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Undress / Fatigue dress / Waistcoats
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Ben Townsend
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:12 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote

Further to the image in Chartrand's latest from the History of The King's Own. I can confirm that this is not a contemporary drawing. Thanks to Eddie for ruining this for us all, I mean, drawing attention to it! The book has two images, one of undress in 1798 and one from later period, differing slightly in the details. The sourcegiven  is The Regimental Books and various WO papers. I'm looking further into this, but can supply WO numbers if anyone is going to Kew afore my next trip which won't be for a month or two.
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Eddie
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ho Ho
It is nice to be appreciated !
Lord save us from "Artists impressions" - the value of primary source material has been proven on this forum many times and long may it continue!
Having said that I still love the Caton Woodville, Hillingford and Simkin prints - and of course Beadle's "The Rearguard" - superb for "atmosphere" - make me shiver just looking at it!
So just to show I am not really so pedantic - here goes - enjoy!




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Ben Townsend
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also fond of Beadle's rearguard Smilie_PDT
Here is Leach on Craufurd (MS letter in his journal, quoted by Verner ii p.129)
"You will have heard how universally General Craufurd was hated and detested in the retreat from Coruna. If possible he is still more abhorred now and has proved himself totally unfit to command a Company much less a Divison."

This was in 1810 after the affair on the Coa. Leach was more circumspect in his memoirs published decades later, after Craufurd was dead of course. An example of the worth of earlier recollections over later ones..
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khazzard2000
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't wish to take this too off topic but...I wonder, the Coa was a damn mess which left the rifles in a very sticky position. We now celebrate their bravery and ability in holding off the French for so long but I'm sure if you're one of the chaps placed in that position you would have a few choice words to say about the man who put you there. But given time, reflection and subsequent experience perhaps you would take a wider, more nuanced view of Crawford's merits over the whole of this time in charge. Though of course, you could say Leach simply doesn't want to bad mouth a dead national hero publically.
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havercakelad
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pvt Thomas Jeremiah, 23rd Foot gives another instance of fatigue jackets being worn on the march.

"We marched about 7 leagues in our white jackets, we bivouacked on an open field by the road until next morning, when at day break a cheerful sight appeared, the whole of the German cavalry were filing off by us on the plains of Waterloo. As soon as they had cleared our front our colonel gave the cheerful word to throw away the white jackets and put on our fighting coats"

From Vol IV: The Waterloo Archive
Ed Gareth Glover.
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Eddie
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Standing Orders 85th LI   1813
"For the convenience of soldiers, and to enable them to exercise at all pastimes of activity, as well as to preserve the regimental dress in the highest order for duty and parades, an undress will be established and worn upon the several occasions undermentioned.
When the regimental undress may be worn ; on shipboard, and at all times when the soldier is not on parade, or on any description of regimental or company's duty; but on these occasions the established uniform of the corps will alone be worn. Companies, and Hospital Orderlies, and Cooks, and all Men on Fatigue will wear the undress.
Any soldier found with his regimentals on, doing such duties, will be confined and punished
"

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Gay the files of scarlet follow:
Woman bore me, I will rise"


Last edited by Eddie on Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
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John Waller
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Standing Orders of the 2nd (Queen's Royal) Regt 1802


Section 11        Private Soldiers

7.  No soldier is to work at his trade without the permission of the commanding officer, nor without being provided with a jacket and trousers of fatigue.
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Eddie
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regimental Companion Vol1 1811

Page 257
" A soldier is not on any account, to carry coals or do any sort of dirty work, in any part of his regimentals"
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Eddie
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From "Paris during the interesting month of July 1815" A series of letters W D Fellowes page 12
"We entered Paris at three o'clock in the afternoon by the Barrier of Saint Denis, at the gate we found a party of the 29th Foot - British! - and English soldiers in all directions about the streets, in their foraging dresses, just as much at their ease as if they were in country quarters in England. A few of them appeared to have partaken of the bon vin in the caberets, which is not very singular where it is so cheap"

Typical Brits abroad!

I am surprised the men were allowed to wander in undress - though this is shown in occupation prints.

Here is an extract from "General Orders of Field Marshall the Duke of Wellington"  Zarja Major 5 July 1809.

To be regarded as a Standing Order
"Soldiers not to quit their lines unless dressed according to the orders of their regiment, with side arms , excepting when on fatigue duty, in which case they must be in the charge of an officer or non commissioned officer according to their numbers"
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Gay the files of scarlet follow:
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Greg Renault
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A while back Ben wrote:
Quote:
A tangent: was the waistcoat ever worn under regimentals as an extra layer?


