Lairdxs thoughts on the British army.

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Lairdx, Nov 20, 2005.

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  1. Original post removed at request of publisher.
  2. Lairdx I enjoyed that.


    If it was meant to be what it was, a meandering treatise on the subject given, then fair enough.

    However, you say it was a paper. What for? It lacked a bit of direction and structure. As my old history lecturer would say, any paper or essay or dissertation revolves around three key points:

    1. Tell the reader or examiner what you are going to say (i.e. the introduction)

    2. Say it

    3. Tell the reader or examiner what you've said (i.e. the conclusion, or if we are to use vile business-speak, the "Executive Summary."

    So, what I'm asking is why are we interested in public opinion re. the British Army 1790-1860? What views have you formed based on (your clearly thorough) reading around the subject? Why? What are you going to discuss? What do you aim to ilustrate and how?

    I cannot comment on the actual subject matter (which you write about with some authority and style) but I can on the structure (which is the only bit letting the rest down).

    I hope my criticism is constructive, I look forward to reading the rest.


  3. Sorry Veg. Perhaps I wasn't clear. That is only the first bit. It's going to be a long one. I ommited the intro for the time being for persec reasons. It tells everybody who I am. As the paper is formed I intend to contrast the army of 1790 - 1830 with the affection which the victorian people had for the rank and file.

    Thanks for the feedback Veg. you are of course quite right but I felt what I have so far was too long to be posted on its own.
  4. I suppose you know that the Irish Constabulary received the prefix "Royal" after their work in suppressing the failed 1867 Rising?

    Not trying to pick holes, just that it seemed, to me, slightly out of kilter with the timespan of the rest of your writing
  5. An important error which needs correcting. Cheers.
  6. Where are you getting the West Riding info from (I don't mean which book but where is the book? Bradford Town hall?)

    Wasn't the militia and yeomanry very different, wasn't the yeomanry as you mentioned but the militia conscripted? I'm led to believe the militia/supplementary reserve continued into the 50's leaving only the TA/Volunteer reserve (est c1860) and the yeomanry
  7. No mate. the militia forces varied from township to township. Bradford Volunteers were funded by subscriptions. other militia were payed for outright by wealthy sponsors. I found the Bradford Volunteers stuff in Bradford Archives on Canal Road, Bradford. The west Riding Yeomanry documents are at Wakefield. Originally each of these forces was a self supporting organisation under the control of the home - office NOT THE Secretary of state for war or secretary at war.
  8. There was also the fact the Militia units were not required to serve overseas, (although they could), and so provided a very safe haven for the man who wanted to be seen to "do his bit", but who didn't necessarily intend to serve anywhere he might get shot at.
  9. Is there a consolidated Source for these Millita/Yeomanary Units of the 1700's ?
    I found an Ord Survey map from 1849 of my home town and one area is marked as Barrack.
    My elderly uncle says that when he was a kid the area was known by this name but it's use died out post WW II.
  10. Laird,

    I enjopyed reading your post and found the topic very interesting. The relationship between the class systems and the structure of the army is a very interesting topic. There is a bit of a gap in books and articles about the militia in the Revolutionary and napoleonic wars. Its good to see someone tackling this.

    You have obviously done a lot of research and are pulling out some fascinating information.

    However I have some questions.

    1. Are you really referring to the "Militia" or purely the "Voluneteers" Perhaps I have missed something but you seem to be focusing on the volunteer militia, the Gentleman Yeomanry cavelry and foot volunteers. My understanding is that the "Militia" is technically the county levy, formed centuries old obligation to provide armed men to defend the country from attack. These wewre a levy from each parish, found by lot , but allowing substitutes - and heavily abused. The regiments of Militia could be called out for long periods of time, e.g. throughout the Napoleonic wars. Apart from their Home Service only role, these look rather like Regular army units. There were also other units raised solely for home service looking like regulars - the fencibles and the Garrison batallions.

    I understand that the Yeomanry and infantry equivalent the "volunteers" are founded in response to the French threat post revolution and units filled by recruits paying for theoir own uniform (although I dare say public minded gentry did pay for the clothign and equipment of their recruits.) Both these types of organisations seem to have been raised by clasases of people concerned by the threat of upreast and rebellion. So the Yeomanry were raised by the landed gentry and their tenants while the volunteers were raised by the middle classes. These are used as a police at the disposal of the Lords Lieutenant e.g. at Peterloo. During the C 19th the foot elements evolve into the rifle volunteer movement . Trademen shootign at bisley etc. My source is David Haythornthwaite's "Armies of Wellington" -supported from the chapter in Richard Holmes' "Tommy" about the TA.

    2. Do you really mean to focus oin the relationship of the upper classes? If so can you take 1790 as a starting point? The relationship between the British upper classes and the armed forces seems to have evolved from the C17th wars known as the "English Civil War" but should be properly known as the "British" civil wars. Can you cover this topic without looking back to the late C17th settlement between King and Parliament and explaining where the C18th starts? If you arefoucsing on the middle classinvolvement with the military then the volunteer movement looks a good starting point.

    3. Is this the same cross the United Kingrdon? Or is are there different forces at work in the different countries in the Union?

    4. Have you spokento anyone at the National Army Musuem about this? They are a very helpful bunch and may be able to point you to other sources.
  11. Laird, that was very good. Is it your intention to extend to include the modern era and if so, will you be doing anything substantial on the 'Pals' Regiments, inparticularly the 'Bradford Pals'. If so, could you please post it here?
  12. good questions.

    I am writing about Britain (Inc England Ireland and Scotland and Wales.)

    I have grouped all militia, volunteers, yeomanry together for the purposes of this study the militia were by this period for the most part made up of volunteers not levies. Attitudes towards the British army are going to be the focus.

    As for looking back to the civil war I don't really want to if I can get away with it.

  13. I won't be doing just yet but it is an idea for the future. I take it you have some connection?
  14. Excellent stuff, LairdX; I look forward to the next instalment.
  15. Thanks. I should really offer to help but I'm swamped with work at the mo. If you find the Leeds Rifles archives (7th West Riding Rifle Volunteers), 1st and 2nd West Riding Engineer Volunteer Corps I would be very interested