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The Victorian Army and the Cadet Colleges, Woolwich and Sandhurst, c.1840-1902

Puncher, Sebastian Alexander George (2019) The Victorian Army and the Cadet Colleges, Woolwich and Sandhurst, c.1840-1902. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (KAR id:76773)

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Abstract

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.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Connelly, Mark
Uncontrolled keywords: military history, Victorian army, Royal Military College Sandhurst, Royal Military Academy Woolwich, military education, leadership, army doctrine
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of History
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2019 11:10 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 14:07 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/76773 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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