Henry Harrisse.

Britain at work; a pictorial description of our national industries online

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Artillery enter the Army for seven years
with the colours and five in the Reserve ; or
eight years with the colours and four in the
Reserve, if the period of Army service expires


while the man is abroad. The Foot Guards
and the Royal Engineers have the option of
the foregoing, or of three years Army and
nine years Reserve service and an additional
year of service abroad. All recruits for the
Army Service Corps enter for three years
Arm}- and nine years Reserve service. In
time of war or great emergency, however,
all soldiers can be detained for twelve
months beyond their engagement. The
Army Reserve is that force to which men
are transferred on the expiration of their
period of service with the colours. Men
serving at home may, should the exigencies
of the service permit, be allowed to pass
into the Reserve after five years service.
On the other hand, re-engagement for further
service with the colours is encouraged. All
soldiers serving with the colours who are
medically fit may re-engage to complete
twenty-one years service : Warrant officers
and sergeants after nine years service,
subject to the approval of the Secretary of
State for War ; corporals, bombardiers,
bandsmen, and artificers, after nine years
also, by permission of the commanding
officer ; and all other soldiers of good
character after eleven years service.



A recruit is enlisted for any regiment
of cavalry or infantry for which the recruiter
to whom he offers himself is authorised to
raise men ; or he may enlist for general
service in the cavalry or infantry, in which
case he is appointed to a regiment, but
is liable to be transferred within three
months of the date of his attestation to
any corps of the same arm of the service.
The requirements as to age and height are
varied from time to time, and may be
obtained at any recruiting station.

All manner of classes are represented by
the recruits, whose reasons for enlisting are

The clothing, which means uniform, is
issued in sizes from the Pimlico establish
ment, and the recruit is fitted by the
sergeant master tailor, and subsequently
paraded before the commanding officer, to
receive the latter s approval. The necessaries
comprise shirts, socks, brushes, comb, razor,,
knife, fork, spoon, button brass, and tooth
brush (the last named only recently added),,
which the recruit receives free on joining,
under the name of a " free kit," and which
he has to keep up at his own expense.
The term equipment applies to the articles
such as arms, valises, belts, ammunition


multifarious, although, broadly speaking, the
matter is regulated by the state of the
labour market. By the Army Act of 1881,
the recruit no longer receives the " King s
Shilling," which formerly obliged him to
appear before a magistrate and take the
oath, or pay a fine of i. Now he is not
deemed to be enlisted until he has volun
tarily appeared before a magistrate, or other
authorised person, who puts to him a series
of authorised questions and satisfies himself
that the man is not under the influence of
liquor ; while the recruit s first ordeal takes
place before the doctor, who has him
stripped, weighed, measured, tested in eyes
and ears, and put through many motions.
Having passed the doctor, the recruit is
sent, wherever possible, to the depot of his
unit, where provision is made for his pre
liminary instruction, and where he receives
his clothing, necessaries, and equipment.

pouches, etc., which are issued by the
Ordnance Store Department to the com
manding officer of the unit, according to its-
establishment. The soldier, if transferred to
another unit, does not take his equipment
with him, unless it is specially transferred
with him.

The idea of sending the recruit to a depot
is that he may be gently broken in, so to
speak. The depot officers and non-com
missioned officers, who give him his first
instruction, are carefully selected, and he
associates with old soldiers of good char
acter, who will put him up to things, and
show him how to clean, fit, and arrange
his arms, accoutrements, and kit. The
infantry recruit joins the regimental depot,
where he remains, as a rule, about
three months, undergoing the recruit s
courses of drill and musketry instruction.



