In 1900 the 3rd (Militia) Battalion, originally known as the 1st Battalion of the old Worcestershire Militia until 1881, was renumbered the 5th Battalion due to the fact that new Regular Battalions were raised for fighting in the Boer War.
In 1905 the old Militia Battalion now renamed the "Special Reserve" were playing their part in the organisation of the national defences. The Haldane reforms had resulted in the Militia battalions quitting their original role of home defence and becoming reserves to the Regular Army. The alteration might possibly have proved unwelcome, but the spirit of the officers and N.C.O’s. of the Militia battalion carried the change through with great success; and nearly all the original staff of the old battalions stayed on to help in building up the new force. Notable good work was done by the the Commanding Officer at the time of the change, who was Colonel S. A. Stephenson-Fetherstonbaugh, who had taken command of the 5th Battalion in 1905.
In that work the Commanding Officer was assisted by the able Adjutant, Captain J. F. S. Winnington and by a small nucleus of Regular officers and N.C.O’s. who formed the permanent staff of the battalion at the Regimental Depot and were responsible for the training of the "Special Reserve" recruits. It was due to their work that, when the need came, the soldiers of the Special Reserve were fit to fill the depleted ranks of the Regular battalions.
In 1910 Captain E. B. Hankey became Adjutant of the 5th Battalion.
In 1913 Colonel Stephenson-Fetherstonhaugh was succeeded in the command of the 5th Battalion by Lieut. Colonel W. S. Brindle. So matters stood until the spring of 1914, when the Adjutancy of the 5th Battalion by Captain L. M. Stevens.