Infantry- Forge wagons

For general discussions on the British Army of the Victorian era or specific regiments.

Re: Infantry- Forge wagons

Postby jf42 » 12 Aug 2017 11:21

Frogsmile wrote:
jf42 wrote:
Frogsmile wrote:

I am sorry for the delay in replying to this JF, I became distracted and it slipped my mind.

I found the above information of great interest and I now realise from the narratives that you have sourced that even in Napoleonic times there was a great degree of 'show' in the way that pioneers presented themselves. Thinking about it in the cold light of day it is pretty obvious that marching to war/campaign in a long and heavy apron was not likely as a realistic prospect. I enclose an image of a French pioneer from the Second Empire that shows a more realistic form of campaign dress.

Indeed. In fact, I believe the Garde Imperiale of the 2nd Empire, when push came to shove, genrally left their bonnets de poil in barracks and went into the field wearing their natty bonnets de police.


Frogsmile wrote: Turning to the showy aspect, this was a big part of the shop front presentation of the regiment in which I served, the Royal Welch Fusiliers, who seem (probably during Queen Victoria's reign) to have developed the custom of leading a battalion parade with the regimental goat and pioneers, as a body, in front of the band. Most other infantry regiments did similar things, but seemingly not to the same degree of combination.

I would have expected no less from a corps Royal +Welsh + Fusilier ( and not forgetting the bally 'Flash')

Frogsmile wrote: Incidentally, on another thread there has been mention of the beard worn by the pioneer sergeant and I was interested to note when looking through some photos of battalion pioneer sections in the late 1860s and into the 1870s (seemingly all based in India), that many men within the section had beards, and not just the sergeant.

Yes. I seem to remember that did come up once or twice here on VWF, and in one photo, I recall, not even the Sergeant.

You perhaps inadvertently imply that the RWF were a dressy regiment and yet my experience was that it was extremely conservative and strict about dress.

I wasn't thinking of the RWF being 'dressy' as such. I was commenting more on the finery inherent in the image of a bearded Pioneer Sergeant in a Fusilier Regiment Royal by default, whose Welshness is expressed spectacularly by a single emblem, the Regimental Goat. All remarkably hairy, with the unique and eccentric distinction of The Flash flapping at the nape of every soldier on parade. Not 'dressy' as such but certainly distinctive.

I am fairly sure the Goat of the 23rd RWF was one of the earliest regimental animal mascots to be adopted. Would I be right?
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