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OF THE BRITISH ARMY 1790 -, 1846
INFANTRY UNIFORMS OF THE BRITISH ARMY
INFANTRY UNIFORMS OF THE BRITISH ARMY 179°-1846
Illustrated and described by P. H. SMITHERMAN
HUGH EVELYN LONDON
First published in 1966 by Hugh Evelyn Limited
9 Fitzroy Square, London WI © 1966, Hugh Evelyn Limited
Designed by John Trend
The plates printed in Great Britain by Cripplegate Printing Company Limited The text printed in Great Britain by John Roberts Press Limited
Bound by W. & J. Mackay & Company Limited
List of Colour Plates
I 1790, Officer, 9th Foot
II 1790, Officer, Light Company, Royal Fusiliers III 1790, Officer, 1St Guards
IV 1796, Officer, Light Company, t zth Foot V 1801, Officer, 56th Foot
VI 1802, Quartermaster Sergeant, and Foot VII 181 1, Private, nth Foot
VIII 18l2, Private, 4th Battalion, 60th Regiment
IX 1815, Sergeant, Grenadier Company, 1St Guards X 1819, Officer, Grenadier Company, 19th Po at
XI 1821, Officer, Grenadier Company, Coldstrearn Guards XlI 1821, Officer, Battalion Company, Coldstream Guards XIII 1823, Held Officer, 43fd Light Infantry
XIV 1824, Field Officer, 94th Foot
XV 1831, Officer, Light Company, 45th Foot XVI 1831, Officer, Scots Fusilier Guards XVII 1831, Officer, Rifle Brigade
XVIII 1833, Sergeant, t jth Light Infantry XIX 1837, Officer, 76th Foot
XX 1846, Officer, 5th Fusiliers
THIS SURVEY of the uniforms of the British infantry covers the period from 1790 to 1846. At the beginning of the period the army was in a very bad state, owing largely to political neglect, but the shock of the Napoleonic wars, which began in 1793, pulled it together, and by 18, j, when Napoleon was finally defeated at Waterloo, it was an efficient fighting force. After 181) the army was once again neglected-though not to the previous extent -the interest in it of George IV and William IV bcing mainly sartorial. In 1846, when om period ends, the individual regiments were reasonably efficient, but the administration was appalling, as the war in the Crimea was to show a few years later.
In the latter half of the eighteenth century the army was involved in a series of actions in North America, culminating in the American War ofIndepcndenee, from 1775 to '78T. These actions, largely against irregular forces, showed the inadequacy of our infantry training. In 1755, for instance, a force under General Braddock, behaving in a perfectly disciplined fashion, as it had been taught, was annihilated by a force of Indian irregulars, led by French Officers. This and similar incidents led to an overhaul of our infantry methods, and in 1770 a light company was added to each battalion, and our infantry tactics became far more flexible. Oddly enough, although we learnt our flexibility by fighting the French in Canada, Napoleon's infantry remained rigid to the last, and this contribnted not a little to his final defeat.
These new light companies, members of which arc illustrated in some of the plates in this book, shared with the existing grenadier companies the honour of taking the flank position in the line. The flank companies were obviously those in the greatest danger, being the most likely to be turned by the enemy, and it was members of the flank companies who were usually chosen for such hazardous exploits as storming a breach in a fortress wall, and so on. The grenadiers were distinguished by their bearskin caps and wings on their shoulders, and the men of the light companies adopted similar wings, but wore a variety of head-dresses, usually some sort of a leather helmet with a fur crest. The tails of their coats were also usually cut short, and other changes were made in their equipment to suit the role of these hardy and active marksmen.
In addition to these light companies, Sir John Moore organised his famous Light Brigade at Shorncliffe, which subsequently became the Light Division, and their influence had a great effect on the whole of our infantry training.
The army was changing in other ways too. Sir John Moore insisted that his officers should know well the men under their command-as had General Wolfe in Canadaand this close contact between officers and men, which naturally flourished during the Napoleonic wars, became a thing of whieh the British army has ever since been proud. Barracks began to be built to house the men. Since the days of the Commonwealth, when the army was hated as an instrument of oppression, Parliament had been unwilling to provide barracks, and many soldiers spent their service billeted in ale-houses. The improvement in the morale of the men with the provision of better housing was immediate and striking.
