HC Deb 10 February 1898 vol 53 c239

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War whether the regulation height for Dragoons and Lancers has been reduced from 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 7 inches, and from 5 feet 7 inches to 5 feet 6 inches. And whether this reduction is caused by the difficulty of obtaining recruits of the proper standard.


Before 1896 the standard for Lancers and Dragoons was from 5ft. 7in. to 5ft. 9in., but it was represented that young men of this height frequently grew too heavy for the horses. The standard for recruits under 20 years of age was, therefore, reduced and fixed at 5ft. 6in. to 5ft. 8in. for men under 20 years of age, and at 5ft. 8in. to 5ft. 9in. for older men. The recruiting officers represented that under the latter very narrow margin many good recruits were lost. The minimum was therefore reduced to 5ft. 7in. for men over 20 years of age, being the standard before 1896.