‘Giving Ryde’s Past to the Future’

Historic Ryde Society Quiz Night Thursday 29th June 2023 at Yelf's Hotel, at 7p.m. for 7.30pm.

Isle of Wight Observer September 22, 1860

THE ORIGIN OF THE VOLUNTEER MOVEMENT – Several persons are vehemently contending for the honour of having taken the initiative in a movement which has had so signal a success as to produce a costless disciplined army of 150,000 marksmen. We have been appealed to, and names we have never heard of have been placed before us as deserving of public gratitude on this account. Of course no individual can have any claim to the merit of having originated this great work. It rose out of the circumstances and exigencies of the day, and it sprang from a unanimous feeling of the necessity of preparing for defence. The earliest and most strenuous advocate, however, of the Volunteer system when in its infancy was, so far as we know, Mr Hans Busk, who has continued lecturing and writing and counselling upon this subject up to the present hour. He was, as we know, for some time alone in pressing the subject upon the public notice, and to him, if to anybody, credit is due for having laboriously aided at the birth of this institution. The Volunteer Army, however, is not an invention, and no one has a right to patent it. – Times

THE VOLUNTEER MOVEMENT – According to hand-bills, a meeting is convened at the Town-hall for Monday evening next, to consider the best means of assistance open for working men to offer towards the movement. As we have noticed this meeting, it may be as well to mention the band, who it appears does not happen to be overdone with funds just at present. To remedy this, it has been suggested to us this week that the band should have the use of the Town-hall and give a series of fortnightly concerts, or practice there as often, charging the public one shilling to be admitted. If this were done, and tickets printed and sold in the music shops, it would doubtless bring in something considerable, for many would purchase a quantity to give away to their servants, and thus aid in supporting one of the most attractive features in the Ryde Volunteer movement. We hope this suggestion will receive the attention of the Band Committee.

The Late Capt Hans Busk
The Late Capt Hans Busk

RIFLEDOM – On Thursday evening at half-past 6, about 50 of the Volunteer Rifles mustered at their rendezvous, and marched, headed by the band who played “I’m Ninety-five,” to the Esplanade, and halted in front of the Castle. After wheeling into line, saluting, and passing through the manual exercise, they marched in fours, headed by their band, along the Esplanade, up St John’s hill, through Oakfield, and arrived at headquarters about 8 o’clock, the band again playing their favourite air of “I’m Ninety-five”. To judge from the numbers who followed the rifles in their march, they seem to hold the same extraordinary attraction for the public, as they did some five or six months ago, when they made their debut in the streets. – We understand that a detachment of the rifles intend proceeding to Salisbury on Wednesday to be present and take part in a review coming off there that day. The undertaking does not seem to be entered into very heartily, and it would be a pity if but twenty or so went, for numbers in this case, according as it is great or small commands respect, and we certainly should not like to hear that our townsmen, when they arrived on the green, were looked upon with anything like contempt. If some are determined on going, one way or another let them go strongly, and if the funds will permit, take the band, for their presence would redeem almost any other short coming.

This engraving of the late Capt Hans Busk appeared in the London Illustrated News of March 25, 1882. Captain Hans Busk was the person responsible for the first lifeboat in Ryde, launched May 5, 1869. Further information about it can be found here.

Return to 1860s Military page