Thom Atkinson’s photo project looks at the equipment carried by the common soldier over the last 1,000 years, tracing its development from the Battle of Hastings to modern-day Afghanistan.
1. Huscarl, Battle of Hastings, 1066
Soldiers in 1066 carried a variety of weapons for different purposes, but also had keepsakes such as dice and, most interestingly, a spoon. Every British soldier’s kit featured in Atkinson’s project includes a spoon.
2. Mounted knight, Siege of Jerusalem, 1244
In the Crusades, kit included rosary beads and a wider selection of protection.
3. Fighting archer, Battle of Agincourt, 1415
One British tactic that came to the fore at Agincourt was the planting of wooden stakes to defend against cavalry, hence these wooden stakes.
4. Yorkist man-at-arms, Battle of Bosworth, 1485
5. Trained band caliverman, Tilbury, 1588
The advent of guns meant more distant fighting and a reduction in the amount of armour.
6. Private sentinel, Battle of Malplaquet, 1709
7. Private soldier, Battle of Waterloo, 1815
As campaigns grew in length, and weapons became more complex, the amount of kit grew.
8. Private soldier, Battle of the Somme, 1916
The original project was inspired by the returning of Captain Charles Sorley’s WWI kit bag, containing his possessions. The survey of kits explores the combination of soldiers’ gear further.