Water bottles: patterns in use in the late Victorian era?

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Water bottles: patterns in use in the late Victorian era?

Postby AndrewM » 15 Mar 2009 05:18

I hope someone can help me with this. This waterbottle looks very similar to the 1895 pattern general service bottle, but there are 3 differences (refering to Turner's Soldier's Accoutrements.., p. 17): firstly, this bottle does not have the shouldered neck as the 1895 pattern; secondly, the 1895 pattern is 7 inches wide, whereas this example in approx. 6 1/2 inches; and the 1895 pattern is 2 1/2 inches in width, this is much narrower - only 1 1/2 inches.
I have heard talk of a 1900 pattern bottle, but can't find any information about it. I'm convinced this bottle is British Victorian - it was bought from a London dealer some years ago, and was informed that it "came with a trunk of Boer War bits and pieces". One consideration I have had is how frustrating the larger 1895 (or earlier) pattern bottle or the Italian pattern would be douncing on a cavalry man's back when at full gallop, and wonder if a slightly smaller pattern may have been introduced for mounted units?

I would be grateful if anyone could shed light on this?

Andrew
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Water bottles

Postby AndrewM » 31 Mar 2009 23:12

Just wondered if anyone is aware if the Italian (oliver) Pattern water bottle was still being issued during the Boer War, or if it had been replaced completely by the 1888/93/95 Patterns? Any photographic/documentary evidence would be much appreciated. I recently acquired a nice example, and I'm trying to complete by Boer War era uniforn/equipment set.

Regards,

Andrew
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Re: Water bottles: patterns in use in the late Victorian era

Postby Cal F » 13 Jun 2010 02:12

It looks like a 1895 Bottle, water, enamelled Mk IV to me, it may be that it was made by a secondary manufacturer or in a different commonwealth country, Or possibily a Officers private purchase item.

Oliver Pattern Water bottles were a leather covered 1 pint glass water bottle

Canada & The Boer's used versions of The P1873 Bottle, water, wood [AKA Oliver Pattern] other Commonwealth country's may have I don't know. see
http://www.goldiproductions.com/anglobo ... _cant.html
Oliver Pattern
http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/inno ... 220-e.html
http://www.warmuseum.ca/cwm/exhibitions ... nt_e.shtml

I have an article on UK water bottles I can e-mail to if you like, its to big to attach here, PM me.
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Re: Water bottles: patterns in use in the late Victorian era

Postby ED, in Los Angeles » 13 Jun 2010 05:21

This is not a military canteen. The finish on the metal looks very 20th century anodising or what ever the WWII American canteens were finished with. This canteen is a hardware goods store type of item, weather the store be in Australia or any other English speaking country. It could have been used by a Boy Scout. It does bear a similar appearence to the 1895 water carrier but that is all it is, just appearence. A rolled lip on the mouth is a nice manufacturing touch. Also, British water bottles were felt covered at least up to WWII. No broad arrow or markings on the bottle either. The chain is of the stamped sheet metal type and is not period. Nice old canteen for sure. Any old water carrier is interesting.

The subject of water for man and animals was never really addressed properly in the Victorian Amy and many simply died from lack of water and it was writtin off as another 'heat' death. I have back packed and hiked in 100 degree heat and it is not the heat that is annoying. You really get used to that. But there again, I live in a part of the world where it is warm or hot most of the year and never need a coat so I may be used to it.. But running out of the liquid stuff is a killer. You can easily lose a gallon of water fom perspireation and exhaling through the lungs in just a couple of hours. I went for a short desert hike of about 8 miles in 110 degree heat with just a quart of water. That disapeared fast and by the end of the hike I wold have killed for the H2O. I also ran out of water in a hot hike in the mountains just North of Los Angeles. When I got to a stream and saw all that water I yelled at the top of my lungs,"WATER". It was like I had discovered gold! Yeah, liquid gold.
I have a great love of that liquid and swore that i would never be out of water again.

Two days after the first battle of 'Tamaai' in the eastern Sudan, March 13, 1884, Black watch infantryman John Gordon went to sleep in the evening after having gone perhaps two days without water. He dreamed he was drinking from a Scottish spring and awoke face down on the ground with a mouth full of sand. The following day, water was going to be available.

