The Territorial Army (TA), the reserve force of the British Army made up of part-time soldiers, celebrated its 100th birthday yesterday in a special event held at Horseguards Parade in London yesterday.

The TA was created in 1908 by the Secretary of State for War, Richard Haldane.

The TA currently has a strength of 34,000 personnel, though it will soon enlargen to 42,000. The TA, despite being only the British Army's reserve force, is about the same size as many country's full-time, proper armies - including Canada's.

TA celebrates its centenary

Centenary ... TA celebrate

21 Jun 2008
The Sun

THE head of the British Army praised the efforts of the Territorial Army as it celebrated its centenary today.

Chief of the General Staff General Sir Richard Dannatt thanked the men and women who hold down regular jobs while serving their country for their "personal and professional sacrifices".

The lives of three Territorials who died this week were also remembered by the audience of 6,000 who included the Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall and Armed Forces Minister Bob Ainsworth.

Their deaths were the largest loss of life in a single day that the TA has suffered since the Second World War.


Sir Richard told spectators who had gathered in Horse Guards Parade for the pageant: "This anniversary year celebrates the contribution and commitment of the Territorial Army and its distinguished heritage dating back to 1908.

"Then, as now, Territorials were dedicated and highly trained soldiers with valuable skills motivated by a sense of duty to serve the society within which they live.

"The TA continues to do so, not least through a significant contribution to current operations."

Sir Richard went on to describe that 700 Territorials were serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and that since campaigns began in the two Middle East countries nearly 15,000 TA personnel have fought alongside their regular Army colleagues.

He added: "It is a sad fact that in that time 11 Territorial Army soldiers have paid the ultimate sacrifice and laid down their lives. Three this week in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

"But with their memory and sacrifice very much in mind the work nevertheless goes on."

SAS reservists Corporal Sean Robert Reeve, Lance Corporal Richard Larkin and Paul Stout died on Tuesday along with regular soldier Corporal Sarah Bryant - the first British woman to be killed on active service in Afghanistan -following an explosion.

Charles, who wore military uniform, also made a speech and told the guests and gathered TA units: "Inevitably, however, serving your country comes at a cost.

"And you may sometimes feel you are pulled in three different directions. Juggling the needs of the family, your civilian career and the TA.

"We need to recognise therefore just what a debt of gratitude we owe to the families and the employers who support your essential contribution.

"Without their goodwill and their long suffering understanding, the TA would fail to be the extraordinarily effective force it has become."