The Artists Rifles cap badge, shown here in brass was worn by soldiers who had previously been , artists, architects, musician, actors and other creative souls. They were a volunteer unit formed in 1860 in response to a potential threat from the French.
- Established in 1860
- Recruits came from a wide range of creative backgrounds
- Fought in the Boer War
- Attracted people from public schools and universities
- Many from the Artists Rifles were selected to become officers
- It was a very popular unit and of the 15000 who served in WWI, 10,000 became officers
- They suffered higher losses in WWI than most other units
- The first commanders of the Artists Rifles were Henry Wyndham Phillips and Frederick Leighton, the artist who was President of the Royal Academy from 1878 – 1896 and bearer of the shortage peerage, having died only one day after succeeding to his hereditary peerage and leaving no sons.
- Consider the wealth of creative and intellectual talent all coming together, what a force that must have been………