great value to anyone with an interest in the Territorial Force and for family histories attempting to trace people who served in the Territorials.

The Territorial Force
Territorial Force Units
Territorial Force Gazetteer

Author: Ray Westlake
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 278
Publisher: Pen & Sword Family History
Year: 2011

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