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Soldiers as Workers$
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Nick Mansfield

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781781382783

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781382783.001.0001

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Soldiers as Workers

Soldiers as Workers

(p.70) 3 Soldiers as Workers
Soldiers as Workers

Nick Mansfield

Liverpool University Press

After training, most common soldiers had time on their hands and were allowed to work at a wide variety of jobs, analysed here for the first time. Many serving soldiers were officially employed as regimental tradesmen, or skilled artificers. Others worked as clerks or officers’ servants or were allowed to run small businesses, providing goods and services to their comrades as ‘penny capitalists’, and even (especially for the London based Guards) undertaking outside labouring work. Some, especially the Non Commissioned Officers who actually ran the army, used pre-enlistment skills to forge remarkable careers in the context of an expanding Empire, which surpassed any opportunities in civilian life. More mundanely, many soldiers found jobs as quasi-military administrators and instructors and after discharge staffed the growing uniformed working class employed by railways, police, public services and municipalities.

Keywords:   Employment, Tradesmen, Artificers, Clerks and servants, Penny capitalists, Uniformed working class

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