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Field-day and Sham Fight of Volunteers on Hampstead Heath, 1860. Creator: Unknown

Field-day and Sham Fight of Volunteers on Hampstead Heath, 1860. Creator: Unknown


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Field-day and Sham Fight of Volunteers on Hampstead Heath, 1860. Creator: Unknown

Field-day and Sham Fight of Volunteers on Hampstead Heath, [London], 1860. The people flocked to the spot in incredible numbers, and no organised attempt having been made to preserve the ground set apart for the manoeuvres, had it even been practicable to maintain it, a scene of confusion ensued which went far to mar the whole ceremony. The force that appeared on the ground consisted of four corps - the West Middlesex and the Hampstead Rifles...the 7th Middlesex (Islington)...and the North Middlesex...The great point on the part of the commanders of the attacking force appeared to be to drive the defenders from their position on the hill, and as the attacking force advanced the gallant Major who had the command of the defending force observed a movement of the reserve, consisting of two other companies of the North Middlesex, and, acting upon the principle that "discretion is the better part of valour, " shifted his quarters to the north-east side, whence he made a most determined defence, until at the end, being overpowered and short of ammunition, he beat a rapid though steady retreat by the only loophole left for escape - namely, the opening into the Hendon-road, on the north-western side of the heath'. From "Illustrated London News", 1860

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Media ID 36347456

© The Print Collector/Heritage Images

Attack Attacking British Army Exercise Hampstead Camden London England Hampstead Heath Heath Manoeuvres Training Armed Services


FEATURES IN THESE COLLECTIONS

> Animals > Mammals > Muridae > Heath Mouse

> Europe > United Kingdom > England > London > Art > Entertainment

> Europe > United Kingdom > England > London > Boroughs > Camden

> Europe > United Kingdom > England > London > Boroughs > Islington

> Europe > United Kingdom > England > London > Sights > Hampstead Heath

> Europe > United Kingdom > England > London > Towns > Hampstead

> Europe > United Kingdom > England > London > Towns > Hendon

> Europe > United Kingdom > England > London > Towns > Islington

> Europe > United Kingdom > England > London > Towns > North End

> Europe > United Kingdom > England > London > Towns > West Hampstead


EDITORS COMMENTS
This photograph captures the chaos and excitement of the Field-day and Sham Fight of Volunteers on Hampstead Heath in London, 1860. The image portrays a large crowd gathered on the heath, witnessing the military drills and mock battles between various volunteer corps. The scene is one of disorder, as the ground set aside for maneuvers had not been adequately preserved, resulting in a confusing and disorganized event. Four corps participated in this military spectacle: the West Middlesex and Hampstead Rifles, the 7th Middlesex (Islington), and the North Middlesex. The primary objective for the attacking force was to drive the defenders from their position on the hill. As the battle commenced, the gallant Major commanding the defending force noticed a movement of the reserve, consisting of two other companies of the North Middlesex. Acting on the principle of 'discretion is the better part of valor,' the Major swiftly relocated his quarters to the north-east side of the heath and mounted a determined defense. Despite their valiant efforts, the defenders were eventually overpowered and short of ammunition. In a strategic retreat, they beat a rapid yet steady escape through the only available loophole – the opening into the Hendon-road on the north-western side of the heath. This photograph offers a fascinating glimpse into the past, providing a vivid account of the camaraderie, spirit, and military tactics of the Volunteer forces during this era.

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