Uniform details: infantry, 9th East Norfolk Regiment

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Uniform details: infantry, 9th East Norfolk Regiment

Postby NigelA » 28 Jan 2018 11:17

Hello all,
I regularly present educational sessions on the Anglo-Sikh Wars and am putting together the uniform of a private of the 9th East Norfolk Regiment in 1845 to wear for this purpose.
I have obtained a pattern for the undress/stable jacket.
Could anyone please give advice on the following points (I want to get this right!)?
Where to obtain the correct buttons; cross belt plate (die stamped, rather than cast?); forage cap (knitted Kilmarnock, white cover?); type of shako worn; leather neck-stock (same as Napoleonic?); type of cartridge box (as Napoleonic).
Also how wide were the leather cross straps (2 5/8 inches?)?
Are modern cavalry trousers right for this period? Width of red strips down the sides of legs (1/2 inch?) See image.

I'm finding this topic particularly difficult to research: any help would be much appreciated!

Thanks,
Nigel

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Re: Uniform details: infantry, 9th East Norfolk Regiment

Postby jf42 » 28 Jan 2018 13:48

To start you off, this maker should be able to provide you with a knitted and felted Kilmarnock, although that is not the forage cap in the illustration you have attached.

https://www.sallypointer.com/historic-h ... cts_id=321

The peaked caps shown appear to a version of the earlier style of forage cap (pre-1834) made up from cloth rather than knitted, with a fuller crown and band in the regimental facing colour, possibly retained and made up locally because they suited conditions of service in India.
Last edited by jf42 on 28 Jan 2018 18:38, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Uniform details: infantry, 9th East Norfolk Regiment

Postby Frogsmile » 28 Jan 2018 18:20

I will post as many details as I can over the next few days. I agree with JF42 that according to the illustration the cap you need is cloth rather than felted wool, with a band in facing colour and a leather peak. A similar style cap was worn by the US Army in their war against Mexico and several companies in the US make replicas for reenactors that would suit your purpose admirably if you wish to be authentic. It was a style common even in civilian life in the 1830s and 1840s (think Oliver Twist). Bear in mind that ranks below sergeant did not wear scarlet jackets at that time, but more of a madder red. The company that made many British uniforms, Hainsworth, still exists, and also supplies some reenactment groups. Sutlers.co.uk have a good reputation and would probably be able to make you up a shell jacket fairly easily. The red welt on other ranks trousers was just a quarter inch wide.

1. http://www.jarnaginco.com/Mexican%20War ... Frame.html

2. http://www.hainsworth.co.uk/apparel/uniform/

3. http://www.sutlers.co.uk/acatalog/Napuni.html

4. http://www.historicaltwiststore.com/ind ... 1&page=all
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Re: Uniform details: infantry, 9th East Norfolk Regiment

Postby NigelA » 29 Jan 2018 15:42

jf42 wrote:To start you off, this maker should be able to provide you with a knitted and felted Kilmarnock, although that is not the forage cap in the illustration you have attached.

https://www.sallypointer.com/historic-h ... cts_id=321

The peaked caps shown appear to a version of the earlier style of forage cap (pre-1834) made up from cloth rather than knitted, with a fuller crown and band in the regimental facing colour, possibly retained and made up locally because they suited conditions of service in India.



Thank you: Re forage cap: am hoping to get to see some original forage caps soon - will ask Sally to make on as you suggest. The only drawing that I've seen of the Norfolk Regiment during this campaign show shakos with white covers (have tried unsuccessfully to upload a photo). Other troops wore a forage cap cover: white, with peak and neck cover, which would look good.
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Re: Uniform details: infantry, 9th East Norfolk Regiment

Postby NigelA » 29 Jan 2018 15:46

Frogsmile wrote:I will post as many details as I can over the next few days. I agree with JF42 that according to the illustration the cap you need is cloth rather than felted wool, with a band in facing colour and a leather peak. A similar style cap was worn by the US Army in their war against Mexico and several companies in the US make replicas for reenactors that would suit your purpose admirably if you wish to be authentic. It was a style common even in civilian life in the 1830s and 1840s (think Oliver Twist). Bear in mind that ranks below sergeant did not wear scarlet jackets at that time, but more of a madder red. The company that made many British uniforms, Hainsworth, still exists, and also supplies some reenactment groups. Sutlers.co.uk have a good reputation and would probably be able to make you up a shell jacket fairly easily. The red welt on other ranks trousers was just a quarter inch wide.

