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The Drill Taught to the 95th (Rifle) Regt.
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The Sarge!
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 1:20 pm    Post subject: The Drill Taught to the 95th (Rifle) Regt.  Reply with quote

As you will all know over the last few years I have been pursuing this task somewhat and have recently produced my findings.  And as is such with our lot, when something is done and you think there are no more stones to turn an original LOST document comes to light.

With great thanks to Ben Townsend who has found, purchased and provided me with this book.  i am happy to report that 99% of my work was complete and absolutely bang on.  This lovely documents proves everything i have been saying and we and all in the British Army of Wellington should be doing.

now the details copied from the original text.

Observations on the Exercise of Riflemen and on the Movements of Light Troops in general.  Serj. WEDDEBURNE of the 95th (Rifle) Regt. 2nd June 1804, Weely Barracks, near Colchester.

PREFACE:

IT is necessary, in compliance with established custom, to state the reason which have led to the present publication.
 The service of Riflemen is not by any means generally known; their establishment in this country is of a very recent date, and although many Volunteer Corps of Riflemen are formed in various parts of the kingdom, yet their knowledge of the subject is very much confined.
 It has been my employment, for the last few months, to instruct many of these Corps in the rudiments of this part of the military science, and I have consequently had frequent opportunities of seeing them struggling with difficulties the most embarrassing, principally for want of a system to promote and give effect to their patriotic exertions.
 It is true, that, some years since, a German publication was translated for the use of Light Troops (Fawsett's translation of De Rotenburg 1798), the first part of which is related to the training and exercise of Riflemen, but this work neither explains a varity of motions practised by the English Riflemen, nor does it include the improvements which have been made in the British Service.
 Under these circumstances, therefore, I have been induced to offer my assitance to a body of men, whose exertions in their Country's Cause are worthy of every encomium, and to draw up for their use the following Observations, which are founded upon, and sanctioned by, practice of one of the best regiments in his Majesty's service.

                          WM. WEDDEBURNE
                              Serj. 95th (Rifle) Regt.

Introduction:

THE service of Riflemen and Light Troops is so various, according to the nature of the country in which they act, and the conduct of each individual depends so much upon local circumstances, that the general rules prescribed for the exercise, formations, and movements of the regular Infantry cannot be applicable to their operations in a close and intersected country. To everyone employed in this kind of warfare, frequent opportunities are afforded for the display of personal courage, activity, and intelligence, and, to persons possessed of such qualities, it is a certain road to distinction.
 Inadequate, however, as general rules must be to the service of Light Troops in extended order, it ought to be remembered, that in all movements which require combined exertion and regulated obedience, the system of General Dundas (1798 and 1807) is to be regarded as a standard of superior excellence: circumstances may demand that Riflemen should act with closed ranks, conjointly with other troops, in which event their movements must be made precisely on the same principles as those of the line. These principles are accurately detailed in the regulations above referred to; they are the basis of all military movements, and so essential are they to be known, that, without an acquaintance wuth them, neither steadiness, nor precision, nor the good effects of order and discipline, can be expected from any troops, in the presence of the enemy.

                  FINIS

Hope you enjoyed the read.  It basically means I have been right all along.  

The Riflemen did exactly the same drill as the line in close order and that drill was Dundas (no argument, no fudging, no deviation), so the line should be doing Dundas.  

It is only when Riflemen extended that they start adherring to a new set of regulations, that are bassd on De Rotenburg but have subtle changes.
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C/Sjt Blake
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!

Stau Und Fest. (Stauch and Steadfast)
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Obadiah
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent work Blakey and well done Ben (ok, so you don't have any money left from buying this book!).

Lets see the other rifles units wiggle out of that one.  

Why is using Dundas such a big deal? And for Rifles, there is this blinkered attitude that because "We're Rifles" they were somehow outside the regular army and they did what they wanted to do. It's the same with the leather stocks - there are accounts of Riflemen wearing them thoughout the war but the other re-enactment groups still won't acknowledge the fact.

That's my rant over with. Again well done guys. Looking forward to next year's first drill session, and that new gucci drill movement with the sword.

Sjt Dave
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Ben Townsend
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Hope you enjoyed the read.  It basically means I have been right all along".  
Tell us how you really feel  Smilie_PDT

Seriously, well done mate, I know how important `getting it right` is to you and I'm glad we have a martinet to instruct us.
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Rifleman LaLa
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The Sarge!
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now, now guys.  Lets not get all bitter and twisted, well more than we are anyway.

