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Nottinghamshire Rifle Association

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The 1879 Annual Volunteer Match
and Wimbledon Results

The 1879 Annual Volunteer Match sponsored by the Nottinghamshire Rifle Association was held on Tuesday, 17th June at the Town Butts located to the west of what is now called Ransome Road with the Hungerhill Gardens allotments stretching westwards from the range to Woodborough Road.

The location of Nottingham Butts.

There were 70 competitors and not many targets so the match must have taken most of the day to complete.

The weather was apparently difficult at the start but improved as the day went along. Close examination of the scores recorded below will identify some good shooters who fell foul of the conditions.

Prize money totalling £75 was provided by the Nottinghamshire Rifle Association. This was awarded in order of merit, with money being shared out where scores were equal. There appears to have been a system of counting back from the longest range to establish the order of scores.

The top scorer was Sergeant Edwin Dracott of the 5th R.H.R. with 91 points. He counted out Private M. Freestone, also of the 5th R.H.R., who was doing better than the winner up until the 600 yard range. Sergeant Dracott won £6 and the Bronze Medal of the National Rifle Association. This entitled him to take part in the Prince of Wales' Prize at the National Rifle Association Wimbledon Meeting held in July.

 

Subsequent announcements of Regimental Orders which appeared in the Nottingham Evening Post give details of the Robin Hood Rifles team selection and achievements at Wimbledon – see below.

 

 

 

 

 

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Nottingham Evening Post, Wednesday, 18 June, 1879

NOTTS. RIFLE ASSOCIATION

The nineteenth annual prize meeting was held at the Town Butts yesterday, when 70 competitors met to contest for the much coveted prize, the Bronze Medal of the National Rifle Association, and £75 in money. The winner is entitled to compete for His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales' Prize at the forthcoming meeting of the N.R.A. at Wimbledon. The weather during some portion of the day was anything but favourable to good shooting, but as the day advanced it became everything a rifleman could wish for. Some excellent shooting was made, and the county members came well to the front, but the prize was well won by Sergeant Dracott, of the 5th Company Robin Hood Rifles, with a fine score of 91 points. The following is the return of the shooting:–

  200
yds
500
yds
600
yds
 
Ttl
Sergeant E. Dracott, 5th RHR £6 32 29 30 91
Private M. Freestone, 5th RHR, £5 32 33 26 91
Private N. McLeod, 3rd Notts, £5 29 24 32 85
Private Widdowson, 7th Notts, £4 29 31 25 85
Sergeant G, Carder, 9th RHR, £4 28 33 24 85
Corporal T. Vickers, 7th RHR, £3 27 29 28 84
Private E. Wilson, 4th RHR, £3 28 30 26 84
Sergeant W. Cook, 6th RHR, £3 28 31 24 83
Private T. Loach, 3rd RHR,£3 29 26 27 82
Sergt. W.C. Brookhouse, 4th RHR, £3 26 25 30 81
Captain J. Wright, 1st RHR, £3 26 28 27 81
Lieutenant E. Pratt, 9th RHR, £2 28 26 27 81
Sergt. J.C. Cumberland,8th RHR, £2 30 28 23 81
Corporal T. Freeman, 4th RHR, £2 29 32 20 81
Sergeant J. Townrow, 8th Notts, £2 26 24 28 78
Sergeant H. Davis, 3rd RHR, £2 24 29 24 77
Corporal J.B. McLennan, 2nd RHR, £2 26 27 24 77
Corporal St. Leo Smith, 4th RHR, £2 28 27 22 77
Private J. Lee, 3rd RHR, £2 26 31 20 77
Surgeon T. Wright, Staff RHR, £2 32 27 18 77
Sergeant H. Newham, 6th RHR, £2 27 20 29 76
Mr. Toplis, Nottingham, £2 24 29 23 76
Corporal Parlby, 3rd Notts, £2 32 24 20 76
Corporal Rockliffe, 3rd Notts, £1 26 25 24 75
Private E. Dalls, 5th RHR, £1 29 24 22 75
Sergeant F. Warsop, 10th RGHR, £1 29 28 18 75
Corporal S.R. Derrick, 6th RHR, £1 28 24 22 74
Corporal J. Roe, 9th RHR, £1 25 29 20 74
Mr. Baker, Nottingham, £1 29 26 19 74
Private A. Atkin, 4th RHR £1 30 27 18 74

Ties divide.

