'Night Scene - Winter in the Trenches before Sebastopol, February, 1855'
Watercolour by Captain (later Colonel) Henry John Wilkinson (1829-1911), 1st Battalion 9th (The East Norfolk) Regiment of Foot.
Following the public outcry at the condition of the troops in the Crimea during the winter of 1854, the Government had sent out fresh supplies of warm clothing. On 23 January 1855, Lord Raglan reported to Henry Pelham Fiennes Pelham-Clinton, Fifth Duke of Newcastle (1811-1864) and Secretary of State for War the 'Great progress in disembarking and issuing to the troops vast quantities of warm clothing of all descriptions; and I believe I may assert that every man in this army has received a second blanket, a jersey frock, flannel drawers and socks, and some kind of winter coat in addition to the ordinary greatcoat'.
However, as this watercolour shows, although their living conditions were improving by February 1855, the soldiers huddled against the elements in the trenches before Sevastopol remained far from comfortable.
NAM Accession Number
National Army Museum, Out of Copyright
National Army Museum, Conflict in Europe gallery