Blanket

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Mercian Pete
Forum Rifleman
Mercian Pete
Forum Rifleman
Joined: 01 Jun 2013, 12:44

05 Sep 2013, 17:13 #11

B.J. Bluth PhD: "Marching with Sharpe". Harper Collins 2001. P62.

"Since greatcoats weighed about five and a half pounds the rank and file did not normally carry a greatcoat and a blanket at the same time - it was only one, the other being back in stores."

Of the blanket:

"My usual bed was two blankets stitched together and made into the shape of a sack, into which I crawled, and if I rolled about, the clothes never left me until I took a fancy to crawl out again."

Bluth references all of his quotations to genuine sources but I haven't quite worked out how to attribute particular quotes to particular sources yet!
Pete Wright

Galiffe's (No 1) Company
V / LX
"Celer et Audax"
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Paul Durrant
Site Admin
Joined: 04 Jun 2007, 20:42

05 Sep 2013, 20:51 #12

Mercian Pete:10511 wrote: Bluth references all of his quotations to genuine sources but I haven't quite worked out how to attribute particular quotes to particular sources yet!
Ha! My first book I delved into for 'factual' stuff - unfortunately incredibly flawed and frustrating because of lazy production! As you've come to realise, he just bungs in a list of reference sources at the back with no linking up - hence one is unable to go to that source and check out if; 1) is what he quoted verbatim and 2) is it in the right context?

As Frank Packer said on our Facebook page;
"...a good historian will offer sources for scrutiny, and will present an interpretation of those sources, and will make it clear which is which."

Ditch it Pete. It is now of no use whatsoever! Suggest you start ploughing through the various first hand accounts/memoirs of soldiers in the Peninsular Wars. They are currently still being published by Leonaur.
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Eddie
Forum Lieutenant
Eddie
Forum Lieutenant
Joined: 04 Sep 2010, 11:49

06 Sep 2013, 06:44 #13

Pete
Your quote:
"My usual bed was two blankets stitched together and made into the shape of a sack, into which I crawled, and if I rolled about, the clothes never left me until I took a fancy to crawl out again."

This is from the account of Lt George Simmons - published in recent times by Leonaur as "Lieutenant Simmons of the 95th Rifles". It was edited by Willoughby Verner  in 1899.
Page 177  June 30th 1812 has the quote above.


By strange chance -we were at an event in June at Chalke Valley near Salisbury when the present owner of Simmons' actual diaries and letters came up and introduced himself and we now have contact details for him. He intends to transcribe all the papers and let us have a copy so that we can see if anything of interest has been left out by Verner.
"Far the calling bugles hollo,
High the screaming Fife replies,
Gay the files of scarlet follow:
Woman bore me, I will rise"
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Ben Townsend
Forum General
Ben Townsend
Forum General
Joined: 19 Nov 2007, 21:35

06 Sep 2013, 06:52 #14

The greatcoat and/or blanket issue is confusing because contradictory orders were delivered at different levels. For instance, lets say a hypothetical campaign is starting in Belgium, and the troops are ready to disembark. An order is received from CiC (local) ordering that only one shall be carried. Further standing orders are then issued at Divisional and battalion level (strangely not brigade) which may contradict the CiC's orders.

This will leave a paper trail for historians. If they only stumble across one of the orders, they will assume that that is representative. With poor judgement, they will then publish this as a didactic statement and announce to the world that they have solved any confusion FOR EVER.

With luck, and good judgement, the historian will find several references and be able to offer a reasoned assessment exhibiting greater balance.

Rifleman LaLa
I'm part of the problem
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Mercian Pete
Forum Rifleman
Mercian Pete
Forum Rifleman
Joined: 01 Jun 2013, 12:44

06 Sep 2013, 08:26 #15

Paul Durrant:10514 wrote:Ditch it Pete. It is now of no use whatsoever!
There is courage, there is bravery and then there is stupidity. My wife bought me this book for Christmas about 10 years ago!  No point in engaging in action unless there is a good chance of a favourable outcome!

 :q18:

I have already acquired Kincaide's "Random Shots".
Pete Wright

Galiffe's (No 1) Company
V / LX
"Celer et Audax"
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Ben Townsend
Forum General
Ben Townsend
Forum General
Joined: 19 Nov 2007, 21:35

06 Sep 2013, 09:48 #16

I am quite envious of the treat you are in for. Reading the wealth of memoirs for the first time is a great joy.

Suggestion: post it notes on pages holding items of interest will enable you to refer back to those points later. Lots of our members have done this, and their notes on the research archive enable us to build a wonderful resource for developing our understanding of the Georgian army.

We are over-represented by members with an interest in, say, material culture, but there are LOADS of gaps, as you will see when you get access to the forum. Its one of the great things about the 2/95th that we have collectively built this archive, and I'm very proud of it.

Not everyone contributes, or reads the forum, and that's fine, but you may find it easier to understand what the 2/95th is trying to achieve with that background. Without research one tends to end up copying the mistakes of others :(

Rifleman LaLa
I'm part of the problem
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John Waller
Forum Chosenman
John Waller
Forum Chosenman
Joined: 10 Dec 2010, 10:54

06 Sep 2013, 10:46 #17

Obadiah:10505 wrote:That's wierd! A pair of blankets??

Confused of Chatham
Dear Confused,
I found this on the Hudson Bay Company Heritage website which may explain a 'pair of blankets'

My blanket has four sets of stripes and is twice as long as it should be. Is this a mistake?

