In May 1835 the Spanish government asked the British for permission to raise a force of 10,000 volunteers for service against Don Carlos in the First Carlist War (Spiers, 1983). The British agreed, seeing this as a better alternative to direct intervention, although they did also provide regulars in support. The British Auxiliary Legion was sanctioned in Jun 1835 with the first detachments arriving in Spain on 10 Jul. The initial full strength of 7,800 was on the ground by the end of Oct. Of the first contingent 3,200 were English, 2,800 were Irish and 1,800 Scots. Most were civilians with no military experience, including the officers. The men enlisted in the Spanish army, but under British conditions of service.