At the National Archives last weekend, I did a little more research on my grandfather, and will post about it soon.

Meanwhile, I am puzzled by an abbreviation in the London Gazette :


What does T.F. mean? I bet there’s someone out there who knows.


  1. Tom Deveson
    Posted May 28, 2016 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    Is it this?


    • Posted May 28, 2016 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      Territorial Force? Could be.

      What’s really interesting me at the moment is that the file about my grandfather’s demob (which I found at the National Archives last week) is AIR 76/462/61
      Does that AIR prefix mean Air Ministry? In which case, was he attached to the Royal Flying Corps?
      I’ll put the whole file online next week.

      • Posted May 28, 2016 at 11:55 am | Permalink

        George, yes, that could be it. Perhaps the hon. commission was to transfer into the Royal Flying Corps?

  2. Posted May 28, 2016 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    It was the ‘Territorial Force’, formed from 1908 as a result of a 1907 Act of Parliament implementing the ‘Haldane reforms’, named after the Secretary of State for War at the time. It replaced most local part time defence forces and after the war became the Territorial Army, from 1920. It’s now the Army Reserve.

    See for example: http://www.1914-1918.net/tf.htm or Wikipedia for more information. The T.F. was envisaged as a home defence force for service during wartime, and its members could not be compelled to serve overseas. The Haldane reforms also created a ‘Special Reserve’ from local militias at the same time as the T.F., but its members did serve overseas.

    In your grandfather’s case the ‘Quartermaster and Honorary Lieutenant’ is interesting. I wonder if the ‘Honorary’ reflected his volunteer role at home or, especially at that time of the war, was a commission from the ranks (a QM may have been a Warrant Officer, for example) perhaps in order to serve overseas. Certainly by later in the twentieth century this was known as a ‘Quartermaster Commission’.

  3. Pat Argar
    Posted May 28, 2016 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Hi George

    Re your enquiry about T F – I think it stands for Territorial Force. Does that make sense?

    All good wishes

  4. janevsw
    Posted May 28, 2016 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    Someone in a portrait in my office is wearing a Territorial Forces Medal (7th Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders). Cadet force at his school from May 1914, sent overseas aged 18, taken prisoner a year later in 1917.

  5. Posted May 29, 2016 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    TF is definitely Territorial Force. All quartermaster commissions (which were always from the ranks, to long serving warrant officers or occasionally senior NCOs) carried equivalent honorary rank (I think this related largely to pay), this could go up to at least QM and honorary major, depending how long you served as QM. The AIR 76 file is an RAF officer’s file, he may well have started in the RFC depending on the date of attachment (there should be another gazette entry showing when he transferred). Did you also check WO 339 and WO 374? WO 339 has been fully recatalogued so if he had a record there it should show up in a name search, but recataloguing of WO 374 is only just getting going, so much of series still only shows surname and first initial in the description (the original War Office index can be found in WO 338 which may help in confirming if he has record)

  6. Posted May 30, 2016 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Thanks for all these comments and explanations.
    I’ve now put the complete Air Ministry file about my grandfather online, in the hope that more can be explained:

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