Saturday, 9 January 2016
Navy & Army Illustrated 1897
One of my many side projects is an index of the first seven volumes of the Navy & Army Illustrated; this for my own purposes as, in my opinion, it remains an extremely useful reference resource for the late-Victorian Army. I thought readers might be interested in this article picked from Volume 3/31 and dating to February 1897.
"Men wishing to join the Army may exercise a considerable choice as to the corps in which they will serve. They may be enlisted for " general service," in which case they will be sent to cavalry, artillery, engineers, infantry, etc., according to their qualifications and to the requirements of the Service. Or they may be enlisted for "general service (cavalry)," or "general service (infantry)," in the former of which cases they will be sent to any cavalry regiment, and in the latter to any infantry unit, where their services may be required. Or they may require to be enlisted specially for the corps of Household Cavalry, for the corps of Dragoons of the Line, for the corps of Lancers of the Line, the corps of Hussars of the Line, the Royal Regiment of Artillery, the corps of Royal Engineers, individual regiments of Foot Guards or of the Infantry of the Line, the Army Service Corps, the Medical Staff Corps, the Army Ordnance Corps, the Post-Office Corps, the West India Regiment, the Roy3l Malta Artillery, or the Hong-Kong Regiment. A recruit cannot ordinarily enlist for a particular cavalry regiment, battery or company of Artillery, company of Royal Engineers, or battalion of infantry, but only for the whole corps of which such regiment, battery, company, or battalion forms part. A soldier's brother may, however, always require to be enlisted for the particular unit in which his brother is serving - following the example of the Irishman, who wanted to enlist in the 88th Foot so as to be near his brother in the 87th."
The "joke" of the last line is of course that whilst the numbered regiments of foot may have been consecutive (remembering too that they had ceased to exist sixteen years earlier), they were of course completely different and un-related regiments. At the time this article was written. The 86th (Royal County Down) Regiment of Foot had become the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles, whilst the 87th (Royal Irish Fusiliers) Regiment of Foot had become the 1st Battalion of the Royal Irish Fusiliers.
The image on this page is taken from the same issue and shows the Queensland Permanent Artillery on guard at Brisbane Barracks, Victoria.
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