At the end of the eighteenth century the army was engaged in Europe in the fight against Napoleon, particularly in Spain and Portugal, but in addition a large force was engaged in India during this time, and, owing to Pitt's policy of 'filching sugar islands', considerable garrisons had to be found for the West Indies. Losses in India and the West Indies were appalling, diseases such as dysentery, cholera and yellow fever almost, on occasions, destroying whole battalions. In 1796 the 57th lost 7 officers and 542 men in six months, and the two battalions of the r Sth in twelve years lost j 2 officers and 1,777 men, not a single man in either case being lost through enemy action.
The dress of the army which, up to about 1790, was very similar to that worn in civilian life, began after that to diverge and by the end of the Napoleonic wars was qUlte distinctive. The hat, which had passed through a tricorn stage in the middle of the century, gradually became bicorne and grew larger and larger, but finally almost disappeared, surviving only as a head-dress for the Staff, or for use on social occasions. Even during the wars dress uniforms continued to be elaborate, Wellington said that he did not mind what changes were introduced from Whitehall as long as uniforms remained as diflerenr as possible from those of the French. Nevertheless, under the influence of George IV the British army celebrated its defeat of the French by copying its uniforms. The 'Waterloo' shako was replaced by a cumbersome bell-topped affair, and the chests of officers sprouted gold braid, and their hats grew feathers and cap-lines and lace in profusion. These uniforms never saw active service, although many prints and pictures exist showing rhe army fighting the French in uniforms which came in some years after \\iatcrloo. After 1830 dress became simpler, but it took the rigours of the Crimea to produce for the soldier a sensible and practical dress again.
The plates here, then, cover the period from 1790 to 1846, and the short foregoing account of the infantry during these years may enable the reader to visualise some of the background of the men depicted. The uniforms develop from the elegant simplicity of the end of the eighteenth century, through the comparative austerity of the Napoleonic wars, and the exuberence of the reigns of George IV and William IV, to the tight coats and collars which the infantry carried to the Crimea. The men inside them, however, did not change much, and, given the proper lead which they got from such commanders as Moore and Wellington, formed a body which in its day was unsurpassed.
1790 Officer, 9th foot
1790 Officer, 9th foot
THIO PLATE shows the type of dress common in the British infantry at the outbreak of the wars with Napoleon. It is simple and practical, and very similar to the civilian clothes worn at the time. The lapels, of the facing colour, yellow in the case of the 9th Foot, are shown buttoned back here, as they would be worn on parade, but they could be buttoned across the chest in bad weather, or on informal occasions, and many portraits show them worn in that fashion. The under-sides of the button-holes, on the left of the coat-invisible, of course, in the picture-were often embroidered with regimental lace, to make a show when the coat was so worn.
The 9th Foot were raised in (68), and had a connection with the county of Norfolk from a very early date. Their badge of Britannia, shown in the picture on the officer's belt-plate, was granted as an honour in 1707 in recognition of the gallant conduct of the regiment at Almanza. It was said that they alone were worthy to defend the honour of Britannia. During the Peninsular War the Spaniards thought that the figure was that of the Virgin Mary, and accorded the men of the regiment a veneration which was a source of amusement to those of other regiments, and earned them the nickname of 'The Holy Boys', which still persists. They provided the burial party for Sir John Moore at Corunna, and the officers had a double line of black incorporated in the gold lace of their full-dress coats to commemorate this event.
In 1881 they became the Norfolk Regiment, augmented to Royal Norfolk Regiment after the rst World War.
Soerre: One of a contemporary series of prints by E. Dayes.
Officer, 9th Foot
DRAWN 11"1' P. H. :s.MlTHEIUfJl.N ® ... HUGH EVI!LYt-I ]>IIINT
Officer, Light Compa,!)" Royal :Fusiliers PLATE II
Olfi'cer, Light Compat!J, Royal :Jusiliers
THE ROYAL FUSILIERS were raised in 1685 to protect the trains of artillery on active service, and adopted a dress similar to that of the grenadier companies of other regiments. When light companies were added to other regiments the Royal Fusiliers received one too, dressed as shown in the plate, Light companies devised a wide variety of head-dresses to show their individuality, and the one shown here is very different from most. It consists of a leather peaked helmet with a transverse crest of black fur, surmounted by a white feather. The coat has an epau1ette on each shoulder in place of the wings mote commonly worn in light companies, and the tails of the coat arc rather longer than the shortened ones usual in these companies. The chevrons and single bars of lace un the cuffs are also most unusual and resemble the type of cuff generally introduced nearly a hundred years later. The laced red waistcoat was an almost universal distinction for light companies, instead of the white or buff waistcoats worn by battalion companies. It is clear that the regiment then, as now, took a pride in the appearance of those who wore its uniform.
