Soldiers Twixt Shore and Sea;Gun Drill 1896

A couple more images from the good old Navy & Army Illustrated 1896.

This time it shows men of the R.M.A. practising ashore at Fort Cumberland, Portsmouth, built to guard the entrance to Langstone harbour.

In 1859 it became home and headquarters to the Royal Marine Artillery, those men who fight twixt shore and sea.

Now a Grade II listed building.


Of course, footie being the favourable sport of the serving soldier, in 1910 Weymouth RGA drew the RMA in the second round of the Portsmouth District Army cup.

Sorry, despite an exhaustive search, I couldn’t find the results, but I’m sure Weymouth RGA lads put them Blue Marines to flight! 😉

Some kind gentleman from the Nothe Fort found the result; Dec 1910.


‘These are two more of the exercises in which the preceding page we saw the men of the “M.R.A.” engaged in.

Although primarily a sea service corps, their knowledge of land service artillery drill has proved of the highest use on several occasions during recent years-notably in Egypt. At Tel-el-Mahuta and Kassassin in 1882, and at El Teb in 1884, they rendered invaluable aid as land gunners in assisting the Royal Horse Artillery in the field, besides on their own account fighting captured Krupp field guns.

They have repeatedly done Naval Brigade infantry fighting on shore-ever since 1804, when, at Nelson’s special instance, the corps was first formed.

They also took charge of the Egyptian batteries after the bombardment of Alexandria, fought in the mortar boats in the Baltic in the Russia war, and at Sebastopol did splendid work with the siege guns-winning two “V.C’s” amongst themselves.’


Ever wondered what it was like for those who lived within towering grey walls and slept in draughty barrack rooms. Men and their womenfolk surviving side by side.

Love, hate, fights, affairs, families at war.

It all took place with the army family’s fold.

Nothe Fort and Beyond in Defence of Weymouth and Portland; 19th century History of the British army.
Nothe Fort and Beyond in Defence of Weymouth and Portland; History of life as it really was in coastal defences during the 19 thc.

Available at the Nothe Fort and Weymouth Museum bookshops.

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