Victorian Army Recruitment

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Recruiting Sergeants outside ‘The Mitre & Dove’ public house in Westminster, London during 1877. Second from the left, in his distinctive Hussar tunic, is Sergeant George H. Minett of the 14th (King’s) Hussars. Evidently a successful recruiter Sergeant Minett’s signature appears on a number of service records of the era as the enlister!

The original photograph appeared in ‘Street Life of London’ by Thompson and Smith and the caption provides an insight into recruiting in the era: “Recruiting in London is almost exclusively circumscribed to the district stretching between the St. George’s Barracks, Trafalgar Square, and Westminster Abbey.

Throughout London it is known that all information concerning service in the army can be obtained in this quarter, and intending recruits troop down to this neighbourhood in shoals, converging, as the culminating point of their peregrinations, towards the celebrated public-house at the corner of King Street and Bridge Street. It is under the inappropriate and pacific sign-board of the ‘Mitre and Dove’ that veteran men of war meet and cajole young aspirants to military honours. Here may be seen every day representatives of our picked regiments.

The Mitre and Dove was demolished in 1898.

Image Credit: LSE Digital Library (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)


A regimental website for veterans of the 14th/20th King's Hussars


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