Nov 19, 2019
Nov 19, 2019

Recruiting Sergeants at Westminster

Street Life in London

Recruiting Sergeants at Westminster


John Thomson

(Scottish, 1837–1921)


Image: 11 x 8.7 cm (4 5/16 x 3 7/16 in.); Paper: 11 x 8.7 cm (4 5/16 x 3 7/16 in.); Mounted: 27 x 20.7 cm (10 5/8 x 8 1/8 in.)

Photography Discretionary Fund 2019.50


Did you know?

The hub of army recruitment in London in the late 19th century was this street corner, the site of the Mitre and Dove, a pub with a name that ironically invoked the church and peace.


The sergeants, who held these posts for many years, were paid by the recruit, receiving a little over £1 for each person who ended up serving in the army. Out of that, the recruiters had to pay expenses, including giving each enlistee a shilling (1/20th of a pound) and paying “bringers” who supplied them with likely prospects. In 1875, 3,605 approved recruits were enlisted from London.

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