I found the following Horse Guards order of 28 April 1810 quoted in James" The Regimental Companion, vol. II, pp. 294-5:

The shortness of the coat necessarily occasions a corresponding diminution in the length of the waistcoat, which by that means, is reduced so much in its dimensions, as to afford little warmth in winter, and to be totally useless for one essential purpose for which it was intended, vix. as a fatigue dress in barracks during the summer....

My understanding of the above is that, while the sleeved waistcoat was worn as summer fatigue dress, in winter it could be worn under the regimental coat.  Hence, the waistcoat had to be shortened when the bottom edge of the coat was cut higher.

The same order notes disapprovingly that as a result of this fashion trend, trouser waists were becoming ridiculously higher.
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Greg Renault
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It appears that the sleeved waistcoat is one of the many adaptations made by the British Army to conditions in North America:

The sleeves of the coat are put on the waistcoat....

CIC Gen Amherst GO May 1759, in Knox, An historical journal of the campaigns in North America for the years 1757, 1758,1759, and 1760  (Freeport, NY: Books for Libraries Press, 1770)Vol I, p. 352-3.  Quoted in RR Gale, “A Soldier-Like Way”: The Material Culture of the British Infantry, 1751-1768, p. 122.
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Greg Renault
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Ben Townsend
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2014 3:24 am    Post subject: Fatigue cap found Reply with quote

Exciting news from project Hougoumont!!! A box of battlefield souvenirs from Hougoumont farm has been discovered. Besides personal papers of soldiers and of the farm it includes artefacts and these onclude a fatigue cap 'with chequered band'. If this turns out to be true it is hugely exciting and will be only the second period cap known after the New Hampshires cap.
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Obadiah
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2014 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, Tell us more.

Dave
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Ben Townsend
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2014 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.projecthougoumont.com/newsletter/newsletter_12/page5.jpg


There is a great thesis on the hummel bonnet by Robert Cooper (a re-enactor) available here,

http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/4001/

I'm not sure that referring to the Hougoumont 'find' as a hummel bonnet is particularly helpful at this point. First glances indicate that the shape is not the classic mushroom form that the knitted bonnets were blocked into. So more likely a forage cap of some indeterminate pattern. IF it turns out to be period upon closer inspection.
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Last edited by Ben Townsend on Tue Nov 18, 2014 6:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Ben Townsend
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A piece from General A.C. Mercer, the Mercer of Waterloo fame, from his unpublished notes on the dress of the R.A.

"Forage caps-
The most ungraceful head-dress that could well be devised, I think, was the fatigue-cap worn by the Foot Artillery when first I entered the regiment, and only required the combination with the loose canvas frock and waistcoat to make it hideously unmilitary. It was of black leather, with a brass ornament in front (G.R. and crown, etc), the leather not stiff, full of cracks, and looking rusty, for they were never cleaned or expected to be. The Horse Artillery and drivers had a similar mitre-shaped cap, but better, inasmuch as, being made of thick stiff leather, it was kept polished, and looked smart. This was used for undress parades, watering order, etc. But for common stable parades, fatigues etc, the Horse Artillery had a blue cloth cap edged with red, and tied behind with red ferreting. This was also worn at night by stable sentries and others.
The captains of troops must have been greater men, and enjoyed much more latitude formerly, than in the present day. Many circumstances which I call to m ind make me think this, but among other, the circumstance that Duncan, in 1804, took it into his head to give his troop a new and frenchified forage-cap, such an one as until then was only known to us through the medium of costumes, etc, although familiar to him, a service officer. Numerous were the fancies he and I tried, some in sketches, some he actually had made up, until at last we pitched upon the annexed zs the most elegant; and the tailors were forthwith set to work making them up.
In a short time they were finished, Duncan delighted; inspected the watering order parade himself, and contemplated the beautiful effect of his frenchified troop with rapture. It was marched off, and again he took his stand at the end of the lane by which (en route for the Phoenix Park) they must gain the street of Island Bridge. The last of them had scarcely passed the bridge when, issueing from the barracks appeared the drivers, also in watering order. But, oh horror! Carefully as the intended change had been concealed, and carefully as had the intended pattern been guarded, old Colonel Schalch had managed to ferret it out, and there went the Wee Gees bridling in their finery, to the disgust of Duncan, whose rage I shall long remember. These caps, or something similar, were afterwards adopted generally, and here let me confess my uncertainty whether the 16th Light Dragoons, or the 12th or both, had not these caps before us."


Interesting that they usually used two caps for various orders of dress. Also of note, the fact that a troop captain could and did, institute his own pattern of forage cap. There are illustrations by the general. The first leather cap is similar to a wedge cap worn sideways with a low mitre front. The cloth effort is a ghastly concoction not corresponding to any of the three usual designs in any way. The innovation of Duncan is similar to the French bonnet de police, or wee willy winky cap, but actually nicer. Its quite fine.


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