7th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment - 1908 to 1913

The change in dress accompanied wide changes in organisation. During the years which followed the South African War several schemes of ‘Army Reform’ were launched in rapid succession; and "Army Corps", phantom or otherwise, were organised on paper, reorganised and later dissolved. Successive schemes and experiments continued until 1906/1907, when the movement for reform finally bore fruit in the measures by which Lord Haldane framed the new military system. The forces of the country were reorganised into three main groups—the forces overseas, the Expeditionary Force and the Territorial Force, the latter being enlisted for home defence and formed on the cadre of the old Yeomanry and Volunteers.

Originally it was intended that the Militia battalions—the old ‘Constitutional Force should be included in the organisation for Home Defence; but other counsels prevailed, and the Militia units were reorganised as a "Special Reserve" to the Expeditionary Force, training men for six months to fill the ranks of the Regular battalions in the event of war.

Responsibility for home defence was entrusted to the new Territorial Force, which was organised into permanent Brigades and Divisions on the pattern of the Regular Army, so as to provide a force able to take the field against an invasion. That recognition of the value of the Volunteer units was marked by a new designation, and the two Volunteer Battalions of the County were entitled the 7th and 8th Battalions of the Worcestershire Regiment. Orders were given that the renumbered Territorial Battalions were in future to wear the same uniform and badges and to carry the same Colours (but it was not until after the World War 1 that the Territorial Battalions displayed on their Colours the Regimental Battle Honours) as the Regular Battalions.

At the time of the Haldane reorganization, the command of the 7th Worcestershire was held by Colonel E. V. V. Wheeler. The success or failure of Lord Haldane’s scheme depended on transferring to the new Territorial units the enthusiastic support previously given to the freer organization of the Volunteers and it is no small tribute to the personality of the Commanding Officer that the great majority of those who were formerly enrolled in the Volunteer Corps undertook forthwith the more definite responsibilities of enlistment in the Territorial battalions.

Of necessity the efficiency of the 7th Worcestershire battalion was influenced by their Regular Adjutant. In 1906 the Adjutancy of the 7th Battalion was held by Captain C. H. Palmer, one of the most efficient and hard working soldiers of the Regiment.

Colonel E. V. V. Wheeler

In 1910 the command of the 7th Battalion passed to Lieut. Colonel J. W. Garratt, V.D. The Adjutancy of the Battalion had been taken over in 1909 by Captain C. Richardson, who was succeeded in 1912 by Captain G. M. C. Davidge.