The Territorial Army Emergency Reserve

The Territorial Army Emergency Reserve, or “The Ever Readies” as it was more usually known, was formed after the end of National Service with a view to establishing within the Territorial Army a reserve of about 7,000 all ranks who could be called up in an emergency to reinforce the Regular Army.

3rd and 4th Queen’s Surreys each maintained an average of around 30 officers and men as Ever Readies who undertook additional appropriate training, usually with the 1st Battalion. On one occasion they trained with the Battalion in Hong Kong, and on another in Munster.

In April 1965 1st Bn The Royal Sussex Regiment, on emergency duties in Aden, were in need of reinforcements so the General Staff called out Ever Readies from all Regiments of the Home Counties Brigade. A total of thirty men from the 3rd and 4th Queen’s Surreys were among them. Arriving in Aden, they were not favourably impressed with the inhospitable hot and humid climate, with the attendant smells and flies, but soon settled in and after a short spell of acclimatisation undertook duties with the Regulars. They were encamped under the somewhat harsh conditions of Radfan Camp. Patrols and search operations were carried out as well as mine clearance and it was a very experienced group of volunteer soldiers who returned to England after six months overseas service. This ended the only operational call-up of the TAER but it was judged to be a success and indicative of the wider use to which such troops could be put.


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