Paddington Rifles 1860-1912
What are these records and why are they useful?
Information contained includes (where applicable) first names, surname, number, date of attestation (joining up), age at attestation, date struck off, strength and notes. Men who served with the 18th Volunteer Rifle Corps and in its reincarnation as the 10th London Regiment can be expected to have two entries.
Official sanction to form a Volunteer Force of part-time soldiers who could be called upon in the case of invasion or rebellion, was given by the British Government on the 12th May 1859. This authority was circulated to county lord lieutenants who were asked to submit any ideas and plans they might have.
Less than seven months later, on the 7th January 1860, and within the shadow of Paddington Station in London, a committee had been set up to form a corps of local riflemen and sufficient men had stepped forward to form its first full Company. So was born, The Paddington Rifles and amongst its early recruits was 40-year-old Crimean War veteran James Billings who, as a colour sergeant with the 38th Regiment of Foot, had also served in India, the Mediterranean and North America. As well as his Crimea Medal (and three clasps - indicating different battles served), Billings was in possession of a Long Service & Good Conduct Medal and would later be awarded a Meritorious Service Medal. His record survives in WO 97 and can be viewed in our Chelsea Pensioners' Service Records 1760-1913.
The Paddington Rifles database contains the names of over 8,600 men who served with the battalion from its inception in 1860 until its demise in 1912. It can therefore be a vital tool in providing colour to your London ancestors. Its official title was the 36th Middlesex (1860-1880), later the 18th Middlesex Volunteer Rifle Corps, and later still (from 1908) The 10th (County of London) Battalion, the London Regiment (Paddington Rifles). Although in the early days of its existence the battalion had no problems in finding willing recruits, by the time the Volunteer Force had been superseded by the Territorial Force in 1908, it was numbering well below its establishment of 928 men and from April 1908 until May 1911 succeeded in recruiting only 850 men, the lowest total of all the London Territorial infantry battalions. When it was finally disbanded in 1912, serving members who wished to continue to wear khaki joined the 3rd (City of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) and formed "F" (Paddington) Company. The 10th (County of London) Battalion was re-born shortly afterwards but operated from a different location in Hackney and was officially titled, The 10th (County of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (Hackney).
The database published here has been diligently compiled from muster rolls held at The National Archives in London, specifically:
WO 70 / 1 - 36th Middlesex Volunteer Rifle Corps 1860-74 WO70 / 2 - 36th Middlesex Volunteer Rifle Corps 1874-1888 WO70 / 3 18th (late 36th) Middlesex Volunteer Rifle Corps 1888-1903 WO70/4 18th Middlesex Volunteer Rifle Corps 1908 WO70/5 10th Battalion, London Regt 1908-09 WO70/17 10th Battalion, London Regt 1909 WO70/18 10th Battalion, London Regt 1909-11 WO70/19 10th Battalion, London Regt 1911-12
The image shows soldiers from the 36th Middlesex 1866 in a tent.
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