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Post 1920 Territorials' papers

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Post 1920 Territorials' papers

Postby AdrianB38 » Tue May 17, 2016 9:26 am

Arising from the Stanley Gosling threads - I made a remark in the earlier thread that I'd really like to turn into a question - does anyone know what happened to the papers of soldiers in the Territorial Army post 1920 who were never mobilised into full time uniform?

Some references suggest that those papers would never have gone to the MoD - but aren't clear where they did go. I don't think I've seen a reference that explicitly says that the MoD did have them - rather they don't split Territorials out as a separate case, leaving me unclear whether unmobilised Territorials and Regulars were treated the same or whether the text was only meant to cover Regulars.

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Re: Post 1920 Territorials' papers

Postby AdrianB38 » Wed May 18, 2016 9:54 am

Thanks for your links.

Re the first link - I've got William Spencer's book, but while it describes Territorial Army records about the organisation as a whole for the inter-war years, it is silent on service records for individuals over that period. His later "Army Records" book also seems silent on the matter as is the Society of Genealogists "My Ancestor Was In The British Army", which again leaps directly from WW1 to WW2.

Re the 2nd link - the TNA Guide seems to incline to the "no systematic keeping of inter-war TA personnel records" view, saying, "The National Archives has very few records of the Territorials" (but they don't have any for the Regulars either, post-1920, so this doesn't actually say anything!) and also, having dealt with WW1 and WW2 records for Territorials, the TNA Guide says "Most records of the Territorials are in local archives and regimental museums". That's the closest I get to a definitive statement that inter-war TA personnel records are not kept by the MoD. But surely the MoD site would actually say that if it were true? And it doesn't....

I'm inclined to the view that the MoD doesn't have the stuff, but there seem to be anomalies with this view, not least being - what triggered the move of the records and how could a Territorial Association administer its stuff if half the records were with the MoD?

Confused I am....
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Re: Post 1920 Territorials' papers

Postby AdrianB38 » Thu May 26, 2016 10:44 am

I asked this question on the Great War Forum and Chris Baker (of the Long, Long Trail site) says that he has seen several such sets of papers, all from the MoD.

This suggests that at least some of these papers are with the MoD but obviously does not prove that they all are! There will always be exceptions and one of the responders also pointed out that in the original 1908 Territorial Force regs, there were rules regarding the retention of papers that were basically - if dead, destroy the records; if discharged, retain the records for 35y then destroy. Now, clearly those rules were never acted on else there wouldn't be any TF records from WW1, but it is a warning.

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