noun(usually fencibles) historical
A soldier belonging to a British militia which could be called up only for service on home soil.
More example sentences
- A cockney by birth, he had been apprenticed to an engraver and had only become a soldier as a volunteer in the Warwickshire fencibles (reserve cavalry) in the invasion scare of 1800.
- During the Napoleonic wars, the militia was supplemented by various ‘fencibles’, and after 1859 by the Rifle Volunteers.
- During the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars the British regular army remained fairly small, but home defence forces such as yeomanry, volunteers, and fencibles proliferated.