mike snook wrote: So quite what settringee trousers are I am at a loss to account for.
mike snook wrote: jf
Yes, India kit, traditionally was white shell jackets and trousers. I have accessed the quantities involved which I will dig out with the rest of my data - but perhaps surprisingly large figures - top of the head...a number like 4 or 5 shell jackets and a broadly corresponding number of trousers...it might be one more than there are jacket , the obvious point being that one can't conceive of there being an adequate supply of white shell jackets lying around in company warehouses for the chaps to arrive.
mike snook wrote: units already in India and staring down the barrel of the Mutiny decide pretty much unanimously, on the Delhi front at least, that the last thing you want to be wearing in a war is a white jacket... Anyway, all those white jackets in the care of the commissariat are pretty much useless, though some are compelled to dye them 'khaki' in the way we have already discussed at length.
mike snook wrote: But what are all those boys who come down from the Punjab wearing? You will recall that we put the 75th in khaki on the frontier well before the mutiny. Was it not 1853 or something like that? Are we really talking dyed white shell jackets? Or are we talking don't for goodness sake write off your nice issued white shell jacket (1 of 4?)by getting the dhobi wallah to fling it in the mud, but instead let's get these enterprising Indian contractors who follow us around everywhere to knock out some nice flannel shirts with trousers
mike snook wrote: Short jackets.. are out....tunics...1855 pattern and all that... are now in....though not quite yet in India it seems to me. But the germ of the idea is there... Also we have these trooping smocks knocking about the place, by definition, we now know, the personal property of the soldiery.
mike snook wrote:HM 75th on the other hand, who will lead the attack at Badli ke Serai are going to be in white shells... dyed khaki en route to their first fight. 1st Bengal Fusiliers for their part we know are in their white blousey shirtsleeves which, (you heard it here first), they dyed khaki on 10 June 1857. Joining the dots I would say that it was a grey version in accordance with some of the Atkinson based prints.
Just how long are the 75th wearing their dyed (formerly white) shell jackets for?... 12 weeks will pass before the escalade. Are they still in shell jackets? Or are they in a complete mish mash? Don't know.
mike snook wrote: But when they get to Agra with Greathed, the relieved ladies are astonished to learn that the 75th who have just marched past them are actually Europeans. Instead they take them for Afghans. That sounds to me like they surely can't be in shell jackets, but in something kurta like.
mike snook wrote: 1st Bengal Fusiliers we know are fighting in their shirtsleeves... the actual expression is 'Lord Lake's Dirtyshirts', so it pre-dates the Mutiny by a long march. Next the fact that the fusiliers are fighting in their shirtsleeves is strongly disapproved of by many officers, so there is no widespread imitation of them.
Then... Archdale Wilson takes command. Chaplain Rotton very emphatically states that Wilson 'made war' on fighting in shirtsleeves. Everybody had to wear a uniform of some kind. The wonderfully vague expression 'fatigue dress' starts to appear in orders. I fancy it is designed to cover a multitude of sins, but precludes shirtsleeves.
mike snook wrote: Question then. What on earth were the 1st Bengal Fusiliers wearing during the escalade? Atkinson shows 1st Fusiliers marching down from the hills in their pristine white shirts and trousers. Later we can see shirts in grey (fits with my 10 June discovery) but there is also that print of an unspecified regimental picket, with flaming grenades appearing as part of the insignia and two officers who look terribly like company infantry officers to me. All the lads are wearing grey (dyed white) shell jackets. So I reckon that the bad boys in 1st BF had been whipped in and actually would have undertaken the escalade in shells, not shirtsleeves.
mike snook wrote: Let's now consider HM 52nd LI who came down from Punjab with Nicholson a bit later than most others... they dyed whatever they were wearing just before leaving Sealkote. If they are in flannel shirts were they really wearing white flannel shirts for them to be in need of dyeing? For which act, by the way, the commanding officer expressly sought permission. Or if they were in shells, which on the face of it would seem the more likely, by what means do they end up clad in flannel shirts?
mike snook wrote: As to white 'helmet' covers...These have to be covers for the P1855 shako...Nobody has 'helmets' in England.
mike snook wrote: Cane Helmets. ...when the War Office was talking in its memorandum about helmet covers and forage cap covers the staff are talking about something issued in England. You can't make and issue covers for items you've never seen. So to my mind it is 1855 shako covers and Kilmarnock covers which are at issue.
mike snook wrote: I don't know any set of cavalry overalls which were either striped or chequered. The only thing I can think of is the possibility of it referring in some way to reinforced crotch and inside legs.
mike snook wrote:There are no references to either red or kilts in action as far as Havelock's command goes.
mike snook wrote: Flannel Shirts. I think that flannel shirts and shells are indeed incompatible. The reason I say so is that if the flannel shirt is the long tailed item I believe it to be, (derived from the kurta), then I would be tolerably sure that it had open necked pointed collars, rendering it unsuitable as anything except a top garment. It is also, if my understanding is correct, very close to the trooping smock.
mike snook wrote: I believe the Atkinson based painting of the descent of the Fusiliers from the hills is accurate, whilst ditto of the attack of HM 75th at Badli ke Serai is either inaccurate (the 75th had dyed their shells khaki as identified by Barter), or has somehow had the wrong regiment associated with it across the years. Why do I say that - well.... a. due to the complete domination of Atkinson's work by 1st Bengal Fusiliers. b. While HM 75th famously assaulted the batteries, it is a little known fact that 1st Bengal Fusiliers attacked in conformity. c. In Hodson's letters he describes in vivid detail some of the vignettes drawn by Atkinson...and what was Hodson in...really(?)....yep...1st Bengal Fusiliers. d. The regiment in the Badli-ke-Serai print are wearing a funny shaped forage cap...which is not a covered Kilmanock, such as you might expect the 75th to be in.... covered with peak? but exactly the same hat as is sported in the infantry picket scene, in which fusilier bombs are visible on the men's belt plates, and which I believe accordingly to be another portrayal of 1st BF.
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