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Ben Townsend

Read through of the Green Book.

Heres an idea. I will write out a section of the Green Book (Standing Orders for the Rifle Corps 1801) here every week and anyone interested can contribute to a discussion on that section.
Ben Townsend

Heres one to get the ball rolling,

Article X.
The general Appearance, Conduct and Dress of the Corps.
pp.42-43
“For the convenience of Officers and Soldiers, and to enable the regiment to exercise at all pastimes of activity, as well as to preserve the regimental dress in the highest order for duties and parades; the Colonel permits an undress to be established, which for the same reasons as were given before, is to observe the same principle of uniformity; it is to be worn on ship-board whenever the regiment embarks. The Officers’ undress will consist of a white duffel  jacket, edged with green, white single breasted waistcoat, and loose white dimity trowsers, reaching to within an inch or two of the ankle; the soldiers’ dress will consist in white flannel jacket, green cape and cuff, the regimental waistcoat, and Russia duck trowsers. Patterns of both dresses to be at all times kept in the Quarter-master’s store. The regimental helmets by Officers and foraging caps by the Men to be worn with the undress, as also the stocks; the regimental pantaloons may be worn by the Officers without the trowsers, but the trowsers are invariably to be worn by the Non-commissioned Officers and Men, either by themselves, or drawn over the pantaloons.
 The white waistcoat is to be always worn by the Officers, and never the regimental one in undress.
 The regimental undress may be worn at all times when the Officer or Soldier is not on parade, or on any description of duty, whether it be regimental or company’s duty, on all which occasions the established uniform of the corps will alone be worn. Company’s and Hospital orderlies and Cooks, and all men on fatigue, not Serjeants, will wear the undress, and any Soldier found with his regimentals on, doing such duties, will be confined and punished.
 Whenever a Non-commissioned officer, Bugler, or private rifleman goes on any duty with arms for 24 hours, he is to have his trowsers wrapt in his watchcoat, which he is to put on after sun-set, and wear till the sun rises. In a Rifle Corps, the watchcoat is to be worn over all accoutrements, contrary to the usual custom, in order to preserve arms and ammunition more effectually from the weather. The foraging cap to be made of black cloth, edged and lettered white, to be worn in a leather case above the pouch; they are to be at all times worn from taptoo to sun-rise, and then neatly returned to their cases.”
Paul Durrant

Great stuff. Would like to see all the Green book but been unable to lay my hands on a copy.

For those contributors who may not be familiar with it, can we have a precise date it was put together and by whom, please?
Ben Townsend

Regulations for the Rifle Corps, formed at Blatchinton Barracks under the command of Colonel Manningham August 25th, 1800 is the full title. First published 1801 and written by then Lt Col William Stewart. I am aware of four original(ish) copies. I am using the 1897 reprint by Verner which he based on an 1817 copy. Having briefly compared the copy to the original manuscript in Stewart's hand, it appears to be accurate.

From Verner's history,
"The regulations apparently ran out of print and manuscript copies of them were in use. One of these is now in the possession of the Regiment and dates from about 1817, it is bound in white parchment and bears on its cover the title of "Green Book, 95th (Rifle) Regiment", a delicate method of conveying to the riflemen that their rules and regulations were not altogether on the same lines as those in the, "red book". This copy belonged to Lieutenant-General Sir Benjamin D'Urban GCB, and was presented to the Regiment by his grandson, Mr WSM D'Urban in 1909.
A second edition of the Regulations was printed in 1819, a third by General Lord Alexander Russell in 1860 and a fourth in the Rifle Brigade Chronicles in 1897."

History and Campaigns of the Rifle Brigade, vol i, Verner, 1912

Verner also published the text in the 1897 Rifle Brigade Chronicle. At least two copies of this have appeared on eBay this year, going for approx £100.
John Waller

Paul Durrant wrote:
Great stuff. Would like to see all the Green book but been unable to lay my hands on a copy.

For those contributors who may not be familiar with it, can we have a precise date it was put together and by whom, please?


