Territorial Force Cigarette Cards (Part 2)

THE ROBIN HOOD RIFLE VOLUNTEER CORPS, 1859. Now: 42nd (The Robin Hoods, Sherwood Foresters) Anti-Aircraft Battalion, R.E.

The Robin Hoods came into existence at the time of the Volunteer Movement of 1859, the first parade taking place at Nottingham Castle on May 30th of that year, when six gentlemen attended. The picture shows an officer of the Corps with Rifle uniform of the period, with the Exchange in the background. At the time of the South African War the Robin Hood Rifles formed two battalions, both sending contingents to the war. On April 1st, 1908, the unit became the 7th (Robin hood) Bm., The Sherwood Foresters. Under this title two battalions served in the Great War. In Dec., 1936, the Regiment was converted to a searchlight battalion.

GENERAL POST OFFICE RIFLES, 1882. Now: 32nd (7th City of London) Anti-Aircraft Battalion, R.E.

The 24th Middlesex Rifle Volunteers were largely composed of workers from the Post Office and, at the time of Sir Garnet Wolseley’s Egyptian Campaign in 1882, the Regiment sent to the British Forces in Egypt a Telegraph Detachment. The picture, reconstructed from a contemporary newspaper drawing, shows a member of the detachment in the uniform worn as they marched away from London. The background shows a scene in the campaign. This campaign won for the regiment the first Volunteer overseas battle honour, “Egypt, 1882.” In 1921 the P.O. Rifles amalgamated with the 7th (City of London) Bn., The London Regt., and subsequently became the 32nd A.A. Bn., R.E.

22nd (CENTRAL LONDON RANGERS) THE KING’S ROYAL RIFLE CORPS, 1882. Now: The Rangers, The King’s Royal Rifle Corps

The Rangers date their origin to Gentlemen Members of Gray’s Inn who formed an Armed Association in 1780. In 1882 the 22nd Middlesex R.V. Central London Rangers acquired two Nordenfeldt machine guns, the first of their kind in the British Army. In view of War Office disapproval Colonel Alt, Commanding Officer, converted the Detachment into a private Nordenfeldt Gun Club, wearing uniform shown in the picture. Shortly afterwards official approval was given and guns and teams were incorporated in the Battalion.


This regiment was raised in 1794 and is the fourth senior regiment of the Yeomanry Cavalry. In the South African War a detachment of the Sherwood Rangers was the first yeomanry unit to be in action. In the Great War they served as part of the 2nd mounted Division in Egypt, Gallipoli, Salonica and Palestine. In Gallipoli they served as infantry and in memory of this event have been granted and today carry the King’s Colour, upon which the Battle honours of the Great War are emblazoned. The picture shows an officer of the Regiment in the full dress uniform of 1897 with, as a background, the Major Oak in Sherwood Forest.


The C.I.V.s were raised in Dec. 1899 by the Lord Mayor of London, and were fully equipped at the expense of the City Corporation. The regiment (which was recruited entirely from men serving in the Volunteer Regts. In the London area) comprised two companies of mounted infantry, one Bn. of infantry and one battery of field artillery. The regiment embarked for South Africa in Jan., 1900 and entered Pretoria on June 5th 1900. It returned to England on Oct. 29th of the same year. We show a volunteer of the infantry battalion.


This mounted regiment of Scottish Highlanders was raised in Jan., 1900, by the 16th Lord Lovat. Recruits were chosen for their hardihood and powers of observation; they were equipped with spotting telescopes slung over the right shoulder, as shown in the picture. They took a prominent part in the South African War, first appearing in the Army List as “Lord Lovat’s Corps- Mounted Infantry” and then as “Lovat’s Scouts.” They served during the Great War as dismounted troops, providing groups of highly-trained Corps Observers and snipers. The Lovat Scouts now form one regiment, the only one listed as scouts in the Army List. The picture shows a member of the Lovat Scouts during the South African War, with a typical Boer farmhouse in the background.

ROYAL NORTH DEVON YEOMANRY (HUSSARS), 1908 Now: 96th (Royal Devon Yeomanry) Field Regiment, R.A.

The North Devon Yeomanry can claim a continuous existence since the formation on May 23rd, 1798, of a troop of Yeoman for local duties in Barnstaple and Bideford. Later they, with other Devon mounted units, were trained to meet a possible French landing. The regiment received the title “Royal” in 1856, and was trained and uniformed as a hussar unit. After the Great War the regiment was converted to artillery. The illustration is of our Chairman. It depicts him as he was 31 years ago. He served with this unit in the Great War. Bideford Bridge appears in the background.

EAST RIDING OF YORKSHIRE YEOMANRY, 1908. Now: East Riding of Yorkshire Yeomanry Royal Armoured Corps

Raised in 1902 by the late Lord Wenlock as Imperial Yeomanry, this unit was recruited in the East Riding. During the Great War two regiments were raised, and saw service in France, Egypt and Palestine. In 1922 the unit was reconstituted as the 26th Armoured Car Company, The Royal Tank Corps. In 1939 it again adopted a cavalry role as a mechanised cavalry unit, which is incorporated in the Royal Armoured Corps. We show a trooper in the uniform of 1908. In the background are the Dock offices and Wilberforce Memorial, Kingston-upon-Hull.

GLAMORGANSHIRE R.G.A., 1908. Now: Glamorgan Heavy Regiment, R.A.

This regiment was raised in Cardiff and Swansea in 1859 as the Glamorganshire Artillery Volunteers. During the volunteer period the unit was chiefly armed with 40-pounder and 64-pounder guns, but by the time the Territorial Force was formed it has received the 6-inch gun shown in the background. As this time the unit became the Glamorganshire Royal Garrison Artillery. During the War of 1914-18 the unit comprised ten heavy batteries for service in France and two A.A. batteries for home defence. In 1938 it was renamed the Glamorgan Heavy Regiment, R.A. (T.A.). The picture shows a gunner in the uniform of 1908.

THE 6th BN., THE NORTHUMBERLAND FUSILIERS, 1908. Now: 43rd Bn. (6th Bn. The Royal Northumberland Fusiliers), Royal Tank Regiment

This battalion owes its origins to the Newcastle Rifle Club, which in 1860 formed a unit under the title of the 1st Newcastle-upon-Tyne Rifle Volunteers. The uniform was changed from dark grey to scarlet in 1872, and in 1886 was again changed to conform with that of the County regiment, the 5th Foot. The battalion fought in the Great War as part of the 50th (Northumbrian) Division, going overseas on April 20th, 1915. The unit was converted into the 43rd Bn. Royal Tank Regiment on Nov. 1st, 1938. We show an officer (1908) with the Keep and Black Gate, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, in the background.

One comment

  1. Those old illustrations are always interesting. I didn’t know that the white jacket was worn (in 1897) by anyone but guards infantry and Scottish infantry.

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