Monday, October 27, 2008
I drew on the squares with a soft pencil, having used the Perry Uniform guide to get the scale of the squares on the kilt, and then painted with a 000 Windsor & Newton Series 7 sable brush. It needed quite alot of touching up and the rear of the kilt, with the pleats, was a nightmare as I tried to estimate where the patterns would fall.
Never mind, I will do some more on the next batch tomorrow morning now we have light evenings for a while.
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Friday, September 05, 2008
Monday, August 04, 2008
Graham was the only son of a Northumbrian doctor and was born on June 27 1831 in Acton, Middlesex. He was educated in Wimbledon and Dresden (he spoke and wrote fluent German and even translated some German technical texts relating to the Franco Prussian War).
Graham was a huge man, six foot six inches tall and broad shouldered and the ultimate fighting Victorian soldier.
He attended the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich from 1847 and then went on to the School of Military Engineering at Chatham. The Royal Military Academy at Woolwich trained officers for the Royal Artillery and Royal Engineers from 1741 until 1939. In 1947 it was amalgamated with Sandhurst (which had trained infantry and cavalry officers).
In the Second (or third, depending on how you classify it) China War he was seriously wounded in 1860 during the taking of the Taku forts but recovered to enter Peking with the victorious British Army. As a result of his services in this campaign he was made a Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel and a Commander of the Bath and received the China medal with two clasps.
He returned to England in 1861 and for the next 16 years he was Commanding Engineer successively at Brighton, Aldershot, Montreal, Chatham, Manchester, and York. In 1877 he was appointed Assistant Director of Works for Barracks at the War Office.
Following the Sudan campaign he was again officially thanked by both Houses of Parliament, promoted to Lieutenant-General for services in the field, granted the 1st Class Order of the Medjidie and awarded two clasps to the Egypt medal. He commanded the Suakin Field Force in 1885 for which he was thanked by both houses of Parliament for the third time, made a G.C.B. and received another clasp to the Egypt medal.
General Graham was placed on the retired list in 1890. He was made a G.C.M.G. in 1896 and awarded the ceremonial post of Colonel Commandant of the Corps of Royal Engineers in 1899. Lieutenant-General Sir Gerald Graham, V.C., G.C.B., G.C.M.G., died of pneumonia at Bideford on the 17th of December, 1899, and is buried at East-the-Water Cemetery, Bideford, Devon.
His Victoria Cross is currently owned by his Great, Great, Great Grandson, Oliver Brooks, and is on display at the Royal Engineers Museum at Gillingham, England.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Developed for hunting, (Egyptian nobles have been depicted hunting birds with throwing sticks) they evolved into a weapon and then dropped out of use in most cultures to be replaced by other missile weapons such as spears, slingshots and arrows. However they persisted in the Sudan where they were first seen in neolithic times (6,000 BC) and were used by the local steppe hunters.
The Sudanese throwing stick, the Trombash (Bang in the South), had a curved end and was used to bring down camels and horses. Made of hard wood it would turn end over end in flight.
Beja throwing stick (3rd quarter nineteenth century)
Infantrymen from the New South Wales contingent to the Sudan describe a "throwing stick shaped something like a boomerang", the boomerang being, of course the most sophisticated throwing stick. The Australians refer to a non-returning hunting boomerang as a Kylie.
A Kylie. It's Australian, you chuck it but it doesn't come back. As Olivier Martinez has discovered!
In some parts of the Sudan the sticks, which were carved from branches or, sometimes, tree roots, were used as a defensive weapon to hook spears or swords away from the body.
Throwing sticks can have a range of 100-150 yards so are quite effective, although not as accurate or deadly as a slingshot, but are better against small multiple targets like birds or animal legs.
Monday, April 28, 2008
Sunday, April 06, 2008
At this time Egyptian forces (the Gendarmes dressed in the same uniforms as the regulars) still wore white with the officers wearing blue. By 1885 the Egyptians were wearing khaki and puttees rather than gaiters.
The Turkish (which was the flag of Egypt at the time) flag is a slightly tarted up version of one of The Virtual Armchair General's from the Mahdist Wars Flags Collection.
I need to paint about another thirty of these to finish the Ist Brigade. They are pretty quick to do, though.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Saturday, February 23, 2008
The Bluejackets of the Naval Brigade were the first British Troops to land at Suakin in February 1884. At El Teb the 125 men, three Gatling Guns and three Gardner Guns were attached to the 1st Brigade and formed the front two corners of the square. When the Beja first charged it was three of the machine guns, that had been run out in front of the square, that fired first. Later Admiral Hewett led a charge of the sailors with fixed bayonets.
At Tamai the force was slightly larger at 163 men. They were in the 2nd Brigade in the left hand top corner of the square. When the Black Watch charged they left the Gatling and Gardner guns stranded outside the square. When the Beja charged some of the guns had to be abandoned and the Beja subsequently threw one of them down a ravine, although the sailors managed to pull it out later. Ten of the naval crew were killed and seven wounded but not before they had disabled the guns. It was whilst defending one of these guns that Private Tom Edwards of the Black Watch won the Victoria Cross.
Later about half of the Naval Brigade served with the desert column. But that is another story and another army!
Right, there is no excuse now, I have to start some Highlanders!
The success of the Gatling Gun soon encouraged others into the market The Gardner Gun was invented in 1874 by a former Civil War Captain in the Union army William Gardner of Ohio.
Origninally it had only two barrels and a crank loaded and fired each barrel in turn.
He needed finance to produce it, however, so went to the newly formed Pratt and Whitney Company. Francis Pratt had worked for Colt and had a reputation for being one of the top gun designers working.
The gun was light, reliable and could fire over 800 rounds a minute.