2nd Manchester Regiment Khaki Drill Frock

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Re: 2nd Manchester Regiment Khaki Drill Frock

Postby VictorianEra » 11 Mar 2017 01:00

Frogsmile, thank you for telling me the correct terminology. I will update this thread when new information comes from the lead on Private A. Burrows.
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Re: 2nd Manchester Regiment Khaki Drill Frock

Postby VictorianEra » 12 Mar 2017 17:45

Hello everyone. The research of our lead Private Arron Burrow (Burrow not Burrows as I originally said) and was very, very thorough and I highly recommend that website that Frogsmile shared in this thread. Here is what he found on Private Arron Burrow:

Aaron Burrow was born in the village of Gressingham in Lancashire in about December 18731 and baptised on the 12th February 1874. He was the son of John and Ann Burrow and by the time he attested at Manchester on the 10th March 1891 he was working as a labourer. The attestation paper indicates that he had no prior military experience. He was able to read and write as evidenced by his signature in two places on the attestation paper. Aaron attested for a term of 12 years in total: seven years with the colours and five years on the army reserve, albeit this combination could be - and usually was - adjusted in the man was serving overseas during the first seven years of his service. Aaron was a stood five feet, five and a half inches tall. He had a fresh complexion, blue eyes and brown hair; a scar on his right thumb and a mole on his left groin. He was passed physically fit on the 10th March 1891 - the same day that he attested - and this attestation was approved the following day at the regimental depot at Ashton-under-Lyne. Aaron would have been issued with his regimental number at Wellington Barracks, Ashton-under-Lyne which was where the regimental depot for the Manchester Regiment was situated. This is where his military career properly began.

Aaron remained at the regimental depot until the 23rd May 1891 when he was posted to the 1st Battalion, then stationed in Kinsale, Ireland. Eighteen months later he was posted to the 2nd Battalion which was stationed in Chakratta, India. During his time in India, Aaron was awarded two good conduct chevrons which would have been worn on his lower left sleeve. He was appointed lance-corporal but reverted to private a couple of months later.

The note concerning Army Order 65 of 2nd April 1898 relates to the soldiers' messing allowance. In 1898 the deferred pay of 2d per diem was stopped which reduced the amount of money a soldier received on transfer to the reserve after his term of service with the colours from £21, to a gratuity of £1 per annum served with the colours). Soldiers entitled to deferred pay could choose to continue to receive it, or elect to take it as a messing allowance, reducing their compulsory grocery deductions. Those who elected for the messing allowance received two pence a day more pay, but it reduced their lump sum by two thirds when they left the regular army. Aaron opted for this latter course of action and signed his assent. At this time, the regiment was stationed in Aden.

Aaron returned to the UK in November 1898 and was transferred to the Army Reserve on the 6th December 1898. He was recalled to the colours in November 1899 when Britain went to war with South Africa and finally discharged in March 1903 having been transferred to the Army Reserve for a second time a year earlier. For his service in the South African war, Aaron was awarded a gratuity of £1 and ten shillings. This military history sheet is useful in that it details where Aaron served, the courses he attended, the medals to which he was entitled, and his next of kin. He gained a third class certificate of education in 1897 and a 2nd Class certificate a year later. For service in South Africa he was awarded the Queen's South Africa Medal with clasps for Belfast, Tugela Heights and the Relief of Ladysmith; and the King's South Africa Medal with the usual two year clasps.

Private Arron began his career with the 2nd Battalion but was posted to the 1st Battalion for the majority of his military career, so I believe that this may be the man who wore this KD Frock. It would appear he fought or at least served at Tugela Heights and the Relief of Ladysmith.

My question would be is this KD Frock likely what he wore in the 1890s in India and in the Boer War, or likely just one or the other, Indian service or Boer War period? Thank you for reading.
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Re: 2nd Manchester Regiment Khaki Drill Frock

Postby grumpy » 12 Mar 2017 18:07

His service record should show the date of his second Good Conduct badge [not before 6 years after enlistment], and his attaining marksman standard. This latter was / should have been re-tested each year. These facts might narrow your period of wear of the frock, but not by enough, I fear. But remember he was on 2nd bn books at time of issue. Issues should have been annually from memory, but in India at least he would own three at any one time, to allow for frequent [and destructive] dhobying by native servants.

