The Rank and File
Just as there remains an assumption that Yeomanry regiments were commanded by gentry, it continues to be accepted that its ranks were filled with tenant farmers and estate workers. As the preceding chapter demonstrates for the officer corps, the composition of the Yeomanry’s other ranks was similarly nuanced. This chapter again relies on a detailed prosopographical study to answer why men chose to serve with the Yeomanry as well as how social and environmental pressures affected its potential membership. As with the officer corps, the Yeomanry experience is contextualised within the broader amateur military movement, in addition to the changeable socio-economic climate that the United Kingdom experienced from the middle of the nineteenth century.