||The Dominions ran their own military affairs independent of the War Office in the United Kingdom and each had a General Staff. However, there were close links at the highest levels both military and governmental between the various Dominions and the United Kingdom. Domininion formations came under UK operational control when away from home but remained under dominion administrative control. This database shows the supreme HQ of the various dominions as being subordinate to the War Office as a way of showing that relationship and allowing users to generate Orders of Battle for the whole Commonwealth. In practise, the Dominions had almost complete autonomy in their military affairs.
||The Australian Imperial Force Battalions raised in 1939-1941 were associated for Battle Honour purposes with the corresponding Militia battalion. Therefore, this database associates them with the Corps of the appropriate Militia Battalion.
||Each Brigade of the 2 New Zealand Expeditionary Force was raised in succession between 1939 and 1942 and one Battalion (in most cases) in each Brigade was raised from the same specific area of New Zealand as its predecessors in the older Brigades and thus several NZEF battalions were associated with the same four or five New Zealand Territorial Force battalions from which they were raised. Therefore, this database has assigned each NZEF Battalion to all the NZTF Regiments from which it was raised.
||In wartime, an officer was often appointed to a Role with a Temporary or Acting Rank. This database makes no distinction between Temporary or Acting Ranks and Substantive Ranks - this is because most sources make no distinction either!! That is why officers sometimes appear to drop a rank from one appointment to another. In some cases, an officer with a substantive rank of Colonel could be an Acting Lieutenant-General.
||During the Second World War, Brigadier was technically an appointment and not a rank even though it had it's own rank insignia. In British Army lists, all Brigadiers are technically Colonels. By contrast, Brigadier is listed as a rank in the Australiand and Canadian Army Lists. In the First World War, the term Brigadier-General was used, but this database uses the term Brigadier for both Wars.
||In 1941, a number of infantry battalions were used to form Regiments of the Royal Armoured Corps in the range 107-116 and 141-163. These Regiments are shown under their parent Corps as well as the Royal Armoured Corps (for historical interest). Their histories are usually listed in the Regimental Histories of their parent Corps.
||Holding Battalions are listed as Training Battalions under their parent Corps. They were always numbered 50 Battalion except in the case of Guards Regiments where they did not have a number.
||British Infantry Regiments were numbered until 1881 when all those Regiments which did not have a second Battalion were merged with the senior Regiment becoming 1 Battalion of the Regiment and the junior Regiment becoming 2 Battalion. Regiments were allocated to counties. In some cases there had been an association with the county since 1782, but that was not universal as the 1782 subtitles were not always valid in terms of recruiting areas. At the same time Militia Regiments joined the new County Regiments as 3 and or 4 Battalions of the Regiment. At the same time, Rifle Volunteer units became associated with the new Regiments and over the next 1-5 years were renamed as Volunteer Battalions of the Regiment. In 1908, most of the Volunteer Battalions were reorganised as part of the new Territorial Force and renumbered in sequence whereby the senior Volunteer Battalion was renumbered as 4 Battalion, the next senior as 5 Battalion and so on. In 1920, the Territorial Force was reformed as the Territorial Army.
||In light of the extremely complicated history of the Volunteer Battalions of Regiments in the London and Middlesex area, I have decided to change the way this database handles Rifle Volunteer Corps units formed in 1859-1860. Instead of merely alluding to their existence in the Notes of their descendent Volunteer Battalions, I have decided to list them as separate Rifle Battalions rather than as Infantry Battalions. The reason for this is that many of them were never formally renamed as Volunteer Battalions of their associated Corps and they remained in existence as Volunteer Rifle Corps until 1908. They were all ranked as Volunteer Battalions in 1881, but these rankings were transient and often did change several times. Many of these units were actually of Company size.
||I am not sure what the acceptable short form of the Volunteer Battalions' names were. Therefore I have used the form Battalion Number + Regiment Name + "Volunteers". This is an assumption. The full name (i.e. Battalion Number + "Volunteer Battalion" + Regiment Name) is correct.
