Preparation to Repel the Invader

Ref: C3741337

From 1793 to 1814 Britain faced a formidable enemy, with an army considered by many to be invincible - France! For much of the time a large section of that army, Napoleon's Army of England, sometimes numbering up to 130,000 men, waited on the Channel coast preparing to invade. Contrary to what is sometimes suggested, that threat did not end with the Battle of Trafalgar. Here on the south coast people entered into intensive invasion preparations involving the whole population. Ambitious civilian evacuation procedures were in place and thousands of troops moved into the area. How did our ancestors cope with the longest period of threat this country has ever known? This course will interest and intrigue anyone with a love of history either on a national or local and domestic scale.

Additional information about this course


Course aim

To assess the scale of the Napoleonic invasion threat and identify the plans put in place, both nationally and in the southern counties of England, to counter that threat.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Identify the nature, scale and intensity of the invasion threat and identify landing places likely to be used by invading forces.
  • Describe national defence plans both civilian and military and locate evidence of these plans being put into effect
  • Explain the nature of the plan to 'drive the country' and identify the role and responsibilities of civilian parish officers in putting this into effect
  • Locate and use a variety of contemporary sources to demonstrate the response of local people to defence plans

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • Maps of the area, a good road atlas would be acceptable but OS modern or Casini Old Series would be preferable. Magnifying glass for some sessions

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider

Download full Course information sheet

Preparation to Repel the Invader


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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