At the expiration
of the depAt term
recruits are des
patched in drafts
to a battalion of
their regiment
serving at home.
In the case of the
cavalry, however,
the recruit is sent
straight to his
regiment, unless
it happens to be
abroad, when he
joins the cavalry
depot at Canter
bury. The cavalry
recruit has to
learn the use of the carbine, sword, or
lance, and to practise on foot the different
formations of cavalry, before taking his
place in the mounted ranks. Simultaneously
with this drill he is performing stable work,
learning fencing, and going through a
gymnastic course. All this lasts fully two
months, after which he is handed over to
the riding master, to undergo a course of
1 20 lessons, or thereabouts. The ricling-
cchool course is, indeed, a most thorough
one. Eor some forty lessons the young
soldier has to ride without stirrups, for in
no other manner can the strength below
the waist and the balance and grip be


acquired ; then follows practice in riding
without reins at a trot or canter, his arms
folded, and leaping ; while the last part of
his training is devoted to teaching him
how to use his weapons in the saddle. Dis
missed riding school, the young cavalryman
has only to pass through the musketry course,
and he has qualified as a trained soldier.

In the Royal Artillery the course of
instruction has necessarily numerous peculiar
features of its own. In this branch of the
service the soldier is either a gunner or
a driver, and both must learn to march and
undergo schooling and gvmnastics. The




driver must be instructed in riding, driving,
fitting and care of harness, and the care
and grooming of horses. The gunner of
each branch Horse, Field, and Garrison
Artillery is taught to serve, lay, and fire
his gun, and how to dismount, move, and
mount it. The horse gunner is also taught
to ride ; while the garrison gunner has to
be instructed in the care of stores, maga
zines, and ammunition, and eventually to
know all about range- and position-finding
instruments, combined with no mean acquain
tanceship with hydraulics, machinery, and

bridges ; field companies, ready for any
engineering work ; balloon sections ; rail
way companies, one of which is stationed
at XYoolwich and is employed on the
arsenal railways, and another at Chatham,
where it has charge of a Government line;
fortress companies, whose duties are confined
to the construction, attack, and defence of
fortresses; and submarine miners, attired more
like sailors than soldiers, who see to the
defence of our harbours and tidal estuaries.
The Army Service Corps is composed of
clerks, artisans, drivers, butchers, bakers, and


electricity. In the Royal Artillery, there
fore, men are classified as 1st, 2nd, or 3rd
class, according to professional knowledge ;
and certain appointments can only be held
by first-class gunners.

All men who enlist for dismounted units
of the Royal Engineers must have a specified
trade. The scientific corps, as it is correctly
termed, comprises various branches which,
from their names alone, signify the posses
sion of considerable technical skill. There
are bridging battalions ; telegraph com
panies, provided with portable telegraph
and telephone material ; field depots, com
prising a field park with apparatus for
printing, photography, etc., and a mounted
detachment, supplied with tools and explo
sives for destroying railways, roads, and

shoeing smiths ; the Army Medical Corps
is a trained body of men whose duties as
hospital orderlies and bearers need not be
dilated upon, and the corps of Ordnance
artificers provides qualified artificers for
the repair and maintenance of the material
belonging to the Garrison Artillery siege
train, etc. To join the last named men
must be of good character, competent fitters
with some knowledge of mechanical drawing,
and serve on probation for a year.

The everyday life of a soldier may be
said to commence at 6 a.m., and terminate
at 10 p.m. with " Lights out." His actual
working hours, however guards and fatigues
exccpted may be approximately given as
from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. The reveille sound
ing is the signal for the troops to rise and



Photo : U yrall & Son, Aldershot.

to clean and arrange their barrack rooms
or tents under the superintendence of
the non-commissioned officers ; and later
on, usually about IO a.m., the barrack rooms
or lines are inspected by the company
officers. In the summer months there is an
adjutant s parade before breakfast, while
between breakfast and the commanding
officer s parade, which is the event of the
clay, the function known as orderly room is
held. At orderly room soldiers guilt}- of
offences are brought up before the " CO.,"
who investigates their cases, and punishes
or admonishes as the case may be. After
the " C.O. s " parade comes the dinner-hour,
and after dinner another short parade,
usually conducted by the sergeant-major,
and attended only by the young soldiers.
The foregoing remarks apply more especially
to the infantry. In the cavalry and horse
artillery riding school or exercise takes the
place of the early morning parade, while
with all mounted units there is a routine of
stable duties on return of horses from work.
Of course, the duties vary somewhat on
different days of the week, and the routine
is posted up in the barrack rooms, detailing
the succession of parades and duties for
each day of the week. Between March ist
and October 3ist, known as the drill season,

