Following the formation of the Territorial Force, the Artists Rifles was one of 26 volunteer battalions in the London and Middlesex areas that combined to form the new Regiment. It became the 28th (County of London) Battalion of The London Regiment on 1 April 1908.
The Artists Rifles was a popular unit for volunteers. It had been increased to twelve companies in 1900 and was formed into three sub-battalions in 1914, and recruitment was eventually restricted by recommendation from existing members of the battalion. It particularly attracted recruits from public schools and universities; on this basis, following the outbreak of the First World War, a number of enlisted members of The Artists Rifles were selected to be officers in other units of the 7th Division.
This exercise was so successful that, early in 1915, selected Artists officers and NCOs were transferred to run a separate Officers Training Corps, in which poet Wilfred Owen trained before posting to the Manchester Regiment the remainder being retained as a fighting unit. Over fifteen thousand men passed through the battalion during the war, more than ten thousand of them becoming officers The battalion eventually saw battle in France in 1917 and 1918. Casualties suffered by both members of this battalion and amongst officers who had trained with The Artists Rifles before being posted to other regiments were 2,003 killed, 3,250 wounded, 533 missing and 286 prisoners of war. Members of the Regiment won eight VC’s (though none did so while serving with the Regiment), fifty-six DSOs and over a thousand other awards for gallantry.
In the early 1920s, the unit was reconstituted as an infantry regiment within the Territorial Army, as the 28th County of London Regiment. In 1937, this regiment became part of The Prince Consort’s Own Rifle Brigade..
It was disbanded in 1945, but reformed in The Rifle Brigade in January 1947 and transferred to The Army Air Corps in July as the 21st Special Air Service (Artists Rifles)