1. http://www.jarnaginco.com/Mexican%20War ... Frame.html

2. http://www.hainsworth.co.uk/apparel/uniform/

3. http://www.sutlers.co.uk/acatalog/Napuni.html

4. http://www.historicaltwiststore.com/ind ... 1&page=all


Thank you: very helpful. I have a good pattern, and madder cloth, for the jacket, and now have trousers too!
Still seeking details such as width of crossbelt, type of belt plate, button suppliers, neck stock type and cartridge box. All coming together. :-)
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Re: Uniform details: infantry, 9th East Norfolk Regiment

Postby NigelA » 29 Jan 2018 15:56

jf42 wrote:To start you off, this maker should be able to provide you with a knitted and felted Kilmarnock, although that is not the forage cap in the illustration you have attached.

https://www.sallypointer.com/historic-h ... cts_id=321

The peaked caps shown appear to a version of the earlier style of forage cap (pre-1834) made up from cloth rather than knitted, with a fuller crown and band in the regimental facing colour, possibly retained and made up locally because they suited conditions of service in India.
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015 Battle of Sabraon, 10 Feb 1846, the 31st Foot storming the Sikh lines.jpg
White forage cap covers?
015 Battle of Sabraon, 10 Feb 1846, the 31st Foot storming the Sikh lines.jpg (66.72 KiB) Viewed 364 times
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Re: Uniform details: infantry, 9th East Norfolk Regiment

Postby jf42 » 30 Jan 2018 15:14

One point worth bearing in mind is that the colour illustrations you have posted, mass-produced and coloured a long way from the Punjab, while perhaps a guide to the options, are not necessarily the most reliable records of what was worn within individual regiments on campaign. Watercolours and sketches made in situ as well as documentary references will be the better guide.

Is this the image of the 9th Regiment, which I can't vouch for, you were thinking of?

9th East Norfolk Regt.jpg
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Re: Uniform details: infantry, 9th East Norfolk Regiment

Postby NigelA » 30 Jan 2018 15:58

jf42 wrote:One point worth bearing in mind is that the colour illustrations you have posted, mass-produced and coloured a long way from the Punjab, while perhaps a guide to the options, are not necessarily the most reliable records of what was worn within individual regiments on campaign. Watercolours and sketches made in situ as well as documentary references will be the better guide.

Is this the image of the 9th Regiment, which I can't vouch for, you were thinking of?

9th East Norfolk Regt.jpg



Yes, thanks! Tried to post this one before unsuccessfully - it is the 9th East Norfolks, showing the shako with white cover. Still searching for details such as waist and cross belt plate, type of cartridge pouch and colours of forage cap.
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Re: Uniform details: infantry, 9th East Norfolk Regiment

Postby Frogsmile » 30 Jan 2018 19:56

NigelA wrote:
jf42 wrote:One point worth bearing in mind is that the colour illustrations you have posted, mass-produced and coloured a long way from the Punjab, while perhaps a guide to the options, are not necessarily the most reliable records of what was worn within individual regiments on campaign. Watercolours and sketches made in situ as well as documentary references will be the better guide.

Is this the image of the 9th Regiment, which I can't vouch for, you were thinking of?

9th East Norfolk Regt.jpg



Yes, thanks! Tried to post this one before unsuccessfully - it is the 9th East Norfolks, showing the shako with white cover. Still searching for details such as waist and cross belt plate, type of cartridge pouch and colours of forage cap.


