The National Reserve was a register of trained officers and men who had no further obligation for military service. Its purpose was to enable an increase in military resources in the event of imminent national danger. The register was maintained by the County Associations that also organised the Territorial Force and they would frame their own rules for organising the reserve within their area.
The rules of eligibility for entry into the register applies as follows. There was no age limit for joining or leaving the National Reserve:
National Reservists were not required to undertake any definite liability. They were invited to sign an honourable obligation to present themselves for service when required. They would be used to reinforce existing units of the regular army or of the Territorial Force once it had mobilised. It would also be used to strengthen garrisons, guard vulnerable points, provide specialists or tradesmen in technical branches, or be used in hospital, veterinary, remount, clerical or recruiting duties.
If the National Reservist was mobilised he would receive a gratuity of £10 (for officers, warrant officers and men of Class I) or £5 (Class II) provided they were found fit and accepted for service. They would receive army pay from the point at which they were accepted for service in accordance with the Pay Warrant for their rank and branch of the service.
National Reservists were eligible for the same disablement pensions as a man of the regular army if they were discharged on grounds of disablement. Similarly, widows and children of National Reservists were eligible for the same pensions and compassionate allowance as widows and children of men of the regular army.
The War Office would inform each County Association of the number of Class I National Reservists required for each arm or department of the service. The relevant Territorial Force Association would receive specific orders regarding the number, where and when men should report and would issue necessary railway warrants and cash orders. Class I National Reservists would be medically inspected and then attested for service for the period of war, clothed and equipped and sent to the unit to which they were detailed. Service in the National Reserve would not count towards the qualifying period for Long Service awards.
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