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The British Volunteer Movement 1794-1814$
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Austin Gee

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199261253

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199261253.001.0001

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‘So gallant and patriotic a measure’: The Genesis of the Volunteer Force 1

‘So gallant and patriotic a measure’: The Genesis of the Volunteer Force 1

(p.11) 1 ‘So gallant and patriotic a measure’: The Genesis of the Volunteer Force1
The British Volunteer Movement 1794-1814

Austin Gee

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the emergence of the volunteer force. In March 1794 the government invited gentlemen to come forward and carry out plans for the security of the country that included the formation of volunteer infantry and yeomanry cavalry corps. By the end of that year, 154 corps of volunteers and yeomen were formed for local defence against invasion. By late 1797 51,000 men had joined, rising to 116,000 in 1798 and 146,000 in 1801. At the height of volunteering in 1804, there were 380,258 enrolled. The force was the largest voluntary movement of the 18th century.

Keywords:   volunteer military forces, French wars, volunteering, volunteer organizations

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