The forage cap was dark blue with a yellow band. Dimensions of equipment can be found in Pierre Turner’s book on British Army equipment. I will post them in due course.
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Re: Uniform details: infantry, 9th East Norfolk Regiment

Postby NigelA » 30 Jan 2018 21:49

Thanks: much appreciated!
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Re: Uniform details: infantry, 9th East Norfolk Regiment

Postby NigelA » 30 Jan 2018 22:07

Just checking, but this cap, made by Sally Pointer, would be correct for 9th Regt if this shade of blue with yellow band/bobble?
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Re: Uniform details: infantry, 9th East Norfolk Regiment

Postby jf42 » 31 Jan 2018 01:15

The illustrations posted so far suggest that the forage cap worn by the majority British troops in India during the 1840s were of constructed of blue wool cloth rather than knitted, with a peak added. That begs the question of how reliable those images are, but they are numerous.

The one-piece knitted cap offered by Sally Pointer is an interpretation of the infantry forage cap worn before 1834, with the band of facing colour integral to the cap. Evidence indicates that, at the very least, forage caps made in this way were not universal. Having looked into this subject a little, I have to say I am not entirely convinced with regard to that interpretation but there is at least one knitted forage cap from the Napoleonic period which has an integral band.

Once a forage cap had been covered by a cotton sun cover, this distinction would becomes less important, although the structure of the knitted cap would be less rigid. However, the knitted bonnet with white cover would still lack a peak (aka. 'visor').
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Re: Uniform details: infantry, 9th East Norfolk Regiment

Postby jf42 » 31 Jan 2018 09:14

More grist to the mill. Here is a lithograph taken from sketches made during the siege of Multan in 1848 by the surgeon of the 32nd Regiment and published the following year. The images will be, arguably, somewhat less sterotyped than the various mass-produced battle pictures.

Mooltan, during and after the Siege. Being Twenty-one Drawings, from Sketches taken on the Spot by John Dunlop, M.D. Assistant Surgeon H.M.'s 32nd Regiment. And lithographed in Tints, by Andrew Maclure. With a Descriptive and Historical Account of the Siege.

The British soldiers would appear to be from the 32nd Regiment.

'The capture of two Sikh standards', illustration from 'Mooltan' by John Dunlop, London, 1849. NAL no. 59.D.15
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Re: Uniform details: infantry, 9th East Norfolk Regiment

Postby Frogsmile » 31 Jan 2018 17:28

I agree that the cloth forage cap with peak seems to have been the most prolific undress headwear during the time of the Sikh wars, JF, and have been long intrigued as to how the supply was maintained. It’s not clear if local manufacture was obtained or a supply from home judiciously managed. Indeed I am unclear as to how the supply of HEIC and Queen’s troops was sustained prior to 1861. Presumably there was some kind of local supply combined with some items from Britain, but how the HEIC financed and accounted for this in conjunction with the home government is another matter.
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Re: Uniform details: infantry, 9th East Norfolk Regiment

Postby jf42 » 31 Jan 2018 18:48

Frogsmile wrote:I agree that the cloth forage cap with peak seems to have been the most prolific undress headwear during the time of the Sikh wars, JF, and have been long intrigued as to how the supply was maintained. It’s not clear if local manufacture was obtained or a supply from home judiciously managed. Indeed I am unclear as to how the supply of HEIC and Queen’s troops was sustained prior to 1861. Presumably there was some kind of local supply combined with some items from Britain, but how the HEIC financed and accounted for this in conjunction with the home government is another matter.



My guess is that local manufacture of the non-regulation forage cap in India seems more likely. Whether the cloth was also locally produced is another matter. It does seem that wool cloth of any quality, needed to be sent from England- c.f. the khakee ordered from home for the Guides. Dyeing locally seems to have been a hit and miss affair. It is a subject that would benefit from thorough investigation.
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