B.O.

General discussion forum
Ben Townsend
Forum General
Ben Townsend
Forum General
Joined: November 19th, 2007, 9:35 pm

April 23rd, 2017, 7:39 am #21



For those who are concerned, or who may be concerned with the reproduction of GR markings. Here is a perfectly provenanced example from 1810, found in WO papers at Kew.

Apologies for the poor state of the photography, this was taken a few years ago, and the file size is small by present standards.
Colonel Lejeune
On the Imperial service
Quote
Like
Share

Patchbox
Forum Recruit
Patchbox
Forum Recruit
Joined: October 30th, 2012, 3:38 am

May 9th, 2018, 11:30 am #22

I did two stints in the army and one of the first things we were told to do was to mark up 'all' our kit, those markings were on the inside of all your issued kit and uniform.  This was so that if it was lost and found, it could be returned to you, prevented it being nicked (you would have to pay for a replacement and get into trouble for not looking after your kit) and lastly, helps in identifying the casualty if all that's all that left of him is a piece of clothing etc.  The same must have been as a norm to mark  uniform and equipment within all armies during the Georgian-Regency period. 

This canteen marking 'argument' leads me to think that though this would have happened, the canteen may have been worn with the markings towards the wearer's body rather than displayed.  And how much evidence is there for those said marking being in white instead of those recorded by Hamilton-Smith with his mounted KGL Hussar's (3 HKG 1) black lettering? 

Were all regiments supplied with the same type of canteen?  Hamilton-Smith's works suggest not!  With the Guards donning what looks like a 'visually' unmarked, black leather covered canteen, probably of pewter.  A smaller, egg shaped, leather covered type of canteen shown on both a sergeant and private of the 87th.  But even when a 'normal' canteen is depicted, Apart from the KGL Hussar mentioned above, no markings are shown. 

I have trawled and trawled for contemporary evidence and illustations (1792 to1815) but can find none.

As for contemporary British Cavalry,  I can find no pictures of them wearing the water canteen or the bread-bag in illustrations where they are shown mounted.  The only time they are depicted wearing such items are when they are shown dismounted, again, unmarked.

Going back 'again' to the Hamilton-Smith picture of the mounted KGL Hussar offering a drink to a fellow line infantryman.  The Hussar would have needed to have taken off both his cap and pelisse in order to offer the canteen.  The hussar may well have unbucked the strap in order to offer the canteen, but why buckle it back up before he offers it?

In my personal opinion, I reckon that the British cavalryman stowed both the canteen and bread-bag (haversack) on the horse.  It would be uncomfortable to have such items bouncing about the waist and hip whilst riding.  Why carry them yourself anyway when you have a horse?

Just an aside:  No cap-badge for riflemen in the field.
Just on the border of your waking mind,
there lies another time,
where darkness and light are one.
And as you tread the halls of sanity,
you feel so glad to be unable to go beyond.
I have a message from another time.....

Jeff Lynne
Quote
Like
Share

Ben Townsend
Forum General
Ben Townsend
Forum General
Joined: November 19th, 2007, 9:35 pm

May 10th, 2018, 9:23 am #23

That's a lot of points for one post! I'll try and respond to them one at a time.
1. Regarding marking of kit. There are plenty of references in standing orders to regimental clothing being marked up, as well as appointments and accoutrements. The marking up of the last two categories were formalised by general order in 1812,
 'The CinC commands that every article of either description shall have conspicuously marked on it, the number or appellation of the battalion and regiment to which it may belong, as well as the letter or number of the troop or company.' WO123.130.
 The problem with haversacks and canteens is they are camp equipment supplied for service by the storekeeper's department and so fall into a different category, in theory being required to be returned to stores on the termination of the period of service. Nonetheless, it seems reasonable to assume that they were marked up to prevent loss by theft or substitution. Injunctions to do so turn up periodically. For instance,

'Isla de Leon, Cadiz, June 20th 1810, General Stuart, Brigade orders Peninsula 1809-11.

"...11th: Canteens, haversacks and all other articles to bear one uniform mark, viz, the Company's letter and the soldier's number."
NLS, Acc 9074, 46.

