Recruiting the Royal Naval Coast Volunteers in Britain and Ireland, 1854–6

By Paul Huddie, published November 2021


When it comes to the naval history of the Crimean War very little attention has been given to the effort to establish a new home defence force during those years: the Royal Naval Coast Volunteers. To date the historiography has focused on the operations, ships, and officers of the campaign abroad, while omitting the effort of the Admiralty, through the Coastguard, and guided by the Naval Coast Volunteers Act 1853, to establish, recruit, and train a new naval reserve. Utilizing a four-nations perspective and drawing upon a cross-section of sources from the same, this article documents the efforts to establish the RNCV in 1854–6. It details the people, strategies, responses, and regions involved, before ending with a brief appraisal of those activities within the context of similar efforts to embody other naval reserves.

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Filed under: Popular Topics
Subjects include: Administration | Manpower & Life at Sea

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