Source: A series of coloured pictures in the possession of the regiment.
Officer, Light Company, Royal Fusiliers
DRAWN BY P. n. SI!.IT'rH.f.9.hfIr.N ~ A. HUGH t:n,Ll'N I'RI~T
1790 OjJicer, lsi guards PLATE III
o jJicer, I sf guards
IN THIS PLATE we see an officer of the rst Guards, later the Grenadier Guards, in the laced coat worn on state occasions. These laced coats were worn in earlier years by many officers, not in the Foot Guards, and seem to have been a kind of court dress. Nevertheless, by l790 their use seems to have been confined to the Household troops, and each regiment of Foot Guards had a coat similar to this, with regimental differences, for usc on state occasions. The details shown in the plate come from a coat which is known to have belonged to an officer of the 1St Guards, and which is obviously the forerunner of that shown in Plate XII, which is itself almost identical with one worn by the Duke of Wellington as Colonel of the Grenadier Guards. The uniform shown in this picture has probably never been surpassed for restrained elegance.
Soarces: Coat in the National Army Museum, and a contemporary print by E. Dayes,
Officer, I st Guards
URA.WN BT (i. H.. SMITHER..r.tAN @ A HUGH Jl.VBL'r'N' "IUNT
OfJicer, Light Compa'fY, izth :Foot PLATE IV
OlJicer, Light Compaf!Y, iztb foot
THIS l'LA'fE shows a type of light company uniform more usual than that of Plate II. The officer wears the usual wings on his shoulders instead of epaulettes, and a red waistcoat instead of the white one worn by the rest of the regiment. His light boots arc also noteworthy, and his hat. This sort of hat, a 'topper' with a bearskin crest, was very popular for a few years and was worn by the light companies of many regiments. His coat tails are very short indeed; in fact they are hardly tails at all. Altogether this is an outfit obviously intended for the active and aggressive man that the member of a light company had to be.
The t zth Foot were placed on the regular establishment by James II in 1685, being formed from the garrison companies of Windsor Castle which had been in existence since 1661. They can therefore trace their history right back to the formation of the Regular Army. They were present at the battle of Minden, and marched into action through a rose garden from which the men picked red and yellow roses and stuck them in their hats. On the first day of August every year, the anniversary of the battle, the men of the regiment wear red and yellow roses in their hats. The badge of the regiment, the castle and key, and its motto, 'Mentis Insignia Calpe', were granted for the gallant part it played in the siege of Gibraltar, from 1779 to 1783.
From the first the regiment had an association with the county of Suffolk, and in 1881 it became the Suffolk Regiment, a title which it lost only recently with the reorganisation of the infantry.
Source: A letter from an officer of the Light Company, quoted ill the Regimental History, giving a minute description of his uniform.
Officer, Light Company, i zrh Foot
OItAWN BY P. H. 5UITHEItM ... '" @ A HVeiU .fV'ELYN PRl:.ll'
1801 Officer, 56th :Foot
1801 Ojjicer, 56th Foot
'(HIS PLaTE shows rhe form in which the hat, which had persisted in most orders of dress for the infantry since r66r, was last worn on active service. The men changed to the 'stovepipe' shako in r 800 (Plate VI) but the Officers retained the hat. In 181 r the 'Waterloo' shako (Plate VII) was introduced and the officers had to abandon the hat after a hundred and forty years. The gorget was still supposed to be worn on duty, though it rarely was,
The officer shown here belongs to a battalion company, and his coat retains the long tails which had been largely abandoned by the light and grenadier companies.
The purple facings of the 56th are interesting. They were apparently copied from the livery colour of Madame de Pompadour, whence the nickname of the 56th, 'The Pompadours'.
The j 6th were raised in r755 as the 'West Essex Regiment' and became the and Battalion of the Essex Regiment in 188 I, and the regiment still wears the purple facing of the old 56th.
Source: Print from The British Military Ubrary (I799-r8ol).
