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Inspection Return 2nd 95th May 1813

Just for interest I am posting this as I am sure many Napoloenic  British reenactors have not seen the standard style of report made when regiments were inspected. I find they make interesting reading being a snapshot in time - a picture of a regiment in the eyes of the inspecting officer.

National Archives WO 27/117

A few details I found of particular interest - there is no mention of a distinct sword/ sword belt for Sjts or Buglers ( under 'Drummers' and no pistols for the latter either) .
The oldest men are two Sjts in their early 50's.
The Buglers are not children but men of 20 - 30 yrs.
Each Sjt. has a copy of the NCO'S abstract.

And the Court Martial record at the end has a famous/infamous name.

Top of page 1 of General MacKenzie's confidential report:

Commanding Officer:
" Captains Miller and Hewan have commanded the companies of the battalion since the last inspection neither of whom are intelligent officers"   !!

At bottom of same page hidden by my camera strap "No Band here"

Great stuff. No surprise, but funny how similar these forms are across borders and languages.

Also fun to se Plunket making what appears to be a typical appearance!

I also had a glance Inspection reports 1813 for a few other units:

The 3rd 95th:
The Buglers are active and attentive and have the sounds pretty accurate and distinct
the number accord with regulations, they are drilled and fit for the ranks"

85th L I
The Buglers are attentive and sound with tolerable accuracy"

and of the 5/60th the battalion is shown as composed of "303 Foreigners 1 Englishman"

Very cool. Interesting to see the rank and file being given the rank of Private, rather than Rifleman, as discussed previously.

khazzard2000 wrote:
Very cool. Interesting to see the rank and file being given the rank of Private, rather than Rifleman, as discussed previously.

Kieran the form is a generic one - so the term Private we would expect to be used - as also drummers/ fifers not buglers. Thus I did not find any Pipers in highland regiments. No pikes for the Sjts of course.

I find of interest that they denote the numbers of English, Scotch(sic) Irish and Foreigners - no doubt the latter includes the Welsh LOL.

Ages and heights are shown.  And little snippets - armourers tools and yes portable forges - though not listed for these four 2/95 companies,  the 3rd batt. had a portable forge - Jerry are you there? !!

I had though of that, but they are even down as privates in the sections handwritten at the end.

Had a look at the 2nd half of 1813 Inspection returns at Kew.

Ist Batt  -  4 coys. at Shorncliff  - Gen Mackenzie: 8th Oct 1813

"FIRING  - very bad for Riflemen'

2nd Batt   4 coys.  Shorncliff

"FIRING  - not as bad as the 1st Batt but by no means as good as it ought to be"

3rd Batt  were also not as bad as the 1st Batt.

What happened to the standards of training at Shorncliif after the initial drive in the early days?   The days went Hamlet Wade and a Rifleman used to hold targets for each other to shoot at ?
Ben Townsend

I would hazard a guess that the sustained casualty rates in the Peninsula had something to do with this. By 1813, weren't the battalions suffering something like 33% wastage per year?

These are figures for the depot companies after all, so probably contain a high proportion of recruits. Perhaps they just weren't up to standard yet.

Barnard famously complained that the 1/95th at waterloo had too great a proportion of green (see what I did there?!) recruits. I don't read too much into these Barnard comments, as the French and British seem to vie with each other in complaining that their respective 1815 armies were not those of their glory years. But perhaps the 95th had a point, and their depot system was failing by 1813?

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