By David French

The regimental approach has been the root of the British military for 3 hundred years. This iconoclastic research exhibits the way it was once refashioned within the past due 19th century, and the way it used to be as a result and many times reinvented to fit the altering roles that have been pressured upon the military. dependent upon a mixture of reputable papers, inner most papers and private memories, and upon learn within the nationwide documents, regimental museums and collections, and different depositories, this publication demanding situations the assumptions of either the exponents and detractors of the process. the writer, David French, exhibits that there has been now not one, yet numerous, regimental structures and he demonstrates that localised recruiting was once frequently a failure. Many regiments have been by no means capable of draw greater than a small percentage in their recruits from their very own districts. He indicates that regimental loyalties weren't a primordial strength; regimental professionals needed to create them and within the past due 19th century they synthetic new traditions with gusto, when in either global wars regimental postings quick broke down and regiments needed to take recruits from anyplace they can locate them. French additionally argues that the proposal that the British military used to be undesirable at battling immense battles as the regimental procedure created a parochial army tradition is facile. this is often the 1st booklet to strip away the myths which have been intentionally synthetic to justify or to sentence the regimental process and to discover the truth underneath them. It therefore illuminates our knowing of the previous whereas concurrently throwing evident new mild at the nonetheless carrying on with debate over where of the regimental method within the glossy military at the present time.

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Extra info for Military Identities: The Regimental System, the British Army, and the British People, c.1870-2000

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16 Recruits were also increasingly likely to be Englishmen, rather than from Wales, Scotland, or Ireland. 17 By 1937 Englishmen accounted for 77 per cent of the rank and file, Irishmen and Welshmen 5 per cent each, and Scotsmen 10 per cent. )18 These facts did not particularly worry most regimental officers. What did concern them, particularly before 1914, was that most of their recruits came from the urban slums. 19 However, their wishes flew in the face of demographic realities. As Britain 12 Skelley, The Victorian Army at Home, 237–8, 260.

1815–1868’, in D. Chandler and I. ), The Oxford Illustrated History of the British Army (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994), 174; J. R. Dinwiddy, ‘The Early Nineteenth-Century Campaign against Flogging in the Army’, English Historical Review, 97 (1982), 308–31; Hansard, HC (series 3), vol. 49, col. 212. 63 MML, 1899, ‘H. C. E. Childers, ‘‘Rules for Summary Punishment made under the Army Discipline and Regulation (Annual) Act 1881’’, 30 July 1881’, 760. 62 26 THE CARDWELL–CHILDERS REFORMS programme of integrating the working classes into the political nation as respected members of the community.

W. Burnett, 1. 42 IWM 87/44/1. Pte. A. R. Gaskin MSS Ts memoirs. ‘The little bit of green or the light infantryman’. 43 Similarly, there is evidence that public school boys were attracted to the army because a commission would confirm their social status. In the late nineteenth century there were few careers open to a young man from a gentlemanly family. 44 They could, therefore, only seek an opening in one of the few professions that allowed them to retain the status of a gentleman, such as the Church, the law, the higher civil service, or the army.

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