Ken Trotman has a copy of the 1897 reprint of the lectures on his website for £50

0379.MANNINGHAM (C.) MILITARY LECTURES DELIVERED TO THE OFFI-CERS OF THE 95TH (RIFLE) REGIMENT AT SHORN-CLIFF BARRACKS, KENT DURING THE SPRING OF 1803. The rare 1st reprint edition (we also reprinted this with Light Cavalry Outposts), 44pp., binding slightly delicate, rifle green boards with silver 95th device. 1897.

http://www.kentrotman.com/tarleton/nap.htm
Ben Townsend

Thats a good price. The lectures were also printed in the RBC, but that issue usually goes for more than that.
Eddie

Heretofore I thought "The Green Book" was 2/95ths Eco-friendly policy document towards reducing its' carbon footprint!

Some interesting snippets there - which for me raise some questions for this discussion:

1." the soldiers’ dress will consist of white flannel jacket, green cape and cuff, the regimental waistcoat"

The white flannel jacket is listed as distinct from the regimental waistcoat - I thought the undress jacket is a "sleeved waistcoat"?
Is "green cape" a green collar?

2."In a Rifle Corps, the watchcoat is to be worn over all accoutrements, contrary to the usual custom, in order to preserve arms and ammunition more effectually from the weather"

This seems most odd - how can you reach your cartrdge pouch or sword if covered up by the bulk of a buttoned up watchcoat - does this imply that the Rifles took their coats off to fight?  What items are actually  deemed as "accoutrements"

3. "The foraging cap to be made of black cloth, edged and lettered white"
Forgive me - but this don't sound much like 2/95ths' interpretation of the Rifles' undress cap!!
John Waller

Eddie wrote:

2."In a Rifle Corps, the watchcoat is to be worn over all accoutrements, contrary to the usual custom, in order to preserve arms and ammunition more effectually from the weather"

This seems most odd - how can you reach your cartrdge pouch or sword if covered up by the bulk of a buttoned up watchcoat - does this imply that the Rifles took their coats off to fight?  What items are actually  deemed as "accoutrements"



Which is presumably why the greatcoat 'pockets' are in fact not pockets but are just slits in the coat allowing access to kit worn underneath the coat?
Ben Townsend

Just the sort of response I was hoping to get Eddie, and straight to the pertinent points Smilie_PDT


Eddie wrote:

1." the soldiers’ dress will consist of white flannel jacket, green cape and cuff, the regimental waistcoat"

The white flannel jacket is listed as distinct from the regimental waistcoat - I thought the undress jacket is a "sleeved waistcoat"?
Is "green cape" a green collar?

Confusing, ain't it?
Possible explanation: the regimental waistcoat refers to the jacket part of the regimental suit?
We have taken green cape to refer to a green collar on the strength of depictions of undress. It doesn't say green collar though. Perhaps we should all turnout as superheroes with little green capes and green pants outside our white duck trowsers.



Eddie wrote:

2."In a Rifle Corps, the watchcoat is to be worn over all accoutrements, contrary to the usual custom, in order to preserve arms and ammunition more effectually from the weather"

This seems most odd - how can you reach your cartrdge pouch or sword if covered up by the bulk of a buttoned up watchcoat - does this imply that the Rifles took their coats off to fight?  What items are actually  deemed as "accoutrements"

Crossbelts, or in our case swordbelt and cartridge pouch plus strap. It makes some sense apart from the weatherproofing in that our swords are on a waistbelt rather than a cross shoulder strap, so removes the need to continually adjust the wistbelt for size. I can tell you it looks odd, we have been compared to pregnant hippos by our less kind friends when in this order of dress. It is not actually that hard to access your accoutrements when dressed in this way if the coat is partially unbuttoned.
There is some evidence that in the Waterloo campaign the accoutrements were worn over the coat in the normal way, which perhaps illustrates the point that the Green Book is a snapshot of the inception of the regiment and its regimen doesn't necessarily persist all the way to 1816.
Eddie wrote:

3. "The foraging cap to be made of black cloth, edged and lettered white"
Forgive me - but this don't sound much like 2/95ths' interpretation of the Rifles' undress cap!!

