GrantRCanada wrote:Again, not India .... but two contemporary photographs exist showing men having their hair cut during the 1885 North-West Rebellion in Canada. Aside from the North-West Mounted Police and some local Provisional levies, the troops involved in this campaign were all mobilized Militia from Eastern Canada, some of them being "full-time" soldiers in Canada's very small "Permanent Militia" force, however.
This first photograph is one of many taken during the campaign by Captain James Peters of 'A' Battery, Regiment of Canadian Artillery (part of the Permanent Militia), who was a keen photographer. (A portion of another thread here on VWF deals with Capt. Peters - http://www.victorianwars.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=150&start=45 ....)
Peters had a penchant for assigning somewhat tongue-in-cheek captions to his photographs, this one having been labelled "Scalping" -
Detail .... it seems evident from the broad dark stripe on the trousers and the lack of white piping on the tunics that these are artillerymen from Peters' own unit -
The other photograph is one of a series taken during the campaign by a professional photographer Oliver B Buell ("Prof. Buell") of Montreal (formerly New York) -
Detail .... I am unsure why this officer is wearing his cap during the haircut: perhaps it is merely a "trim" -
jf42 wrote:Susan, that is very interesting. I wonder if that was the first apperance of such stipulations in regulations or whether they had already appaered in earlier editions.
Funnily enough I was just about post a question regarding bearded pioneers, which appears not to have been raised on VWF. Today we see the Pioneer Sergeant of many infantry regiments ('many' being a relative term in the post 2006-Infantry) who sports a full set of whiskers, a tradition which has produced much nonsense by way of explanation. I wonder how early in the period we find bearded pioneers and, dare I ask, what credible* explanations have been recorded to explain the custom.
I shall cross post to start a new thread.
jf42 wrote:It is interesting, Frogsmile; we have reference to orders regulating the practice of wearing facial hair in the 1830s - promulgated by the hyperactive William 'Sailor BIlly' IV ( see- Peter's post here: viewtopic.php?f=19&t=11526) in order to check within the army the 'un-English' fashion that grew up in the aftermath of the Napoleonic war- the result, I suppose, of the French in particular having embraced a style originating with Germans and nations to the east; Poles, Hungarians, and Russians (etc). By the 1830s it seems the practice of wearing moustachios was not merely a cavary practice.
Then, 22 years later we have the relaxing of regulations relating to facial hair with regard to the Black Sea expeditionary force in 1854, which was a prelude to the heavily beared veterans of the Crimea and Indian Mutiny- all of which related to the practicalities of campaigning, and may have developed into a general fashion directly relating to the enhanced reputation of British soldiery in the aftermath of those campaigns.
It seems we have yet to establish, in our discussions on VWF, at what point between, say, 1857 and 1868 - when the order posted by Susan was published stating that 'moustaches will be worn', it was first ordered that moustaches were to be obligatory and the chin once again would be shaved. One factor to consider might be the bearded soldiers of the British forces in New Zealand. These were evidently justified in part by campaign convenience as well as reflecting the fashion started in the mid- 1850s. Were the beards seen in NZ during the mid-1860s worn in contravention of regulations but winked temporarily by lenient Major generals and CO'ss? ( as would be the case in many mid- to late Victorian campaigns). Or does the 1868 order referred to above represent the end of official broad-mindedness with regards to facial hair and the establishment of the military 'look' which would predominate in the second half of the C19th and first half of the C20th ?
The reference to Pioneers' beards is also interesting. This was a military fashion apparently borrowed from the French Army in the late C18th century. The chin is to be shaved (except by pioneers, who will wear beards also) suggests that by 1868 it was a required practice.
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