Going Regimental: The Military In Victorian Times Just Add Werewolves

So, Gentle Reader, I tried to watch Four Feathers recently. Before you accuse me of slacking off the writing, this was part of my on going attempt to understand the Victorian army system and breakdown of regiments and ranks and so forth.

Parasol Drills series 1888 victorian military pink green

Four Feathers featured Rupert & Heath, a few nice costumes, a number of questionable accents, and some spectacular scenery, but it was . . . (how do I put this nicely?) not good. Le sigh. Can’t win them all.

It did prompt me did go back over my old notes from Changeless on the subject for the regimental system in my particular version on Victorian England. So here’s a little DVD extra moment for you all.

Victorian Regimental System ~ Gail’s Universe

The Queen’s Regiment
AKA the Regulars

  • Officer corps = ruling class drawn from squires, clergy, civil servants, politician, pack members
  • Soldiers drawn from all manner of personal, include a number of convicts who are given military service as an option instead of prison or deportation
  • Military caste is a narrow, closed society
  • Barracks and officer’s wife’s also rather liminal to regular society
  • A kind of unspoken code that officers marry other officer’s daughters
  • Pack or family mentality

Company Regiment
AKA the Company

  • 1/2 British army abroad, including the commander-in-chief of India, privately chartered by the Honorable East India Company (a vampire funded and owned trade concern)
  • British East India Company founded in 1300 and incorporated by Elizabeth I under royal charter December 1, 1600
  • Familiarly known as “Bloody John Company” or sometimes Old Jack (See what I mean? Vampires)
  • East India Company’s Army comprised of various divisions.
  • European Regiments = British & Irish recruits, used in daylight action
  • Native Regiments = high caste Hindus from bengal + Sikhs + some Muslims + Gurkhas + some local vampires if willing + local werewolves if around in that part of the Empire
  • British werewolf packs do not serve in the Company, only in the Regulars.
  • Although the Company could hire regular regiments from the government, posing an interesting problem in some parts of the Empire with packs fighting under vampires

Werewolf Regiments

Werewolf pack members generally carry (baring personal issues, experience, and other concerns) the following rank:
Alpha = Colonel
Beta = Lieutenant-Colonel
Gama = Major
However, they do not necessarily command the ordinary number of soldiers associated with such ranks, but act more as scouts or special services
They are attached to a regiment but not always fully integrated within that regiment.

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Quote of the Day:

“And there is really no reason why the Englishwoman in India should burden herself with the same number of petticoats, shifts, bodices, and what not, that her great-grandmother wore in temperate climes. We so not advocate any sloppiness in dress; on the contrary, we would inveigh against any yielding to the lassitude and indifference which comes over the most energetic in tropical heat, but we would have people as comfortable as they can be under the circumstances. And any multiplicity in under-garments, no matter how thin they may be, keeps in perspiration and conduces fatally to prickly heat.”

~ Steel & Gardiner, 1888


Soulless: Parasol Protectorate Book 1


Alexia Tarabotti, now Lady Woolsey, awakens in the wee hours of the mid-afternoon to find her husband, who should be decently asleep like any normal werewolf, yelling at the top of his lungs. Then he disappears – leaving her to deal with a regiment of supernatural soldiers encamped on her doorstep, a plethora of exorcised ghosts, and an angry Queen Victoria.

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Posted by Gail Carriger

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  1. swevene said:

    This is really interesting!

    Lyall was a Colonel before he stopped going overseas, wasn't he? Was that because he was older and had more experience than other werewolves?

  2. Gail Carriger said:

    Very nice catch! It's because Woolsey/London was the exception. "The only divided pack" since their Alpha is head of BUR their Beta carries a higher rank over seas.

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