The Cartridge Pouch of the 95th
In 1816, just over a year after Waterloo, Colonel Amos Norcott of the newly re-named Rifle Brigade submitted a memorandum to Horse Guards containing his views on the equipment of the 95th Rifles over the war years, and suggesting some improvements to be made.
This is what he had to say on the pouch:
Of The First Pouch Issued To The Corps.
The Shape was an oblong with the top perfectly flat, side leathers united with the front, thus forming a complete case as a guard against weather. The Spare Flints were carried in a small leather bag with a running string, and this was attached to the body of the Pouch under the cover of it.
The interior consisted of a Tin Case divided into two equal parts, and a
wooden frame with holes for twelve cartridges. The loose Balls covered with rags were kept in the tin compartments, and the Ball Cartridges in the wooden holes. These latter were intended for use on the outposts at night, in the event of attack in dark, or bad weather, being then more easy to load with, than loose Powder and Ball.
Of The Pouch at Present In Use.
It differs from the Former one in no respect as to interior. The form is an
oblong curved, in order to sit close to the back of the Waist; it has no side
guard against bad weather, and the place in which the spare flints are placed is unequal to hold them securely, being too small and without any running string to close it.
This is one of those juicy bits of description that comes up now and again - and tells you everything and nothing! Contemporary illustrations seem to cast little light on this either (inasmuch as trying to gauge approx size). However, there is a possible glimpse of the later pouch in an occupation print of 1815.
Courtesy Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection
Would anyone like to venture theories on the tin and wooden 'frame' (block presumably)?
A full version of the letter can be found in our research files;
http://www.95th-rifles.co.uk/The%20defi ... orcott.pdf