When we were reproducing canteens for the 2/95th we trawled the archives to make a count of the colours of markings, and found the most common colours were white and black. The group subsequently had markings in both these colours. Other colours were found, as were etched or carved markings, but we went with the most common.

2. Flicking through  the CHS prints in Wellington's Army (The Uniform of the British Soldier 1812-1815), Plates by Charles Hamilton Smith, text by the Immortal Haythornthwaite (PBUH), I see that of 5 prints illustrating water canteens of the rank and file:
2 are B.O. blue barrels of the familiar type.     1813, 1815 (plates 30, 47)
1 is a  black barrel of the familiar type.           1812,        (pl.2)
1 is a large black pear shaped flask, possibly covered in leather 1812         (pl.27)
1 is a small black pear shaped flask                1813         (pl.35)

The question here is HS's sources. We know what these were, because he tells us. He used items resting in the pattern office (in 1813 there were NO canteens resting in the pattern rooms) and he observed orderlies at Horse Guards. So his images of items issued for service are derived from second hand information. This is not to cast a shade on his suitability as a source, but we have to proceed with care. We know from BGO reports that various other canteen models were trialled in period, but none seem to have been formally adopted. We do, however have massive amounts of canteens being ordered in the wooden style. Tens of thousands of them every year turn up in supply contracts, so I think we can assume that in the vast majority of cases the wooden cheesebox continued to be the canteen offered by the SKG's department.

 3. The cavalry are rarely depicted with camp equipment. They are also rarely depicted with full forage nets, which one suspects would have been the norm on service. I suppose this is because it simply aint pretty. Nonetheless, where information on the carrying of camp equipment exists for the cavalry, it is quite precise about what is carried, and where. For instance a set of orders on carrying of kit by Ballard-Long details that,
 
'The Haversack & Canteen to be suspended over the means right shoulder, & when no bread or meat is carried, the Canteen to be put into the Haversack.'
Courtesy of David Blackmore via NAM

4. Regarding the riflemen's cap badge. We have speculated long and hard on this, because images often do not show the cap badge. The jury is still out, so if you have some evidence to share, we would be very interested to hear it.



 
Colonel Lejeune
On the Imperial service
Quote
Like
Share

Ben Townsend
Forum General
Ben Townsend
Forum General
Joined: November 19th, 2007, 9:35 pm

May 10th, 2018, 9:41 am #24

Below, a couple of images from 1815. One of mounted RHA, possibly with canteen inside haversack as detailed by Ballard Long, and a second of a dragoon carrying all of his gubbins. It is impractical to carry all of this stuff when mounted, but the saddlebags and later on, the portmanteau, are quite full of other things. So I think the most natural way to carry them is in the usual manner.
As a sidelight, when an infantryman carries full camp equipment, the knapsack stops the haversack and canteen from bouncing around quite so much by compressing the straps under the knapsack straps. For this reason it seems reasonable to suppose that when the knapsack is dropped to facilitate rapid movement, the haversack and canteen are also dropped, as without the knapsack, they are a greater, rather than a lesser encumbrance. The cavalry, naturally, don't have this aid from the knapsack, so are forced to cope with the bouncing as best they can.
f150.jpg
Artilleur anglais, Bance.jpg
Colonel Lejeune
On the Imperial service
Quote
Like
Share

Patchbox
Forum Recruit
Patchbox
Forum Recruit
Joined: October 30th, 2012, 3:38 am

May 10th, 2018, 3:40 pm #25

First the cap badge.  It's my opinion. But perhaps if you have any contemporary illustrations of 95th Riflemen in the field with cap badges, you could post them.  Even militia rifle companies rarely show a cap badge being worn in the field.

The point about the canteen markings was that they are virtually always depicted as being in white and on display. 

My comment about the wooden canteen was not to say that it wasn't issued in large numbers, but that it wasn't the only type issued.

"Were all regiments supplied with the same type of canteen?  Hamilton-Smith's works suggest not!  With the Guards donning what looks like a 'visually' unmarked, black leather covered canteen, probably of pewter.  A smaller, egg shaped, leather covered type of canteen shown on both a sergeant and private of the 87th.  But even when a 'normal' canteen is depicted, Apart from the KGL Hussar mentioned above, no markings are shown." 

