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the 10th Royal Veteran Battalion's Standing Orders
Service of 10th Royal Veteran Battalion
Established in December 1806 for service in Canada, the 10th Royal Veteran Battalion arrived in Quebec the following year with a full complement of officers and 600 other ranks. As the name implies, this corps was formed with veterans from other regiments and each individual volunteering to the unit was promised land in Canada upon their retirement or the battalion's disbandment. When war broke out, the 10th RVB was the first into action. The detachment of veterans at Fort St. Joseph crossed Lake Huron in July 1812 and captured Fort Michlimackinac. The following year members participated at River Raisin and Fort Stephenson (Miami). As new regiments arrived in Canada, the 10th Royal Veterans were slowly withdrawn from areas of action to do garrison duty in Lower Canada, Prince Edward Island, and Cape Breton. In April 1813 a corps of seventeen "Mounted Veterans" was formed presumably for maintaining communications between the various posts around Montreal. The Battalion was renumbered to the 4th RVB and was disbanded in 1816.
Standing Orders of the Battalion
The following are abstracts from the Standing Orders of His Majesty's 10th Royal Veteran Battalion of which Lieutenant General Pennington is Colonel., 1807. The orders reproduced here cover topics such as drummers, women, messing, leave, and dress of the regiment.
p.8 "Though the Drum-Major is answerable for the dress and behaviour of the drummers, and the Fife-Major for that of the fifers, yet they must be in squad in their respective companies, on account of messing, quartering, and inspection of necessaries; a Non-commissioned Officer must attend to them in those particulars only.
p.10 "5. As it often happens the women who wash for soldiers are not regularly paid, it is ordered, they wash by the week, and the Pay-Serjeants stop for it, and clear off the women, who must then do justice to the linen.
6. The Drum and Fife Major must have three pence per week from each drummer and fifer, which must be regularly paid them by the Pay-Serjeants.
7. The Drum and Fife Major will also jointly share the perquisite of a penny, to be given by each Officer and soldier to them, for their trouble in delivering each letter, and the Officers must weekly settle with them."
pp.12-13 "Soldiers (that are married to women that can earn as much as their husband's pay) and can eat well, are excused from messing with their companies; but if, on the contrary, their wives are idle, and trust to them for support, such men must be appointed to a mess, to prevent their being starved, and that the women may be induced to be industrious, on no other account will their husbands be permitted to live with them.
5. A Non-commissioned Officer, with six men from the guard, must patrole throu the streets of the town, half an hour after tattoo and make prisoner every soldier they meet abroad, or in public houses, this patrol will continue out an hour, and in half and hour after its return, it will be succeeded by another and so on till day-break.
p.13 "Chap. VI
Dress of the Regiment
Every morning, at a quarter past ten, the companies will be drawn up on the parade by squads, and the rolls called; the Serjeants and Corporals then examine the men of their squads, one by one, observing that their caps are well brushed, the brasses clean polished, their tufts well washed, their hair well combed and tied, with a leather rosette (in a line with the top of the collar, and the end of the queue, iwth half an inch of hair extending only even with the bottom of the cape, a regimental leather queue of these dimensions will be fixed on), their stocks polished and put on right, their shirts clean and in good condition; coats, waistcoats, and breeches free from rips or spots, or wanting buttons; the lace and lining in order, and the whole well cleaned and brushed; their shoes well blacked, and gaiters brushed, stock clasps, clothes buttons, and belt plates bright, beards close shaved, with faces, hands, ears, and necks clean washed; side arms properly put on, and clean belts, with pouches polished brightly."
pp.14-15 4. Soldiers must never be permitted to wear their caps improperly. Officers or Non-commissioned Officers, whether off or on parade, meeting a soldier belonging to his own or any other company, wearing his cap wrong, are directly to made him fix it according to the regulations.
p. 16 8. The men must change their shoes day about.
9. Every Serjeant and Corporal, at every roll calling, must bring a clothes brush for the use of his squad. 10.Officers and Serjeants under arms are always to wear regimental gloves.
Throughout the day, officers are to wear their regimental coats, the lappels buttoned across from top to bottom; white cloth waistcoats, and blue pantaloons.
2. Hussar boots, on duty; off duty, other sorts may be worn.
3. Established regulation cocked hats, regulation loop and and buttons, regulation feather (except grenadiers, who wear white feathers)
Cocked Hats, how to be worn.
4. The cocked hats to be worn with the cock well to the left level to the front, close down to both eye brows.
5. The sash to go twice round the body, and the knot tied directly behind the guard of the sword.
6. The stock to be of black calico, tied before with a broad full roller.
7. Officers for guard and duty always wear gorgets, suspended from the upper buttonof the coat by a blue ribbon and rosette, the colour of the facing.
8. The officers to wear short queues, and a rosette tied on it exactly in a line with the top of the collar of the coat, and the queue (including a quarter of an inch of their appearing at the end of it) ony to reach in a line with the bottom of the cape of the coat.
Regimental Great Coats
9. Plain blue cloth, two rows of buttons covered with cloth, &c."
Copyright The Discriminating General 1997