Yep. The subject of much discussion over the years. Our green caps hinge on two main arguments:
i) The Glengarry Light Infantry were intended to be dressed as the 95th. While waiting for their regimentals to be delivered from England they equipped themselves with an undress. This is later described in an Inspection report as including green forage caps.
ii) There is precedent for regiments with black facings using another colour for items usually constructed in facing colour. For instance, we believe that the band of the 95th may have worn white faced with green as their version of reversed colours, ditto that of the 50th who had black facings. There is an extant gorget of the 95th with green ribbons where one would expect them to be black. The serjeants sashes are shown in one illustration as having a green stripe instead of a black on the crimson.
Are these examples enough to justify a departure from the Green Book. I'm not sure.
Eddie

Ben - some well reasoned answers thanks.

As for your comment:

"we have been compared to pregnant hippos by our less kind friends when in this order of dress"

Having met some of you fellows I would say there are some who look like pregnant hippos in any order of dress - no names - no pack drill. Interested readers can access your main website and look at the gallery photos - they will no doubt agree with me. It has something to do with an excess of bacon butties and beer I reckon.
The Sarge!

Its worth noting that the green book was written using the clothing regs in place prior to 1802 and that changes were made to the uniform, i.e. panteloons replaced by trousers, leather cap replaced by felt cap etc.

also changes were made once the regiment was in the field and these won't be contained in the book, but in the after orders, such as Northcott's papers, as he was one of the ones making the changes and we haven't even got to Shorncliffe in the Green Book.

what the green book is, is a fantistic document on the formation of a regiment in our period that was extant at the time it was printed, but further orders were made that changed certain parts, but only those parts and there is even suggestion later that a 'Blue Book' exits that is more extant, but alast they maybe lost in the void for ever.

the book just give us a fab place to start and gives the fill for the regiment and how it went about business at home.
Paul Durrant

ben wrote:
Eddie wrote:

2."In a Rifle Corps, the watchcoat is to be worn over all accoutrements, contrary to the usual custom, in order to preserve arms and ammunition more effectually from the weather"

This seems most odd - how can you reach your cartrdge pouch or sword if covered up by the bulk of a buttoned up watchcoat - does this imply that the Rifles took their coats off to fight?  What items are actually  deemed as "accoutrements"

Crossbelts, or in our case swordbelt and cartridge pouch plus strap. It makes some sense apart from the weatherproofing in that our swords are on a waistbelt rather than a cross shoulder strap, so removes the need to continually adjust the wistbelt for size. I can tell you it looks odd, we have been compared to pregnant hippos by our less kind friends when in this order of dress. It is not actually that hard to access your accoutrements when dressed in this way if the coat is partially unbuttoned.
There is some evidence that in the Waterloo campaign the accoutrements were worn over the coat in the normal way, which perhaps illustrates the point that the Green Book is a snapshot of the inception of the regiment and its regimen doesn't necessarily persist all the way to 1816.


Just to expand on Ben's reply. The model of greatcoat we commonly sport tends to have it's last button roughly at low waist level (if that makes sense). You can actually flick the skirt back with relative ease and access your cartridge pouch.

But as I think Blakey says, the Book seems to be written with an image of what the 'ideal' rifleman should be like (they were referred to as Manninghams' Corp and then Experimental Corps or Riflemen then) and we think once the experiences of campaign took hold, reality-checks were probably made - as is always the case. On the freezing, bitter retreat to Corunna or Vigo, would you have removed your coat to fight?
Paul Durrant

"...and foraging caps by the Men to be worn with the undress, as also the stocks..."

Stocks, stocks, stocks, stocks, stocks. (Just in case anyone wondered about us wearing stocks).

And removing them? Perhaps with the foraging cap "from taptoo to sun-rise"?
Ben Townsend

We have a credible account of men sleeping 'under arms' from 1815. In this instance they were forbidden to remove their gaiters or stocks, under imminent threat of enemy action. Otherwise, I think you might remove it to sleep.
Ben Townsend

Just going through order books and standing orders of the 13th, and it is apparent that the 'cape' of a coat refers to what we term the collar.

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