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Volume 203: debated on Thursday 28 July 1870

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said, he would beg to ask the Secretary of State for War, The number of regiments, troops, and batteries which were sent from Aldershot to Wimbledon to take part in the late Review, and the strength of each regiment, troop, and battery respectively; what is the estimated war establishment of a battalion of infantry, a regiment of cavalry including men and horses, and of troops and batteries of artillery including men, horses, guns, and waggons; and, whether, with a view of preparing the country for any sudden emergency, it is the intention of Her Majesty's Government to place any portion of the Army upon a war footing; and, if so, to what extent this can be done with trained or partially trained soldiers?

Sir, I hold in my hand a Return of the force which went to Wimbledon, numbering, in the whole, 2,905 officers and men. The detail is entirely at the hon. and gallant Member's service if he wishes to see it. There is no fixed war establishment; but I have a Return of the establishment of each arm at the time of the Crimean War, which is equally at his service. The hon. and gallant Member will not expect me on this occasion to make a statement of the views of Her Majesty's Government; but at the present moment 21,900 Reserve men, of whom 20,000 are Militia Reserve men, are under engagement to serve with the Army at home or abroad; and there are also between 19,000 and 20,000 of the second-class Army Reserve trained soldiers, but liable only to serve at home.