Perhaps I should have made it clearer that I wasn't dismissing white being used to mark canteens but black must have been used too.  Is there any evidence that these markings were displayed rather than faced towards the wearer?

As an aside, there is the picture by Loftie of an officer of the 16th in campaign (undress) dress (Suriname 1804), with a plain  wooden canteen at his left side and a haversack at his right side marked up.





The Horse Life Guardsman and Artilleryman pictures you posted (I have the Vernet one). are very nice, but (the top picture especially) is post 1815   Vernet's is inconclusive. 

As for artist's not depicting the boring parts of a cavalryman's dress.  Are we to assume that all those artists got together and agreed collectively not to bother with equipment that bored the eye?  Or is there more going on that we know nothing about?

Written regulations do not survive practicality in the field.  Even the Duke said in so many words that he didn't care how they looked as long as they had 60 rounds and could fight.   Indeed, If I followed regulations, I wouldn't have had two pairs of kidney pouches, an extra water-bottle pouch and a civilian type, dark olive green day-sac.  Even later when PLCE was issued, I still used a civvi day-sac from time to time, and extra utility pouches

There is this picture 'Scots Greys in bivouac 1815'. by James Howe. that shows a mounted trooper with both haversack and water canteen being worn so perhaps I seemed too emphatic.  I was silly to state that the canteen and haversack wasn't worn on the trooper whilst mounted, but I still say that perhaps it was discretionary whilst in the field.   The other thing about the picture though, is the chap resting his head on his hand behind the sergeant in the bottom left foreground may be a rare 'depiction' of a trumpeter.




Going back to Infantry canteens.  This well known, contemporary picture of a 3rd Regiment Guardsman is probably about the best example of how equipment was worn in fighting order.




 
Just on the border of your waking mind,
there lies another time,
where darkness and light are one.
And as you tread the halls of sanity,
you feel so glad to be unable to go beyond.
I have a message from another time.....

Jeff Lynne
Quote
Like
Share

Ben Townsend
Forum General
Ben Townsend
Forum General
Joined: November 19th, 2007, 9:35 pm

May 11th, 2018, 9:14 am #26

With regard to cap badges, first define, ‘in the field.’ That sort of implies a concept of reportage that doesn’t really exist in period. I struggle to think of any images that could qualify as sketches done on the spot. Where there are particular examples that one could argue do fit that definition, nobody seems to agree on which ones qualify. So with that sort of weighting of images in mind, and using a dragnet that includes officers and rifle corps of various sorts, I don’t have a problem with finding pictures of cap plates being worn, ‘in the field.’ That’s not to say that there aren’t quality representations showing caps without badges too. And since the images differ on the issue, I would look for documentary evidence to support the assertion that they were removed, and I haven’t been able to find anything saying that cap badges were removed on service.




 
I have no problem with your assertion that white canteen markings seem to be the most prevalent version seen in images. After no markings at all, that is. As for wearing the markings facing the body, it’s entirely possible. After all, accoutrements and appointments were supposed to be marked on the inside. But again, I haven’t seen any documentary evidence to support the practice, so in my mind it remains conjectural. I do think it’s a neat solution.
I think CHS was drawing equipment that was being trialled when he shows the various water canteens. That’s because his inspiration was drawn from London, where water canteens weren’t being issued by the storekeeper general. Leaving aside the ordnance services, canteens were issued from a central system and single source, and that source’s records don’t show anything other than the cheesebox canteen. There is a pattern description of it too, that the storekeeper displayed to contractors. It’s possible that a regiment spurned the free camp equipment and purchased water canteens themselves. But without positive information that they did so you are left to rely on a single source- CHS’s image. I have reservations about it. I’d like to see a bit more evidence.
Regarding the Costumes Etrangeres image. I don’t see any reason to date it post 1815. The rest of the manuscript is full of ‘belgic’ caps, which were obviously superceded after 1815, although since they were supposed to last two years, it could be 1816. Not that the dating effects the point- you did ask for cavalrymen wearing haversack and canteen, and with your image of the Scots Greys, that’s three examples. As regards artistic convention, it doesn’t require the artists to form a cabal- conventions develop through natural transmission of archetypes. Think of the artistic convention for painting nudes without pubic hair. It developed as part of a tradition and becomes the norm despite the existence of outliers ignoring convention.
I agree with you that the JA Atkinson of the guardsman is a thing of beauty. It shows a version of light marching order with the blanket roll containing the necessaries. This is a very rare view of something well described in various orders concerning dress. A particular order of dress to enable the soldier to move more quickly. This reduced order of dress is often specified for landing parties, assault parties, or quick reaction details. Crucially, it’s a specified order of dress, we know this from the various orders, rather than a field adaptation by the individual, which are rarely documented.  Surtee’s account is an example of individual adaptation, but does it represent the norm? 20.png 16.jpg 12.jpg 11.jpg 10.jpg 1_DEC09boseleyslot751_1.jpg 3.jpg 6.jpg 7.jpg 9.jpg 10.jpg
Colonel Lejeune
On the Imperial service
Quote
Like
Share