Remember before we embarked on this quest of ours we were in the same place as many others are now. and relied on what we had been told when we all first joined.

our research has shown us things were not as they appeared and we have been lucky that all have wanted to make the changes based on all the research we now have in our archives and the rest as they say is history.

by making our findings known we can leave it to the others to make their own decisions and come to their own conclusions in their own good time.  and if they want our help and support and help in understanding it, them i am sure that we are all only too willing to help.  and if they don't want to make any changes, then 'c'est la vie'.

it still has to be fun, just as long as you do what i tell ya, we will get on famously.

see you all sunday at the fair Brothers.

LOL
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C/Sjt Blake
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!

Stau Und Fest. (Stauch and Steadfast)
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Ben Townsend
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"It has been my employment, for the last few months, to instruct many of these Corps in the rudiments of this part of the military science, and I have consequently had frequent opportunities of seeing them struggling with difficulties the most embarrassing, "

Sounds a bit like one of our training weekends!

Iain, it was hidden in the Vatican's library, under a pile of One True Crosses, next to the Ark of the Covenant with a pic of the Oldham Volunteers 1807 dress.
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iain
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ben wrote:


Iain, it was hidden in the Vatican's library, under a pile of One True Crosses, next to the Ark of the Covenant with a pic of the Oldham Volunteers 1807 dress.


More chance of finding the Ark of the Covenant than the Oldham Volunteers uniform!
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havercakelad
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good luck. It must be an uphill task ahead as although there are some NA  units that follow Dundas excellently , some line units still, I am told, follow their own drill system of long practice.
That said, I have observed recently individuals who seem prepared to approach other units for advice on the Dundas drill system and accurate arms drill.
Keep up the good work, we all have things we can improve or learn off each other.
John
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The Sarge!
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the last few days I have had conversations with John Norris, Adam Paylor, Mike Haynes, David Banks, Rob Yuill, Rick Peacock and Bas De Groot, regarding my findings.

All are completely positive and expressed the need for it to be done as it agrees with their thinking or that it should be done and encouraged and for the others to be told, but will be a slow training process for all to accept.

So for the purposes of the 'Infantry Group,' we have no dramas as we are all pretty much doing it and just need to keep practising it.

For the purpose of the NA, i shall be bringing it to the attention of the British Brigade commander with the appropirate support and recommendations form those person(s) also on how to bring it to the fore.  There is no argument on whether it should be done, as it is the Regulations of the Period we are all portraying, its jsut getting it understood, accepted and trained at a level that it can be done.  So would be over a couple of years with a view to it being implemented by 2012 in completeness and include the European's on, though to be fair they are ahead of most of the UK units in this regard anyway, as they already do Dundas, just the Light Troops stuff they need to pick up on.

So fingers crossed the future may bring something, after all we are aiming for 2015, as that will be the battle to end all battles.
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C/Sjt Blake
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!

Stau Und Fest. (Stauch and Steadfast)
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Obadiah
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It all sounds great but with the NA it's like beating your head against a wall, what does na stand for? How long has the NA been going and they still don't do the correct drill. that's why units like the 33rd and 68th won't join the NA. The Coldstreams do period drill within the NA and get slagged off for it.

As for the Rifle and Light Bob's, Dundas is a dirty word. Lets face it how many Rifle groups say "shoulder Arms".

Sorry to be so negative must be my leather stock too tight.

Sjt Dave {soon to be ex-Sjt Dave}
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havercakelad
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blakey's last post is encouraging, besides people portraying officers, some of the rank and file within NA units who don't do Dundas fully/properly are now expressing an interest to learn .
At same time, can identify with Dave's frustration. Two of our lads on a film set a couple of years ago were 'told off' for being too slow in making turns when under the command of two supposed  'experts' . This was because they were doing correct, and timed, foot drill rather than haphazzardly spinning and shuffling like the others comprising there unit.
As I see it from the outside the Association needs all its officers to embrace the responsibility of learning correct drill so that the bodies under their command manouevere authentically and safely.
As I have said on other forums, if a unit puts a lot of time into acquiring kit of an accurate type than, generally, they will have a universally high commitment to other aspects such as drill. Units that compromise  'authenticity' on kit will often find it easier to justify comprises on other aspects such as drill and ,sometimes, even safety.
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havercakelad
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Obadiah wrote:
Coldstreams do period drill within the NA and get slagged off for it.

