This a color photographic study of surviving Crimean War (1854 - 1856) artefacts with vividly detailed captions describing the origin, use, and history of each artefact.
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This book is a broad comprehensive photographic essay regarding surviving artefacts of the Crimean War, fought 150 years ago between Russia and the combined power of Britain, France, Sardinia and Turkey. The authors have spent nearly two years locating and photographing artefacts in national museums, regimental museums, and private collections throughout Great Britain .
Each artefact is presented as a highly detailed colour photograph, shot from various angles with the researcher in mind, coming alive from the page to the reader. Each photographic image is accompanied by detailed and informative text regarding physical properties, history, and specific origin. The photographs are catalogued under descriptive chapters introducing the British soldier’s Clothing, Accoutrements, Necessaries, Camp Equipment, and Weapons. Where found in the various museums and collections, artefacts brought back by soldiers as souvenirs were also photographed.
This definitive work will provide an invaluable resource for serious military researchers and historians, as well as an aesthetically stunning photographic essay to compliment any collection or coffee table.
Having studied every aspect of the Crimean War for far longer than I care to admit (measured now in decades, not years), and having attended most regimental and other museums in the UK and in the Crimea, itself, I flattered myself that I have seen almost everything that has survived from that important war. When Will Hutchison and his colleagues announced a project to assemble photographs of such artefacts, I wished them well, but felt smugly confident that they would find little, if anything, which I had not already seen.
I could not have been more wrong! In this wonderful book now before you there are photographs of – I suspect – every item of any relevance to the war that still exists, in museums open to the public, and in private collections where they are seldom if ever seen by outsiders. The items have been expertly captured on film in superb colour, and are now presented with full and informative captions, checked for accuracy with every expert in the relevant field. The whole forms a wonderful companion to any study of the war. Collectors of uniforms, arms, badges and every type of item will treasure it as a new and
authoritative source, but its appeal will be far wider than to them. No general reader will see it without learning many things that he or she did not previously know about the war, nor will any keen student of the events in the Crimea over a hundred and fifty years ago.
The great affairs of state that led to the war, and the major battles that were fought, are well documented in dozens of books. But soldiers will know how important the details are: why was the “stock” collar so unpopular, why were “Albert shakos” discarded as soon as they could be, why was the Minié rifle musket so much better than its smoothbore musket predecessor, how did the British “Tommy” cook his daily meat ration in his “mess tin”, and so on. There are hundreds of questions that will spring to mind. This beautifully produced book will show the items concerned and help readers to understand the answers.
It would take months of traveling to go round to all the sources, and many would simply not be open to the visitor. The authors are to be congratulated on their amazing journey of discoveries, and we are lucky to be able to share the results of their hard work, here served up in such an attractive and convenient form for us to enjoy.
Colin Robins, Major (Ret), OBE
Editor Emeritous, The War Correspondent,
Journal of the Crimean War Research Society