Officer.. 56th Foot
DIV.W~ BY P. 1-1:. SMI'1'"£R".~N ~ A HUGI[ EVELYN J>UNT'
1802 Quartermaster Sergeant, znd :Foot PLATE VI
1802 Quartermaster Sergeant, znd Foot
BEFORE Igo~ the rank of non-commissioned officers was indicated by epauletres and shoulder knots, as it still is today in the full dress of the Household Cavalry. In 1802, however, an order was issued giving authority for these ranks to be indicated by chevrons -sergeant majors to have four, sergeants three, and corporals two. At first, it seems to have been. uncertain whether the chevrons were to be worn proper, like those shown in this plate, or inverted, with point downwards, as they are mostly worn today. In 1803 the doubt was removed by an order stating that the point was to be worn downwards. However, a number of pictures exist, whose authority seems to be good, showing chevrons with the points upwards being worn long after 1803. Sergeant majors, quartermaster sergeants and drum majors wore them in this way again, just above the cuff, at the end of the nineteenth century, and drum-majors wear them so today.
As befits a senior N.C.O. the uniform of this quartermaster sergeant resembles that of an officer. His sash, sword-belt and plate, hat-feather, black silk stock and white collar are all similar to those of an officer, and he was no doubt the important person that a good quartermaster sergeant has always been. A sergeant major would have been dressed similarly, except that he would have worn silver lace instead of the white tape shown here.
The and Foot were raised in 1661 to garrison Tangier, which came with Catherine of Braganza as part of her dowry when she married King Charles II. They were originally called the Tangier Regiment, a title which they soon lost, and were known as the 'Queen's' regiment in honour of Catherine, whose family crest, the Lamb, was their badge from a very early date. They served under Kirke during the Bloody Assizes when they acquired their nickname 'Kirke's Lambs', and under Howe as marines in 1794 on the 'Glorious First of June' for which they were awarded the badge of a naval crown which is borne on their colours, They have had several changes of official title, but throughout their long history they have been famous simply as 'The Queen's'.
Source: Contemporary oil painting at one time in the possession of the Parker Gallery.
Q'"uart rrna ter Sergeant .2. 'd
, ' ,
DR.,\WN IBY 'P. • \lITHE
1811 'Private, 57th :foot PLATE VII
1811 Private, 51th :Foot
IN THIS PLATE we sec the dress in which the infantry fought the Napoleonic wan-not very much different from the dress in which it has fought all of its wars, apart from the colour of its coat. The man depicted is a private of the light company of the j 7th, distinguishable by his yellow facings and the numeral 57 on his cap plate and belt plate. As a member of the light company he wears the wings on his shoulders-white wool replacing the gold bullions of his officers-and a green plume in his cap instead of the white-overred of battalion companies or white of the grenadiers. On active service the plume and white cords would have been removed and the cap covered with a waterproof cover. The grey trousers were originally grey overalls pulled on over the white breeches and black gaiters-which can be seen below them-but soon became trousers with small spats over the boots.
The 57th were raised in 175 j and from the Erst WCi:C associated with the county of Middlesex. Their most famous exploit was in ISII-the date of the plate-at the battle of Albuhcra, when, obeying Colonel Inglis' injunction to 'die hard', they were shot down as they stood, in their ranks, 'every wound in front', and lost twenty officers and four hundred and twenty men. The King's colour received seventeen shots, and the Regimental colour twenty-one. The same colours were carried through the Crimea, and when afterwards they were laid up in St. Paul's Cathedral the government of the day stipulated that 'no expense was to fallon the public purse' for this ceremony, which was accordingly paid for by the officers.
Since 188, the regiment has been known as the Middlesex Regiment.
SOllrces: Dress regulations, prints, existing items of equipment, etc.
Private, 57th Foot
DUWN liY' P. H. SWITKDlWAN © A .IUGH I.VELYN PRINT
Private) 4th 'Battalion) 60th Regiment PLATE VIn
Private} 4th 'Battalion) ootb Regiment
IN I7i! and shortly afterwards four battalions of the Goth (Royal American) Regiment of Foot were raised in North America, and were employed by Wolfe as light skirmishers. In 1797 a jth Battalion was raised in England which was dressed in green. Green had been worn in America during the American \X7ar of Independence, and had justified itself by its ability to conceal the wearer. The choice of green for the 1 th Battalion, however, was probably more a matter of the prestige which it had acquired, and because the similar Jager corps in Germany wore green. It should be remembered that the Hanoverian King's German Legion wore uniforms of British pattern and were virtually a part of the British army. The first commanding officer of the yth Battalion was in fact a Bavarian, and it was no doubt he who encouraged the men to wear moustaches after the German fashion.