From the Book "My Six Years With the Black Watch" by John Gordon

"Relief at daybreak was improvised for us during the night; regiments were marched by companies to a canvas bottomed reservoir not far away; relief, not satisfaction, each man only being allowed to fill his water bottle. I was nearly crazed; death would be perferable to waiting for the Black Watch's turn to come. I snatched from my helmet the red hackle, an historic signet won by the Black Watch in Flanders in 1793, and unobserved, slipped slyly into the ranks of a company of Gordon Highlanders on their way to the reservoir, and reaching there, hiding myself among comrades crowded about me, instead of filling my bottle, took the risk of lying down on my stomach and making my dream of a heavenly drink come true. Afterwards, when the Black Watch's turn came, I rejoined my regiment and filled my bottle."
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Re: Water bottles: patterns in use in the late Victorian era

Postby 10thHussar » 13 Jun 2010 19:16

I cant say for sure but i'd agree this is a civilian 'private purchase' canteen. There were many of these available for officers etc around the turn of the century and particularly the great war and ww2 era.

Lee
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An' the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle an' blow out your brains,
An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." - Rudyard Kipling
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Re: Water bottles: patterns in use in the late Victorian era

Postby Cal F » 13 Jun 2010 19:44

You may be right Ed, but the tinning, copper rivetted eyelets, brass buckle do look right for the time frame turn (turn century, copper & brass being much needed commodities in WW II they had switched to steel rivits & buckles). Also the pattern was outdated by then in the UK.

It is still possible that it could have been made post Boer War in Canada, Australia, or New Zealand (all manufactured their own gear to some extent) that had their own ideas on the designs or upgrades and used older patterns longer than the UK did.

Most likely it was a Officer private purchase item, although looking like the troops gear, was of a higher quality.

hear is a pic of a Officers PP water bottle circa 1901-03
Officers waterbottle.jpg
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Re: Water bottles: patterns in use in the late Victorian era

Postby Cal F » 13 Jun 2010 19:59

Here is a 1900 India pattern bottle in 1908 style carrier (made in India)
1900 IP.jpg
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Re: Water bottles: patterns in use in the late Victorian era

Postby Cal F » 13 Jun 2010 20:13

Here is a 1900 Medic bottle
1900 medic waterbottle 1.jpg
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1900 medic waterbottle 2.jpg
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WW I Version.jpg
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Re: Water bottles: patterns in use in the late Victorian era

Postby Cal F » 13 Jun 2010 20:20

Here is Canadian P1873 Boer War
CDN P1873 side.jpg
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CDN P1873 top.jpg
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Re: Water bottles: patterns in use in the late Victorian era

Postby Cal F » 13 Jun 2010 21:42

P1873 Bottle, water Mk I, Italian style
this wooden style of bottle was used for over 20 years but had short commings when stored empty the wood tended to dry out & shrink thus when filled they leaked, if stored filled they devoloped bacteria
P1873 Mk I (reproduction).jpg
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it had a threaded pewter cap with a wood stoppered drinking hole (this cap & stopper would be retained on the P1888 Bottle, water, enamelled Mk I)
P1873 & P1888 Mk I cap & stopper.jpg
P1873 & P1888 Mk I cap & stopper.jpg (8.52 KiB) Viewed 5795 times


In 1882 a MK II version was introduced, the only change being the addition of a iron clip on the rear ment to be able to attach it to the equipment waist belt.
1882 P1873 Mk II.jpg
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1888 saw the introduction of a new water bottle the Bottle, water, enamelled (Mk I) due to the deficiancies in the P1873 (noted above) this bottle retain the same cap & stopper of the '73 held to the body by a whip cord
1888 Mk I.jpg
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Re: Water bottles: patterns in use in the late Victorian era

Postby Cal F » 13 Jun 2010 21:51

The 1893 Bottle, water, enamelled Mk II is the same bottle as 1888 with the only change being to the cap & stopper
1893 Mk II.jpg
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1893 Mk II top.jpg
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P1893 Mk II cap & stopper.jpg
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The Bottle, water, enamelled Mk III was introduced 1895 the change this time was the cap retension being changed from whip cord to leather at this time all Mk I & IIs remaining in stock were to be upgraded to Mk III standards
1893 Mk III.jpg
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P1893 Mk III cap.jpg
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Re: Water bottles: patterns in use in the late Victorian era

Postby Cal F » 13 Jun 2010 22:13

In late 1895 the Bottle, water, enamelled Mk IV came into being again this was a round design with a simplified stopper (this stopper would remain unchanged through to the Mk VII as well as being used on other bottle designs) attached with a length of nickle plated chain
1895 Mk IV sans cover.jpg
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1895 Mk IV.jpg
1895 Mk IV.jpg (13.36 KiB) Viewed 5793 times
Mk IV - VII stopper.jpg
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The introduction of the kidney shaped bottle came in 1901 Bottle, water, enamelled Mk V with a belled neck (to facilitate ease of refilling) and the stopper attached by a length of whip cord sewn to the felt cover
1901 Mk V.jpg
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Last edited by Cal F on 13 Jun 2010 22:27, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Water bottles: patterns in use in the late Victorian era

