Mounted Infantryman 80th.Staffordshire Regt. Egypt 1882
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The tactical roles for which infantry were too slow and cavalry poorly trained and armed became the province of a new Arm, which reached its zenith in this period ? the Mounted Infantry or M I. The essence of a mounted infantryman was that he remained an infantryman, fighting on foot, but was mounted to get him at speed to wherever his rifle and bayonet were needed. M I had been used with success in the African Wars and in 1881 after proving itself against the Kaffirs, Zulus and Boers it was recognised as a very useful addition to the other Arms
Before the cavalry arrived in Egypt in 1882 a 70 man M I company was organised from the South Staffords and the 3rd Kings Royal Rifle Corps who had both had men with previous M I experience in Africa. It was later doubled in strength and gave close support to the Cavalry Brigade at Tel-el-Kebir. Fifteen or more years later, the Boer War and the guerilla tactics of the Boers, saw a large increase in the importance of M I until it became the dominant Arm of the war ? cavalry and even gunners being converted to its usages.
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