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University Rifle Ground

History of University Rifle Ground

University Rifle Ground, Grange Road OS 1885

The University Rifle Ground was opened on 30 Oct 1861 by the Prince of Wales. It had been acquired by the University Rifle Volunteers earlier in the year when the corps withdrew from the Rifle Club.

Josiah Chater was a member of the Working Men’s College and it was for this reason he joined the 8th Cambridgeshire Rifle Corps. It was raised 1859 mainly from inhabitants of the town who were members of the college. This was a national initiative to create opportunities for men to learn to use a rifle; earlier in 1859 the Cambridge University Rifle Volunteers and the 1st Cambridgeshire Rifle Volunteers had also been set up. They all initially used the shooting range on Mill Road.

Josiah’s diary contains a lot of comments on the rifle clubs. Eventually in 1861 the 1st and the 8th Corps combined; previously there had ben considerable rivalry. They represent the origins of the Cambridgeshire Regiment.

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