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"At a mile distant their thousand hooves were stuttering thunder, coming at a rate that frightened a man - they were an awe inspiring sight, galloping through the red haze - knee to knee and horse to horse - the dying sun glinting on bayonet points..." Trooper Ion Idriess

The Australian Light Horse Studies Centre aims to present an accurate history as chroniclers of early Australian military developments from 1899 to 1920.

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WARNING: This site contains: names, information and images of deceased people; and, language which may be considered inappropriate today.

Sunday, 29 June 2008
Miscellaneous Militia Topics, Hythe School of Musketry, Outline
Topic: Militia - Misc

Miscellaneous Militia Topics

Hythe School of Musketry

Outline

 

School Of Musketry 1903, Hythe

[From: Frith Collection, No. 50380.]

 

Musketry 

Prior to 1851 the majority of British soldiers were issued with the "Brown Bess" Land Pattern Musket, a smooth-bore, muzzle loading musket which had seen duty in one form or another since 1704. Lack of accuracy was compensated for by the practice of firing in volleys. Musketry, as shooting was known, was more like parade ground drill and as such was a matter for the Drill Sergeant.

More accurate rifles did exist (indeed the principle of rifling the barrel had been known about since 1515) but took so long to reload that it was deemed unwise to have them on general issue. At this point only a few regiments had been equipped with rifles, notably the 60th and the 95th whose special rifle drill stems from this time.

In 1849 a Frenchman, Claude-Etienne Minié, produced a rifle named after himself which, although still a muzzle loader had an expanding bullet that greatly reduced the time required for reloading a rifle. Re-equipment of the Army with this new weapon began in 1851.

The consequence of this was that the Army now had a weapon that was not only more accurate, but had a longer range. For the first time since the demise of the bow and arrow true marksmanship was possible. Shooting ceased to be a drill and became an art based on personal skill. Elevation, windage and ballistics now played a part.

In order to study these new problems and introduce a shooting doctrine for instruction in Rifle Shooting it was decided to form a special Corps of experts, who would also develop and improve the rifles. In March 1853 the Army Estimates included the princely sum of £1,000) for Lord Hardinge to form an "Establishment for the instruction of the Army in rifle and target practice."

 

Foundation

In June of that year Colonel Hay arrived at Hythe, Kent with a small staff of officers. On 1 August the first instructor, CSgt MacKay of the 19th Foot, was appointed. By 15 September a further three instructors were on strength. They were Sgt. Ruston (3 Gren Gds), Sgt. Lobes (2 Gren Gds) and Sgt. Morris (97th Regt).

The first mention of the establishment of the School was in the Army List of 1854 when it was referred to as the School of Musketry, a name it bore until 1919 when its name was changed to the Small Arms School.

In September 1855 a Corps of Instructors was added to the establishment, consisting of 100 First Class and 100 Second Class Instructors who, as soon as they were sufficiently experienced (except for three who remained at Hythe), were distributed to Depot Battalions and Regiments as required. These men were the Corps of Instructors of Musketry, a misnomer as muskets were being withdrawn from service.

 

Sergeant Major Instructors with their students, 1860.

 

Source: Wikipedia.

 

Further Reading:

Miscellaneous Militia Topics

The Light Horse

Australian Light Horse Militia

Militia 1899 - 1920

 


Citation: Miscellaneous Militia Topics, Hythe School of Musketry, Outline


Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 21 August 2010 8:40 PM EADT
Saturday, 28 June 2008
South Australian Militia Pay Rates, August 1901
Topic: Militia - Misc

In an article designed to detail South Australian frugality when matters of military pay were raised, this story gives a good insight into the tensions that were already bubbling within the new Federation. South Australia was never in the same league as Victoria and New South Wales when it came to wealth but the hardy settlers made do with what they were given. Pay rates reflected the parsimonious attitude of the governments of the day to its workers.

 

 Adelaide Chronicle, 17 August 1910, p. 34.


Citation: South Australian Militia Pay Rates, August 1901

Posted by Project Leader at 10:11 AM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 28 June 2008 11:19 AM EADT
Wednesday, 29 May 2002
Ned Kelly's Service Record
Topic: Militia - Misc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT

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