Postby Cal F » 13 Jun 2010 22:25

In 1903 the shape of the neck returned to the Mk IV style resulting in the Bottle, water, enamelled Mk VI. Although the British army experimented with other styles & materials this model soldiered on until the 1970's (1939's Mk VII only altering the color of the enamel from blue to green and the stopper attachment position)
1903 Mk VI.jpg
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RAF Mk VI [1925].jpg
RAF Mk VI [1925].jpg (166.83 KiB) Viewed 5792 times
1939 Mk VII.jpg
1939 Mk VII.jpg (28.21 KiB) Viewed 5792 times


I hope this is of benifit to users of this forum
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Re: Water bottles: patterns in use in the late Victorian era

Postby Cal F » 13 Jun 2010 23:24

as to the first post in this thread here is a pic of Pvt. Hubert Duchene - 2 CMR note the canteen appears to have the rolled lip on the neck as does the one in Andrews pic.
Pvt. Hubert Duchene - 2 CMR.jpg
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here its enlarged
Untitled-36.jpg
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imfo with the pic said 1902

My Speculation

so Andrew"s canteen may be a Canadian made Mk IV (to replace the 1 pint glass Oliver pattern bottles troops threw away or destroyed replacing with scavenged British bottles) Canada was very much reaching for its own seperate identity in those days (ie Oliver Pattern equipment) so adding a rolled lip & size difference to the Mk IV is something they may have done to say this is Canadian. Re-issueing 1873 was probably a stop gap method when the troops ash binned the glass bottles again to differenciate from British Troops.
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Re: Water bottles: patterns in use in the late Victorian era

Postby ED, in Los Angeles » 14 Jun 2010 06:10

Sorry 'Cal F' I don't see the rolled lip and the mouth of the 'AndrewM' water bottle has a fatter neck.
Like Sigmund Freud said, "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."
Sometimes a water bottle is just a water bottle.

Here's another Sudan water story:
First the background set-up.

The battle of Omdurman was fought on September 2, 1898. The battle started at about 6:45 in the morning and by the afternoon, the Ansar army was defeated and the huge country of the Sudan was no longer under native rule. It was mainly a one sided artillery battle that took the lives of perhaps 12,000 Ansar regulars and conscripts and many others wounded. The british troops had lots of water as they were right up against the Nile and the march to Omdurman, the walled part of the city, was only about six miles. So off the British Army went and yes there was some fighting but by and large, save for the charge of the 21st Lancers and McDonalds Egyptian units, it was a sniper and mop up operation. Each soldier had a water bottle, about a quart of fluid.
But six hours and six miles later, this is what Owen Spencer Davis,(Acting Wesleyn Chaplain to Her Majesty's Forces), observed on his ride to Omdurman.

From his book, "With Kitchners Army".

"The battle being over, we had now to continue our march on Omdurman, across a plain strewn with the bodies of the dead, ghastly sights that linger in the memory, and which would take more than a lifetime to erase. But i will not harrow my readers',feelings by describing these, death as seen on the battlefield is too horrible even to think of. Many of the mangled heaps of humanity we passed were still living, and as we marched by they glared at us with cruel, treacherous eyes full of hate. Some of our number were moved by pity to give them of our precious water in their bottles, and were repaid for their kindness by the wounded men trying to take their lives with the new strength thus gained. The "no surrender" spirit of the Dervishes was simply remarkable. I saw men, too mangled, you would think, to move slowly and painfully raising themselves on their elbows, and with their last strength firing one shot at the hated Englishman.
Leaving these scenes of horror, we continued our march over the burning sand, most of the water bottles empty, before us the tantalising "mirage" with its water that no man can reach, and the men worn and tired after five hours almost continuos fighting.
As I look at the march it seems like the memory of some evil dream, strong men overwrought, sat down in the desert and cried like children. In the ranks of the Warwickshire Regiment one man became delerious and had to be overpowered by his comrades; and in the Cameron Highlanders one poor lad, stricken with heat apoplexy, died. But amidst all this misery we chaplins had the comfort of knowing that we were of practical use, for by urging the men to make one more effort, by giving the fainting a drink of water (being mounted we were able to carry extra water bottles strapped to our saddles), and by getting the worst cases put on the ambulance camels, we were able to do something to relieve their distress. At last we were met by camels bringing water, and to each man was served out a small quantity, sufficient to last him with care until water was reached.
When at length we came up with the 2nd Brigade, bivouacked by a flooded "khor", the thankfulness of our hearts was too deep for speech. The relish with which I drank water which was beyond description filthy and in which dead bodies lay, and the eagerness with which my poor horse rushed into the water to drink his fill will scarcely be credited.
Having had a short rest and refreshment, with renewed strength we marched into Omdurman."
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