I realise that troops did not carry 60-70lbs of equipment on every engagement, but these are carrying nothing - no haversack, no water bottle, no belt, no spare ammunition. Was it perhaps a patrol? But, even then, surely they would have been carrying more than a rifle and fixed bayonet (with nowhere to replace the bayonet if unfixed]).
This is all as nothing compared with the sadness of death by enemy action or by execution, but it is an answerable question and some reader may have an answer.
Lewes, East Sussex
16 AugustReuse content