The Royal Fusiliers were originally formed from two companies of the Tower of London guard, and called the Ordnance Regiment. Most regiments were equipped with matchlock muskets at the time, but the Ordnance Regiment were armed with flintlock fusils. This was because their task was to be an escort for the artillery, for which matchlocks would have carried the risk of igniting the open-topped barrels of gunpowder.
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British troops were involved in a secret plan to go into battle wearing women’s underwear, it has emerged.
The plan – recently declassified by the Public Records Office – was set up to protect World War II troops from mustard gas attacks.
Kilt-wearing soldiers in the Scots regiments were particularly at risk because their legs were exposed to the poisonous gas.
From the 1920s up until 1939, secret tests were carried out on volunteer soldiers dressed in long stockings and woollen bloomers.
Wearing underwear, soaked in protective chemicals dissolved in white spirit, volunteers were exposed to mustard gas.
The research and tests were carried out at Porton Down, the government-funded military research centre in Wiltshire.
Porton Down historian, Gradon Carter, said: “A great deal of attention was paid in those days to the impregnation of battle dress and socks with substances called impregnities.
“These were chemicals which could actually combine with mustard gas vapour to render them harmless.”
Although the tests showed the underwear did protect the volunteers, it was decided that the protective clothing would be too costly to supply to all Scots regiments.
As a result, the kilt was banned from the battlefield in 1940.
All I can say is fantastic. Fit is great, wife is impressed, daughter likes, the whole thing is brilliant. Was planing for the first outing to be the Army v Navy game in May but now looking for any excuse to be able to wear it.
I will get the wife to take some photos soon, she wants to put them on her Facebook, and I will send them to you. A few colleagues have shown interest, so now I have mine, I will be taking in to work to show them.
Once again thank you and a fantastic job.