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Old 12th November 2023, 10:07 PM   #1
Jim McDougall
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Default British water bottle (canteen) mid 19th c.

This wood canteen used by the British military in the 19th c. until about 1870 was something I acquired many years ago during an ongoing fascination with the famed "Charge of the Light Brigade". As this was exactly the type canteen carried by the men on campaign (they were of course only issued on those occasions), I wanted to have other items to display with the swords used.

This example has the arrow and WD (=war dept.) instead of the BO (=board of ordnance) it will date 1855 + as the use of WD began in 1855, thus postdating the year of the Charge (Oct. 1854).

The name G. BROWN marked is likely the supplier, and the 1801 is of course a serial number rather than date.

These, for unknown reasons were termed 'Italian' water bottles.

While a sword collector primarily, the addition of contextual items always adds great perspective to the arms when displayed, which is why this forum addressing miscellania is so important.

I would appreciate comments or any additional information, and especially to see other examples of these canteens. I believe the next model was termed the Oliver' water bottle in c. 1870, but have no images of what these were like.
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Old 24th November 2023, 02:22 PM   #2
Norman McCormick
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Hi Jim,
This should be of interest. https://ianknightzulugallery.com/pro...wooden-canteen. and this https://collection.sciencemuseumgrou...6-water-bottle
Regards,
Norman.
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Old 24th November 2023, 02:42 PM   #3
Norman McCormick
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Hi Jim,
A couple of contemporary Crimea photographs with water bottles in plain sight.
Regards,
Norman.
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Old 24th November 2023, 03:14 PM   #4
Jim McDougall
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Norman, thank you so much!!!
I had all but given up hope that this, like so many items of earlier military field and campaign kit, would attract much attention. You always come through my friend!
These photos showing these in use in the Crimea are perfect, I could not find images of these in use as I did not have access to the references on this topic, researched many years ago. The 'bookmobile' has limited library space

Thank you for posting the subsequent issue type, and it is interesting these seem to have been colloquially called the 'Italian' form and apparently the 'oliver', both curious terms.

It seems that examples of the round type I have posted found later use in degree by Confederate forces in the Civil War here as well, but have not yet found more detail on that.
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Old 24th November 2023, 04:30 PM   #5
fernando
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Jim, have you ever thought of filling the canteen with Drambuie ? .
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Old 24th November 2023, 07:12 PM   #6
Rick
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I would agree Fernando; much better than the Cholera riddled water that killed so many 'bowld soldier boys' .
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Old 24th November 2023, 10:44 PM   #7
Jim McDougall
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando View Post
Jim, have you ever thought of filling the canteen with Drambuie ? .
You know me too well Nando!!! everlasting memory of a wee bit too much Drambuie, seeing an Indian tulwar lying there, picking it up for a little swish....forgetting about the ceiling fan overhead...oops!
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