June 13th, 2009

How to be a former officer in the Royal Navy in 1815

Setting:  England, late summer 1815

I have a character that I want to be a former officer (lieutenant) in the Royal Navy.  I set the story after Waterloo, gave him a leg injury - is that enough?  How did one resign from the navy at the time?  Also, how would he be referred to at home - Lieutenant or Mr.?
lawrence of arabia

Can a decent snowfall put out a forest fire?

I need to put out a forest fire with snow, however, I am coming up pretty short with the googlefu/EBSCOfu when it comes to finding historical examples of this happening. I've found 2 news stories reporting a snowfall aiding forest fighters, one from 1889 and the other from 1992, but I'm coming up short on details of amount of snowfall, extent of the fire, that sort of thing.

I'm going to have some people needing to get out of this snowfall on horseback/carriage, so I can't have an absolute blizzard to put out the fire without turning it into the Donner Party.

To what extent do you think a small-sized forest fire could be lessened or ended by 2-3 days worth of moderate snowfall?

Search terms used: forest fire, snow, wildfire, blizzard (in varying combinations)
Erik and noir

What would someone in the Provisional IRA wear in 1972?

I might be treading on explosive ground with this subject, so I'll try to be careful.

I've spent a good half-day trying to figure out what someone in the Provisional Irish Republic Army would wear around 1971 or 1972. Obviously this is in Ireland. I've googled pretty much everything I can think of with IRA, Provisional IRA, Uniforms, dress, etc, and haven't really gotten a definite answer.
The closest I can figure is that many of the people in PIRA started wearing Disruptive Pattern Material jackets pilfered from the UK later on, but since I'm looking at so close to the beginning of the Troubles, I'm not entirely sure that would be at all accurate.
I'd assume that whatever they wore while "On Duty" as such would probably be pretty mismatched, but as I was born way past the 1970s, and not in Ireland, I also really have no clue what kind of things short of various military uniforms would be worn. And since most of my knowledge of military uniforms comes from wikipedia or the internet, it's really not too complete.

Again, I'm not sure how sensitive an area I'm getting into here, but it would be pretty fantastic if anyone could give me some idea of what, I don't know, day-to-day fighting/combat would be early on during the Troubles. I'm aware of the general sense of bombings and sometimes riots breaking out, but I can't seem to find anything less vague.

So, uh, yeah. Sorry these are such vague questions. I don't think I ever got the Troubles in history class, and information on the internet seems lacking (Or at the least, I'm terrible at google-fu.)