This book re-examines the campaign experience of British soldiers in Africa during the period 1874–1902—the zenith of the Victorian imperial expansion—and does so from the perspective of the regimental soldier. The book utilises a number of letters and diaries, written by regimental officers and other ranks, to allow soldiers to speak for themselves about their experience of colonial warfare. The sources demonstrate the adaptability of the British army in fighting in different climates, over demanding terrain and against a diverse array of enemies. They also uncover soldiers' responses to army reforms of the era as well as the response to the introduction of new technologies of war.

Open Access (free)
Edward M. Spiers

Since the 1970s our understanding of the late Victorian army has benefited from a diverse and burgeoning array of scholarship. There have been major works on civil–military relations, the army and society, army reform, and imperial defence, buttressed by biographies of senior commanders, studies of war correspondents and the role of the army in imperial propaganda. 1

in The Victorian soldier in Africa
Open Access (free)
Edward M. Spiers

pleased’ to send news of the victory with unprecedented rapidity. 100 Rumours quickly circulated that his despatch had heaped praise on the Guards under their royal duke (so appeasing the Queen), on the achievements and discipline of the young soldiers (so endorsing the Government’s army reforms) and on the efficiency of the support services (so concealing the main shortcomings of the campaign

in The Victorian soldier in Africa
Open Access (free)
Linda Maynard

six brothers would be ‘bowled out.’ 43 Service kinship created a nexus for the organisation and recruitment of the British armed forces. 44 The familial ideal was an integral part of army organisation, displacing attachments to home with an emotional bond to the regimental family. 45 As Hugh Childers, the army reformer tasked with ‘humanising’ the Victorian army, spelt out in 1884, recruits should feel a sense of belonging to their regiment, that it was ‘their family’. 46 Significant numbers of brothers enlisted and served together in the Pals and the

in Brothers in the Great War