A History of the Shropshire Artillery Volunteer Corps 23rd July 1860 - 1st April 1908 by Derek Harrison
Paperback, 329 pages, illustrated with black and white photographs
The Shropshire Volunteer Artillery was one of a nationwide network of volunteer units born out of the fear pf French invasion in 1859-60. The county's artillery unit was raised in 1860 by the conversion of a local (Shrewsbury) volunteer rifle company and was one of many specialised branches of service formed during this time of national patriotic fervour.
The intention was that each county should be defended by its own range of volunteer forces, principally rifle companies based in major towns, and including volunteer cavalry (largely the existing county Yeomanry regiments) and supporting arms, such as artillery, engineers and medical units. These would be manned by part-timers, drawn from all walks of life, who gave up their own time to attend training courses, regular drill and musketry meetings and annual camps, which would enable them to train on a larger scale with other similar formations.
Like many of its fellow volunteer artillery units throughout the country, over the period 1860-1908 the SAV was frequently re-shaped and re-organised (as these pages clearly show), its men having to learn new weaponry and techniques as army reforms dictated, and found themselves associated with artillery units from other counties., especially in the case of the SAV with those of Staffordshire. The pages of Shropshire's newspapers of the period are filled (often in great detail and with evident local pride) with accounts of their camps, drills, processions, band concerts, shooting competitions and the like.
Though the fears which led to the formation of so many volunteer military units throughout the country soon subsided, the national force remained in existence up until 1908, when it became the basis of the new Territorial Force and subsequently of the Territorial Army. Today's "TA" is the direct descendant of of the patriotic Victorian citizen whose activities are so fully recorded in Derek Harrison's detailed account.
A History of the Shropshire Artillery Volunteer Corps by Harrison, D.
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