Ben Townsend
Forum General
Ben Townsend
Forum General
Joined: November 19th, 2007, 9:35 pm

May 11th, 2018, 9:19 am #27

I can only add ten images at a time, but see also these two by JA Atkinson and Denis Dighton, which were clearly intended to show riflemen on service. Whether JAA ever saw an actual 95th rifleman is open to question. Like most of the artists working at home, they have to work with what is nearest to them. Dighton, I think was working this one up from sketches or descriptions sent from his brother in the Peninsula. I also think he used CHS's published plate, hence some of  the somewhat unusual details, But thats another story.
e8da8a88be612391e504b608b107fb1c.jpg
Dighton Riflemen colour.jpg
Colonel Lejeune
On the Imperial service
Quote
Like
Share

Patchbox
Forum Recruit
Patchbox
Forum Recruit
Joined: October 30th, 2012, 3:38 am

May 12th, 2018, 12:18 am #28

first of all: "Regarding the Costumes Etrangeres image. I don’t see any reason to date it post 1815" 

The Helmet has a rather prominent neck peak and multiple brass strengthening bands to the crown, He seems to be an officer as he is wearing officers  edge laced collard jacket which may well have not been issued till after 1815, and why is he wearing an aiguillette?  something isn't quite right.

CHS  Uniforms and equipment are pretty sound.  But I also know that his schematic regimental charts (de Bosset 'up-date')  isn't as he has carried over some major errors which have been repeated over and over to this day in regimental listings.

Going back to rifles cap badge.  I notice you have leaned on post-war, Noël Dieudonné illustrations again with two being bandsmen and the others being more or less generic with different colour sashes for different pictures etc,.perhaps full length would have been better. 

Can you enlighten me on  those three thumbnail pictures of two battle scenes and the one pencil drawing? as they aren't clear.

The one good picture (top half posted only) of a 95th Rifleman in full uniform, is clearly depicted in camp or perhaps on guard duty in the full length version.

Here are my Pictures, a cross section and from many illustrators and of different units:

You are familiar with this one on the right and what I think is a copy of the one on the left?





The Norwich Rifle Corps



I can't remember where this came from or who it is of?





George Jones' rendition of an Officer and Rifleman of the 2nd Battalion at Waterloo.



Any ideas about this chap (artist unknown)?  He is meant to be a Captain Issac D'Arcy...Hmmm!



Good old Charles Hamilton Smith



The Goddard and Booth Rendition





North York Militia
Last edited by Patchbox on May 12th, 2018, 12:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
Just on the border of your waking mind,
there lies another time,
where darkness and light are one.
And as you tread the halls of sanity,
you feel so glad to be unable to go beyond.
I have a message from another time.....

Jeff Lynne
Quote
Like
Share

Patchbox
Forum Recruit
Patchbox
Forum Recruit
Joined: October 30th, 2012, 3:38 am

May 12th, 2018, 12:43 am #29

And a couple more:

You posted this example but it wasn't very clear so I'll post my one.  A badge is shown, but I'm sure he isn't a 95th Rifleman, unless the unusually configured white cap cords, white shoulder strap tufts and stripe down the seam of the trousers are correct?






Wigram's Rifle Corps



I can't remember who this is by.



.
Just on the border of your waking mind,
there lies another time,
where darkness and light are one.
And as you tread the halls of sanity,
you feel so glad to be unable to go beyond.
I have a message from another time.....

