Robin Hood Rifles Tighten Up Shooting Training
Rule changes came into operation in 1872. It seems that some officers may have been avoiding drill practices so the War Office threatened to withhold the capitation fee if there was no evidence of attendance.
There was lack of progress with shooting skills and extra aiming and position drills were arranged
The Twelfth Annual Prize Meeting sponsored by the Nottinghamshire Rifle Association was going to be held on June, 25th and 26th at the town butts
There seems to have been a problem with poor shooting at the town range such that a special set of After Orders was issued. These were designed to reduce ricochets into the fields behind the butts and increase safety for the local farm workers. Doubtless there would have been complaints from the farmers and the allotment holders whose plots bordered the left side of the range. This was a problem that eventually lead to the closure of the town butts in 1890,
The Nottingham and Midland Counties Daily Express, Friday, June 7th, 1872.
ROBIN HOOD RIFLES
Thursday, June 6th, 1872
Squads will be formed for aiming and position drill on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings at 7.30 o'clock, under a sergeant instructor.
No. 2 - In compliance with Auxiliary and Reserve Forces Circular, dated War Office, 28th May, 1872, clause 39, "Capitation allowances will not be granted for officers unless they have attended the number of drills prescribed for efficients."
Captain of companies will therefore cause the drills of their officers to be recorded in the Drill Attendance Books the same as other ranks.
No. 3 - The following alterations in the present system of Musketry Instruction will take effect from this date:–
"The recruits are to execute Target Practice as follows: First period at every 50 yards from 100 to 250 yards. Second period from 300 to 450 yards. Third period from 500 to 650 yards: the last two distances may be fired in any position."
No. 4. - In consequence of the annual meeting of the County Rifle Association taking place on the 25th and 26th, the Fourth Competition for the Battalion Challenge Prizes will be held on Monday, 17th inst.
No. 5. - With the concurrence of the officers commanding Nos 1 and 2 Companies, the following transfer will take effect from this date: No. 2094 Private John Lowe from No 2 to No. 1 Company.
No. 6. - Class-firing next week as follows:–
|Monday,||June 10th||Companies Nos. 3 and 4|
|Tuesday,||June 11th||Companies Nos. 5 and 6|
|Wednesday,||June 12th||Companies Nos. 7 and 8|
|Thursday,||June 13th||Companies Nos. 9 and 10|
|Friday,||June 14th||Companies Nos. 1 and 2|
|Saturday,||June 15th||Companies Nos. 3 and 4|
(signed) J. WHITE, Capt. & Adjt.
ROBIN HOOD RIFLES
Monday, June 3rd, 1872
REGIMENTAL AFTER ORDERS
No. 1. – It has come to the knowledge of the Commanding Officer that since the commencement of the Registering Season several men, who through not having availed themselves of the opportunities afforded to attend aiming and position drill, have failed to pass out of the third class, and in nearly every instance the fault is letting the muzzle of the rifle drop (or dip) when pressing the trigger, the effect of which causes the shot to ricochet, and in some instances, after doing so, to go over the Butts.
In future the Sergeant-Instructor on duty will stop any man addicted to the above fault, or whose shooting he considers unsafe, and send his name to head-quarters, where he will have to undergo a course of drill and receive another certificate before he can again be allowed to fire.
No. 2. – A book will be kept in the orderly-room, in which the names of all such men will be entered and their drills recorded, and, when reported fit, they will be examined by the adjutant.
No. 3. – As it is stated at page 134, paragraph 4, of the musketry instruction, "a soldier who cannot shoot is useless, and an encumbrance to the battalion", men who fail to pass out of the third class in the three periods of individual firing will invariably be struck off the muster roll and replaced by recruits.
No. 4. – As public safety must be the first and primary consideration at all times, either in rifle matches, class-firing, or private practice, the officer or non-commissioned officer in charge of the rifle range will cause the danger signal to be hoisted, and the firing to cease during the time men belonging to the adjoining farm are working direct in, or have to cross the line of fire, in the field above the butts.
NOTE. – A copy of the above orders will be forwarded to each of the captains, and placed in the company's reading-room or armoury, and also at the butts.
(signed) J. WHITE, Captain & Adjutant.
Transcript from the Nottinghamshire & Midland Counties
Daily Express 7th June 1872
British Library Newspaper Archive