one company in each infantry battalion at
home is struck off all duties for the purpose
of a course of instruction under its own
officers, known as field training. The
course of instruction lasts about four weeks,
and comprises fire discipline, advance and
rear guards, reconnoitring and outpost
duties, and working parties. Each squadron
of cavalry, ever} company of Garrison
Artillery, all batteries of Horse and Field
Artillery, and all companies of Engineers
are struck off all duty for a similar period
for the purpose of going through an annual
course of instruction, according to the
syllabus promulgated in regimental orders.
Then again every unit of cavalry, infantry,
Garrison Artillery, and Royal Engineers has
to be exercised through a course of
musketry and field-firing, the latter being
made as interesting and realistic as possible.
Great importance is attached to gymnastic
instruction, both for the forming of recruits
and for hardening and strengthening the
trained soldier, so as to enable the latter
to cover i,OOO yards at a rapid pace, and
find himself in good wind and able to
use his bayonet efficiently. The gymnastic
instruction of trained soldiers, however, is
carried on so as to interfere as little as
possible with their ordinary duties. Every


infantry battalion must have six, and every
cavalry regiment twelve, qualified signallers,
under an officer instructor ; while special
subjects taught cavalry soldiers are anatomy,
reconnaissance, and sketching. Lastly, where
both infantry and cavalry are concerned men
tion must be made of the special instruction
imparted to the machine-gun detachment,
and where the infantry alone are concerned
of the practice in progressive route marching
during the winter.

It is not realised what a good time
soldiers generally have. What with his pay,
rations, lodging, and clothing, the young
soldier on joining receives the equivalent of
1 5s. a week. He gets three meals a dav,
viz. breakfast, consisting of a large bowl of
tea or coffee, part of his day s bread ration,
with some one of the relishes obtainable
from the regimental canteen at low prices ;
dinner, which takes place in the middle
of the da\-, for which he is allowed 3 4 Ib.
of meat and i Ib. of bread, together with
vegetables and groceries from the canteen ;
and tea, which is a repetition of breakfast
more or less.

The regimental canteen is run on Goth
enburg principles, meaning that the profit
derived from the sale of pure liquor,
groceries, vegetables, tobacco, etc., is applied
to the advantage of the men. The can
teen surplus, in fact, provides the funds for
the Regimental Institute, which comprises

recreation rooms, comfortably fitted and
supplied with papers and a lending library.
The Regimental Institute, however, must
not be confounded with the semi-philan
thropic clubs, known as Soldiers Institutes,
which exist in all large garrison towns.
Plenty of innocent, mirthful recreation is.
at the soldier s disposal after working
hours. Every facility is given him to in
dulge in football, cricket, boxing, and
gymnastics; while indoors he is encouraged
to hold amateur concerts and dramatic
performances. After twenty-one years ser
vice the soldier gets a pension as follows :
Privates, gunners, etc., 8d. to is. 6d. per
diem; non-commissioned officers, from
is. 3d. to 3s. 6d. per diem; and warrant
officers, from 3s. to 5s. per diem. But the
soldier may rise to the rank of quarter
master or riding-master, whose pay is from
9s. to 1 6s. 6d. per diem, with a pension
of from 8s. per diem to 200 per annum.
Lastly, at the close of his military life,
the Government -makes every effort to find
him suitable employment, a quota of situa
tions being reserved for old soldiers in the
postal service, Royal Arsenals, and Clothing
and Ordnance Departments ; while there is
the Corps of Commissionaires, and, failing
any of the foregoing, the National Associa
tion for the Employment of Reserve and
Discharged Soldiers will see that he does,
not go berthless.



