Living at Free Quarters

To improve morale and prevent starvation in the army, the soldiers were permitted, as from August 1900, to help themselves to food from wherever they could get it. This was referred to as 'living at free quarters'. This sketch was made by Private T Redhead of the 14th Hussars and published in 'The Regiment' on 9 Feb 1901. The caption says that the sketch reached London in December 1900, forwarded from Heidelberg, South Africa. 'The picture represents one of General French's cavalrymen returning to camp after looting was permitted, providing Tommy got permission from his Troop officer. Redhead was a constant contributor to THE REGIMENT, and sad to say, just as his last picture was being sent to be blocked for reproduction, we read the announcement that he had been killed in the action of Rhenoster Hoek on December 23rd. May he rest in peace.' The rider has a duck hanging from his saddle. The long object that he holds could be firewood.

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by Stephen Luscombe