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Crimean texts

McNeill/Tulloch Commission of Enquiry

This presentation is based on transcripts by Megan Stevens, and includes the page numbers of the original publication in order to maintain the validity of page references. It is arranged in the following sections:-

Evidence, page 71

SIXTEENTH DAY. - Wednesday, 4th April.

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL DUPUIS, Royal Horse Artillery, examined.

Has been with the army in the Crimea since it landed. Was in command of the Art8illery of the 3rd Division when he first landed, and until about five weeks ago, when he joined the Horse Artillery.

The men of the Artillery in the 3rd Division have, on the whole, been very fairly rationed up to the date of their being encamped before Sebastopol; but from the time when the roads became bad, perhaps about the middle of November, they have not been well rationed; and when the roads were at the worst, the Commissariat Officers wished the battery to employ their own horses to carry up from Balaklava all the rations for men and horses. Under these circumstances, the rations were very irregularly issued: on many occasions no rations of rum were issued, and for a considerable number of days the men did not receive full rations of biscuit or groceries; but there was less deficiency in the salt meat rations. At this period the issues of fresh meat were not more frequent than twice a week, and on one occasion, he remembers, seven days elapsed without such an issue. The captains of troops and batteries will probably be able to furnish more detailed information on the subject.

The batteries he commanded were the F. Battery and the W. Battery.

The articles issued as rations were of good quality.

Latterly the men experienced great difficulty in cooking, from deficiency of fuel; a limited quantity of charcoal was supplied by the Commissariat, a great part of which was dust that would not burn, and there was then great difficulty in collecting fire-wood.

Is of opinion, that the men suffered in health from improper diet.

Understood from the medical officer, that he experienced much difficulty in obtaining medical comforts for the sick; but did not make any official representation to the authorities that the men were suffering from improper diet. Furnished daily to the head-quarters of the artillery a statement of the deficiencies in the rations issued on the previous day.

When he left the 3rd Division in February, there had been a considerable improvement in the regularity of the issues, and in the quantity of fresh meat supplied. There were a great many on the sick list during the winter.

Attributes the sickness to diet, exposure and fatigue. - The men were not employed in the trenches; but the underwent great fatigue and exposure, going down daily to Balaklava for the forage in the state the roads then were. For some time the road was impassable for carriages, and the men rode their horses down, and led them back laden with forage and fuel.

The horses did not always get their full rations of barley, and were more than once five days, and on one occasion, ten days, without hay or chopped straw. His own horses were, on one occasion, ten days without hay or chopped straw. The horses during that time were sent more than once to Balaklava for hay, and returned without it. It repeatedly happened, that the men had to go on board ship to get their sacks filled with barley, because there was none on shore.

The men were pretty well clothed, but there was a deficiency of boots. They had had two pairs of boots; but from the state of the weather they got injured, and shrunk, so as to produce sores in the feet.

Evidence, page 72

They had no night duty, except that of their own camp.

In the early part of the winter the men had only one blanket.

During the five weeks he has been with the Horse Artillery near Balaklava, the men have been well rationed, and the horses well foraged. Vegetables have been frequently issued, and in sufficient quantity.

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