3 I2


THE tea plant, a tree allied to the
camellia, grows wild in Assam, and
there is a legend that it was carried
to China by an Indian traveller in the
sixth century V,.C. Be this as it may,
tea was a national beverage among the
Chinese in the early centuries of this era,
when mead was the national drink of the
Western world, and there was a Celestial
tax upon tea as far
back as 793. The
oldest newspaper ad
vertisement of tea has

Photo : Catsell &~ Co., Ltd.

been traced to the year 1658, when it was to
be had "at the Sultaness 1 lead, a cophee-house
in Sweetings Rents, by the Royal Exchange."
In 1678 the Honourable East India Company
glutted the market for years by importing
4,713 Ib. in one season. In the first year of

in the world, and it is estimated that it
furnishes a beverage to one-half of the
human race. Its manufacture provides
employment for large numbers of people in
Greater Britain, for of the total import
already mentioned nine-tenths are grown
and manufactured in India and Ceylon.
The work that remains to be done in this
country is comparatively small, and is limited
almost wholly to the task of
preparing the leaf in an attractive
form for the retail buyer. Vet
the highest resources of modern
engineering science are brought
into play, and in this, as in most
industries, the division of labour
has been raised to a fine art.

When tea is landed in the
port of London it is conveyed
to a bonded warehouse, and the
first operation consists in " bulk
ing." This, as the photograph
shows, is performed by emptying
the contents of a particular sort
upon the warehouse floor, where
the heap is turned over by
stalwart labourers with the aid
of a shovel. The advantage of
this is that a more uniform
mixture of the leaf is secured,
and its exposure to the air after
a long imprisonment in the hold is some
times said to improve its appearance. The
leaf is now repacked by human labour, and
the weight inscribed upon the chest. A chest
is set aside for sampling, and the buying
houses send down their clerks to the docks

the nineteenth century the consumption of with sampling orders, the tea supplied to

tea in the United Kingdom was 23,730,150
Ib. ; in the first year of the twentieth the
import reached the tremendous total of
298,900,200 Ib., of the value of 10,686,910,
and the duty paid upon that proportion of
it which went into home consumption was

These figures serve to show the supreme
importance of the tea leaf among the indus
tries of Britain. It is the most valuable leaf

them being given in exchange for an equal
weight of tea. These samples are carefully
tested for " body," colour, fragrance, and other
qualities by expert tea tasters, who assess
the value of each according to their own
judgment. At regular intervals a sale by
auction is announced to be held in Mincing
Lane, to whose sale rooms the buyers resort,
with their catalogues marked with the mystic
siems which record the results of their tasting.




The tea being bought, it is delivered as
required against payment of the duty, and
is removed to the factory to be blended and

A typical leaf twig bears about seven
leaves, varying in length from a fraction of
an inch to four inches. Each leaf has its
own name, the terms commonly used being
flowery pekoe, orange pekoe, pekoe, pekoe
souchong, souchong, and congou. If the
seventh and largest leaf were plucked, as it
sometimes is in the case of China teas, it
would be called bohea. In practice, however,
the leaves are not plucked separately, but
are grouped together for the purpose of
drying, and are then passed through a series
of sieves, which classify them once more
according to size. Each grocer has his own
peculiarities, according to the tastes of
his customers, and long experience is
required for the task of producing
blends to suit the
pocket and the palate
of different classes of
the community. The
larger leaves, more
over, have to be
passed through a
cutting mill, in order
to be reduced to a
size that will mix
well with the smaller
sorts, and produce an
agreeable impression

to the eye. When, therefore, an order is
received for a particular customer, a formula
is prepared, with the aid of the tasting
samples, and its component parts, which
read upon the slip like a doctor s prescrip
tion, are taken out of stock and passed into
the sifter. This is an ingenious contrivance
whose most curious feature is a battery of
magnets, which sei/.e the nails, fragments of
hoop iron, and other pieces of metal that
have found their way into the chest through
the carelessness of coolies on the plantations
or of packers in the dock warehouses. With
the aid of a 2 h.p. mill a cleft factor} girl
can manipulate twenty chests, or a ton of
tea, ever}- hour.

