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Buttons .
Sapper Mason


Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 333
Location: ANGLESEY
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Very Happy ,
Forum , i am about to receive in the post a set of buttons ( Royal ENGINEERS ) to sew onto my re-enactment tunic , currently i have a set of general issue buttons on my tunic . What would be the more correct set to have if portraying someone serving between say 1879 and 1899 ? , answers appreciated , " Sapper " Wink
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John Young


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 980
Location: Lower Sheering, Essex
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Graham,

As far as the tunic, and I stress the word tunic, goes the buttons should be of the Corps pattern.

While you're sewing them on get a broader stripe on your trousers or give the pair you've got back to the infantryman you purloined them from, together with his glengarry! Wink

John Y.
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Sapper Mason


Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 333
Location: ANGLESEY
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Smile ,
Thank you for the correctness re the buttons John , with regard the " purloining" , being unable to purchase CORRECT items due to having goverment cheques once a fortnight i have done my best these past 12 years to get the right equipment , often extending gratitude to those who have supplied me with said items , the CORRECT red band on the trousers is something i have been aware of and as to the glengarry , once again i was given this , being told this was OK , i am slowly getting there and explain to those who pose such questions the reasons for the kit i have at this time albeit not 100 % correct is finding such items and paying for them , a giro once a fortnight does not lend much spare cash to get to events , let alone pay for items that need upgrading and paying for , perhaps you would like to sponsor me in getting trousers with the broader red band , the headwear correct for the Corps time period i am supposed to represent , oh by the way i have a glass fibre Martini - Henry , which i am told was a film prop from " Zulu Dawn " , perhaps you might know someone who would be generous enough to let me have a real Martin - Henry to use ( ? ) . I fully admit that i don`t have 100 % correct kit but do my level best to be as accurate as possible to represent these men of days gone by , why i have not even been to South Africa yet John , unlike others who have been more than once , care to sponsor me on a trip to Rorke's Drift with the correct kit ? . RESEARCH is my forte and i have a lot to learn still in that field but am getting there , why the other day i read in a book that Walter Alphonse Dunne had won a VC !!! , i believe he was nominated for such John , please enlighten me .

To my knowledge i have tried to be as accurate as possible in research matters as well as re-enactment equipment , funds or rather lack of funds have prevented me in getting the FULL & CORRECT KIT for these events , i don`t believe i have purloined any equipment in the time i have been part of the re-enactment circuit so i am not sure where that comment originates from .

No doubt this reponse is full of grammar incorrectness and punctuation but i am not a person holding a degree in English but a middle aged bloke with an expanding waistline coming to the end of his eventing days , trying at least to do my best as i go along in both research matters and re-enactments . I ask myself as well " Do i have the regulation beard ? " If you know of a rich sugar daddy able to supply me with said kit please let me know , will i ever get out to the battlefields ? , perhaps not but i will do what i can , hopefully even with under par kit to promote interest and intrigue in the Zulu war of 1879 to those showing an interest , pointing them to those who ( in the main ) know better than i , thank you , " SAPPER " Cool Cool Cool
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John Young


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 980
Location: Lower Sheering, Essex
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Graham,

No need to sponsor you, I got a pair of R.E./R.A. riding breeches here if you want them, problem is I doubt they will fit but they're here if you need them if only to unpick the stripes!

Try looking on e-Bay at http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/No-1-Dress-Trousers-British-Army_W0QQitemZ170204393414QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item170204393414 and if you can't run to the 99p plus postage & packing, I'll start a whip for you!

Better still in your role make-up an answer which might account for you being in the wrong kit, I lost my only pair when the Clyde went down, improvise.

Get your trusty Singer sewing machine out and knock-up a Kilmarnock, or look on e-Bay and see if any of the kit left over from River Queen has made it on there yet, as most of the extras were wearing Kilmarnocks, then just add a yellow band to it and Bob's your uncle!

Look at the word purloined in my original entry and what do you see? It is meant as a joke, hence the Emoticon along side it.

For W. A. Dunne and the Victoria Cross may I refer you to the appendix of Ian Bennett's Eyewitness in Zululand, published 1989, you'll find your answer there.