The red facings of the j th Battalion commemorate the red coats worn by the original four battalions of the 60th, and the short green gaiters are in the light infantry tradition. The weapon is a Baker rifle, far superior to the smooth-bore weapon carried by the rest of the army, and a sword-bayonet is worn in a frog suspended from the belt (not visible in the picture); from the latter comes the name 'sword' by which the regiment still refers to its bayonets.
This 5th Battalion, the original Grccnjacket Battalion, was disbanded in 1817, but by then the whole regiment was in green with red facings, and still is today. They became the King's Royal Rifle Corps in 1830, and have borne the name ever since.
Source: Contemporary prim by C. Hamilton Smith.
Private, 4th Battalion, 60th Regiment
DIlA.WN 8Y p, H. SWIUIBKiIotAN «> A HUGH EVELYN PRlNT
Sergeant) grenadier Compmry, tst guards PLATE IX
Sergeant, Grenadier Compa'!}) I sf Guards
AFTER Till, BATTLE of Waterloo, in recognition of their gallant defeat of Napoleon's Guard, the 1St Guards were awarded the tirle Grenadier Guards, and from then on the whole regiment wore grenadier dress. This plate shows a sergeant of the grenadier company, in full dress, immediately before this change took place. The dress is interesting in that it preserves the white spatterdashes which had disappeared from the rest of the army twenty or more years before, although in other respects it reflects the fashion of the day. The heavy gold lacing on the coat is unusual in the dress of a sergeant, but similar lacing was worn in all the regiments of foot guard~. Tdenticallacing is in fact worn on the scarlet tunics of drum majors of the foot guards today.
The bearskin cap has grown very large and cumbersome, and was not worn on active service. The sergeant was armed with a half-pike, eight feet long, only the shaft of which is visible in the picture. The halbert was the more usual weapon of sergeants, but they are often shown carrying half-pikes at this time, both on parade and on active service. It is odd, however, to see the grenadier sergeant with a half-pike, because originally even the officers of grenadier companies carried fusils as an honour. However, after about 1770 the grenade went out of fashion and grenadiers gradually adopted the arms of the rest of the regiment. Just before this date the bearskin cap had a small peak just below the gilt plate.
When the r st Guards became the Grenadier Guards in 1815, the bearskin cap was taken into use by the whole regiment, but the grenadier wings disappeared and were replaced by fringed epaulettes,
Sources: Print by B. Clayton (published some years after 1815), and a contemporary watercolour by D. Dighton.
nadier 0 - pan), I st . uards
1)&.t-' Bll' p~ H. M HE _AN ® A HUGH E fE.l.Y··· II?'R[NT
Officer, grenadier Compa'!Jl 19th Foot PLATE x
OJJicer, Grenadier Compalry, I9th Foot
THE PLATE depicts the levee dress of all officer of the 19th Foot in 1819, and is taken from the actual dress preserved in the regimental museum. 'The braided lapels, which in '79D would have been similar in shape to those shown in Plate I, have become a plastron front, although they are still buttoned back and can still be buttoned across as in Plate V. The officer belongs to the grenadier company, and so wears wings on his shoulders, ornamented with a grenade. The device on his belt-plate incorporates a grenade in the regimental badge. His gorget, which should strictly bear an engraving of the Royal Arms, shows in fact an engraving of a device similar to that on his belt-plate, also incorporating a grenade. l Iis sword belt ends in slings instead of a frog, which is rather unusual, and he has the scimitar-type sword commonly worn in grenadier and light companies.
'The most striking feature of his dress is the black satin breeches, which are very unusual indeed. He is shown wearing a hat with a grenadier plume rather than a bearskin cap. 'The hat almost disappeared, as we have seen, in 1811, but it was commonly worn at levees as, in spite of its size, it could easily be carried flar under the arm.
'The 19th Foot were raised in 1688, and although they were originally composed largely of Devonshire men they have had, during most of their service, a close conncxion with Yorkshire. 'They have always had green facings and became known as the Green Howards very early in their history, when their commanding officer was a Howard, to distinguish them from the jrd Foot who, with their buff facings and another Howard in command, were known as the Buff Ilowards-now "The Buffs'.
