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Date > 1800 > 1880-1889

Subject > Armed Forces > Military Life

Resource Type > Image

Officer cadet, Royal Military College of Canada, 1954

Type: Image

Except for a few details, the full dress uniform of officer cadets at the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario, remained essentially the same since the college was founded in 1874. As shown in this 1954 photo, only the shakos and pith helmets worn on parade by first-class officer-cadets disappeared, replaced by pill-box caps. (Canadian Department of National Defence, ZK-2049)

Site: National Defence

Private, 65th Battalion (Mount Royal Rifles), circa 1880-1885

Type: Image

This Montreal battalion wore a dark-green uniform inspired by that of a British rifle regiment. During the early 1880s, the 65th retained the French-style shako abandoned by British rifles during the 1870s. The 65th Battalion (Mount Royal Rifles) would not be able to obtain a French title until 1902, when it was renamed the 65th Regiment Carabiniers Mont-Royal. Rifle battalions wore black equipment (instead of the white of other infantry). This man carries a Mark II Snider-Enfield short rifle with a sword bayonet fixed. The shorter 'two band' Snider was issued to rifle units and infantry sergeants. In 1885, the 65th fought with Major-General Strange's Alberta Field Force against the Cree at Frenchmen's Butte. Reconstruction by Ronald B. Volstad. (Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence

Officer and gunners, Royal Regiment of Artillery, 1889

Type: Image

Royal Artillery detachments continued to be posted in Halifax until 1905 to serve the large coast defence guns which protected the naval base.

Site: National Defence

'Cat of nine tails' whip

Type: Image

The ‘cat of nine tails’ was a whip used to flog soldiers. This one was used in the British 83rd Regiment of Foot. The length of the wooden stick was 43cm (1' 5"), its tails 53cm (1' 9"), and it weighed 141,75 g. (5 ounces). (Library of the Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence

British Army folding iron barrack bed

Type: Image

This type of bed gradually replaced wooden double bunks from 1824. Every day, the bed was folded and the mattress rolled up for inspection. Army Circular Memorandum of 12 June 1860.

Site: National Defence

Royal Navy officers and midshipmen, 1830s-1890s

Type: Image

The two officers at left wear the scarlet collar and cuffs introduced by King William IV in 1830. The traditional white facings were restored in 1843. (Library of the Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence

Lieutenant, 4th Regiment of Cavalry, circa 1880-1890

Type: Image

The 4th Regiment of Cavalry were an Eastern Ontario militia unit with headquarters at Prescott. In 1892 they became the 4th Hussars. Most Canadian cavalry regiments at this time wore uniforms similar to those worn by Britain's 13th Hussars. The blue tunic and breeches were worn with gold lace for officers (such as the lieutenant shown here) or yellow lace for other ranks. The facings were buff - often so pale as to be nearly white. However, the headdress of the Canadian units was often limited to a white 'universal' pattern helmet or blue pill-box cap. Reconstruction by Barry Rich. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

Driver, B Battery, Regiment of Canadian Artillery, circa 1885

Type: Image

A 'driver' was one of the men responsible for the horse-drawn limbers that were used until the end of the 19th century to tow guns and other pieces of artillery. Note the steel and leather leg guard this man wears on his right leg. This prevented it from being injured if the limber horse he rode bumped against the limber pole. B Battery was the Quebec City-based unit of the Regiment of Canadian Artillery. It, along with A Battery, were sent west during the Northwest Rebellion of 1885. During the campaign, the gunners' white helmets were dyed khaki to make them less visible. Captain R. W. Rutherford, the artist, was acting quartermaster of B Battery during the Rebellion.

Site: National Defence

Staff and patients, Moose Jaw field hospital, 1885

Type: Image

A group of Anglican nuns from Toronto served in a 40-bed hospital in Moose Jaw during the Northwest Rebellion of 1885. They cared for sick and wounded from the battles of Batoche and Fish Creek. Twelve women in all were part of the first organized body of female nurses in Canadian military history. Note the group of wounded patients at centre, two of whom have lost an arm.

Site: National Defence

Officer in patrol jacket, Regiment of Canadian Artillery, circa 1880-1885

Type: Image

This officer wears the midnight blue 'patrol jacket' worn by the Regiment of Canadian Artillery as an undress uniform. The style of uniform is very similar to that worn by the unit's British counterpart, the Royal Regiment of Artillery, at this time. The artist, R.W. Rutherford, served with B Battery of the Canadian Artillery in the Northwest during 1885, and eventually rose to the rank of Major-General.

Site: National Defence