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AGE AND PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS FOR SOLDIERS IN THE BRITISH ARMY (VICTORIAN PERIOD)*

(All Arms)

Year

Age

Minimum Height

Minimum Weight

Chest Measurement

1861

17 – 25

5’-8"

N/A

34"-36"

1868

17 – 25

5’-5"

N/A

34"-36"

1869

17 - 25

5’-7"

N/A

34"-36"

1870

17 – 25

5’-4"

N/A

34"-36"

1871

18 –25

5’-5"

N/A

34"-36"

1878

18 - 25

5’-6"

N/A

34"-36"

1880

18 – 25

5’-4"

N/A

34"-36"

1883

18 – 25

5’-3"

N/A

34"-36"

1884

18 - 25

5"-3"

115 lbs

34"-36"

1889

18 – 25

5’-4"

115 lbs

34"-36"

1900

18 - 25

5’-3"

115 lbs

34"-36"

NOTE: Minimum chest measurements depended on the arm of service.

AGE AND PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS FOR SOLDIERS IN THE CORPS OF ROYAL ENGINEERS (VICTORIAN PERIOD)+

Trade

Maximum Height

Minimum Height

Chest Measurement

Age

Sappers

5’-10"

5’-6"

34"

18-25

Pontoon-men

5’-10"

5’-7"

35"

18-25

Boatmen

5’-10"

5’-4"

34"

18-25

Artisans

5’-10"

5’-5"

33"

18-25

Drivers

5’-10"

5’-4"

34"

18-25

NOTES: 1) Artisans were an exception to the minimum 33" chest measurement.

    1. The minimum weight requirement for all arms was 115 pounds.

* SKELLEY, A.R. The Victorian Army at Home: The Recruitment and Terms and Conditions of the British Regular, 1859-1899. McGill-Queen’s University Press, Montreal, 1977, pp. 237-238.

+ GRIERSON, J.M. Scarlet Into Khaki: The British Army on the Eve of the Boer War. Greenhill Books, London, 1988, p. 21.