Army Cadets

Army Cadets

Octavia is well known for her work as one of the founders of the National Trust and as a social reformer. Her work as a pioneer of the Army Cadet Force generally does not receive the recognition it deserves.

Although Army Cadets have been around since 1860 in public schools, it wasn’t until 1889 the first Independent Cadet Battalion was set up at Southwark, London.

Army Cadet 1890 young boy in uniform
Army Cadet 1890

During Octavia’s work with her housing project she noticed that children lacked self-esteem, drive and discipline, something that she thought some form of military structure would resolve.

The modern day Army Cadet Force originated from 1889 and is still active today across the UK with over 33,000 members in 1,800 Detachments enjoying the benefits offered this progressive National Youth Organisation.

Today, the Army Cadet Force (ACF) offers progressive training to boys and girls aged 12 to 18 in various areas including drill and turnout, fieldcraft, sport, first aid, orienteering and even musicianship for military bands. Achievement, discipline and good citizenship are promoted at all times.

The ACF is sponsored by the Ministry of Defence. Although cadets are not subject to military ‘call up’ many do go on to find a career in the armed forces.

The National Army Cadet Force Museum has been created in Octavia Hill Birthplace in April 2023. It aims to portray the history of the Army Cadet Force and Octavia’s involvement and contribution in making the ACF what it is today.

Click here for more information about the Army Cadet Force

ACF History PDF to download click here



Click below to view our virtual tour, and zoom in on details of items in cabinets in the cadet rooms
Note : for mobiles tour is best viewed in landscape mode