Page last updated at 02:05 GMT, Tuesday, 1 April 2008 03:05 UK

In Pictures: 100 years of the TA

1914 recruits

Today the Territorial Army turns 100. Formed on 1 April 1908, the force first mobilized in 1914. The recruits shown here are outside Somerset House, London, in August of that year.

Territorial Army engineers 1928

Territorial units were demobilised in 1918, then reconstituted in 1920. Seen here in 1928 leaving for the year's highlight - a two-week summer camp where their skills were tested.

Recruit having health test

On the outbreak of World War II, the TA was mobilized and absorbed into the British Army. All men had to report for health tests as soon as they were called up.

Women TA members plating cricket

Many women served in the TA during World War II through the Auxiliary Territorial Service and the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry.

Woman washing up wearing a gas mask

An ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Services) girl of the Eastern Command washing dishes while wearing her gas mask during a refresher course of anti-gas training on 1 April 1941.

Tank being shown to potential TA recruits

After World War II the TA was again disbanded and before being restructured in 1947. Military vehicles, like this one outside St Paul's Cathedral, were used to entice new recruits.

TA recruit

But during the 1950s and 60s, when this young recruit was volunteering, the government allowed the TA to become under-manned and ill-equipped.

Miss Britain in TA recruitment drive

In the 1970's the government realised the error of letting the TA atrophy and began recruiting. Here 19-year-old Miss Great Britain, Wendy George, joins the effort from a parachute training tower.

TA man training

By the 1990s the regimental system was almost totally re-established. But throughout this period of fluctuations the TA was never regarded as a particularly effective force.

TA during 2003 fireman's strike.

The TA's role is also to step in at times of national crisis, such as in 2003 when the military Green Goddess fire engines were brought in during a 24-hour fireman's strike.

TA soldier in Iraq

The TA are now being relied upon more heavily than at any time since World War II. Nearly 15,000 Territorials have served alongside the regular army in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003.

TA amputee

Five TA members have been killed in Iraq and three in Afghanistan. They face particular difficulties when they return as they come back to civilian life without their comrades.

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