Page 12 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

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THE interval which elapsed between the end of the South African
campaign and the beginning of the European War witnessed changes
of a far-reaching nature in the organization and administration of the
British Army. South Africa was the grave of the old army of
Victorian days. As the prospect of European war in which British
troops might be called upon to take part grew menacing, the British
military organization was brought more closely into line with that of
continental nations. Under the system of "linked battalions," which
had been the central feature of Lord Cardwell's reforms, each
regiment was constituted of not less than two Regular battalions of
long-service professional soldiers, one of which was always abroad
and the other at home. This system was retained; but the forces at
home were no longer regarded as primarily available for home
defence and draft-finding, and came to be looked upon more alld
more as a potential st riking force, capable of being employed at short
notice in a foreign theatre of war. With this object they were so
organized as to be capable of taking the field overseas as an Expedi–
tionary Force within a very short period after mobilization. The
Imperial General Staff was brought into existence . The old Militia,
a survival from Napoleon's days, gave way to the Special Reserve,
to which was expressly assigned the function of furnishing drafts to
the Regular forces in the field. Finally, the Volunteers were trans–
formed into the Territorial Force, and reorganized into fourteen
divisions, each complete with the necessary artillery and divisional
troops. To this new force was assigned the task of home defence ,
thus setting free the Regular forces for operations overseas. Although
not armed or equipped at the outbreak of war upon identical lines
with the Regular troops and not liable for service overseas, it was
expected that the Territorial Force at a comparatively early stage
after mobilization would be capable of undertaking the role of home
defence .
At the outbreak of war, all these changes were reflected
constitution of the Lancashire Fusiliers. Of the two Regular
battalions of the Regiment, the Ist Battalion (Lieutenant-Colonel
H. V. S. Ormond) was stationed at Karachi, in India. The 2nd
Battalion (Major C.
Griffin) was at the Citadel Barracks, Dover,
where it formed one of the units of the 12th Infantry Brigade