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 Recuiting and training of Victoria's Army.

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Northbank66



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PostSubject: Recuiting and training of Victoria's Army.   Thu Jan 29, 2015 10:01 pm

I was just pondering the British Army in general during the late Victorian period and was wondering what role Aldershot had in the training of the men of the 24th who went off to South Africa.

Was most of the training carried out at Regimental depots or did all recruits pass through some level of training at Aldershot, or was Aldershot just where larger scale drills and maneuvers were practiced.

Also, where was the 24th's regimental depot prior to Brecon?

Did men recruit into a particular regiment or did they simply, "join the army" and get assigned to a regiment.

I never cease to amaze myself with what I don't know.
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Recuiting and training of Victoria's Army.   Fri Jan 30, 2015 1:01 am

Hi Northbank

The answers to your questions are quite complicated, but I will have a go.

The first thing to say is that Aldershot was established as a training camp in 1854. It had (and still has) extensive open heathland that could be used for training purposes.  It had been purchased by the government for that purpose and a large hutted camp was built to house a rotation of troops from all regiments and corps. The camp quickly became a town in its own right because of the large numbers of troops for the Crimea. It was also used for grand ceremonial occasions and military displays. Queen Victoria had a permanent pavilion built for the use of the Royal Family, who could come directly from Windsor by coach. It was in many ways unique.

I happen to live not too far away and the training grounds, which today are freely open to the public are very reminiscent of Scottish moorland. It is hard to believe you are only some 15 miles from the edges of London. And of course they have not been touched or built upon for 150 years.

So far as the 24th is concerned, the 1st Battalion had moved from Malta to Gibralter in 1872, and then to the Cape in 1874 where they remained until the Zulu War. Drafts, to make up numbers, would come from Brecon where basic training would have taken place.

The 2nd Battalion had moved to Aldershot in December 1873, Dover in 1875, Chatham in 1877 and they too went to the Cape in February 1878. So neither Battalion was based at Brecon in that time other than a depot company.

Recruits would join a particular regiment, depending on the recruitment area they were in, usually covering two or three counties. In the 1873 reorganisation the 24th (2nd Warwickshire) was assigned to the 25th sub-district with the depot companies at Brecon and embracing the counties of Cardigan, Radnor, Brecon and Monmouth. Thats not to say that recruits had to be born in those areas - plainly that was not so, many came from Ireland, Scotland and England.

So, I hope that helps. I am sure others will chime in!

Steve
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Northbank66



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PostSubject: Re: Recuiting and training of Victoria's Army.   Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:10 pm

Thanks Steve, very useful. So the regiment was associated with Brecon prior to being titled the South Wales Borderers?

Also, I apologize ,to the forum for posting the same question again today, I couldn't see my original post when I signed in today and thought it had not taken.
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Recuiting and training of Victoria's Army.   Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:19 pm

On 1st April 1873 the whole of the regular, militia and volunteer forces of the British Army were reorganised. Brecon became the brigade depot for 1st and 2nd 24th, and two militia battalions. The 24th became the South Wales Borderers on 1 July 1881.

Steve
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Northbank66



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PostSubject: Re: Recuiting and training of Victoria's Army.   Mon Feb 02, 2015 6:57 pm

Thanks again Steve. How much of "old Aldershot" is left. I was in Portsmouth recently for the first time in 40 or 50 years, and was dismayed to see how much of the old Naval dockyard was gone and with it so much of our heritage. Is there any attempt to preserve the old barracks etc?
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Recuiting and training of Victoria's Army.   Mon Feb 02, 2015 7:38 pm

The only part of the original camp that survives is the Prince Consort's Library. Most of the late Victorian camp is also gone and even the 2WW barracks have been demolished. But in UK terms, this stuff is not old!

I remember doing a trip around some historic sites in the desert near Phoenix in Arizona. The guide showed us an old lock-up on the trail to Yuma and then said  "of course you Brits have got socks that are older than that" - how true!

Here are a couple of prints showing the training areas, you can still find the spot where the young Queen Victoria, on her horse, is reviewing events.

