The Territorial Army (TA) is the spare-time volunteer force of the British Army. It was established in 1908.
With around 35,500 members, the TA forms about a quarter of the overall manpower strength of the British Army. TA members regularly volunteer to serve overseas on operations, either with TA units, or as individuals attached to regular units. Over one thousand TA soldiers are deployed overseas on operations each year.
The soldiers who attended the event were from The C (City of Fusiliers) Company, which is an infantry Company of The London Regiment and has units (platoons) at Balham and Blackheath. The Balham TA Centre is their headquarters.
Major James Swanston, after completing his training in Canberra, served with the Australian army in East Timor, Iraq, Malaysia and Australia. He joined the British Army in 2007, serving in 2008 in the Falkland Islands and in Afghanistan from 2009 to 2010. Since 2010, he has been the commanding officer of the City of London Fusilier Company of the London Regiment.
Sadiq presented the Volunteer Reserve Service Medal to Fusilier Clarke to recognise 10 years service in the TA.
Sadiq attended the event along with 30 soldiers who recently returned from Afghanistan, as well as local councillors and the Mayor of Wandsworth.
Sadiq Khan MP said,
“It was an honour to be invited to attend and present an award to the C(city of London) fusiliers. Some of the soldiers had just returned from Afghanistan after serving in conflict situations where they have risked their lives. They are such an inspiration and deserve our thanks.
“The Territorial Army do such an important job for our country, with a force more than thirty thousand strong! I am really proud that we have such a fantastic company here in Balham.”