Although the outcome of the war had not for some months been in question, the swiftness of Germany’s collapse was somewhat unexpected. The armistice inevitably turned the minds of personnel in both the home and overseas armies to demobilization. Pivotal men began disappearing from units by the end of November but, for some soldiers, the wait was too long. A few Special Reserve battalions such as the 3/Gloucestershire, 3/Wiltshire and 3/Somerset Light Infantry became involved in minor demobilization disturbances in January 1919; they complained about continuing fatigues and unnecessary parades, while the 3/Seaforth Highlanders, like many other units at home and abroad, protested about the perceived slowness of the demobilization process. Even troops in 459th Agricultural Company at Stirling Castle created a ‘disturbance’ and gunners in 1st Siege Artillery Reserve Brigade telegraphed Lloyd George personally to demand instant demobilization.1 The issue of how long it would take for the army to discharge them was of paramount importance to the men, but the authorities had to look further ahead. In July 1919 a committee under General Hamilton-Gordon concluded that the Special Reserve should be abolished. There remained rather more than 9000 other ranks who had not completed their original six year commitment.
KeywordsNational Reserve Special Reserve Territorial Home Defence Corps Home Service Medal
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