'Feudal' Home Guard Units?

This is a bit off topic, but one of the odder militia units was perhaps the Grand Trunk Railway Regiment in 19th century Canada. They were a brigade of five battalions formed from employees of the Grand Trunk Railway, which was major railway in Canada.

The regimental CO was the managing director, and a militia report that I read said the military rank structure was filled according to the railway company's civilian management hierarchy, such that the men were serving together in the militia with the same people they worked with in civilian life.

A history that I read said that some of the men did see action against the Fenians (cross border Irish insurgents operating from bases in the US), but I don't know if it was as GTRR units or if they were men who were detached to normal county regiments.

They were disbanded later in the 19th century.


Lord Strathcona's Horse (Canadian cavalry, now riding Leopard 2s) were originally recruited for the Boer War mainly from the NWMP (now known as RCMP) and Hudson's Bay Company fur traders.

They were created, recruited, and equipped by 1st Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal, a Scottish-Canadian business magnate (Canadian Pacific Rail and many other major companies), at his own expense. This was supposedly one of the last privately raised regiments in the British Empire.

Lord Strathcona was appointed High Commissioner to the UK, helped found and became chairman of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, as well as being involved in many charities. He purchased the Colonsay Estate in Scotland where his descendants still live today.
 
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Tyk

LE
@Listy Has been researching for a book on LDV and Home Guard, maybe he's got some input to this.

The "feudal" nature of some of the units was inevitable and probably quite positive due to there being familiar chains of command from estates and businesses.
The units being started and organised by the "bosses" class who felt the need to protect "their" people with the immediate risk and had the financial resources to kick things off was rational.
 
D

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@Listy Has been researching for a book on LDV and Home Guard, maybe he's got some input to this.

The "feudal" nature of some of the units was inevitable and probably quite positive due to there being familiar chains of command from estates and businesses.
The units being started and organised by the "bosses" class who felt the need to protect "their" people with the immediate risk and had the financial resources to kick things off was rational.
Face it, it really isn't too far a leap from the Pals Bns of WW1 and many of the LDV/HG would have served in those units previously and maybe maintained their 'organisation' via RBL and Regimental Associations. A 1916 20 year old would have been 43 in 1939 so they would have been in the right bracket
 

Tyk

LE
Face it, it really isn't too far a leap from the Pals Bns of WW1 and many of the LDV/HG would have served in those units previously and maybe maintained their 'organisation' via RBL and Regimental Associations. A 1916 20 year old would have been 43 in 1939 so they would have been in the right bracket

No leap at all, at least to me, society was a good deal less mobile back in the 1930-40's and folks likely to volunteer would naturally organise around their workplace and community.
I think in the majority of cases it was probably a big positive.
 
This is a bit off topic, but one of the odder militia units was perhaps the Grand Trunk Railway Regiment in 19th century Canada. They were a brigade of five battalions formed from employees of the Grand Trunk Railway, which was major railway in Canada.

The regimental CO was the managing director, and a militia report that I read said the military rank structure was filled according to the railway company's civilian management hierarchy, such that the men were serving together in the militia with the same people they worked with in civilian life.

A history that I read said that some of the men did see action against the Fenians (cross border Irish insurgents operating from bases in the US), but I don't know if it was as GTRR units or if they were men who were detached to normal county regiments.

They were disbanded later in the 19th century.


Lord Strathcona's Horse (Canadian cavalry, now riding Leopard 2s) were originally recruited for the Boer War mainly from the NWMP (now known as RCMP) and Hudson's Bay Company fur traders.

They were created, recruited, and equipped by 1st Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal, a Scottish-Canadian business magnate (Canadian Pacific Rail and many other major companies), at his own expense. This was supposedly one of the last privately raised regiments in the British Empire.

Lord Strathcona was appointed High Commissioner to the UK, helped found and became chairman of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, as well as being involved in many charities. He purchased the Colonsay Estate in Scotland where his descendants still live today.
Lord Strathcona was also President of the Royal Caledonia Curling Club, and strongly encouraged the regular tours of Canada by a selection of Scottish curlers, and return tours of Scotland by a selection of Canadian curlers. These continue to this day, and the prize for the overall winning side is the Strathcona Cup.

Some details can be found here
 

olafthered

LE
Book Reviewer
Last year was their 60th anniversary so not that long.
Sorry missed the sarcasm smiley. Having had one of the officers from said unit tell us about the glorious and ancient history ( my then squadron started in 1964, but had history through parent units for a lot longer), I was trying to be funny.

Never mind.

Taxi!
 

QRK2

LE
In fairness to Mr Holland & Mr Murray they do a exceptionally educational podcast. There is stuff you learn and forget then remember when they discuss it.

It is great fun and I'm an avid listener, but they do quite often fall into 'old buffer in pub' mode and talking off the tops of their heads as they so often do (all part of the attraction IMO), their 'facts' can be a little bit off.
 
Last year was their 60th anniversary so not that long.
As I posted upthread, Inns of Court were 11 Armd Div Recce Regiment nearly 80 years ago. If, by amalgamation, the current mob are only 60 years old, it makes almost the entire Royal Armoured Corps only 30 years old. Strange that I attended the Light Dragoons' Tercentenary 6 years ago chez Slug, when they're only 30 years old.
 

DSJ

LE
The Hadfield-Spears Ambulance Unit was privately funded (at least at its point of formation) by Lady Hadfield and did wonderful things in occupied France, North Africa and the Middle East. Another drift from Home Guard units, sorry, but interesting nonetheless.
 

Chef

LE
They amalgamated then. The Inns of Court trace their origins to the time of Elizabeth I. The Rough Riders (City Yeomanry) did a lot in the Boer War.
They also provide the band for the RY and jolly good they are too.
 
@Listy Has been researching for a book on LDV and Home Guard, maybe he's got some input to this.

Clarification: No I haven't. I toyed with the idea for the book after next, but it's such a ridiculously large amount of work It's seemingly impossible. You'd need many years of full time work to do it, and In turn you'd need money to live off and do the research. Unless I win the lottery then that won't be me for quite some time.
 
I don't know about the Home Guard, but I believe there was a very strong toff bias towards the secretive Auxiliary Units.

That may have been an 'accident' of time and place.
The one my grandmother supported from a Comms and Int. perspective were all local farm labourers / baker / game keeper sorts.
 
They also provide the band for the RY and jolly good they are too.
You see, I’m wearing my contact lenses and they are for distance, so close in stuff like a computer is ever so slightly out of focus until i concentrate. On first reading that said:

They also provide the hand for the KY and jolly good they are too.​

My mind did indeed boggle…..
 
That may have been an 'accident' of time and place.
The one my grandmother supported from a Comms and Int. perspective were all local farm labourers / baker / game keeper sorts.
Not normally. Some clergymen or doctors running reporting/Comms , but most of the active members youngish and in reserved occupations, so as suggested a lot of farmers,tradesmen etc
That may have been an 'accident' of time and place.
The one my grandmother supported from a Comms and Int. perspective were all local farm labourers / baker / game keeper sorts.
 

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