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Steve
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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: Re: Recuiting and training of Victoria's Army.   Tue Feb 03, 2015 12:55 am

I think it is disgusting the way that our heritage has been, and is still being neglected and run down. Some very fine and handsome buildings and structures being neglected then demolished to make way for some concrete steel and glass monstrosity. Just google in and take a look at some of the quaint country railway stations and other buildings and structures that have been obliterated from the landscape, and even some of the larger and marvellous old railway stations with great architecture that have gone the same way. Where once you could go into a nice warm waiting room with a real coal fire roaring in the middle of winter, you now have to either sit on a cold metal seat in a 'bus' type shelter, or stand on a wind swept platform getting soaked to the skin and frozen to the marrow waiting for the usually overcrowded train. I think it's a case of 'if it's old get rid of it', and those responsible for all this so called 'modernisation' should hang their heads in shame.

Steve is correct, the 24th (2nd Warwickshire) regiment was moved (on paper) to brecon in 1873, however, neither battalion had ever been to brecon by the start of the AZW. In July 1881, more reforms were forced on the army, and all the line numbers were officially ended and new names given to the regiments, making them virtually 'new' regiments. The old 24th (2nd Warwickshire) regiment lost its line number and its name, and became a 'new' regiment called the swb, therefor any reference to the 24th during the AZW must refer to the 2nd Warwickshire regiment, as they were the last British infantry regiment to have the line number of 24, and they were the last British infantry regiment to have been the 24th regiment of foot. The 'new' regiment was just called the swb, they were never the 24th regiment of foot. So any reference to the swb as having defended RD, or being called the 24th regiment of foot is totally wrong, that honour belongs to the 24th (2nd Warwickshire) regiment, and NOT the virtually 'new' regiment called the swb that arose like a phoenix from the ashes of the old 24th (2nd Warwickshire) regiment.

Couple of good images there Steve, thanks for posting. Salute
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90th

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PostSubject: Recruting and Training of Victoria's Army    Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:35 am

How are you Martin ? , agree with your take on the buildings , it's similar out here but ours arent as old as yours in the UK .
And yes thanks to Steve for posting the images , excellent .
90th Salute Salute
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Mr M. Cooper

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PostSubject: Re: Recuiting and training of Victoria's Army.   Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:52 am

Hi Gary me old wombat, and how are you buddy, and yes, thanks mate, I am keeping ok.

Yes, the way that some of the old magnificent looking buildings and structures are run down and neglected is just disgusting, all that gorgeous architecture and carved stonework, all the effort of designing and building it and the stonemasons art are obliterated to make way for some horrible 'modern' rubbish made out of steel concrete and glass that costs the taxpayer a fortune and looks more like a blot on the landscape. The Brits once prided themselves at their magnificent achievements, things were made and built to last for ever, but today all that sort of thing is now shunned and frowned upon by these 'modern' thinkers (or should that be stinkers scratch ), they seem to want to destroy anything that has some charm or character about it and erect a load of modern crap in its place, and it ends up being a great place for the graffiti scrawlers to daub their stupid mindless slogans, and the glass gets broken on a weekly basis. This 'modern' Britain is not a patch of its former self, national pride, manners, smartness and being a good citizen are now a thing of the past and have gone out of the window, however, if you walk about the place with a nasty scowl on your face, glare at others like you hate them, if you are unsociable and behave like a lout, come out with fowl language to others and shun what is left of authority, then you seem to get along a lot better, what a come down this once great country is today, it is not the same country that I was born and brought up in, not by a long chalk. If the people of the past that built this once great country could come back and see it has it is today, they would have their hearts broken by all the destruction that has happened to the country they built.

Hey Gary, when are you going back for a visit to zululand again mate? I bet you wish that you could go there every day and walk the old battlefields and other places of interest. You will have to upsticks and move to SA buddy Shocked agree
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90th

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PostSubject: Recrutiing and training of Victoria's Army    Tue Feb 03, 2015 12:14 pm

Martin I hate to say it mate , but it's most likely the same the world over ! No . It's certainly the same out here , at least we have a nation wide heritage council which has some pull , that can protect most of the older buildings etc .
Cheers mate 90th Salute
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rusteze

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PostSubject: Re: Recuiting and training of Victoria's Army.   Wed Feb 04, 2015 11:46 am

This is inside the Prince Consort's Library at Aldershot Camp, built in 1860.

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And this is troop manoeuvers in the Long Valley Training Ground ( it's a bit like the Isandhlwana battlefield without the Zulus!). You can see the Royal Pavilion and the early Aldershot Barracks on the sky line.

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Steve
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