The Robin Hood Rifles formally announced the success of Sergeant Edwin Dracott in the Regimental Orders for Monday, 30th June, an extract from which is opposite.

 

 

 

 

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Nottingham Evening Post, Monday, 30 June, 1879

RIFLE CORPS
ROBIN HOOD RIFLES
Head Quarters, Nottingham Castle, Monday June 30th, 1879.

REGIMENTAL ORDERS
By Lieut.-Colonel Charles Seely.

.....

No. 4 - PRINCE OF WALES' PRIZE. - No. 783, Sergeant Edwin Dracott, of No. 5 (The Park), or Captain William Lambert's Company, being the winner of the "Bronze Medal", at the County Rifle Association Contest, on the 17th inst., he is authorised to compete for the above at the forthcoming meeting at Wimbledon.

.....

(signed) J.WHITE, Captain and Adjutant.

On July 8th, the Nottingham Evening Post published the Regimental Orders for July 7th and additional After Orders for July 8th

The first set of orders included instructions to those attending Wimbledon as regards dress code and conduct. It also mentions a practice session for the Volley Firing Team to take place at 7pm on July 9th.

There is an interesting reference here to "military time". In this era time keeping was changing from local to standard or railway, now called UTC or GMT, and maybe it was necessary to differentiate; but this is the only reference that we have come across in the Regimental Orders. In the UK, Railway Time was aligned to GMT; but worldwide agreement to the use of GMT was not achieved until October 1884.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Regimental After Orders published the next day gave details of the team selected to represent the Robin Hood Rifles at Wimbledon.

This covered entries to the Queen's Prize, the St. George's Vase, the Prince of Wales' Prize (only Sergeant E Dracott), and the volley firing team for the Belgian Challenge Cup.

A month later a list of prizes won by members of the Robin Hood Rifles was published – see below.

 

 

 

 

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Nottingham Evening Post, Tuesday, 8 July, 1879

RIFLE CORPS
ROBIN HOOD RIFLES
Head Quarters, Nottingham Castle, Monday, July 7th, 1879.

REGIMENTAL ORDERS
By Lieut.-Colonel Charles Seely.

.....

No. 4 - RIFLE ASSOCIATION MEETINGS. - The Lieut.-Colonel Commanding calls the careful attention of Regimental competitors to the following extract from the "Auxiliary and Reserve Forces Circulars", dated War Office, 1st October, 1878, clause 92. 1. "When Volunteers attend the meeting of a Rifle Association they will be careful on all occasions during such meeting to appear either in the authorised uniform of their corps or in purely civilian dress." 2. "The unsoldier-like appearance of Volunteers dressed partly in uniform and partly in civilian costume, brings discredit not only on themselves but on the force to which they belong."

No. 5. - WIMBLEDON MEETING, 1879. - Members of the Regiment attending the above, whether as competitors or visitors, will be under the command of the senior officer present in the camp, to whom they must report themselves at his tent in the members' camp.

.....

No. 10. - VOLLEY FIRING PRACTICE. - Targets will be prepared for the selected Wimbledon team on Wednesday, the 9th inst., at 7 o'clock p.m. military time.

.....

(Signed) J. WHITE, Captain and Adjutant


ROBIN HOOD RIFLES
Head Quarters, Nottingham Castle, Tuesday, July 8th, 1879.

REGIMENTAL AFTER ORDERS
By Lieut.-Colonel Charles Seely.

No. 1. - Preparatory to the Official Inspection there will be a parade in full review order at Head-Quarters on Tuesday, the 22nd instant.

No. 2. - W.O. Forms (1624) for Nominal Lists, together with forms for application for written permission to be absent from the Inspection through unavoidable causes will be issued to companies at the above parade.

THE QUEEN'S AND ST GEORGE'S PRIZES.

