Rifle Club

It is known that Burnham possessed a ‘Rifle Corps’ in 1867 (Report in Western Gazette 4/10/1867) and on into the 1880’s. This may have been a branch of the Rifle  Volunteer Force which was a citizen army of part-time rifle, artillery and engineer corps, created as a popular movement throughout the British Empire in 1859, in response to the Crimean War.

Whether this became the foundation of the thriving sporting club activity  often mentioned in the local press of the late 19th & early 20th centuries is not known.

Photo courtesy of Ann Popham.

Back row: J. Duffy, A. Young, A. Lee, T. Bennett, A. Rich, C. Smith, L. Emery, W. Kingston, W. Ballett, J. Allen, W. Simpson.

Front Row: F. Chalkley, J. Marchent, J. French (Hon. Sec.), M. Burford, (Chairman), H. Marchent (Vice Chairman), W. Turk (Capt), F. Smith (Vice Capt), H. Rice.


3 thoughts on “Rifle Club”

  1. Fred and Cyril Smith (both featured in the photo above) were builders who carried out a house renovation for us in Kingsway Road. I was interested in guns (I was 15 at the time) and they very kindly set up a mini range for a .22 air pistol in the house, and then introduced me to the rifle club. I became a member and shot there regularly until I left home two years later. Under their tuition I became quite adept with a rifle. Fred used to amuse my mother as he would often talk about someone “going through a phrase” when he meant to say “going through a phase”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *