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Title: The Victorian army and the cadet colleges, Woolwich and Sandhurst, c.1840-1902
Author: Puncher, Sebastian Alexander George
ISNI:       0000 0004 8499 7628
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2019
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The British army's officer cadet colleges of the Royal Military Academy (RMA), Woolwich, and the Royal Military College (RMC), Sandhurst, have hitherto been poorly understood and often frequently criticised institutions. This thesis redresses this 'blind spot' in the history of the Victorian army, by - and critically for the first time - using the archives of the institutions themselves. Through a detailed analysis of course textbooks, cadets' work and relevant correspondence, it shows that instead of being moribund and irrelevant, the colleges were in fact giving up to date instruction. It also shows how, in the main, staff were motivated and well qualified, and particularly in the late Victorian era played a significant role in the army's doctrinal development. Similarly, cadets' letters and biographies reveal that rather than a caricatured idleness, a picture emerges of individuals anxious about their studies but often enjoying them. Apart from the regular course of studies, the inculcation of values and behavioural standards as a part of 'officership' are examined, most notably through the influence of military culture, Christianity and sport. In this way a deeper understanding of the army is obtained which departs from the all too typical narrative of a rather unprofessional and amateurish officer corps.
Supervisor: Connelly, Mark Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available