British Colonial

Barracks at colonial stations are governed by the general scale of accommodation in the Barrack Synopsis, modified according to the climate of the station, in the direction of increase in floor area and height of rooms. In the planning of rooms for occupation in tropical or sub-tropical countries provision has to be made for the freest possible circulation of air through the buildings. The walls have to be protected by verandahs from the direct rays of the sun, and the special local domestic arrangements have to be taken into consideration. For example, in hot countries it is usually undesirable to have kitchens directly attached to the dwelling-houses, sanitary arrangements vary according to the method's adopted, and in some cases it is necessary to provide a free circulation of air below the ground floors of all inhabited buildings by raising them off the ground some 4 ft. The aspect of the buildings will usually be arranged so as to catch the prevailing wind, and the mode of construction varies greatly according to the custom and resources of the country.

Indian Barracks

In India, barracks for the British troops are built by the Royal Engineer officers detailed for military work duties, assisted by military foremen, who pass through the civil engineering colleges, and by a native subordinate staff. The scale of accommodation to be provided is laid down in the Indian army regulations, and is for the private soldier more liberal than is allowed by the home government for any of the colonial stations. The barrack-rooms are lofty and airy, with verandahs all round, and clerestory windows. Roofs are usually of double tiling. The allowance of space is 90 sq. ft. per man in rooms 16 ft. high, with, in addition, a day room adjoining for the use of the men for their meals or as a sitting-room. Recreation establishments are liberally provided for, and other means of recreation, such as bowling and skittle alleys, fives courts, plunge baths and cricket grounds, are given. Separate blocks of married quarters are provided, and schools for the children. Hospital accommodation on a higher scale than at home is necessary; but hill sanatoria have in recent years done much to improve the health of the troops by giving change of air, during the hot weather, to a large proportion of the men and families.

Piped water supplies have replaced the old wells at many stations, and attention is being directed to improved cooking and sanitary arrangements.

Naval Barracks

In recent years, large naval barracks have been built, notably at Portsmouth, Chatham and Devonport. These differ from military barracks principally in that they keep up the system of board-ship life to which the men are accustomed. Large barrack-rooms are provided with caulked floors like ships' decks, and have rows of hammocks slung across them; these are stowed in the day-time, when the rooms are used as mess-rooms. Ablution and sanitary arrangements are grouped together on the basement floors. Fine recreation establishments and canteens have been built. The officers' messes have splendid public rooms, but the officers' quarters are not so large as in military barracks, though no doubt spacious to the naval officer, accustomed as he is to a small cabin. Married quarters for the men are not provided except in connexion with coastguard stations.