Author Topic: Special Reserve Officers - WW1  (Read 852 times)

Offline PhilipG

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,497
Special Reserve Officers - WW1
« on: October 14, 2019, 08:09:00 AM »
I have it in mind that to be commissioned in the Special Reserve was somewhat of a privilege, second only to that of holding a regular commission.   The inference must be that a New Army commission was an inferior one.   Is this correct?  PhilipG.

Offline themonsstar

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,404
Re: Special Reserve Officers - WW1
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2019, 09:20:32 AM »
If you were commissioned into the New Army you would have ended up with a regular commission. The war office had to make do with the best that was on offer.

Offline PhilipG

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,497
Re: Special Reserve Officers - WW1
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2019, 09:30:08 PM »
Themonsstar,

Thank you.  I have found the source of my observation.  It came from my edition of Robert Graves' book "Goodbye to All That".  In that book, Graves was reminded by the Royal Welch Fusiliers that he had been given the enormous privilege of being commissioned a Special Reserve officer, second only to that of a commissioned officer in one of the two regular battalions.   He further reports that he was not a temporary officer like those in the New army, but was given a permanent commission in the Special Reserve Battalion of the Royal Welch.      PhilipG.

Online Tim Bell

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,124
    • Grandad's Journey
Re: Special Reserve Officers - WW1
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2019, 03:09:26 PM »
Hi Phillip,
Graves may not have expressed the prevailing sentiment at the time. His disparaging comments about 20th Royal Fusiliers at High Wood were not repeated elsewhere either. That was the day Graves found he had been reported dead. I wonder if he enjoyed a little controversy.
Granted the War Office had more respect for the Regulars, at the beginning of hostilities, so Special Reserve would’ve been close, as they trained to serve with the Regulars.
Tim
Following one Platoon and everything around them....
http://17thmanchesters.wordpress.com/about/

Offline PhilipG

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,497
Re: Special Reserve Officers - WW1
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2019, 04:56:39 PM »
Tim,
 As well as calling the men of the Public Schools Battalion "chocolate soldiers" - a reference to the size and frequency of the food parcels received by the battalion from relatives at home, Graves also made uncalled for remarks concerning the 1st Cameronians and 5th/6th Scottish Rifles - "the jocks legged it, as usual".     Around 1986/87, I was in correspondence with the Colonel of the Cameronians who advised me that they had taken the matter up with Robert Graves and suitable apologies had been received.   Alas, in the case of the 20th Royal Fus. there was nobody then available from the battalion to take up the matter with the publishers.   My copy of Graves' book is dated 1960.      PhilipG.

Offline PhilipG

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,497
Re: Special Reserve Officers - WW1
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2019, 07:40:41 AM »
Do we know if the Manchester Regiment had a Special Reserve battalion in 1914?   PhilipG.

Online Tim Bell

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,124
    • Grandad's Journey
Re: Special Reserve Officers - WW1
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2019, 11:20:57 PM »
Hi Philip,
I believe 3rd Bttn at Cleethorpes was Special Reserve & 4th Bttn at Riby was Extra Reserve.
Tim
Following one Platoon and everything around them....
http://17thmanchesters.wordpress.com/about/

Offline PhilipG

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,497
Re: Special Reserve Officers - WW1
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2019, 06:58:31 AM »
Tim,
Thank you.   However, according to my records the two battalions are recorded as follows:

"3rd (Reserve) and 4th (Extra Reserve) Battalions".   No mention of "Special".   But thanks again.      PhilipG.

Offline PhilipG

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,497
Re: Special Reserve Officers - WW1
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2019, 09:21:59 AM »
I understand that another aspect of being commissioned in the Special Reserve was that the "pool" of officers in that Reserve was much less than the number of officers in the two regular battalions.   Accordingly, the prospect of advancement in rank was deemed better in the Special Reserve.   Graves held the rank of Captain in March 1918.     I'm open to contradiction in this matter, but I have been told that a 2nd Lieutenant in the New Army could expect to be promoted to Lieutenant at the end of 18 months following his commissioning, subject to recommendation.     PhilipG.

Offline Timberman

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 202
Re: Special Reserve Officers - WW1
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2019, 10:06:19 AM »
Philip


The 3rd battalion was the Special Reserve and the Manchester Regiment was one of the
23 Regiments to add an extra Extra Reserve battalion being the 4th.

3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion The Manchester Regiment
4th (Extra Reserve) Battalion The Manchester Regiment

Their intransigence forced Haldane to abolish the Militia altogether and create the Special Reserve as a separate institution to the Territorial Force, both of which were established on 1 April 1908.
The Special Reserve was integrated into the regular army's regimental system. Each of the 74 infantry regiments received a 3rd (Special Reserve) battalion, and 23 regiments also established between them an additional 27 Extra Reserve battalions. The reserve battalions were to be 550 strong, increasing to 1,500 on mobilisation with the arrival of Army Reservists not immediately required by the Expeditionary Force. The reserve was given the dual role of providing replacement drafts to the regiment's regular battalions and supplementing the Territorial Force in home defence.

Neil

Offline PhilipG

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,497
Re: Special Reserve Officers - WW1
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2019, 11:00:45 AM »
Timberman,

Many thanks for the trouble you have taken.     PhilipG