John Y.
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Sapper Mason


Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 333
Location: ANGLESEY
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Smile,
Dear John Young , You are aware that in my response to you there was a lot of tongue in cheek of course , i am not adverse to light hearted humour , no matter who from , i have apart from a thickening waistline , broad shoulders and can take a fair amount of flak of course . I saw the trousers mentioned and can`t believe they went fo 99 p plus 5 postage !!! , love to have a set even just for the stripes . If you are at Chatham for the Zulu weekend i would certainly accept your kind offer for the trousers ( for the stripes alone John ) .

I am trying to obtain the 19 inch bayonet ( in talks for this item ) to replace my lunger bayonet and certainly need the right cap as you mention . It takes time and i`ll get there eventually , already i tell the public why i wear the ( current ) kit i do at this time . I understood John that if on active service trousers with the thin stripe were OK ( ? )

I am sure it was in the book by Ian Knight about the National Army Museum on the Zulu war that indicated that W A Dunne had won a VC , which i`m sure he did not of course , anyway , thank you for your input , hope Chatham proves a hit , " Sapper " Cool
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John Young


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 980
Location: Lower Sheering, Essex
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Graham,

The trousers for other-ranks should have 2" scarlet stripe, whether on active service or at home. I was only trying to put something in your mind as an answer should anyone ask. That said trousers on campaign, or any other item of uniform, could be patched or even civilian replacements worn. See W.W. Lloyd's work.

I do intend to be at the V.M.S. Fair on 31st May 2008, I assume this is the event you're referring to? If so I'll bring these riding-breeches along, but you might still need to lengthen the stripe for your trousers.

You might need to do some research with R.E. Museum as to the exact pattern of bayonets carried by the R.E.'s in 1879, I've got a nagging feeling that the sword bayonet you mention might be wrong. I just wonder if the R.E.'s didn't convert the Lancaster carbine bayonet for use with Martini-Henry?

You're quite correct with regards the error, on page 184 of The National Army Museum Book of the Zulu War which states:
...Further VCs were later awarded to Surgeon Reynolds, to Walter Dunne and James Dalton from the Commissariat Department...

Might I suggest you write to the N.A.M. and inform them of the error, before that too become accepted fact.

John Y.
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Martin Everett


Joined: 01 Sep 2005
Posts: 783
Location: Brecon
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Dear All,

You do not 'WIN' a VC - it is not a competition. It is an award or recognition of extreme gallantry to an individual. Furthermore it is a decoration not a medal.

_________________
Martin Everett
Brecon, Powys
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VC`S / MEDALS / KIT
Sapper Mason


Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 333
Location: ANGLESEY
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Very Happy ,
Dear Forum ,
As can be seen the subject of a VC can be a tad " thorny " to some , anyone with such a medal / award is a brave person , why even a couple or so that have won / were awarded TWO , Let`s not split hairs as to the grammar on such , much literature indicates the " winning " of a VC the highest recognised " medal " for bravery in the UK. It`s not a competition of course and the chances of getting one these days gets more remote . Less than 2000 souls have one of these honours but let`s not carried away with grammar or interpretation with regard this or any other gallantry medal / award , the magazine , " MEDAL NEWS " is about the best publication on this subject and i as an individual have nothing but admiration and respect for those worthy enough to have the HIGHEST GALLANTRY award /medal the country can bestow on an individual . I sometimes don`t cross the tees or dot the " eyes " so to speak but i will never demean anyone with ANY gallantry award regardless of how you indicate such in the way you describe it in word and thought .

I can see i will have to research a little further with regard the Kilmarnock and correct bayonet ( sword or otherwise ) at Chatham , thank you for bringing this to my attention John , at the end of the day it is all about respect and dignity to these brave souls of yesteryear , thank you , " Sapper " Wink
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Jeff Dickinson


Joined: 16 May 2006
Posts: 35
Location: Baltimore, United states
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Graham,

Have a look at Ebay # 120245652465 for your Trouser Stripes. Opening bid 99p.

All the Best, Jeff
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Thanks / Painting / VC
Sapper Mason


Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 333
Location: ANGLESEY
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Smile,
Firstly , thank you Jeff for mentioning that link re the trouser stripes , choosing to be a Royal Engineer re-enactor certainly has caused me laterly more than one or two headaches but with the advice proffered in this forum i will get there in the end , as far as i am aware the 19 inch curved bayonet will be acceptable for my purposes and i now have a set of RE buttons which will be sewn onto my tunic in time for Chatham on May 31 st .

