Lancashire Infantry Museum Archive

September 30, 2016
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A unique photo archive chronicling 10 years in the life of the Territorial Army in the North West of England is being made available by the Lancashire Infantry Museum.

Back in the late 1970’s and early 80’s Maj Chris Vere was the Territorial Army’s Public Information Officer (TAPIO) at Army Headquarters North West District. As such he criss-crossed the region – and often further afield, including abroad – photographing the activities of what was then one of the largest TA concentrations in the country. There were units from all the combat and supporting arms and corps, and every weekend hundreds, sometimes thousands of Reservists were out on military training.

The result is a unique photo archive of several thousand images. It is very possibly the only such record of TA activity in a given area over a specific period ever created.

Many of the images were published in local newspapers and in the region’s own TA newspaper “North West Territorial,” but most have never been seen since the day they were taken.

Chris is now a volunteer at the Lancashire Infantry Museum. For 30 years the collection has remained hidden in his photo files, but now a Museum programme to catalogue and digitise its own photo archive gives the opportunity to make it available to the wide audience which it deserves.

“These pictures deserve to be seen,” says Chris now. “They show the Reserves at their best. It was a fascinating time, when the TA was at its busiest. I had one of the best jobs there, was able to roam about the country and observe every aspect of Reserve service, from the Medics and Engineers right through to all the combat arms. Now I hope that people can get as much pleasure out of viewing them as I did of taking them.”

It will take some time to digitally copy all the images from their original film format. As the process progresses, they will be made available to buy in a series of discs which will eventually cover all aspects of TA life in the region, at a cost of £12 per DVD including post and packing. All proceeds go to the preservation and maintenance of the Lancashire Infantry Museum

The first disc in the series covers the Infantry during the years 1978 to 1987 and mainly features the battalions which now form current day Army Reserve unit 4th Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment (4 LANCS):

  • 4th Battalion, Kings Own Royal Border Regiment
  • 5/8th Battalion, Kings Regiment
  • 4th Battalion, Queen’s Lancashire Regiment

The discs can only be purchased on-line via the Museum’s website at http://www.lancashireinfantrymuseum.org.uk/territorial-army-north-west-photo-collection/