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 Tattered uniforms in the zulu war ?

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PostSubject: Tattered uniforms in the zulu war ?   Sat 3 Nov 2012 - 6:11

Hi Alll

As you know ,the uniforms of the 1/24th Foot were in rags before and at Isandhlwana...

Please , in what other battles of this war ,do we find british infantry battalions with tattered uniforms?

Cheers

Pascal
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tasker224

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PostSubject: Re: Tattered uniforms in the zulu war ?   Sat 3 Nov 2012 - 8:36

Pascal, I would suggest that the longer a unit is on active service, the more tatty the uniforms get.
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PostSubject: Re: Tattered uniforms in the zulu war ?   Sat 3 Nov 2012 - 8:46

All the british infantry battalions who fought in the 9th Cap war (except the 2/24 th) have fought in zululand in rags uniforms ? scratch
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PostSubject: Re: Tattered uniforms in the zulu war ?   Sun 4 Nov 2012 - 2:20

Pascal. Just out of interest, why are you so interested in tatty uniforms.
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PostSubject: Re: Tattered uniforms in the zulu war ?   Sun 4 Nov 2012 - 2:45

Because , the manufacturers of zulu war figures do not make no British infantry figurines with rag uniforms ...

In my opinion, any battalion with uniforms in this state before Isandhlwana is necessarily a battalion of veterans ...A elite battalion...

Uniforms in this state have a lot more charm for me, just like the 4 th grenadiers of the Imperial Guard of Bonaparte at the Battle of Ligny the 16 June 1815, which was so poorly dressed, that the Prussians " black uhlans " have taken this battalion for a battalion of the french national guard...
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PostSubject: Re: Tattered uniforms in the zulu war ?   Sun 4 Nov 2012 - 5:11

The if tatty uniforms appeal to you! Them you should paint your models accordingly.
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PostSubject: Re: Tattered uniforms in the zulu war ?   Sun 4 Nov 2012 - 5:39

It's obliged !!!
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PostSubject: Re: Tattered uniforms in the zulu war ?   Sun 4 Nov 2012 - 6:54

Yes Gary and in the earlies battles of this war (before Gingindlovu ) ,were are the other british infantry battalions with tattered uniforms?
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PostSubject: Re: Tattered uniforms in the zulu war ?   Sun 4 Nov 2012 - 7:50

From what I have read, the scarlet red uniform of the 24th had become a very pale, orangey colour due to the sun bleaching the dyes. The white pith helmets, for those who hadn't lost them, had become a much paler brown/ beige colour due to soldiers rubbing mud and other things into them in order to camouflage them. A not insignificant number of men had lost their white pith helmets and wore the local wide brim hats instead.
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PostSubject: Re: Tattered uniforms in the zulu war ?   Sun 4 Nov 2012 - 8:05

Yes very good ideas ,I painted this company the next year before March 31 ,2013 ,if I must finish my figures before the December 31 ,2012.
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PostSubject: Re: Tattered uniforms in the zulu war ?   Sun 4 Nov 2012 - 9:22

Pascal, I would very much like to see a photo of your work when it is finished.
Please do post one up. Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Tattered uniforms in the zulu war ?   Sun 4 Nov 2012 - 10:11

Patience Salute
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PostSubject: Re: Tattered uniforms in the zulu war ?   Sat 11 Jul 2015 - 15:25

Hi all,

I was looking at a photograph today of Captain F Glennie and the men of G Company 2/24th. The photo was taken at the end of the AZW. In the photograph the men appear have canvas helmet covers. I know that the men used mud or tea to stain their helmets but I was wondering when the canvas covers were introduced, and were they introduced as a consequence of the men staining their helmets? I would imagine that the army would listen to the men when they complained about their helmets being brilliant white.

Waterloo
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PostSubject: Re: Tattered uniforms in the zulu war ?   Sat 11 Jul 2015 - 16:51

Waterloo,

Glennie commanded a replacement company drawn from the Depot and other units. Helmet covers had previously been worn in India, I think it is feasible that they were issued from surplus stock. There are a couple of photographs of the reformed 'G' Company, 2nd/24th on closer examination some of their pouches are from obsolete patterns.

In my opinion it was a needs must options, rather than adapting to the surroundings.

John Y.
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PostSubject: Re: Tattered uniforms in the zulu war ?   Sat 11 Jul 2015 - 18:12

Hello John Y

Thanks for your response, I have only seen the one photo of Glennie and I understand that this was a reconstituted G Company. One more question if you don't mind. Had the helmet covers ever been worn during the AZW? I suspect your answer is going to be no they hadn't been issued, also which pouches are you referring to. Unfortunately I have only got the one photo. The one I have has Glennie seated with 8 members of the 2nd with him in front of some tents.

Cheers

Waterloo
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PostSubject: Re: Tattered uniforms in the zulu war ?   Sun 12 Jul 2015 - 9:19

Waterloo,

Do you have a copy of Ian Knight's Nothing Remains but to Fight?

