Think the army is underfunded?

by Instant Noodle

It’s January 1855, and Punch is writing an open letter to a major colonel (as in, an important colonel). Its entitled “WHAT THE COUNTRY IS COMING TO ?”


I HOPE you read the Press of the 30th ult. Otherwise it will be my painful duty to inflict a dreadful shock upon you for the first time, by calling your attention to the following extract from that journal

“The Opiairme of Turin states from Berne, that orders have been received there for the manufacture of 20,000 wooden shoes for the English troops in the Crimea.”

Naturally, Punch is aghast.

WOODEN SHOES ! JOHN BULL in wooden shoes ! ! English soldiers to wear wooden shoes ! ! !

The emphasis is original, I might add.

Suppose anybody had told us, in our young days, that the time would come when we should see the British Grenadier marching in wooden shoes ! Should we not have scouted the bare suggestion as too treasonable to be mentioned ?

Has it come to this? WOODEN SHOES FOR THE ARMY ! Like yourself, my dear COLONEL, I have every possible respect for our Allies, but not certainly, to the extent of even dreaming of putting our foot in wooden shoes!

Steady now, Punch.

Of course you will impeach Ministers for the glaring violation of the Constitution which they have been guilty of  introducing these alien elements into HER MAJESTY’S service. What next? Of course, if unimpeded in their traitorous measure of supplying our soldiers in the Crimea with wooden shoes, they will forthwith proceed to feed the brave fellows with frogs. The use of those reptiles for food would then soon be prescribed to the whole army including the militia: and the first regiment of that constitutional force which would he placed on such rations would probably be that which could so readily be supplied with them from the fens of Lincolnshire. A word is enough to men like the Colonel of that regiment : who will not neglect the hint of his affectionate