From this machine the tea is conveyed
into a rotary blender, wherein it is rotated
at a slow speed, and in the course of ten
minutes the blending has been performed
so thoroughly that if put up into ounce
packets each packet will contain a due
proportion of each constituent. At this
stage a pound sample is drawn for the
purpose of tasting, and if the result should
not reach the expectation of the expert other
sorts are added and the whole reblended,
until a perfect tea is produced. For deliver}
in bulk the mixture is now passed through
a funnel and repacked in the original chests,
sometimes pressed down by hand labour.
A recent device, however, enables the tea


Fhoto : Cassell &



(Photos: Casse/l i~ Co., /././.)



to fall in a steady stream into the chest,
which is placed upon a vibrating table that
automatically shakes each laver flat, and
enables the chest to be filled to its utmost
capacity without being touched by the hand
at any point of the operation of blending.

It is, however, the development of the
packet trade which has increased the demand
for labour in the tea industry in an enormous
decree. An ingenious machine a
square of paper, pastes the edge, twists it
into shape, and turns out the " bag " reach 1
for filling. In its highest form the apparatus
for weighing is actuated by electricity, and
at the instant when the slow stream of tea
reaches the exact weight a contact is formed
which overturns the contents of the scale into
the bag held read} to receive it, a process
\vhich enables the weight
to be gauged to a fraction
of a grain. The girl
attendant passes the bag-
to a colleague, who inserts
it into a square hole in
the table, upon which a
heavy weight is dropped
by a lever. The ends of
the packet are deftly
turned down, a button is
pressed, and the packet
emerges from the hole
ready for the labeller.
The weighing and finish
ing of a quarter-pound

packet is performed in this way at the rate
of 720 per hour.

It will thus be seen that there are no
secrets in the manipulation of tea. Perfumed
teas have never been popular in this country,
and the artificial admixture of stimulative
substances, such as kola nut, is of no com
mercial interest. Herb teas, which are
infusions of various plants such as the
dandelion, are confined to rural kitchens,
and no popular tea extract has been
devised, although compressed cakes have
their value for tropical travel. The last
annual statistics record an import of ^"5,000
worth of tea for the manufacture of theine,
the bitter principle which gives its stimulating
effect to the tea infusion ; and this substance,
which is a white crystal, has its uses for
certain medical prescriptions. But it will be

many a long da}- before mankind will be
willing to abandon the direct use of the leaf
in favour of a powder bought in the chemist s

One form of the industry, which devoted
itself to the preparation of spurious teas, is
happily being driven out of the country by
the operation of the Sale of Kood and Drugs
Act of 1875. Laws against the adulteration
of tea were passed as earlv as the be< r innin< r

* *>

of the Hanoverian dynasty, yet in the year
1843 there were no fewer than eight factories
in London where exhausted leaves, obtained

J holo; Casseli <ir Co., Ltd.


from hotels and coffee houses, were redried,
faced with blacklead, and sold as genuine
tea. The Chinese have attempted, from time
to time, to palm off large shipments of
exhausted leaves, which have been shipped
to England and have gone into consumption.
It is therefore a gratifying fact that during
a recent year x out of nearly six hundred
samples of tea analysed by the Local Govern
ment Board, only two showed traces of
adulteration, and the public mind ma}- be
reassured as to the purity of the tea which
is now offered for sale.

Theine, the active principle of tea, is an
alkaloid which when extracted from coffee
is known as caffeine. Although coffee leaves
are infused for the purpose in Sumatra, the
result is not very agreeable to the palate,
and the stimulus derived from coffee is


obtained by an infusion of the berry. The
coffee plant is a bush indigenous to Abyssinia,
where its properties may have been known
in very earl} times. But it was the Mahome
tans who first brought coffee drinking into
general use, and it was imported into
England a fe\v years before the introduction

o *

of tea, the first public coffee house having
been established in St. Michael s Alley, Corn-
hill, in 1652, by the Greek valet of
a Turkey merchant. The drinking
of coffee spread with marvellous
rapidity, and, by way of comparison
with the figures already cited in
the case of tea, it may be added
that the quantity consumed in the
United Kingdom in the year 1801
about 1,000,000 lb., whereas

the total import in the first year
of the following century was up
wards of 109,000,000 lb., valued at
3,294,871, the amount of duty
paid upon the quantity passed for
home consumption being 189,783.
Of the total import, however, only

Online LibraryHenry HarrisseBritain at work; a pictorial description of our national industries → online text (page 31 of 39)