Source: Complete uniform of Lt. Tayloe, 19th Foot, in the regimental museum.
Officer, Grenadier Company, 19th Foot
DI\JI.IlI'N BY !"~ II, SMITHEJl.lfAN © It. HUGH EV.B.UN !>RINl
Ojjicer, Grenadier CompafD', Coldstream Guards PLATE XI
Ofjicer, grenadier Company, Coldstream Guards
IN 'i'HIS PLA'i'E we see a grenadier officer of the Coldstrcam Guards wearing an undress coatee, with grey overalls. This, apart from the bearskin cap, which would be replaced by a shako, is the dress which he would have worn on active service. The lapels are hooked down the centre and buttoned back, showing the facing colour. They could be worn buttoned over to form a double-breasted coat, sometimes with the top pair of buttons undone and the lapel folded back to show a triangle of the facing colour. As a member of the grenadier company he wears a grenade on the strap attached to his wing, and a garter star on the wing, which is a regimental badge and not a badge of rank. He does not wear the gorget, although his sash indicates that he is on duty, the gorget by this time being worn in full dress only.
Source: Contemporary water-colour drawing by D. Dighton.
Officer, Grenadier Company, Coldsrrearn Guards
D ...... WN' BY P. H. SMITFlEiJliJdAN © A. uucn lN~LYN' .PII[~T
Officer, 73attalion Compaf!Y, Colds/ream guards PLATE XII
Officer, 13attalion Compmry, Coldstream guards
IN THIS PICTURE we see an officer in the full-dress coat which developed from that shown in Plate III. As a Coldstreamer he has his laced button-holes grouped in pairs. Like the sergeant in Plate IX he still wears the antiquated white spatterdashes which had long since vanished from the rest of the army, and the garter star is now displayed on his hat as the regimental badge. With this order of dress it will be seen that no black stock or white cravat was worn, only a starched white collar under the coat-collar.
Source: Water-colour drawing by D. Dighton.
cer Ba talion .. ompan·"" '- I ·ld tn a"
Field Officer} 43rd Light Infantry
Field OJJicer, 43rd Light Infantry
HERE WE SEE a field officer of the 43rd in undress uniform. In full dress, the lapels of his coat would have been buttoned back to show the white facings, with plain white buttonholes without lace, as on the collar. As a field officer he would be mounted, and his sword is therefore in slings at the end of the sword belt, and not in a frog. Shortly after this, field officers were authorised to wear waist-belts with slings instead of shoulder-belts. The shako has sprouted green cock-feathers and green cap-lines fastened to one of the coat buttons. The privates had no cap lines and wore drooping horse-hair plumes. The crimson sash ends in cords and tassels-the light infantry style-instead of a fringe.
One interesting feature is the wearing of epaulettes over wings. The wings were worn by all light infantrymen, and the wearing of two epaulettes was the mark of a field officer and so, for a time, field officers of light infantry wore both. It looked rather strange, however, and in 1829 it was decided that they should wear epaulettes only.
At this time a number of regiments wore silver lace instead of gold, but from 1830 all regular regiments wore gold.
The 43rd were raised originally in 1741 as the 54th, becoming the 43rd in 1748. In 1804 they were made part of Sir John Moore's original Light Brigade at Shorncliffe with the ~ znd (raised in 175 5, also, oddly enough, as the 54th) and the 95th (later the Rifle Brigade). These three were the nucleus of the Light Division which served through the Peninsular and at Waterloo and was one of the best divisions ever produced by the British army. In 1881 the 43rd and pnd were amalgamated into the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, with the same cap badge as that shown on the shako in the picture. On the collar of their service dress they still wear the same button and cord as that worn by the officer in the picture.
Source: Portrait of Major Henry Booth in possession of the family.
DR.\W 1IiI~ [I.
M.\N ® A HUGH 1:\
Field 01, cer, 43r .Ligh Infantr
Field 0 jftcer, 94th :foot
Field Officer, 94th Foot
IN THIS PLATE we see a :field officer of the 94th wearing probably the most ornate type of uniform worn by the British infantry of this time. This uniform was very expensive, and after 1B30 the amount of gold lace on it was considerably reduced. As a :field officer he wears spurs, a black sword belt with slings (introduced in IB23) and a steel scabbard. His chin-scales are worn along the top of the peak of his hat, in the manner of the modern chin-strap, and they could, of course, be worn under the chin. As a member of a battalion company he wears a white-over-red plume.
