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Swagger stick, Royal Northern Reserve Regiment, 1900-1901.
Wood with metal terminal inscribed with regimental badge and title.
The Royal Reserve Regiments, established by order from Queen Victoria in 1900, recruited from a very specific pool of personnel consisting of time expired warrant officers, non- commission officers and other ranks, aged between 21 and 45. The units were formed to relieve the pressures on manpower within the Army caused by the Boer War (1899-1902).
Recruits were required to enlist for one year's service and received a bounty of £22.00, the equivalent of £2570.65 in 2017. Unsurprisingly there were lots of veterans keen to sign up. By 1901, there were 17 battalions of infantry across ten Royal Reserve Regiments.
The Royal Reserve Regiments fulfilled a mainly ceremonial role. For example, they provided the guard for Osborne House, the royal residence on the Isle of Wight. On 2 February 1901 personnel from the regiments helped line the route of the funeral procession of Queen Victoria. With the war in South Africa drawing to a close there was often not enough work to go around for the 29,000 personnel and so the Royal Reserve Regiments were disbanded in 1901.
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