Shame if thats the case. Remember seeing them put a lot of extra time at Hastings and Folkestone, willingly attempting to develop drill within the Association.
JRW
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The Sarge!
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi all,

I appreciate the comments made and the support given.

Please all remember, we used to do all the things that we are now advocating as being incorrect.  Our research over the years has proved that so amny of the things we were doing to be so wrong on many levels.

The authenticity code we run in the unit means we have been able to record these findings (which are now appearing as articles on the main website) and make the necessary changes to ensure that we follow them.

Others in other groups are not as lucky as us and are behind on the drag curve in that regard.  Do not get dis-heartened at the slow pick-up of our findings, as that is the way of things.  For years we and they have been told for years this is what that is, this is how you do that and never a reason given, just an acceptance of that is the way.

But we are making it know and by telling and showing we are in position to allow others to make their own judgement on the research we have under-taken.

I agree with you all that there is no argument with those research findings, we should all be doing the things we have highlighted over the last few years and allow them to do so.

Those that don't i agree or plain can't be bothered to make the changes, then the question can be asked: are they re-enacting or are they just playing at it.  The jury is out on that one.  Time will only tell how it is taken up by other groups.

I will do my best to make the facts known and await for the others to either accept those findings as they are; or prove otherwise.  As we are prepared to change and if someone finds something that we haven't, then that would be great and add to a re-creating of the soldier of our period.
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C/Sjt Blake
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!

Stau Und Fest. (Stauch and Steadfast)
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The Sarge!
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2009 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That even greater results were not obtained from the rifle during the Peninsular War is due to the fact that the 95th Riflemen were naturally often compelled to conform to the general movements of large bodies of troops armed with smooth-bores.

"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 xviii."
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C/Sjt Blake
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!

Stau Und Fest. (Stauch and Steadfast)
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Simon
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 10:38 pm    Post subject: Question!!!! Reply with quote

Always a one for drill books: Bland, Windhams, 1757, 1764, 1807 etc.

How relevant is this Naval & Military Press publication;

REGULATIONS FOR THE EXERCISE OF RIFLEMEN & LIGHT INFANTRY IN THE FIELD  Printed for the War Office 1814

Written by a German Officer (I'm sure you will know whwt I am talking about)
Has it any relevance to 4 Co, 2 Bn 95th Rifles?

Or should I put it back in the bookcase?
SIMON
6th & 36th
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Simon,

I think the book is a must for your bookshelf (it's a facsimile of an original, so 'Osprey' it ain't!). However, due to Ben's excellent research (and deep pockets) we in the 2nd have 'upgraded' slightly with a little book by a Sgt. WEDDEBURNE of the 95TH. This is a quote from the introduction to his 1804 booklet, 'Observations on the Exercise of Riflemen, and on the movements of Light Troops in General';

"It is true, that, some years since, a German publication was translated for the use of Light Troops (Fawsett's translation of De Rotenburg 1798), the first part of which is related to the training and exercise of Riflemen, but this work neither explains a varity of motions practised by the English Riflemen, nor does it include the improvements which have been made in the British Service."

Observations on the Exercise of Riflemen, and on the movements of Light Troops in General.
By Serjeant Weddeburne, of the 95th (Rifle) Regiment. 12MO 1s. Scatcherd and Co.

Review of the book:
"Our military friends need not be told that the duty of the 95th regiment is exclusively that of riflemen, and that its discipline, in this line of service, is the most correct of any in our army. Instructions of this nature, therefore, from one of the drill-serjeants of tht regiment may be gladly received, and followed with confidence. Serjeant Weddeburne states, in his preface, that his employment in drilling volunteer corps of riflemen, for some time past, gave him frequent opportunities of observing their want of a correct and concise system of instruction. He, therefore, composed the present manual, which appears well adapted to answer the intended purpose. It is founded on the general rules prescribed by the system of Sir David Dundas, corresponds with the practice adopted in the 95th Regiment, and includes a variety of motions practised and improvements introduced in the British service, which are not contained in some late works translated from the German."

p.98 The Monthly Review or Literary
Journal 1805



Last edited by Paul Durrant on Sun Apr 29, 2012 4:22 pm; edited 1 time in total
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