FEAR of invasion by the French prompted the British to organise and deploy land forces in an unprecedented way.
Sussex with its low-lying beaches and proximity to France was seen as especially vulnerable.
There were three distinct groups of armed land forces.
The regular army was a permanent paid force of men serving at home and abroad. The
militia was a paid force of infantry raised in the counties by ballot.
The volunteers were men living at home who volunteered to serve part-time in their own areas.
Rouser isn’t sure, but he thinks this photograph (almost certainly Reeves) shows a Lewes volunteer brigade at attention in the precincts of
The picture was probably taken around 1870 - quite late in the day.
Note the man, second from left, with the long white beard. He must have had a tale to tell. And the dog - the brigade’s mascot - at ease below the gun.