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-THE CHARITY OF THE PEOPLEI…

----_--__-----CURIOUS PRESENTS…

A NEW SYSTEM OF RAILS.

BRITISH WORKMEN IN PARIS.

THE GLOSSOP CONVENT.

AN EPIDEMIC WITH AN ALIAS.

THE SILVER MINT OF JAPAN.

iSARMY DRESS AND EQUIPMENTS.

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iSARMY DRESS AND EQUIPMENTS. A long but very interesting paper has been read on the above subject to the members of the United Ser- vice Institution by Captain Walker, of the 91st Regi- ment Lord Longford took the chair. The theatre of the institution was unusually well attended. It may be said at the outset that Captain Walker's paper or address, which occupied nearly an hour and a half in reading, condemned almost every part of the dress and equipments of the English soldier. The speaker said he was quite aware that arguments of the same or almost even greater force might be applied to the equipments of other branches of the service, but on that he had not time to enter then. Beginning, therefore, with the shako of the infantry soldier, and following down almost every article of his dress, he showed with unusual force and clearness how both for sanitary reasons and reasons connected with the freedom of movement of the soldier almost all his uniform was wrong. The shako was no adequate protection to the head in cold weather, while in the tropics where at least one third of the duty of the English army was done, it was absolutely useless. The cap cover used in hot climates was rather a recognition of the evils which the shako caused than a means of avoid- ing them Stocks he believed, were now so universally con- demned both by officers and men that it was almost needless to inveish further against them. The trousers were made too tight round the knee and thigh, and men split them continually when out skirmishing and firing from the knee. The tunic was tight, and had no poekets, and the "ammu- nition blucher boots were as worthless as could well be con- ceived. Much of this last-mentioned evil arose from the low contract price paid for them-only 8s. 6d. a pair. It was, however, principally upon the knapsack that Captain Walker was most deservedly severe. The weight of the pack. 561b., its stiffness, awkward fitting to the frame, and the straps by which it was supported were explained with force and clearness which left no loophole for doubt as to its total inadequacy for the present system of military tactics, when rapid marches and heavy weights of spare ammunition for the breech-loader had become necessaries to campaigning. At the recommendation of General Eyre a committee had been appointed to ascertain the best kind of knapsack used —French, Prussian, Austrian, American, Italian in short, no less than twenty were examined and reported upon, and of this number the English knapsack was found to be the worst of all. Yet to each and all of the foreign models some ob- jections more or less vital had been established, and in the result the committee had determined to devise one of their own which would combine all the best merits of the foreign specimens and as few as possible of their disadvantages. This had been tried at the School of Musketry and other camps, and had met the unanimous approval of both officers and men. It was a leather kit bag, suspended, not only from the waistbelt, but from braces passing in front and behind the back, the main weight resting on the hips. The great- coat and canteen were worn above these on the shoulder, and as a counterpoise to this weight behind the increased rounds of ammunition and ammunition pouch were carried in front. The relief thus atlorded to the soldier was im- mense. Still lie thought a greater improvement might be effected by what he called a bed kit," which would enclose a great coat and kit" in a six feet length of light water- proof cloth, to be worn across the left shoulder, the ends coming down under the right arm like a scarf. The soldier, no doubt, did prefer this method, and both Austrian and Prussian soldiers carried their great coats, slung in that fashion. In addition to its being light and waterproof, it afforded the soldier the inestimable benefit of having a waterproof sheet to sleep on when campaigning out on wet and damp earth, and in the day it might be used in wet weather as a kind of waterproof cloak while on a march. In conclusion. Captain Walker said that the attention of military authorities was now thoroughly aroused to the importance of this subject, and there was little doubt that in a short time the present restrictive uniform would be as much a thing of the past as the pigtails of the reigns of the early Georges. The paper occupied so long a time in reading that the remarks made upon it in the very brief discussion which followed were limited to an almost general ex- pression of approval of Captain Walker's improve- ments, and always pointed to the necessity of some radical reform being commenced in army uniforms, both cavalry and infantry. Votes of thanks to Captain Walker for his paper and to Lord Longford for presiding brought the proceedings to a close.

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