King's Own Royal
First World War
Second World War
Actions & Movements
Haldane's Military Reforms
The Boer War demonstrated
that the army was poorly organised and inadequate to deal with a large
scale war. The official report into the war led to the government
instituting major reforms affecting every part of the army. In 1905
Richard Burdon Haldane was appointed Secretary of State for War, and asked
the question: “What is the Army for?”
· be capable of
maintaining the Imperial garrison in peacetime.
· provide an
expeditionary force for employment overseas, in wartime.
· retain the voluntary
system of recruitment.
· work within the
Modernised the War Office and Headquarters.
The Army Council was established. It comprised four generals and two
civilians who were all responsible to the Secretary of State for War.
Improved training of senior officers
through staff colleges, with
revised and enlarged courses.
Corrected the balance of troops at home and overseas.
By reorganising forces he was able to increase the number available in
Improved and reorganised the Army Service Corps.
This in turn improved the
rations and supplies for soldiers.
Reorganised the Royal Army Medical Corps
and field ambulance services.
Established the Royal Flying Corps in 1912.
At the beginning of the First
World War the RFC was able to send five squadrons to France to assist
troops on the ground.
Converted the Militia into the Special Reserve
from which men could be drafted into the regular unit. These soldiers
would not be used on the front line. The Territorial Reserve Forces Act,
of 1908, disbanded the 4th (Militia) Battalion and converted the 3rd
(Militia) Battalion into the 3rd Special Reserve Battalion of the King’s
Converted the Volunteers into the Territorial Force (TF)
who would be ready to serve within 6 months of mobilisation. The 1st and
2nd Volunteer Battalions became the 4th and 5th Battalions of the King’s
Own, each divided into eight companies.
achieved many things, and certainly it was his efforts which placed the
Army in such a strong position for war in 1914.
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