Lt. Melvill: Well done, Sir! Did you see that Noggs? Deceived him with the up and took him with the down. Norris-Newman: Well well, this one's a grandfather at least. If he'd been a Zulu in his prime I'd have given odds against your lancer, Mr.Melvill.
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Lt. (Brevet Major) J.R.M. Chard, 5th Field Company, Royal Engineers--Rorke's Drift and Ulundi
(Mac and Shad) Isandula Collection)
Rededication Rorke's Drift Defender William Wilcox. 8th May 2011 Dolton Devon.

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 Buff leather and pipe clay?

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Posts : 3
Join date : 2015-03-01

PostSubject: Buff leather and pipe clay?   Sun Mar 08, 2015 10:44 pm

Buff leather and pipe clay

Thanks for all the info about Martini Henry and Zulu War subjects I’ve found on this site.  Been wandering around here for days.

Can you help me with a little information on the soldier’s buff leather load bearing equipment and pipe clay?

As I understand it, buff leather is leather with the grain removed and has a yellowish natural color.

What is the advantage of buff leather over harness leather?
What does pipe clay do for it?
How is pipe clay used?

A white pipe clay coated sling does not seem to me to be a good accouterment to use with a black powder rifle and a red coat.

How do you put in a hard day of soldiering without getting pipe clay all over you and your uniform?  What does the equipment look like after a period of hard field service?

I was lucky enough to do my soldiering in a dirt colored army, so I feel sympathy for soldiers with black powder firearms and white field gear.  I never soldered anyplace where the mud stayed on the ground.

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PostSubject: Re: Buff leather and pipe clay?   Mon Mar 09, 2015 5:34 am

Gerry, found this on the Victoria War forum. 2nd post down.

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PostSubject: Re: Buff leather and pipe clay?   Mon Mar 09, 2015 12:28 pm

Thanks for the link.  Lots of answers there.  

So it seems the movie soldiers in “Zulu” were what Bill Mauldin (US WWII soldier cartoonist) would call “Garritroopers” – all dressed up and no place to go.  Patton would have been proud of them.

What was the advantage of buff over harness leather?  What is the proper method to remove pipe clay?

I noticed in the Victorian Wars post that under “Item Disposed of on Embarkation” are listed the shaving kit, knife and fork, and stockings.  Unusual items to leave behind.  Since they retained the spoon, was the field ration porridge?
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PostSubject: Re: Buff leather and pipe clay?   Mon Mar 09, 2015 1:20 pm

What is the proper dimensions for a P1871 buff sling? All the repro slings I have seen are 45 to 48" long but seem narrow compared to period photos. Is an original sling for the MH 1 1/4" or 1 1/2"?
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