THE 58TH (SUFFOLK) MEDIUM REGIMENT, ROYAL ARTILLERY, 1939
This artillery regiment owes its origin to Territorial Force artillery units formed in the county of Suffolk in 1907. It served as medium artillery in the period of the Great War, when it was armed with 4.7 inch guns. After the war it was reorganised, with its headquarters at Ipswich and other drill halls at Bury St. Edmunds and Sudbury. The picture shows a bombardier of the unit in blue walking-out dress; in the background is a 6-inch howitzer, the weapon with which the unit is at present armed.
56TH (CORNWALL) ANTI-AIRCRAFT REGIMENT, ROYAL ARTILLERY, 1939
This unit is one of the youngest portrayed in the series. It came into existence in its present form in 1932, but in fact the various batteries which were then combined into the 56th A.A. Brigade had previously existed, either as coast defence units, or as batteries of medium artillery. The establishment has successively expanded, but the regiment has been one of the most noteworthy territorial units, in that it has always maintained a high level of strength. The picture shows an officer, in Royal Artillery mess dress, with a 3.7 inch anti-aircraft gun in the background.
THE NORTH MIDLAND CORPS SIGNALS, 1939
The North Midland Corps Signals originated when the North Midland Divisional Telegraph Company, R.E.., was formed on April 1st 1908, with headquarters at Shelton, as one of the new units of the Territorial Force. In the Great War the unit proceeded overseas with the 46th (North Midland) Division, the first complete territorial division to arrive in any theatre of war. In 1920 it was reformed as the 46th North Midland Divisional Signals and in December, 1936, when the North Midland Division was disbanded, the unit became the North Midland Corps Signals. The picture shows a dispatch rider of the unit receiving a dispatch, with a wireless car in the background.
7TH/9TH (HIGHLANDERS) BN., THE ROYAL SCOTS (THE ROYAL REGIMENT), 1939
The present unit is an amalgamation of two famous Leith and Edinburgh units. The first Midlothian Rifle Volunteer Corps (raised in 1859) became in 1908 the 7th Battalion, The Royal Scots, and served during the Great War in Gallipoli, Egypt, Palestine and France, with the 53nd Lowland Division. The 9th Battalion, formed in 1900 as the Highland Battalion of the Regiment, was one of the first territorial force units to go to France, serving in the 27th Division at the second battle of Ypres and later in the 5th, 51st, 61st and 15th Divisions. The picture shows the pipe major of the present regiment in full dress, with Edinburgh Castle as background.
THE 4TH/5TH BN., THE BUFFS (ROYAL EAST KENT REGIMENT), 1939
The title of the 4th/5th Battalion was bestowed on the 4th Bn. in 1937 in order to retain the identity of the 5th Bn. which amalgamated with the 4th in 1922. Of the two original units, one was formed in 1816 at Canterbury, under the style of the East Kent Rifle Volunteers, and the other raised in the Weald of Kent. The 4th Bn. served in India and Aden during the Great War, and was engaged in operation at the latter station from Aug. 1915 to Feb. 1916, when it returned to India. The 5th Bn. went to Mesopotamia, where it won fame at Kut (which it helped to recapture) and Baghdad. The picture shows a drummer of the present territorial battalion, in full dress, with Dover Castle in the background.
LONDON IRISH RIFLES, THE ROYAL ULSTER RIFLES, 1939
The history of the London Irish Rifles dates form a private meeting held in November 1859, in the rooms in Essex Street, Strand, of Mr Dempsey, an Irish Journalist. The Corps was formed in 1860 as the London Irish Volunteers, Lt-Col. The marquis of Donegall, K.P., being its first commandant. The regiment sent a detachment to the South African War and served in the Great War in the 47th and 60th Divisions as the 18th (County of London) Bn., The London Regt. (London Irish Rifles). We show an officer in undress uniform in front of the Duke of York’s Headquarters, Chelsea, where the unit has its HQ.
THE 3RD COUNTY OF LONDON YEOMANRY (SHARPSHOOTERS), 1939
This unit dates officially from July 1901, when it was formed of officers and men who had served in the original Sharpshooters, a corps of picked marksman raised as three Mounted Infantry Battalions in 1899. The regiment served in Gallipoli, Salonica and Palestine as cavalry and in France as machine gunners. In 1922 it became the 23rd (London) Armoured Car Co. (Sharpshooters), Tank Corps (T.A.), but was restored to regimental status in 1938 as a Cavalry Armoured Car Regiment. The recruiting of a second regiment was completed in April 1939. Our picture shows a sergeant in undress uniform, with a Lanchester armoured car in the background.
22ND BN., ROYAL TANK REGIMENT (WESTMINSTER DRAGOONS), 1939
The 2nd County of London Yeomanry (Westminster Dragoons) was raised in 1901 for service in the South African War. In the Great War two regiments were formed and served in France and Egypt. After the war eight yeomanry regiments, amongst them the Westminster Dragoons, became armoured car companies. In 1937 the 22nd (London) Armoured Car Company (Westminster Dragoons) was selected to become a unit of the Officer Producing Corps and its establishment was raised to that of a battalion. The picture shows an officer of the unit in the black canvas used for training, with light tanks in the background.
ROYAL ARMY ORDNANCE CORPS, 1939
The Royal Army Ordnance Corps is responsible for the design, purchase, storage, issue and repair of all stores required by the army, except food and petrol. With the ever increasing development of armoured fighting vehicles and other technical equipment, the importance of the R.A.O.C. grows from day to day. The picture shows a warrant officer of the R.A.O.C. in blue undress uniform, with a modern breakdown lorry in the background. Members of the R.A.O.C. (T.A.) are nearly all skilled tradesmen, and on their efficiency depends the smooth running of the modern mechanised Territorial Army.
INFANTRY, T.A., 1939
Pictures 1-49 of this series have told something of the history of the Territorial Army. The year 1939 has witnessed the greatest expansion of voluntary effort ever carried out by this country in time of peace. The Territorial Army has doubled and is now over 400,000 strong. It has also been modernised in uniform and equipment. The picture shows a typical member of the Territorial Army of today in battle dress with new web equipment. He is wearing a steel helmet and carrying a box respirator, and is armed with a Bren light machine gun.