I am a PhD student researching British drummers and bandsmen during the Napoleonic Wars.
I was wondering if anyone on this forum is aware of sources stating the numbers of drummers and trumpeters serving in the British regular army in wartime (ideally 1808). I have seen numbers for the total effective strength of the army and its rank and file strength (ie corporals and privates), but I need to know the number of drummers specifically to get a sense of the musical manpower required by the army. I have data on the Militia and the Volunteers from the Parliamentary Papers - there are several returns broken down by rank viz sergeants, drummers, R&F. The Parliamentary Papers also include post-war returns for the regular army's effective strength with drummers and trumpeters listed as a separate category, but the first such document available gives figures for 1817. Wartime tables don't break down the totals by rank.
I have spoken with Andrew Bamford about this and plan on consulting the WO17 manuscript strength returns at the UK National Archives when I next visit - probably not for a while, given the current pandemic-related restrictions.
But I've posted this enquiry here in case anyone is otherwise aware of well-sourced data that might help me - I find it odd that this fairly basic quantitative information is more readily available in print for the Militia and Volunteers than for the regulars.
Any leads would be appreciated. 😀