Regimental depot


The regimental depot of a regiment is its home base for recruiting and training. It is also where soldiers and officers awaiting discharge or postings are based and where injured soldiers return to full fitness after discharge from hospital before returning to full duty. Normally, a variety of regimental stores will also be kept at the depot. The regimental depot is not the same as the regimental headquarters (where the main officers' mess and certain central functions are based), though in practice the two will often be co-located in the same place.

Armeens depot, Akershus fortress

United KingdomEdit

In a military dictionary of 1802, the word Depot is given multiple meanings: primarily it is said to describe 'any particular place in which military stores are deposited for the use of the army'; but 'it also signifies an appropriated fort, or place, for the reception of recruits, or detached parties, belonging to different regiments'.[1] At that time Maidstone Barracks served as depot for the British Cavalry; while the depot for the Infantry (established at Chatham Barracks in the 1770s) had moved in 1801 to Albany Barracks on the Isle of Wight. Later, the depot at Maidstone served specifically as a recruitment centre for cavalry regiments stationed in India (and in 1830 a similar arrangement was established at Chatham for infantry regiments stationed in India and New South Wales).[2] A second Cavalry Depot was later established at Canterbury; in 1865 the Maidstone depot closed and Canterbury alone then served as home depot for the cavalry regiments overseas (with additional accommodation provided when necessary in Colchester). In 1897 the Cavalry Depot at Canterbury was closed, with responsibility for recruitment devolving on the home-based regiments (which began to be affiliated with regiments serving overseas for the purpose of recruitment).[3]

List of UK Infantry Regimental Depots in the 1880sEdit

A list of barracks in Britain and Ireland, either designated or newly built to serve as localization depots for infantry regiments in the wake of the Cardwell Reforms of the 1870s and the Childers Reforms which followed.[4]

List of UK Cavalry Regimental Depots in the 1910sEdit

A list of barracks in Britain and Ireland designated to serve as depots for cavalry regiments.[5][6]

French ArmyEdit

In the French Royal Army and Imperial Army, in addition to many of the empire's many puppet states, a dépôt was a battalion in size and would provided drafts to the regular 'field battalions' on a regular basis. If mobilised, the depot itself would become field battalion lead by the depot's 2nd in command, typically a senior captain. Each depot battalion comprised 4 x companies and was commanded by a Major.[7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ James, Charles (1802). A New and Enlarged Military Dictionary, or Alphabetical Explanation of Technical Terms. London: T. Egerton.
  2. ^ Strachan, Hew (1984). Wellington's Legacy: The Reform of the British Army, 1830-54. Manchester University Press. p. 214.
  3. ^ The Marquess of Anglesey (1982). A History of the British Cavalry 1816-1919. Volume 3: 1872 to 1898. London: Secker & Warburg. p. 123.
  4. ^ Douet, James (1998). British Barracks 1600-1914. Swindon: English Heritage.
  5. ^ Frederick 1984, p. 373
  6. ^ "Cavalry Depots". The Long, Long Trail. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  7. ^ Haythornthwaite, p. 4


  • Frederick, J. B. M. (1984). Lineage Book of British Land Forces 1660-1978. Wakefield, United Kingdom: Microform Academic Publishers. ISBN 1-85117-007-3.
  • Haythornthwaite, Philip (1983). Napoleon's Line Infantry. Long Acre, London, United Kingdom: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1782007562. OCLC 1021805324.