HC Deb 02 March 1885 vol 294 cc1755-6

asked the Surveyor General of Ordnance, If he has now ascertained that the 20th Hussars were delayed in their departure from Aldershot to Egypt by the non-arrival of their clothing on the 18th instant; whether it is the case that, in consequence of such non-arrival, they eventually marched in Infantry helmets, without chin straps, old stable jackets and trousers, high-low boots, leg bandages or putties over their trousers, and bandoliers over their ordinary cross-bells; whether there is any precedent for a Cavalry Regiment starting on a march in such a mixed costume; and, whether any Report on the subject has been received from the Military authorities?


It has been ascertained that a slight delay took place in the departure of the squadron of the 20th Hussars from Aldershot on the 18th ultimo; but the commanding officer was informed by telegram on the 17th, at 4.52 P.M., that all clothing not received would be supplied at Portsmouth on the arrival of the squadron. Consequently, no delay should have taken place, owing to non-arrival of clothing. The men did not march in Infantry helmets, but in pith helmets specially provided. No chin straps can be fixed to this helmet; but on a representation from the commanding officer, cork helmets were supplied at Portsmouth, and these are worn by all branches of the Service, mounted and dismounted, on active service. The instructions provide that the men should proceed to the port of embarkation in cloth jackets, trousers, and high-low boots—the Foot Guards wore this dress—for it is evident that special clothing supplied for wear in the tropics is not suitable for this country in February, neither do I suppose the hon. Member would wish that they should have to wear such. The Inspector General of Cavalry has reported that the squadron embarked at Portsmouth in all respects properly equipped for the service upon which it was ordered.