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Postwarden 02-03-20 04:56 PM

3rd Reserve London.
2 Attachment(s)
This soldier is wearing the title 3rd (Reserve) London.

Was this worn by one of the Reserve Brigades which Brigadier James' book British Regiments 1914-1918 says was formed in 1916 by amalgamating the existing Reserved Territorial Bns? Or is it something else?

Thoughts appreciated.


Drew 10-03-20 12:37 PM

I have always taken it to mean the amalgamated Reserve Battalions you mention, since I do not think the term was used before September 1916. At least, not in the official way, ‘3rd (Reserve) Battalion London Regiment’.
When describing the fourth lines, Major W. E. Grey, in the ‘2nd City of London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) in the Great War’, says of the change “...the 1st and 2nd Battalions becoming the 1st (Reserve) Battalion London Regiment, and the 3rd and 4th the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion. The command of the 1st (Reserve) Battalion was given to Colonel Vickers Dundee, V.D., of the 4th London’s- an appointment that he was to hold until demobilization in 1918-, and of the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion to Colonel Montgomerie Webb. Each of these new battalions retained a double establishment of officers, non-commissioned officers, and men, and was organized into eight companies, until its numbers were depleted by the dispatch of drafts overseas.”
In addition, I have never seen a ‘2nd (Reserve)’ or ‘4th (Reserve) Battalion’ title. If the term was used to cover the 3rd or 4th lines before this date, I would expect to have seen a little evidence of it.
My theory, admittedly unproven, is that the red on white background titles were used at home and not overseas. You tend to see them in photos of men at home, don’t you? Before September 1916, I think they just wore a white, ‘1st London Regt RF title’, (or 2nd, 3rd etc), for the draft finding, training battalion. After September 1916, I think titles featuring the word “Reserve” came into use. Apologies, as perhaps not the firm evidence you were looking for, but just a few thoughts.

Thank you for posting this wonderful image. I recently acquired a white on red title which I had never seen before. I think you have it featured here. I will post once I can dig it out.
Many thanks,


Drew 10-03-20 01:02 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Attachment 220154

A bit worn, but here is the title I mentioned above.



Postwarden 10-03-20 02:04 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Thanks for the interesting explanation from Major Grey.

I have added an example of the 1st (Reserve) title on white.


Drew 10-03-20 02:18 PM

You’re very welcome. Very nice example of the 1st (Res) title. Thank you very much.


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