By comparison, modern winter clothing for soldiers in Canada
is very much improved.

The Winter Clothing of British Troops in Canada, 1848-1849

John Gilinsky
Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research; Vol. LIV, Winter 1976, No. 220

From the Standing Orders for the Regulation of all duties in the Garrison of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Printed by John Munro, Halifax, 1848 (the actual date of these orders appearing at the end of the volume as March 31st 1848) Section 12, "Winter Clothing" p. 89-93 inclusive:

"The following regulations regarding the future provision of Winter Clothing in North America have been framed by the Secretary at War, and will be carried into effect throughout this Command at the commencement of the ensuing Winter.

Art. 1.     The Allowance to be drawn for the first equipment of Winter

Clothing upon a Regiment's arrival in North America is at the rate of 30s. per man for the number of effective present at the commencement of the first winter, not including Volunteers or Men transferred from other regiments serving on the Station.

Art. 2.     The annual allowance is to be calculated at the rate of 5s. for every man, effective on the 1st of October of each subsequent Winter.

Art. 3.     These two allowances are to form a fund under the superintendence of the Commanding Officer.

Art. 4.     The amount to be applied out of the fund in aid of the 1st. equipment of Winter clothing is in no case to exceed 1. 5s. 0d. per man. and the Soldier will contribute by stoppages from his pay, half the price of the Boots.

Art. 5.     The Winter Equipment is to consist of the following articles, viz:—

The price of which (exclusive of half the price of the Boots) should not exceed 25s. as above stated.

Art. 6.     No money is to be paid to the soldier on any account from the fund.

Art. 7.     The soldier is in future to defray the expense of all repairs and likewise of all renewals of the Winter Clothing—unless in the judgement of the Commanding Officer, the state of the fund, after providing a sufficient reserve for the first equipment of all men who may thereafter join to fill vacancies, will admit of some aid being granted towards replacing articles which have been worn the prescribed period; but the Commanding Officer will be responsible that no excess of charge is created beyond the amount of the fund by keeping in view the principal object thereof is the provision of the first equipment.

Art. 8.     Volunteers from other Regiments previously serving at the Station are to bring their Winter Equipment with them, but subject to the same rules as are contained in the last articles, may also receive aid in replacing articles of clothing when they shall have been worn the prescribed period.

Art. 9.     The Fur Cap is to last at least three years.
Canadian Boots to last at least two years.
Flannel Waistcoats to last at least one year.
Flannel Drawers to last at least two years.

Art. 10.     Whenever the Regimental Cap in the Infantry serving on the North American Station can be made to last three years, instead of two, the Soldier shall receive from the Colonel the regulated compensation in lieu of a Cap for the third year; the amount of which compensation shall be credited to the soldier's account, in aid of the expense of renewing or repairing his Winter Clothing.

War Office, March 31st 1848

elipsis graphic

Patterns of the Flannel articles have been sealed and deposited at the Office of the Military Board in London, and the Fur Caps and Boots will be made according to the directions contained in the General Order dated Montreal February 3, 1845, and promulgated here on the 5th of March following viz:—

The Boots to be made of stout Shoe Hide, grain side out, and unblacked, the Vamps closed in with a tongue, stout double soles, length of the leg 15 inches, and wide enough to admit the trousers inside, and large enough in the foot to allow of two pair of worsted socks being worn.

The Cap to be wedge shaped 8" high and made of Muskrat, Fitch, or black Sealette, with Ear covers and turn down over the neck.

The following Estimate has been formed of the prices of the articles, which are in future to constitute the established supply of Winter clothing:—

A Fur Cap 0. 5s. 0d. Sterling
Two roomy Flannel waistcoats with sleeves or two Guernsey Frocks 0. 6s. 8d.
Two pairs of long flannel or worsted Drawers 0. 5s. 6d.
Half the cost of a pair of Canadian Boots 0. 6s. 0d.

The Lt.-General Commanding directs with a view to secure uniformity in the Winter Equipment as well as to protect the Non-commissioned officers and men from unnecessary expense, that the foregoing Regulations be strictly attended to, and that Officers Commanding Regiments hereafter arriving in the Command may receive the earliest intimation of this Regulation, a copy of the Order to be added to the Standing Orders published in Halifax on the 1st of July 1839.