Those of us familiar with Market Lavington today, are well aware of the army training that takes place on Salisbury Plain, just to the south of our village. The Boys Journal issue of May 1863, which we introduced in our previous blog post, was produced at a time when there were farms rather than forces on the chalklands in our parish. Nontheless, one of the articles in the publication features Boy Soldiering and extols the virtues of young men engaging in drill practice for the good of their health and to produce trained volunteers, ready to swell the ranks, should their country need them.
Another page in this article explains the moves involved to react to the ‘face’ commands.
A further illustration shows how to execute arm movements.
This is but one of a wide variety of topics in the journal, designed to capture the interest of the young readers. We will look at more of the content of this magazine from almost 160 years ago in our next blog posts.