No. 3. - The undermentioned members will represent the regiment at Wimbledon and compete for prizes as follows:–
Major H.E. Hunt Corporal T. Ashford
Surgeon T. Wright Corporal S.R. Derrick
Surgeon J.O.C. Hynes Corporal H. Duckett
Captain J. Wright Corporal T. Freeman
Captain F.W. Brooksbank Corporal St. Leo Smith
Captain J. Hack Corporal T. Vickers
Lieutenant E.H. Pratt Private R. Brown
Qtr.-Mstr.-Sergt. Cuckson Private R.D. Copley
Colour-Sergt. Brookhouse Private M. Freeston
Colour-Sergt. Cumberland Private J. Lee
Colour-Sergt. Hodgson Private T. Loach
Sergeant G. Carder Private T. Mallett
Sergeant H. Davis Private H.W. Kirk
Sergeant. E. Dracott Private G. Read
Sergeant F. Warsop Private A. Sibert
Corporal T.N. Coles Private E. Wilson

THE PRINCE OF WALES' PRIZE.

Sergeant Edwin Dracott

BELGIAN CHALLENGE CUP
Volley firing, 400 yards

Surgeon T. Wright Sergeant E. Dracott
Qtr.-Mstr.-Sergt. Cuckson Sergeant F. Warsop
Colour-Sergt. Brookhouse Corporal T.N. Coles
Colour-Sergt. Hodgson Corporal S.R. Derrick
Sergeant G. Carder Corporal St. Leo Smith
Sergeant H. Davis Private E. Wilson

(signed) J. WHITE, Captain and Adjutant.

The Robin Hood Rifles squad attending the National Rifle Association's Wimbledon Meeting came away with a good list of winnings, including apparently the top prize in the Belgian Challenge Cup for volley firing.

 

 

You will note that Captain J. White has been replaced by Major Henry E. Hunt as Acting Adjutant. This was announced on August 2nd with the following statement:–

The following extract from the London Gazette is published for Battalion information:–"1st Nottinghamshire Corps.-Captain and Adjutant Jonathan White resigns his Commission, and is placed on retired allowance; also is granted the honorary rank of Major, and is permitted to continue to wear the uniform of the Corps on his retirement July 30th."

There followed the statement that "until further orders, Major Henry E. Hunt will do duty as Adjutant."

In the Regimental Orders for July 7th, but not included in our extract, Captain White had added a memorandum complaining about being much hindered in the discharge of his office duties by the failure of some companies to send in drill attendance and other returns when these were requested. There is the clear suggestion that the Captain was not happy in his work at the Orderly Room.

 

 

 

 

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Nottingham Evening Post, Friday, 8 August, 1879.

ROBIN HOOD RIFLES
Head-Quarters, Nottingham Castle,
Wednesday, August 6th, 1879.

REGIMENTAL ORDERS
By Lieut.-Colonel Charles Seely.

.....

No. 5. - Prizes won at the recent meeting of the National Rifle Association at Wimbledon by members of the R.H.R.:–

Alfred Prize 200 yards
Sergeant F. Warsop 81 points, £2
Alexandra, 500 and 600v yards
Corporal T. Vickers 54 points, £3
Sergeant F. Warsop 54 points, £3
Private J. Lee 51 points, £2
Glen Albyn, 200 yards
Private J. Lee 33 points, £2
Queen's, 200, 500, and 600 yards
Sergeant G. Carder 92 points, £12 and Badge
Private M Freeston 90 points, £12 and Badge
Sergeant F. Warsop 89 points, £12 and Badge
St. George's, 500 yards
Lieutenant E.H. Pratt 32 points, £8 and Badge
Sergeant G. Carder 32 points , £5 and Badge
Private E. Wilson 30 points, £2 and Badge
Consolation, 500 yards
Private R. Brown 28 points, £1

Belgian Challenge Cup and £30
Volley firing , 400 yards.
Surgeon T. Wright Sergeant H. Davis
Qr-Master-Sergeant Cuckson Sergeant E. Dracott
Colour-Sergeant T. Hodgson Sergeant F. Warsop
Colour-Sergeant Brookhouse Corporal T.N. Coles
Sergeant G. Carder Private E. Wilson
Captain of team, Surgeon J. O'C. Hynes

(signed) HENRY E. HUNT, Major, Acting Adjutant.

Transcripts from the Nottingham Evening Post June 18 & 30,
July 8, and August 8, 1879
British Library Newspaper Archive