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Age of soldiers in Victorian era British army?

Author :

Submitted : 2018-06-14 21:27:26    Popularity:     

Tags: Victorian  soldiers  Age  army  British  

I have tried researching but I can't find it anywhere. How old did you have to be to get recruited for the British army around the year 1880 or so?

Answers:

Yeah, VERY hard to find an answer, I found just about everything else PLUS pay level here --
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Ar...

But as for ages, all I could find was 'young' or 'adult'. Age didn't seem to be a factor, they grabbed anyone they could, who were in for either life or for 21 years.
-----------------------------
Enlistments and conditions
A soldier often enlisted after being plied with drink by a recruiting sergeant in a public house. Having ritually accepted the Queen's shilling, however, he was allowed twenty-four to ninety-six hours to reconsider. The recruit was then medically examined (as much to detect the scars from flogging, to prevent deserters or discharged soldiers re-enlisting for the enlistment bounty as to detect other weaknesses or illness), and then formally took the oath of allegiance before a magistrate.

Soldiers enlisted either for life, or for a period of twenty-one years, which effectively was a lifelong enlistment. "Limited Service" enlistments of only seven years (longer in the cavalry and artillery), which were introduced in 1806 to allow the Army to be rapidly expanded during the Napoleonic Wars, were abolished in 1829. Enlistments of ten or twelve years were introduced in 1847, but at the end of this prolonged period of service, most soldiers were skilled only for menial civilian occupations and immediately re-enlisted.[2] Re-enlistment was also encouraged by a bounty of several guineas. The long-term effect of this was to produce regiments with many experienced or veteran soldiers, but no trained reserves that could reinforce the regular army. Though some regiments had territorial designations, soldiers enlisted on a basis of general service, and recruits could find themselves drafted to any unit, often to bring a unit about to be posted overseas up to full establishment.

18.

Most soldiers in the British Army in this time were men in their late teens and early twenties up through their later 30's. Very few survived long enough or were healthy enough to continue to serve into their forties. They might be tricked into service or even kidnapped into service (although that was usually a Navy trick.

12 as drummers is the youngest I have found although there are photos of younger children on uniform.

This was the era of the Cardwell Reforms. You had to be 16, but I think that required parental consent, or 18 without. As paperwork was not very comprehensive checks were not feasible so many men lied about their age. Usual thing seems to have claimed to be 19 as being less likely to arouse suspicion. Google enlistment or Cardwell to find more.

Drummer boys were usually orphans of soldiers taken on by a regiment, but we're supposed to be 13 and not supposed to serve overseas, although that all seemed to be at the discretion of commanding officers.



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