History of the militia

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by BoomShackerLacker, Apr 24, 2009.

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  1. Superb little programme on the wireless: Clickety click click

    Vanessa Collingridge has the most relaxing vocal chords!
  2. The late Bryn Owen, who ran the Royal Regiment of Wales museum in Cardiff castle wrote a number of books about the history of a number of Militia units, and they were very interesting to read
  3. the_boy_syrup

    the_boy_syrup LE Book Reviewer

    I can't listen to the links as I m at work so if I'm stating the blooming obvious say so

    Wern't Yeomanry units all Militia to start with?

    IIRC they were formed to bash uppity civvies during the Napolionic wars
  4. Holmes makes the link back to Harold's Fyrd. The Fyrd were reservists who had to give 60 days' service by law.

    Wasn't it the Fyrd who broke ranks to pursue William only then to be cut down by horse? After they'd tabbed to Stamford Bridge and back after sending Harald packing. I wonder if they weren't chin strapped by this epic tab they'd have whipped Willy soundly?
  5. Different fyrd my old Boomshackerlacker. When Harold left the Pi55 up after Stamford bridge (F... all to do with Chelsea). He took his bodyguard (Housecarles) and what few professional soldiers he had and left the peasants behind. He only started picking up the Fyrd (Levie peasants) again after he passedLondon on his way to Haestings.
    The peasants who faught at Stamford did not go to Haestings and those who did fight at Haestings had no experience of battle.

    God damn the Bastard Norman.
  6. Thank you Scoob Sir; this is all sounds nearer to truth. Still a top tab by the main body of men. I recall Harald (Hardrada sp.?) got pasted at the 'Bridge'. Hopefully like Arsenal's next visit at its namesake!
  7. Nope. The Yeomanry were the patriotic gentlemen of the county: the militia were, literally, conscripted peasants. You were selected for militia service by ballot and could often pay somebody else to serve in your place. They were used for the duller rear duties in the UK (POW camp guards as an example).

    The TA origins are more properly the rifle volunteers of the 1850s.

    Yeomanry were formed to counter the French invasion - hence most were raised in 1794 about the time Whitehall worked out that France's new rulers were going to be very much like the old lot.

    To be in the Yeomanry you had to provide horse and uniform (HMG generously chipped in the weapons) and so were unlikely to be sympathetic to the great unwashed. Dealing with rioters, luddites, rick burners, naval mutineers and the rest just came with the job when there were no police. The regular forces were used in the same way.

    The Yeomanry were very definite that they were not militia: even as late as 1914 many did not regard themselves, socially at least, as Territorials.
    I recall even Richard Holmes writing somewhere that when he joined the TA his gran was pleased that he'd joined the Yeomanry (I tihnk Essex Yeomanry RHA) rather than 'the militia'.
  8. blue-sophist

    blue-sophist LE Good Egg (charities)