From 1859 to 1908 the Rifle Volunteers played an essential role in Britain’s national defence, yet their history has been sadly neglected. Little information is available on these dedicated, amateur soldiers who were recruited into the ranks of a military organisation that flourished across the country. But now, in this invaluable book, Ray Westlake, a leading authority on the military history of Victorian and Edwardian Britain, provides a concise, accessible introduction to the Rifle Volunteers and a comprehensive directory of the units raised in each county and each town.
The Rifle Volunteers were the infantry component of a large volunteer army that existed in Victorian England, Wales and Scotland, coming into existence in 1858 and surviving until the creation of the Territorial Force in 1908.
TRACING THE RIFLE VOLUNTEERS A Guide for Military and Family Historians
Between 1859 and 1908, the Rifle Volunteers played a central role in Britain’s defence. Initially formed in 1859 during one of the periodic scares of a French invasion, the Volunteers remained an important military force until reorganised into the Territorial Force. This reference work provides brief histories of each of the hundreds of Volunteer Corps (mostly of company size) that existed for some or all of this period. Some counties produced a huge number of Corps – Middlesex reaching 50!