No. What you have is what is called an "unseparated pair" of Hbc point blankets. This is just what it sounds like: a doubly long blanket that has not been separated into 2 singles. Blankets are woven on long continuous rolls of about 25 pairs (50 singles) to a bolt. Until the 1970s they were separated into pairs by the manufacturer, packaged and shipped as pairs. They were separated only at the point of sale. A small nick or cut in the selvage of the blankets was made and the blankets were literally torn apart along the grain - much to the amusement to staff who loved to "surprise" unsuspecting buyers! They were also priced "by the pair" until the late 1950s or early 1960s. Unseparated pairs were particularly useful for campers and other outdoorsmen. By folding the pair in half a simple sleeping bag was created. Until the advent of modern outdoor gear Hbc blankets were often used in this fashion. Today all blankets are separated and packaged as singles during the manufacturing process. Unseparated pairs are highly collectible, so don't tear them apart.
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Obadiah
Forum Sergeant
Obadiah
Forum Sergeant
Joined: 01 Aug 2006, 20:22

06 Sep 2013, 12:32 #18

Well I be jiggered. Thanks John, it's good to learn something new every day.

Dave
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John Waller
Forum Chosenman
John Waller
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Joined: 10 Dec 2010, 10:54

06 Sep 2013, 14:20 #19

So as a rough guide it would seem that a soldier's blanket was of unbleached natural coloured wool with two blue stripes at each end and marked with a GR -> stamp. In size around 7ft long by 5ft 6in wide and between 4lb 3oz to 5lb in weight.
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Greg Renault
Forum Rifleman
Greg Renault
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Joined: 23 Jun 2010, 02:37

09 Jan 2014, 14:50 #20

The US Company of Military Historians published an article by Robert Stone
Heres the citation: Robert G. Stone, "British Military Blankets, 1776-1813," Military Collector & Historian, vol. 49, no. 1 (Spring 1997), 37-39.
In the article, he describes the stripe yarn as medium to dark brown which he supposes to originally black, but it is interesting to note that his reproductions now have blue yarn for stripes.
In his product flyer from July 2008 Stone states that his reproduction blanket is a composite of 13 original British Army blankets researched in various collections. His repro blanket dimensions are 67 x 86; has double woven stripes at each end (AWI blue, 1812 brown), and different placement of GR stamp for each period.
http://www.1stusinfantry.com/uploads/5/ ... _stone.pdf

The Revlist forum has a few posts that expand on this information.

On 5 November 2000 Katie Caddell noted,
The blankets are all in public collections which include the Lexington (Massachusetts) Historical Society; Fort Ticonderoga; New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site, New York; Naval Museum, Washington Navy Yard; and the Maine Historical Society, which has an impressive 4 blankets in its collection.
http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/Revl ... pics/24464

Dana Twiss posted this on 1 July 2007 regarding the blankets examined by Stone that are in the collection of the Maine Historical Society:

To add to the discussion, in my day job, I recently catalogued four or five British issue blankets that were aboard the HMS Boxer when it was captured. While the event is 1812, the blankets fully fit the description of 18th century British military issue blankets. While inconsistent in size, which may have been due as much from use as construction, they were all consistent in the following features:
1-top and botton there were two parallet brown stripes running from edge to edge. Each stripe was approximately 1/8th inch wide and the stripes were 1/4" apart. The outermost stripe ran 2" from the edge, top and bottom.
2-The broad arrow point touched the bottom of the top two stripes, the tips of the arrow are 4.5" apart, the shaft of the arrow was 4" long. (I neglected to measure how far in the shaft was from the edge for my notes).
3-Th GR was below the arrow, and 4.5" tall. The G was 3" wide, the R 3.5" wide, the space between then was 3.5", and the tip of the leg on the R was 1.5" from the edge.

This particular blanket had one yellow point and was apparently made in or around the Whitney area as it was woven full width, not pieced. Wool was a natural, "off-white".

The blankets, overall, measured approximately 93" long and 64" wide with some variation which can be attributed as much to use and "care" as inconsistency in manufacture.

Apparently the auction of the goods aboard the Boxer gave everyone in Portland (then known a Falmouth), Maine an opportunity to have a blanket as there are several in the collections of the Maine Historical Society.

http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/Revl ... pics/97233

In a post from the same date Steve Rayner noted that the blanket in the Ft. Ticonderoga collection is similar to the Boxer blankets.

Blanket size is interesting. Here is a summary of what Ive found so far:

Henderson article: 90 x 72
Trotter letter: 84 x 66 (4 lb 3 oz)
Bradford AWI: 84.5 x 65.5
Boxer 1812 (x4): 93 x 64
Stone repro: 86 x 67
Brit hospital: 90 x69 (4 lb)

Note that although the 1812 blankets from the HMS Boxer are approximately 93 x 64, Stones reproductions are 86 x 67, which is closer to the AWI blanket dimensions. (My modern hospital blanket actually comes closest to the dimensions of the Boxer blankets, and at 4 lbs is close in weight to the Trotter letter specs. Too bad it does not have the end stripes.)

My conclusions: a British Army blanket from the 1812 period would be approximately 93 x 64, have two black/brown lines woven at each end, and the broad arrow/GR marking as described by Dana Twiss.
Greg Renault
A soldier should be as attached to, and careful of, his musket, as his mistress. (G.O. 31st December 1788, Bombay Army)
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