War Clothes Horse

British Fighting Kit through the Ages

Has anyone sent you a link to a photo series called Soldiers' Inventories by talented photographer, Thom Atkinson? If so, why not have a click around the site and see if you can topple the Singing Chelsea Pensioner from the top of our most popular list? Or pop an idea for an article on a mail. Or buy me a cup of tea.

I think Thom's photographs make a good addition to the living inventory of British classics and hidden gems that is The Tweed Pig. They show how British military kit has changed over the centuries since the Battle of Hastings in 1066; inventories of what was worn and what warriors carried to battle, including items for those idle moments when they weren't cleaving skulls in twain.

At the top you see the kit of an archer at Agincourt, 1415. Below you see the kit of a private sentinel at the Battle of Malplaquet, 1709 — daring use of mustard yellow. Incidentally, the uniform below is similar to the ceremonial dress still worn by Chelsea Pensioners — as they came into existence around the same period. Why change?

The inventories roll on to present day, where you see more technology and fewer blades. If anyone is aware of a period when the British haven't been involved in some kind of conflict, do let us know.


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