If so take a look at the photograph that is reproduced on page 110, there are a number of helmet covers being worn by the supposed 'burial party.' At least three of the group who have helmet covers are officers, but least two of the other-ranks are also wearing them.

Earlier in the same work spread over pages 40-41 is another photograph of 'G' Company, 2nd/24th taken in Pinetown, only this time sans the helmet covers. Look carefully at the variation of the ammunition pouches and you can spot the earlier rounded pattern being worn.

Photographic evidence shows that the wearing of helmet covers during the Zulu War was not unknown, but it was far more commonplace on the Indian sub-continent in 1879.

John Y.
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PostSubject: Re: Tattered uniforms in the zulu war ?   Sun 12 Jul 2015 - 17:00

Hello John Y

I don't have a copy of 'Nothing Remains but to fight', the photo I was looking at was in ZULU Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift 22-23 January 1879 by Ian Knight. The photo is on Page 32.

The reason I was asking is because I have focused on the tactics, orders and politics of the AZW and as a result, I had not given as much study time as I would have liked to the subject of uniforms and the weapons of the period. its quite refreshing to be focusing on another part of the AZW. Very Happy

Waterloo
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PostSubject: Re: Tattered uniforms in the zulu war ?   Mon 13 Jul 2015 - 6:25

Is this business of tattered uniforms and fighting in rags a little overdone do you think?

I have previously posted a photograph of my ancestor Henry Weatherhead (1/24th) and family taken in South Africa in 1878 (he was subsequently killed at Isandhlwana). His uniform is immaculate in the photograph. If it was the one worn in the field I do not believe it would have deteriorated to rags by January 1879. Would they have had an alternative No1 dress with them ? - it's hard to imagine. No doubt some uniforms were very worn but the idea that the whole army was in tatters seems far fetched.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Tattered uniforms in the zulu war ?   Mon 13 Jul 2015 - 7:07

Steve have a look at the 'Soldier Artist' by David Rattray, some pretty good examples there I seem to recall.
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PostSubject: Re: Tattered uniforms in the zulu war ?   Mon 13 Jul 2015 - 7:40

Yes, this is from the original "On Active Service" by Lloyd and featured in David Rattray's wonderful book on him. But I wonder if that is where the story comes from and has been repeated everywhere. Perhaps just a touch of artistic licence? I am sure there were some patched up examples but an army in tatters I somehow doubt.
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PostSubject: Re: Tattered uniforms in the zulu war ?   Mon 13 Jul 2015 - 11:09

Steve,

Henry is wearing a tunic in the photograph, you would expect him to be well turned out in that order of dress. It is not something he would have normally worn in the line.

John Y.
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PostSubject: Re: Tattered uniforms in the zulu war ?   Mon 13 Jul 2015 - 12:38

John

Have you come across evidence in your collection of worn out uniform? More difficult to tell I suppose in black and white. The photos of G Company show a wide variety of dress including woollen jumpers and hats. I know these men were fresh replacements from Brecon and so had not been subject to the wear and tear of campaign, but it indicates that dress worn in the field was pretty haphazard even for them.

Steve
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PostSubject: Re: Tattered uniforms in the zulu war ?   Mon 13 Jul 2015 - 14:22

I did a camping trip for a few days from Senagal and into Gambia, I had a meeting with some Gambian soldiers that were training to go to Samalia (nice bunch of blokes that love the British Army) A lot of the trip was on foot because the car I was in was a pile of crap and it couldn't get through some of the roads, me and a couple of the locals ended up having to push the bloody thing. My clothes were stained a dirt orange colour and my outdoor hiking trousers were ripped, my boots were okay but you wouldn't want to wear them to a night club afterwards. I looked like I had been dragged through a hedge backwards and that was just after a few days. This little trek of mine has made me think about the 24th. I appreciate that the environment at Isandlwana is different but considering the heat and humidity and the fact that these men had to endure hard physical work, I cannot imagine that their less than adequate uniforms lasted very long. It would make sense that they patched their clothing. I know that Victorian standards with regards to army uniform regulations was strict but this didn't stop the men altering the appearance of their helmets, so maybe when on campaign the army/officers weren't overly concerned with the condition of the soldiers uniforms. I appreciate that the image of the 24th looking resplendent in their uniform is a nice image but the reality had to be slightly different.

I'm not sure how I came to be discussing tatty uniforms, my original question was about helmet covers. Rolling Eyes
Waterloo
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PostSubject: Re: Tattered uniforms in the zulu war ?   Tue 14 Jul 2015 - 3:18

Waterloo,

It might have something to do with the original thread...

Just a hunch.

John Y.
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PostSubject: Re: Tattered uniforms in the zulu war ?   Tue 14 Jul 2015 - 5:35

John Y

Very good. I hope you didn't stay up all night writing that one.

Waterloo
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