Instructors of Musketry

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Source: Morning Post, 31 October 1855

The Hythe School of Musketry

The following instructions in reference to this important military establishment have just been issued from the Horse Guards:

“Horse Guards, Oct. 26, 1855.

“Sir – Additional candidates being required for the corps of permanent instructors of musketry now in the course of organisation under the regulations issued from this department on the 13th of August last, I received the commands of Field-Marshal Viscount Hardinge again to call upon you to furnish the names of any men belonging to the regiment under your command who may be eligible and willing to be transferred to the corps in question.

“Candidates for this employment are not to exceed five years’ service. They must be men of active habits, intelligent, perfectly capable of receiving and imparting instruction, and must be medically certified fit for active service. They must be able to write accurately from dictation, understand the use of forms and returns, &c., and have a competent knowledge of the first four rules of arithmetic, and of vulgar and decimal fractions. They will be sent to Hythe for the purpose of undergoing the regular course of instruction in the theory and practice of musketry; and when reported duly qualified they will be discharged, and re-attested for general service – their previous regimental service, however, being allowed to reckon towards pension. Married men will not be admitted as candidates, and all applications from those who may be approved for and posted to the corps for permission to marry, must be forwarded and recommended for the approval of the Commander-in-Chief by the commanding officer of the regiment or garrison to which they may be attached, with a report as to the character and respectability of the persons whom the instructors may propose to marry.

“A very large proportion of the non-commissioned officers hitherto sent to Hythe, for training for this corps, having been found unfit for the duties of it, Viscount Hardinge recommends that commanding officers should confer as to the qualifications of the candidates with the regularly appointed instructor of musketry of the regiment or garrison, or with any other officer within reach, who may have gone through the course at Hythe, before sending in the list of candidates.

“Sergeants will be appointed first-class instructors, and corporals and privates second-class instructors. Their pay will be respectively 2s. 10d. and 1s. 10d, per day. They will receive clothing, and be allowed quarters, according to their respective ranks, &c., &c., and they will be liable to be posted to different regiments or stations at the pleasure of the Commander-in-Chief. Second-class instructors will be entitled to promotion, according to their conduct and qualifications, to the rank of first-class instructors and these, in their turn, will be eligible for the superior advantages attending employment at the head-quarter establishment at Hythe.

“You will cause this letter to be read to the regiment under your command at three successive parades; you will not fail to explain to the men the advantages which will attend employment in this corps of instructors, and you will then transmit to this department a return of the candidates, holding them in readiness to proceed to Hythe on the receipt of a route from the Quartermaster-General.

“I have the honour, &c.,

(Signed) “G. WETHERALL, A.G.”