Jeff Lynne
Quote
Like
Share

Ben Townsend
Forum General
Ben Townsend
Forum General
Joined: November 19th, 2007, 9:35 pm

May 12th, 2018, 7:01 am #30

The pictures of Kent are both modern copies. I don't think anyone has seen the Kent portrait since PW Reynolds made a copy in the early C20th. All of the other renditions are versions of his. I would really like to see the original if anyone ever catches wind of it.

The various auxiliary corps pictures are useful in that they show a tendency for 'amateur' rifle corps to omit the cap badge. I think Beaufoy's Scollopteria might have something to say on the subject, but IIRC he includes a cap badge in his picture of the 'ideal rifleman kit.'

As you have pointed out, I place great value on Occupation prints, since they tend to be the result of direct observation of the troops in and around Paris. Of course, there is some copying, and there can be both working up and copying errors, but that applies to everybody.  ND Finart's efforts are demonstrably published in 1815, and I think that's true of the vast majority of occupation images, the idea was to rush them out and cash in on the interest post Waterloo, so I wouldn't rush to condemn them as being post period. Again, by 1816 the Belgic is obsolete, so no reason to place these later. The 1st and 2nd battalions of the 95th had their bands present with them in the 1815 campaign.

The battle pics I included are a watercolour working pic by Denis Dighton. I always feel this was a study for an uncompleted painting, but it fits your request for contemporary images of active service conditions. Its usually supposed to represent an incident from 1810. One of the riflemen has left his cap on the ground, and a badge is visible.

The other oil battle painting is by Lejeune, and represents Barrossa. the artist participated in the battle, and was captured in the Peninsula. Being both a soldier, a professional artist, and a uniform designer, I tend to rate his observation quite highly. Some details are garbled. He has used 1812 caps, which he would have seen at Paris in 1815, but clearly not at Barrossa, or during his confinement in England.

I'm going to be really annoying here, and just mention in passing that the caps  of officers reflect a passing fashion that does not apply in the same way to the OR. So without dismissing their significance in this sort of discussion, I think its worth remembering that a fashion, for, say, the Mirliton cap, can distort our image, if that fashion omits a cap badge for reasons of style, rather than as a practical field modification.

The JA Atkinson includes colourist errors. I have always thought that the pantaloon stripe is because he first worked this figure as a 5/60th rifleman, and then it was recoloured in 1807. It exists in a lot of different versions. But then, if you are going to posit that riflemen removed their cap badges on service, why limit it to the 95th- if auxiliary corps (none of whom service) are relevant in this context, then other rifle corps ought also to be included, no?

Which brings us to CHS. Yes, a great source, but look at the accoutrements and appointments. He misrepresents the sword bayonet. He omits the shoulder belt for the ammunition pouch. Which is also a pretty useful indication that George Jones might have copied CHS for his hastily rushed out Waterloo cash-ins. It would explain why he puts the 95th and 52nd in m.1806 caps too.

The best images here for my money are those of Goddard Booth, where, to play devil's advocate, the rifleman is shown in profile, so the badge may not be visible, and the unknown artist's rendition of a seated rifleman with a pipe. Which for my money is one of the very best images out there. the curved cartridge pouch smacks of direct observation. Unfortunately he is wearing his cap cover, so we can't see whether he has a cap badge on his cap or not! Which brings me to the point that post 1812, or at least 1813 when the Belgic cap reaches the last Peninsula units, there is a cap cover, the use of which would obviate the necessity to remove the cap badge. After all, the reason for removing it was presumably a rudimentary attempt at concealment.

So after our brief gallop around the images, where do we stand? You could build a case that pre-Belgic (cap cover) 95th riflemen removed their cap badges on service. But it would be based on a couple of images, and not all of the images agree. I would be much happier to have some supporting evidence from a memorialist saying, 'individual riflemen did it for reason A.' Or perhaps a letter saying, 'Company B made a field modification for reason C.' Without that, there is still a little too much supposition for me. And if the auxiliary rifle corps did it, and the 95th, why didn't the 5/60th (who after all, were supposed to be inspired by those paragons of chasseur work and style, the german riflemen), and the light infantry?
Colonel Lejeune
On the Imperial service
Quote
Like
Share