||This database also covers the Regiments of Foot which in 1881 were given territorial titles in places of their numbers. These units are listed with the Unit Type of "Foot". This will allow users to trace the ancestry of the Regular Battalions of the British Army back through The Regiments of the Line. The Regimental Numbers show the precedence of each Regiment and were of great sentimental value with the Regiment and thus are often used in Regimental Histories of the First and Second World Wars. In fact, the 1881 mergers were greeted with horror in many regiments which were very upset at the loss of their ancient regimental numbers which in some cases dated back to 1751.
||The Corps Title used in Unit Page Titles is the title that was current in the Second World War. Some regiments, such as The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, received new titles between 1921 and 1939 and it is the post 1921 titles that are used. The actual corps title at the time of any events prior to 1921 are mentioned in the unit notes or in the event description. This style also applies to those Battalions which only existed prior to the name change (such as the Volunteer Battalions) in order to keep the corps title consistent within a regiment or corps. In most cases, the new "official" corps titles often reflected the corps titles which had been used "unofficially" prior to the name change.
||In 1939, the Canadian Army was divided into two branchs: the Permanent Active Militia and the Non-Permanent Active Militia. In 1939, a new force, the Canadian Active Service Force (CASF) was raised for service overseas. Those Militia and Regular units that were mobilised became part of the new Force. In 1941, the old terms were dropped and all mobilised units were designated Active and all non-mobilised units were designated as Reserve respectively.
||Unlike its counterparts, every British and Dominion HQ was organised with three different staff branchs; General Staff (G), Adjutant-General's Branch (A) and Quartermaster-General's Branch (Q). The system was very confusing as staff officers had different titles at different levels of HQ. In some cases, A and Q functions were combined in a single role.
||Divisional Signal Regiments will henceforth be regarded as part of Divisional HQs and will not be tracked as separate units. The OC of the Divisional or Corps Signal Regiment will be identified by the Role of Commander Royal Signals. This brings Signal Regiments into line with Divisional CRA and Divisional CRE.
||Each Commonwealth Division had a fourth "Brigade HQ" in the form of the Divisional HQ CRA. This HQ commanded the Divisional RA assets, normally three Field Regiments, an Anti-Tank Regiment and a Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment; the equivalent of five battalions! The commander of this HQ known as CRA was a Brigadier and he was assisted by a Brigade Major and a Staff Captain.
||Rifle Volunteer Corps units were formed in the great Invasion Scare of 1859. These units are listed under the Rifle Unit Type and under the Force Type of Volunteer. They were not associated with the Infantry Regiments of the Line until 1881 when they were assigned to Line Regiments and ranked in seniority. Some were then redesignated as Volunteer Battalions of the Line Regiment, while others were redesignated sucessively as Rifle Volunteers and then Volunteer Rifle Corps until they were incorporated into The Territorial Force in 1908. Prior to 1881, they are grouped into pseudo-Corps by County, for example Middlesex Rifle Volunteers or Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers.
||Administrative Battalions were groupings of associated Rifle Volunteer Corps units formed in 1860 and afterwards. Some disappeared rapidly while others survived to be reorganised as Rifle Volunteer Battalions. They are listed separately as Administrative Battalions.
||Pre-1920 Canadian Regiments are listed as Rifle and not Infantry in the same manner as British Volunteer Corps. Canadian Volunteer units were formed after 1860 in a similar manner to British Rifle Volunteer Corps, where previously independent volunteer companies were grouped into "Battalions of Infantry" or "Battalions of Rifles". These units were numbered in a single sequence after 1866 and were redesignated as number Regiments in 1900.
In 1920, the Numbered Regiments (which are classified as Rifle in this database) lost their numbers and were given names only, with 1 Battalion, 2 Battalion etc. as appropriate.
Almost all Canadian Infantry Regiments formed Reserve Battalions, numbered as 2 Battalion. 3 Battalion etc., in 1920.
||The relationship of the Active (1 Battalion) and Reserve (2 Battalion) units of the wartime Canadian Regiments is quite confusing (to say the least).
