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Kitting out a young Peninsular Officer out on the cheap.

 
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The Sarge!
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 11:03 am    Post subject: Kitting out a young Peninsular Officer out on the cheap.  Reply with quote

"You must procure Joseph a superfine red jacket.  I was thinking of letting you get him a regimental 34th coat, but i am afraid it would be too expensive, although it would be in the end a great saving, as cloth is extremely dear in Lisbon; however, do as you can.  The collar and cuffs, white kerseymere, a white kerseymere waistcoat, two pairs of strong grey trousers, made wide like sailor's trousers, three pairs of strong shoes (one pair short), strong leather gaitors.  I have always found them the most preferable, as they keep your shoes from slipping off, and also prevent sand and gravel getting into your stockings.  Three pairs of socks.  If you could purchase a sword (not sabre) similar to the officer's swords you may have observed on parade, and get it cheap, buy it; its being new is of no consequence.  An old sash also you might procure cheap; it would answer as well as any other.  However, these things are now and then to be met here.  He must have a haversack made of dark fustian (not too large), a clasp knife, fork, and spoon; also a tin mug, which will serve him for wine, soup and tea.  You may also buy some pasteboard and make a cocked hat, or at least have it cut out in order that he can put it in his baggage, with some oil-silk, some broad black ribbon for a cockade, and some broad stuff for a binding.  The tailor of the regiment will form it; a gold bullion for each end.  His baggage must be as small as possible, as the convenience of carriage is very scarce - three shirts will be enough.  He must have also have a black leather stock with a buckle, a common rough greatcoat; let it be big enough (any colour, it is of no consequence).  Could you get three of four dozen of buttons like the 34th?  They would be very useful afterwards.  He must bring two or three tooth-brushes and three little towels, or any other thing that may have slipped my memory which may strike you."

Kitting list for his younger brother Joseph.  Letter dated 8th December 1811.

The Journals and Correspondence of Major George Simmons, Rifle Brigade, during the Peninsular War and the campaign of Waterloo. London A. & C. Black, Soho Square 1899, p 209 and 210."
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2nd 95th (Rifles) Regt. of Foot, 4th Coy.

Here's to the Bloody Fighting 95th, the first into the fray and the last out of it!

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Ben Townsend
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would send him here,
http://www.muddyflinttrades.com/page17.html
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havercakelad
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2016 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Following recollection from Thain of the 33rd Regiment:

Iron Duke #7

Birr, 12th April, 1828

My Dear Father,

Poor George Simmons, the senior Lieutenant of the Rifle Brigade, began his military career as an assistant surgeon in the Lincoln Militia. After he volunteered into the Line he was enabled by strict economy to educate his younger brother Joe, now a Captain in the 41st Regiment and by the favour and interest of his superiors to get him a commission in the same gallant corps with himself. George furnished him with his equipment and at different periods supplied him with money. Indeed, all his thoughts seemed to be about Joe and his welfare, so that in the different engagements he was in, when any of his brother officers were killed, his observation always was, ‘Ah ! poor fellow- it’s a fate we must all look forward to’-consoling himself by adding –‘a step for Joe’. At last at Waterloo, George got a wound which they thought at first had killed him, when one of the men of the his company was heard to say, ‘poor Mr Simmonds, poor fellow- well, it’s what we must all look forward to –step for Joe,’ Of course, before this the saying had become a joke against George, and it continues so in the corps to this day’.
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Neibelungen
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2016 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of those interesting notes that shows that cocked hats were often made of a card or paste board frame with only the oilskin cover concealing the fact.  

Glued-on felt or wool cloth seems to be a re-enactorism.

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