The Wolverhampton Volunteers were set up in response to the possibilities of war with France in the 1860's. We have a number of early photographs of named people in uniform and several early group photographs, allegedly taken in about 1860. On the Wolverhampton Local History web site this is described as a sort of 'Dad's Army' comprising mainly people from the middle and professional classes. This is certainly borne out by the photographs.

Henry Evans and his cousin Thomas Bradney Shaw-Hellier were Volunteers. Other friends of Henry also seem to be involved and we have a selection of photos of these gentleman soldiers. The three group photos below definitely seem to be older than the ones where we have names and may well be taken by Oskar Reilander, a famous photographer in Wolverhampton and himself a volunteer.

Henry's brother-in law Captain Charles Richard Ogden Evans was a serving officer in The Royal Artillery and, although, not directly involved in the Volunteers, must have been a strong influence on the 22 year old Henry. Henry's only son Wilmot was to join the regular army as an officer in the South Staffordshire regiment in 1910.

Wolverhampton Volunteers 1861

Volunteer Camp - Wolverhampton Militia 1861