Scope and Content

The Territorial Army was created in 1908, when the then War Minister, Lord Haldane, revised the traditional system of Yeomanry and Volunteers to create a volunteer force as a Reserve Army.

After the end of World War I, the T.A. was disbanded, but then reformed in 1920. It was also disbanded after World War II, but similarly reformed in 1947, and has remained in existence ever since.

Although the T.A. is made up of part-time soldiers, members from it served in both World Wars. At home, it was involved in war work in the counties; most importantly, it took a leading role in administering the Home Guard during the 1940s.

The T.A. was split up into local associations at county level, of which the Oxfordshire branch, which was created as soon as the T.A. came into being, was a typical example. In the 1960s, as part of a reorganisation of the T.A., the Oxfordshire Association was amalgamated with other local groups to form the East Wessex association.

The papers of the Oxfordshire Territorial Army Association consist largely of administrative documents, in particular minutes of their meetings. They also, however, include circulars from central government, letters, orders of battle, and lists of members. These are to be found in O11/1. A large group of documents, however, concern the Home Guard in Oxfordshire. These include circulars concerning its creation in 1940, correspondence, lists of members, and some photographs. The Home Guard papers are listed in O11/2 (although several references to them will be found in relevant minute books of the period).

Most of the papers were deposited in Oxfordshire Archives in 1968 and assigned the Accession Number 727. O11/1/A1/11 and O11/1/A3/5-6 arrived in 1970 as Accession 872. O11/1/A2/3, O11/1/A5/1 and O11/1/C2/2 arrived later at an unknown date.

Catalogued by Robin Darwall-Smith in June 1995.

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