The frock certainly fits for Indian pattern: the pocket flaps and rudimentary collar are diagnostic.
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Re: 2nd Manchester Regiment Khaki Drill Frock

Postby VictorianEra » 12 Mar 2017 18:30

I just remember the KD Frock (I think) '1 98' is it's date - January 1898, so it could have been worn in the Boer War, perhaps?
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Re: 2nd Manchester Regiment Khaki Drill Frock

Postby pittpiper » 17 Mar 2017 00:58

Hi Jamie,

Excellent KD frock! The "teardrop" shaped pocket flaps (don't know if they had an official name) were common in India at that time.

To follow up with what others have already said, KD, both the 1894 and 1899 patterns, were worn throughout the war in conjunction with the 1899 pattern serge uniform (your 13th middlesex frock is a wonderful example of the 1899 pattern serge). Serge was not just a late war block house item, and KD was not totally replaced either. In theory, every soldier was supposed to get a suit of serge and a suit of khaki. Regiments already in South Africa and those that were the first to leave the UK did not receive serge until later in 1900. Other regiments, however, left England with both their serge and KD. I believe I read in the Dorset's regimental history that they were one of the first regiments to wear serge in action. I think the Lancashire brigade also arrives in South Africa with both suits. In a couple diaries I have seen soldiers describe their suit of khaki (KD) and suit of wool (serge). What you wore probably depended on what you were issued, where, and when. If you were wearing your KD, your serge was kept in the wagons, and it may take some time to catch up with you. When the West Yorks received their first suit of serge in April 1900 they burned their torn KD, though regiments received replacement uniforms throughout the war, so they would have received new KD later on. There are many pictures that show soldiers of the same unit wearing a mix of KD and serge. Some officer's didn't like wool serge because it could not be washed and believed KD provided a more soldierly appearance. Pvt. Tucker of the Rifle Brigade complained that his new battalion commander (the original commander got a promotion) kept the men in KD only because he did not want them wearing serge. There are photos of soldiers in KD and serge both torn to shreds at the knees.

Best,

Sam
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Re: 2nd Manchester Regiment Khaki Drill Frock

Postby Frogsmile » 17 Mar 2017 10:38

I do not wish to dampen your enthusiasm, but do not lose sight of two key factors, first that the jacket is marked to the 2nd Manchesters and his operational service was all done with the 1st Battalion. Second, and more significantly, KD was notorious for not standing up for long to 'hard' wear. As anyone who has been on service will tell you cotton uniform is not hard wearing for an infantryman. Sam has given you good examples of this in his post above. Your jacket is in excellent condition given it's age and I doubt that it was worn on operations.
Last edited by Frogsmile on 17 Mar 2017 23:33, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2nd Manchester Regiment Khaki Drill Frock

Postby VictorianEra » 17 Mar 2017 23:27

Thank you Sam and Frogsmile. Unlikely this was worn in operations as you said Frogsmile, but a lovely example nonetheless. Thank you Sam for your thorough reply, that helps me more to understand that both were worn throughout the regiment, and really depended on regiment and down to the soldier. I am lucky that both my Serge and KD Frock are in such good condition, however that is likely because neither were in combat situations. One more question, is the "1 98" - January 1898 the frock's date (meaning it would've been worn just prior to the Boer War or in the Boer War but not on campaign much) or is that something else and means that this could've been one of the various KD frocks he may have had while he was in India. Although even if January 1898 was the date of the KD Frock he was in India until November 1898 before returning to England so it is possible he simply kept this KD Frock as one of his last KD frocks in India? Thanks again,

-Jamie
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Re: 2nd Manchester Regiment Khaki Drill Frock

Postby Frogsmile » 17 Mar 2017 23:37

VictorianEra wrote:Thank you Sam and Frogsmile. Unlikely this was worn in operations as you said Frogsmile, but a lovely example nonetheless. Thank you Sam for your thorough reply, that helps me more to understand that both were worn throughout the regiment, and really depended on regiment and down to the soldier. I am lucky that both my Serge and KD Frock are in such good condition, however that is likely because neither were in combat situations. One more question, is the "1 98" - January 1898 the frock's date (meaning it would've been worn just prior to the Boer War or in the Boer War but not on campaign much) or is that something else and means that this could've been one of the various KD frocks he may have had while he was in India. Although even if January 1898 was the date of the KD Frock he was in India until November 1898 before returning to England so it is possible he simply kept this KD Frock as one of his last KD frocks in India? Thanks again,

-Jamie


The ink stamp 1 98 was placed on the garment on the date of issue from store (not manufacture), in accordance with 'clothing regulations' of 1891. This was because replacement garments were issued according to time (often annually, or biennially) and theatre (location - hot, cold, etc.).
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