My Grandad joined 5 Btn. Royal Dublin Fusiliers Militia regiment in Co. Wicklow where he was born (he served with 9 Btn during the First World War as a L/Sgt) in late December 1899, he was 18. By the end of February 1900and before his 19th birthday he was serving in the Orange Free State according to his QSA medal records. This is hardly more than 8 weeks, can anyone tell me the period of training he would have had at the time as 8 weeks does not seem enough to prepare him to fight another country never mind South Africa ?
Regarding the training period given to the British regular army at the time, "Infantry battalions received recruits after they had spent two and a half months in preliminary training at the Regimental depot. Thereafter, they passed these recruits through a twelve weeks' training of twenty hours per week in drill, gymnastics, marching, musketry and bayonet exercises". Which makes five and a half months in training; pretty close to Mike's information. The quoted information (above) is taken from "The Late Victorian Army" by Edward Spiers. ISBN 0 7190 2659 8 (Arms, tactics and training, chapter 9 page 260).
We have to appreciate that the above mentioned training schedule might be shortened during time of National Emergency. In the case of your GF, it looks like he was given the full routine.
That is a difficult question to answer, on the face of it, you are correct, certainly not "months" of training, but, it is very important to actually bare in mind that he was in the Militia and not the Army, as a volunteer in the Militia, he would have been subject to basic training at his regiments depot overseen by it's permanent staff up to a sufficient standard, once embodied for actual Foreign Service, it became simply "on the job" training twenty four seven.
Notwithstanding, the Militia were being used, largely, for garrison duties in South Africa, it freed up the Army to get on with the increasingly expensive war, clear the veldt of the enemy and bring matters to a close, so it was not necessary, or possible, to actually have them all trained to a really high standard.
kiltermon wrote: My Grandad joined 5 Btn. Royal Dublin Fusiliers Militia regiment in Co. Wicklow where he was born (he served with 9 Btn during the First World War as a L/Sgt) in late December 1899, he was 18. By the end of February 1900and before his 19th birthday he was serving in the Orange Free State according to his QSA medal records. This is hardly more than 8 weeks, can anyone tell me the period of training he would have had at the time as 8 weeks does not seem enough to prepare him to fight another country never mind South Africa ?
Thanks very much for your reply. I have checked my Grandads attestation form and the date is actually 15th January 1900 and he was clearly in the Orange Free State by 28th February (thus entitled to the medal according to Army order 94 of 1901) this reduces the period still further to approximately 6 weeks. I understand that for militia members in Ireland to be accepted they had to be a minimum of 18 years old. Grandad by the time of his attestation was 18 years and 9 months old.
You mentioned his Army service record - where can I find this please? Even with only basic rear duties 6 weeks training and an enthusiastic volunteer force in the 5th RDF of which he was one is not enough to equip him for service in S.A.
Thanks for your reply. Owing to the period of time from attestation actually 15th January 1900 to being in Orange Free State by 28th February 1900 is hardly more than 6 weeks, you think he was given the full amount of training which is exactly what I would have expected since there are several members of my family who are ex-army so I know the 'drill' so to speak and that makes it all the more confusing. The dates I have do not allow for lengthy training !!! he simply was not in the army long enough.