They were an artillery and infantry volunteer corps, raised in response to a threat from the French, during the Napoleonic Wars.
Small in numbers to start with , the corps grew, as they joined forces with troops in other Hampshire Regiments.
The badge says South Africa 1900-01, under the crown and they were allowed to display this on their badge, even though, out of the many who volunteered to serve in the Boer War, only ten were selected and of those ten, only three were fit enough to pass the medical.
They fought bravely in WWI, at Suvla Bay, Egypt and Palestine and in Mesopotamia.
- This I.O.W unit was known as the I.O.W Gurkhas, one intriguing reason for this is that they were all of small stature, is there any truth behind this?
- When troops from the mainland came onto the island to join forces with the Rifles against threat of French invasion, they were billeted all over the island, this was supposedly to give the island a wider gene pool but was this really the case?
- then take a look at Resources on Intriguing Family History/resources, or use the links below and related posts.
- The I.O.W has some memorials to the men who served in the Rifles and for further history and background follow the link.
- Also an excellent site for family historians with a connection is the Wootton Bridge site