Life in the British Army

A series of Essays shewing what It was like For the Officers, men and women Who made the Army their career BEFORE they Arrived in the Colony.  The topics discussed are Desertion | Uniforms | History of the British Uniform | Education Why Join | Daily life | Rations | An example of a Typical day | Punishment | Officers Quarters | Marriage and Women

A TYPICAL DAY FOR SOLDIERS: In Garrison

5:30 a.m.
Summer, Reveille.
6:30 a.m.
Winter, Reveille.
After rising, a soldier would fold his bed, clean his berth, wash, and hang up accoutrements.

7:45 a.m. Bugle Call 15 minutes to dress before breakfast.
8:00 a.m. Breakfast in the Barracks.
After breakfast, preparation would begin for morning inspection.

10:00 a.m. Morning Parade.
After parade, soldiers would be assigned duties such as fatigues, punishment parade, etc...

11:45 a.m. Bugle call 15 minutes to Dinner.
12:00 p.m. Dinner.
After dinner, soldiers would be doing drill or more fatigues.  Some were given free time which was used for school, gardening, heading into town, etc...

4:45 p.m. Bugle call 15 minutes to Supper.
5:00 p.m. Supper.
After supper, more fatigues and free time.

8:00 p.m. Roll Call.
8:30 p.m. Back to Barracks.
9:00 p.m. Tattoo (lights out, from October 1 to April 30).

10:00 p.m. Tattoo (lights out, from May 1 to September 30)

Note: the word Tattoo is derived from the Dutch expression "doe den tap toe" which means "turn off the taps."  Tattoo was a marching ceremony usually performed by the Regimental Band of the Corps of Drums before lights-out.

Next page: Punishment

Information courtesy of

The Fort Henry Adventure
http://collections.ic.gc.ca/fort_henry/default.htm