HC Deb 08 May 1916 vol 82 cc277-8

asked the Under-Secretary for War if he is aware that men of the National Reserve, who enlisted for local duties, such as guarding bridges, now find themselves scattered about amongst provisional battalions and having to perform physical drill, route marches, and general recruits' training; and if he will use them for the purposes for which they were enlisted?


These men were enlisted into the Territorial Force with a liability for service in any place in the United Kingdom, and not merely for local duties. Towards the end of last year the supernumerary companies to which these men belonged were reorganised, when it was found possible to effect a considerable reduction of numbers. Some thousands of the surplus were found medically fit for garrison duties overseas, and are now voluntarily serving abroad. Of the remaining surplus men, many were found medically fit for more active duties than the guarding of bridges, etc., and were consequently posted to Home Service Provisional Battalions. It will thus be seen that there was no breach of contract in posting these men to provisional battalions, and the hon. Member may rest assured that no men would be required to perform; military duties which they were physically incapable of performing.