19th century

The Pattern 1896 Khaki Drill Tunic

The Pattern 1896 Khaki Drill Tunic

The idea for this project came about after seeing Matthew Williamson’s post on Facebook on the Second Boer War Re-enactment page. He took the “Boer War” What Price Glory tunic and reworked it into a proper Pattern 1896 khaki drill tunic.

The What Price Glory tunic is based on the Pattern 1906 khaki drill tunic and needs some alterations to be used for Boer War re-enactments. I figured I could draw upon the talents of my well known tailors (ie, my mom and sister) to duplicate Matthew’s project.

Figgy Dowdy...if you dare

Figgy Dowdy...if you dare

 

For centuries the plain ships biscuit has been the English sailors staple fare.  Much maligned and the butt of many jokes, it is the Naval version of the Army's "hardtack".  It is made very simply using only flour, water and salt.

With such plain fare, the sailors had to become creative...

I made a Havelock....and you can too

I made a Havelock....and you can too

 

Perhaps most commonly associated with the French Foreign Legion, thanks to countless books and movies depicting the Legionnaires in North Africa wearing the iconic white cap cover with neck flap, the havelock was known to be in use since about the middle of the 19th century by the British army in India.  Being an extremely useful piece of kit, it's use quickly spread to other armies in other hot regions of the world.

Early settlement of Mt. Newton Valley

Early settlement of Mt. Newton Valley

 

Known to be the oldest church in BC still on its original site and having been in continuous use since being built, St. Stephen's Anglican Church was once an important center to a new and, for quite some time, isolated community.  It is now little known, few remembering or knowing it's history or significance to the area.

The history of Vancouver Island is very recent.  White settlement didn't start until the building of Fort Victoria, a fur trading outpost of the Hudson's Bay Company, in 1843.  Farms were needed to support the Fort and provide fresh produce.  One of the earliest settled in the area was Craigflower Farm, named after the farm in England owned by Andrew Colville, governor of the Hudson's Bay Company.  Craigflower farm was one of the very first farming communities in all of Western Canada, and it was to this farm that an enterprising young Scotsman, William Thomson, found his way, via an eventful route, in 1854.

 

The Haversack and its Contents

The Haversack and its Contents

 

The Haversack is an important and often overlooked part of the soldiers gear.  In the British Army, it is also known as a bread bag and was used to carry the soldiers food rations.

Haversacks have been used for a long time, but by the 1700's the British Army started to standardize the sizes so that each soldier could carry the prescribed amount of food that was issued, and no less.

The Making of a Haversack

The Making of a Haversack

What is now commonly known as a Haversack, in the British Army, was referred to as a bread bag.  It is generally defined as a small bag with a single shoulder strap.  In military use, it was usually made of undyed canvas, or black canvas if you were in a British or Commonwealth rifle regiment, and was used to hold a soldiers food rations.  (There will be a lot more about the haversack and it's history, plus all about what was actually carried inside in a future blog post...)

The pattern for this haversack came from, "Soldiers' Accoutrements of the British Army 1750 - 1900" by Pierre Turner.  It is the 1880 General Service model.  I'm using a 100% cotton canvas in black this time.

(Picture heavy post)