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  • For the NCOs photo, left to right: Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers, Scots Fusilier (Foot) Guards, School of Musketry Instructor, Royal Horse Artillery, Coldstream (Foot) Guards, 78th Highlanders, Grenadier (Foot) Guards, Rifle Brigade, 9th (East Norfolk) Foot, Ditto, 72nd Highlanders.
  • For the officers image. Left to right standing: Royal Artillery, 1st of Foot Royal Scots, Grenadier (Foot) Guards, Foot Guards unknown due to oilskin cap cover, Junior Staff Officer, Rifle Brigade, 42nd Highlanders Black Watch. Officer kneeling, Rifle Brigade. Officers seated left to right: Scots Fusilier Guards, Royal Engineers, Line Infantry unknown due to oilskin cover on cap.
  • I don’t understand why it’s been edited and shortened? Did I waste my time explaining the full background?
  • Hi Bob, It's still up, i just approved it.

  • What happened to the very lengthy previous post explaining the background to the Northern small arms school at the Euston Hotel?
  • Post Script. The officers and SNCOs within each group photograph wear their regimental dress and so such images are immensely useful to historians of uniforms and insignia and yet have never been collected together to form a study.
  • The photos with the Doric columns definitely show the Euston Hotel which was the Northern depot for the School of Musketry after it was set up. The principal depot was at Hythe and after the initial surge of officer and SNCO students had been trained the Northern Depot closed. The photos represent a seminal period in the British Army’s history when the infantry were converting from muzzle loading smoothbore muskets that had been used for centuries to muzzle loaded rifled bore muskets that imparted a spin on the lead projectile which increased the accuracy to an unprecedented degree. It required nothing less than a revolution in training because whereas previously infantrymen were trained to load methodically, align their muskets horizontally and fire without aiming at individual targets, they now had to learn to think and fire more carefully. To shoot accurately required setting sights to the correct range and so judging distance had to be taught, as well as how to select individual targets. This significant change meant that whereas previously only specialised rifle regiments were so armed and trained (think Sharpe’s 95th Rifles), now all infantry regiments would be coached to achieve the same skills. To achieve this it was decided that each infantry battalion must have an officer responsible overall for musketry and marksmanship training, and that he was to be assisted by a senior sergeant. To ensure adherence and status both men were to be awarded certificates by the school once they passed the instruction. Gaining such a certificate was a significant benefit for career progression and the ambitious officer and SNCO actively sought them out. The officer was often also the adjutant and the Sergeant Instructor in Musketry became a key appointment in the battalion’s NCO hierarchy. The initial rifle was the Minie, but this was swiftly superseded before all units were equipped, by the so-called 3-band Enfield Rifle. As the school at Hythe could not also train those units deployed across the British Empire similar schools were established overseas and by 1880 there were associate schools of musketry in India (more than one), Canada, Australia and South Africa. For each training course for both, officers and NCOs it became a tradition to take a group photograph as the expansion of the school coincided with the development of glass plate photographic technology. The school at Hythe continued until 1965, when it moved to Warminster. The course photographs never ceased even in wartime and generation after generation of British and Commonwealth soldiers have been photographed in groups ever since the beginning of the schools concerned.
  • Dear John, 

    Well, I just could not help myself. Just bought this one from the same seller:


  • John, 

    What a great pleasure to find a like mind to research this online.

    Thank you.

    I have not a clue as who the photographer was on mine. I was actually surprised that both mine and yours look a bit better than the Fenton ones. I believe mine may be from 1858-9. 

    The only information I have is this. I bought this from an eBay seller in Connecticut, USA. He only states that these came from an album labelled on the cover:   J. Johnstone, Grenadier Guards.

    He has several more from this album for sale, just search eBay for the seller don'tskip. search for "Guards.

    i have looked up his sales in the past, and yes, there a re a few Fentons he has sold without knowing... Hmmm.?

    This link may help. good luck.

  • Dear John,

    Thanks so much for the information. yes, Hythe makes sense. 

    I found several photos in the Royal Trust of soldiers at Hythe, taken by Roger Fenton in 1860. I was surprised to find that he trained at the School of Musketry there in 1860. Here is one by him that i think must have been taken in the same spot as both of ours.


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