When a Regiment was mobilised into the CASF or later the Canadian Army (Active), the initial personnel of the unit were from the previously existing NPAM or Canadian Army (Reserve) unit and most histories treat the mobilised Battalion as the same as the previously existing NPAM one.
This database used to take the same approach and treated the 2nd (Reserve) Battalion of 1939-42 as a new creation.
However, reading the Canadian Official Lineages makes the legal situation perfectly clear; it was the mobilised Battalion that was the newly created unit and not the Reserve Battalion!! The Reserve Battalion was later (after early 1940) redesignated 2 (Reserve) Battalion while the Active Battalion was designated 1 Battalion; but 2 Battalion was the peacetime unit while 1 Battalion was a "war-formed" unit. When the various Active Battalions were disbanded, the old Reserve Battalion remained in existence and formed the basis of the postwar Canadian Army.
Modern Canadian Regiments trace their lineage to the Reserve Battalions, and not the Active Battalions.
However, the 2nd Battalion was not always organised immediately upon the embodiment of the Active Battalion (this is especially the case with Battalions of the 1st and 2nd Canadian Infantry Divisions mobilised in 1939. In these cases, the 2nd Battalions were not formed in May-June 1940!
The role of the missing 2nd Battalions was initially played by Regimental Depots. However these Depots were absorbed into District Depots in 1940 and did not convert to the 2nd Battalions.
Therefore this Database has created Battalions of type "Reserve" to represent the legal continuity between the pre-War NPAM Battalions and the 2nd (Reserve) Infantry Battalions of 1940 onwards.
Please note that 2nd (Reserve) Battalions are categorised as "Infantry" while the interim Battalions mentioned above are categorised as "Reserve".
I hope this is clear :)
||The Reserve Battalions of the Canadian Army that were created in 1920 and disbanded in 1936 are designated as Reserve.
||The Territoral Army of the Second World War was called the Territorial Force in the First World War. I have used the term Territorial Army for both Wars.
The Territorial Force was formed in 1908 from the Volunteer Force (created after 1859), and was renamed the Territorial Army in 1920.
||The Canadian Army was massively reorganised in 1936 when some Regiments created in 1920 were disbanded, while others were merged or converted to Artillery or Tank.
||In the First World War, War Formed Battalions of Line Infantry Regiments are called Service Battalions and are assigned to a Force called "Service". They are sometimes referred to as being in K1, K2, K3 or K4, these refer to Field Marshal Lord Kitchener's "New Armies", each one being a "Wave" of five divisions.
Service Battalions were not raised by the War Office and were not initially under War Office control.
||Territoral Force Battalions were embodied in August 1914, but starting in Septmber 1914, Regiments started forming second-line Territorial Battalions numbered 2/N Battalion, i.e. 2/4 Battalion The Buffs. These were initially formed from personnel who did not voolunteer for overseas service or were not allowed to volunteer because of their occupation.
Many of these Second Line Battalions later served abroad.
In March 1915, all the First Line Territorial Battalions were renamed 1/N Battalion, i,e, 1/4 Battalion The Buffs.
Later in 1915, Third Line Battalions were raised numbered as 3/N Battalion, i.e. 3/4 The Buffs. These served at home andf were renamed as Reserve Battalions in 1916.
||In 1915, some Service Battalions raised as part of K4 were converted to 2nd Reserve Battalions to manage recruit training for the Service Battalionms of their Regiment. In 1916, this training was centralised and all 2nd Reserve Battalions became Battalions of the Training Reserve.In 1917, some of these Battalions were restored to their Regiment as Graduated or Young Service Battalions, numbered 51-53 Battalions of their Regiment. Some Battalions were transfered to different Regiments as part of this process.
||In 1908, units of the Terrotorial Force were grouped into Named Divisions and Brigades, In 1914-1915, these formations were numbered, starting at 42, in the order in which they went overseas. Territorial Divisions were also duplicated into First Line and Second Line Divisions. Many Second Line Divisions also served abroad.