Secondly , i see on page 451 of the Regimental History of the 24 th / 41 st by JM Brereton it indicates VC`S WON by the Regt, i mention this only as the source from where i had obtained the grammar about the awards of VC`S, i suppose it`s down to each individual as to how they interpret the grammar surrounding this high honour .

Thirdly , Accuracy & realism once again , not the film theme but the comments on the new painting that has been seen on this forum re Coghill & Melvill, an artist who paints military subjects has to capture the moment and it must be difficult to portray this significant moment in history without showing both officers together , as to the accuracy of the uniforms , comments have been posted with regard kit worn etc , is this painting a " working copy " or the finished product ? , will the points raised with regard the accuracy /realism of the kit be absorbed in a FINAL rendition ( if one ) of this painting ? . Would i be correct in saying artistic licence was used in this portrayal ?. It is a moving picture nonetheless and it is hoped the artist will consider doing others of this day of 1879 we all subscribe to .
These are my personal views and not those of any group ( s ) i may be involved with , thank you , " Sapper " Wink
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mike snook 2


Joined: 04 Jan 2006
Posts: 920
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Sapper

I am curious. What would compel you to make such a remark when I have gone to such great pains to explain that both officers are well sourced as being together on the FT? Or am I missing your meaning?

Mike
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Meaning
Sapper Mason


Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 333
Location: ANGLESEY
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Smile,
Dear Mike ,
We know that both officers concerned ( Coghill & Melvill ) met up on the 22 nd Jan 1879 but initially it was just the one who had the Colours at the start and his fellow officer as i understood joined him at a point later , i was trying to make a point as to how an artist would capture that moment , it is the accepted view with regard paintings of the two that they be shown together rather than separate , i understand your explanation fully , i hope this clarifies what i was trying to say , with a film you can do many takes until the DIRECTOR / PRODUCER are happy , once a painting is finished and presented it is done and any faults or errors will be there for all time , i am not up on swords for instance , are the swords as shown in this painting meeting requirements ? , comments have been raised on the uniform as you know . The artist chose to show both officers carrying the Colours from the field of battle which is how we know it , i was trying to make a comparison between accuracy and realism of a film as to a painting , " Sapper " Cool


Last edited by Sapper Mason on Mon Apr 14, 2008 12:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Coll
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Sapper

A painting, as in a film, is allowed artistic licence, to capture a moment (or a scene) that will remain in people's minds, always.

Coll
mike snook 2


Joined: 04 Jan 2006
Posts: 920
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Sapper

I think I misunderstood you. I thought you were taking exception to them being portrayed together, but that's not what you are saying.

Regards as ever

Mike
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On The Button
Sapper Mason


Joined: 05 Sep 2005
Posts: 333
Location: ANGLESEY
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Smile ,
Dear Mike & Coll ,
I hope you both understand what i was trying to convey ? , both artist & film producer employ artistic licence in their respective paint brushes , one on canvas , the other in film . It is even shown in the wonderful book by JM Brereton that time has " smudged " the 24 th into the SWB when a lot of people refer to Rorke's Drift , debate is still on-going as to the spelling of names ( Cpl Allan , CPL ALLEN ) , numbers present and so on . We had a long run on accuracy and realism elsewhere in this forum . Comments have been raised about the uniforms of the officers when the COLOURS were rescued from the battlefield , i was wondering if the artist has presented this painting as it were , finished version ? . I am no Rolf Harris and when comments are raised as to the uniforms etc it brings it to my attention a little sharper, i admit being an " anorak " ( still learning ) with regard the Zulu war and in my own field ( research ) try and be as accurate as i can . No doubt there will be other paintings , films of this period and i am sure John Young will cast his eye over any such future presentation be it film or painting , i`d love to see a future reprint of the Noble 24 th with updated data found thanks to modern search techniques , to finish , can i ask if the swords in this current painting meet muster ? , after all this is just what ( i think ) this forum is all about , again these are my personal views and not of any group ( s ) i am connected with , thank you , " Sapper " . Wink
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