The 94th in 1881 were amalgamated with the B8th to form the two battalions of the Connaught Rangers, and this, with other Irish regiments, was disbanded in 1922.
Source: Portrait of an officer of the regiment in private possession.
ield (. fficer, 94th, Foot
Officer, Light Compa~, 45th :foot
OfJicer} Light Compa;ry, 45th Foot
THE 01'1'1 CER in this plate is in the dress worn in India at this time, similar to die summer dress worn at home. Even in the cold weather in India these clothes must have been very hot indeed, but then in those days little concession was made to the climate, and campaigns were fought in clothing which was utterly unsuitable. Moreover, the Indian troops of the Honourable East India Company were made to wear clothes very similar to these. As a member of the light company he wears the green ball tuft on his hat, introduced in 1830. As a subaltern officer he wears no badge of rank, but has a bugle device in gilt on his wings. He also has on his sword-belt the whistle introduced in about 1830 for light infantry and rifles, and his sword is curved as befits a light company officer.
His buttons are in pairs, an arrangement adopted by many regiments, and the braided button-holes on his cuff slashes are in pairs too.
This type of coat was introduced in 1830 and was a proper double-breasted coat, without the embroidered lapels underneath such as arc displayed in Plates X and XIV.
The first "4 j th were raised in '740 as marines and disbanded after eight years, and the number 45 devolved on the old 56th. \">;'hen this second 45th came home after a long tour abroad in 1778, they became linked with Nottinghamshlre, and the latgc deficiencies in the establishment were made up from men of the county, and the association has remained to this day. It was in '778 that they gained their popular title, the Sherwood Foresters, which they retained after their amalgamation in 18S, with the 95th Foot.
Source: Contemporary prim by Mansion and Eschauzier.
Officer, Light Company, 45th Foot
DR.lr.WN RY jIo. if:. SMlTll.EftJdAN © A. HUGH I;!Y~LYN I'IUNT
Officer, Scots :Fusilier guards PLATE XVI
OjJicer, Scots fusilier Guards
IN 181j, as we have seen, the rst Guards received as a battle honour the title Grenadier Guards. In 1831 it was decided to designate the Coldstream and the jrd Guards as fusilier guarus, and to dress them as fusiliers, whose dress was by then virtually the same as that of grenadiers. Accordingly in that year both of these guards regiments were dressed in bearskin caps and cpaulettes. The Fd Guards were renamed the Scots Fusilier Guards, but the title of the Coldstream Guards was not, in the event, altered. The plate shows the uniform of a field officer of the regiment immediately after the change. The gold cords shown on the bearskin cap of 18:<1 in Plate XI have gone, but the tassels remain, and there is a regimental badge of a crown over a thistle in front of the cap. The white grenadier plume shown here was worn for only a short time, and afterwards the cap was worn with no plume, as it is today. The tassels and badge disappeared at the same time. The sword is carried in a frog mounted on a waist-belt, which is unusual. The gold and crimson sash and the gold-striped trousers indicate that the wearer is in court dress, or guard of honour order.
The Scots Guards have their roots in 'IIis Majesty's Foot Guards of Scotland' raised ill 1639, who saw much service in Ireland. They came on to the establishment as the 3rd Guards in 1661, and acquired their present title, Scots Guards, in 1877.
Source: Portrait at Windsor Castle of Lord Rokeby by Dubois Drahoner.
Officer, Scots Fusilier Guards
DRAW"'" 'illY P. H. SItIIIHIl,KIdAN @ A HUCIi, lIyeLYN P.!UNT
OlJicer} Rifle 'Brigade
o /fieer, Rifle 'Brigade
IN PLAn; VIII we saw a picture of a private of the 60th Rifles in 1812:; here we see an officer of the sister Greenjacker regiment, the Rifle Brigade, in 18 3I. From the 11(st the officers of both regiments had been dressed in light cavalry style, and the uniform shown here is very much in light dragoon tradition, with its frogging, cross belt, and pelisse. Light infantry features are the whistle worn in the cross belt, and the tasselled ends of the crimson sash. OriginaUy the officers had worn silver buttons on their coats, but in 1830 they were changed to black, and have remained black ever since.
