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4th (Volunteer) Battalion, The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters
96 (City of Coventry) Signal Squadron
896 (City of Coventry) Signal Troop
4 WFR
896 Signal Tp
File:Worcs and Sherwoods Badge.jpg
Cap badge and TRF of the WFR
Active 1988–Present
Country  United Kingdom
Branch  British Army
Type Till 1992 as Infantry, then Signals
Size Varies: Battalion till 1992, then Troop
Part of 48 (City of Birmingham) Signal Squadron, 37 Signal Regiment
Current Location Coventry
Insignia
Tactical Recognition Flash Royal Signals TRF.svg

The 4th (Volunteer) Battalion, The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters (4 WFR) was a former territorial infantry battalion that existed for a short time towards the end of the Cold War. Following reductions to the Territorial Army (TA) in 1992, the battalion was disbanded with elements helping to form RHQ & HQ Sqn of 37 Signal Regiment, and 96 (City of Coventry) Signal Squadron. This squadron was then reduced to a signal troop in 2009, but continues to exist as part of 48 (City of Birmingham) Signal Squadron.

Formation

Between 1986 and 1989 the Territorial Army (TA) was in the midst of a reformation and "generalisation", where territorial regiments were being disbanded and their companies forming new battalions attached to regular regiments. These new battalions would be given roles in support of NATO. One of the regiments that was slated to be disbanded was the Mercian Volunteers which had been formed in 1975, following the disbandment and re-rolling of many of the cadre units following the 1966 Defence White Paper.[1][2][3]

On 5 April 1988 the 4th (Volunteer) Battalion, The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters was formed as part of the 1981 Defence White Paper, which reduced the regular army slightly, while expanding the TA. As part of the changes, both battalions of Mercian Volunteers were dissolved and their companies paved the way for new TA battalions; 3rd Staffords, 4th WFR, and 3rd Cheshires.[2][3][4][5]

Because the battalion was not a direct successor to either battalions of the Mercian Volunteers, it had a mixed structure from units of the former 1st and 2nd battalions. After formation, the battalion was assigned to the 143rd (West Midlands) Brigade, which was a home defence brigade overseeing the West Midlands region. If mobilised, the battalion would be assigned to Commander Communications, I (BR) Corps as a communications support unit providing rear defence and security.[1][2][3][4][5][6]

Below is the structure of the battalion following its formation, with predecessors;[1][2][3][4][5][Note 1]

  • Battalion Headquarters and Headquarters Company at Kohima House, Redditch
  • A (Worcestershire) Company in Worcester and Stourport-on-Severn (from A Coy, 2nd Mercians)[6]
  • B (Worcestershire) Company in Kidderminster and Droitwich Spa (from B Coy, 1st Mercians)[6]
  • C (Warwickshire) Company in Birmingham (newly formed)
  • D (Sherwood Foresters) Company in Nottingham (from D Coy, 1st Mercians)
  • F (Home Service Force) Company in Worcester (from F Coy, 2nd Mercians)

Disbandment

Cap badge of the Royal Corps of Signals.

Following the Dissolution of the Soviet Union and subsequent end to the Cold War, a sweeping armed forces reorganisation took place known as the Options for Change. One of the major changes to the army was the reduction or disbandment/conversion of the many of the TA battalions which had been formed during the 1980s. As a result, it was decided 4 WFR was to be disbanded and its sub-units directed to others.[1][3][4] Following these changes, the following occurred to the battalion (by company);[1][3][4]

  • BHQ and HQ Company reroled as RHQ and HQ Squadron, 37 (Wessex and Welsh) Signal Regiment (V)
  • A Company in Worcester disbanded and personnel moved to B Company[6]
  • B Company in Kidderminster redesignated as A (Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters) Company in the 5th (Shropshire and Herefordshire) Battalion, The Light Infantry, retaining the regimental colours, uniform, and dress of the former battalion[6]
  • C Company in Shirley redesignated as C Company in the 5th (Volunteer) Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers
  • D Company in Nottingham disbanded and personnel moved to 3rd Battalion, The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters
  • F (Home Service Force) Company disbanded

96 (City of Coventry) Signal Squadron

When the battalion was disbanded, much of the former personnel became part of the new Regimental Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron of 37 Signal Regiment. However, personnel also joined the new 96 (City of Coventry) Signal Squadron based in the Coventry, which had just formed. This squadron continued the lineage of the battalion when it joined 37 Signal Regiment in November 1992.[1][3][4][7][8]

The squadron was later reduced to 896 (City of Coventry) Signal Troop as part of the 2009 review of reserve forces. Today, the squadron forms part of 48 (City of Birmingham) Signal Squadron in 37 Signal Regiment providing command support teams and support to HQ 11th Signal Brigade & HQ West Midlands.[1][4][7][8]

Footnotes

Notes

  1. 1 Mercians -> 1st Battalion, Mercian Volunteers and 2 Mercians -> 2nd Battalion, Mercian Volunteers.

Citations

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 T. F. Mills & Drenth Wienand, 4th Battalion, The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment, Archived on 18 November 2007 from the Original. Retrieved 26 September 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 T. F. Mills & Wienand Drenth, 1st Battalion, Mercian Volunteers, Archived on 25 October 2007 from the Original. Retrieved 26 September 2020.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Wienand Drenth, pp. 63, 126, 167–169.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Alan Young, Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment at British Army units from 1945 on. Retrieved 26 September 2020.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 T. F. Mills & Wienand Drenth, 2nd Battalion, Mercian Volunteers, Archived on 18 November 2007 from the Original. Retrieved 26 September 2020.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 T. F. Mills, 7th Battalion, The Worcestershire Regiment, Archived on 11 November 2007 from the Original. Retrieved 26 September 2020.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Lord & Watson, pp. 143, 190, 287.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Royal Corps of Signals Interactive Map.

References

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