The Rille Brigade was originally raised as Colonel Coote Manningham's Experimental Rifte Corps in 1800 and called the 9jth Foot. After Waterloo they were taken out of the line and given their present title, Rifle Brigade, with no number. During the Peninsular War and at Waterloo they were part of die famous Light Division with the 43Cd and 52nd.
Source: Contemporary print by Mansion and Eschauzier,
Officer, Rifle Brigade
l)RAWN BY P. H. SWITI.J::E.hIAN ® ... HUGH EVl.LYN PIUr-.
Sergeant, 13th Light Infantry
Sergeant, 13th Light Infantry
COMPARISON OF this plate with Plate VII will show how the dress of the men had developed during the intervening twenty years. The coat, and particularly the sleeves, is tighter, smarter no doubt in appearance but less practical for active service. The leather equipment has changed very little, in fact with the pack added it would be almost the same as that of ISIl. The pack straps were particularly badly designed, because to prevent the pack slipping down the baek they had to be: so tight that the chest was restricted, and physical exertion could be quite painful. The collar is now closed and tight, and slashed cuffs, common in the first half of the eighteenth century, have come back almost universally, The shako is similar to that already seen in some of the plates of officers. As a light infantryman he has a green ball tuft in his shako, and white wool wings. In 1836 the white lace on the front of the coats of all infantry sergeants was abolished, and they wore a plain double-breasted coat like their officers. As a sergeant this man is armed with a rifle-the halbert or half-pike of Plate IX having never been carried by light infantry sergeants-so he wears a bayonet, and a sergeant's sword. These swords disappeared after the Crimea.
He wears a crimson cotton sash found his waist with stripes of his facing colouranother distinction of a sergeant.
The 13th were raised in 1685. In 1707 they served for a time in Spain as dragoons, and arc now the Somerset Light Infantry. Today the sergeants wear their crimson sashes over the left shoulder, as officers used to, instead of the right as sergeants do in all other regiments. This commemorates an occasion, probably at Jellalabad in 1842, when all the officers, were killed or wounded, and the sergeants commanded the battalion. No doubt arising from the same incident, the officers wear their sashes tied on the right instead of the left side. Like the Norfolks (Plate I) the officers have a double line of black in their gold lace, probably to commemorate the deaths of the officers 011 that occasion.
SOW'ce: Portrait of Sergeant Smart by Dubois Drahonet at Windsor Castle.
Sergeant, i j th Light Infantry
UKAWN BY P. H. :s,M[THI;IHIII,o"N © .\ HUGH EVeLYN PUNT
I831 OJjicer) 16th :foot
1837 Officer, 76th :foot
THIS PLATE shows an ensign of the regiment in the summer dress worn at home. It will be seen that the shako has now lost the gold lace (Plate XIV etc.) which made it so expensive, and has a chin chain rather than the heavy scales worn hitherto. The whiteover-red ball tuft indicated battalion companies, a green tuft light companies and a white tuft grenadier companies. An unusual feature of this coat is the red light between the panels of gold lace on the collar. The white trousers for summer wear at home were abolished in 1845, because the men had been in the habit of washing them and putting them on damp, causing colds and rheumatism. This automatically meant that they were forbidden for use in India, as there was as yet no special dress for hot climates.
The 76th were raised in 1787 by the East India Company, and consequently saw their early service in India. On one occasion at Delhi in 1803 the regiment charged with the bayonet immediately after a march of seventy-five miles, and shortly afterwards engaged in battle immediately after a march of sixty-five miles covered in two days. All this was performed in the sort of uniform shown here, the only concession being to allow red shell jackets to be worn sometimes instead of full dress.
In IS81 the 33rd and the 76th were amalgamated to form the Duke of Wellington's Regiment, the Duke having at one time served as an ensign in the 76th and having commanded the Hrd in 1806.
Source: Portrait of Ensign C. \Y/. Hopkins in possession of the regiment.
Officer, 76th Foot
OI.A.\VN Bl P. 1-1. SMITUCULAN @ ... IfUGIl ,&\rIl1.rn Pllll'o""r
Officer, ftb Fusili8rs PLATE xx
Officer, Jth :Fusiliers
IN 1844 the bell-topped shako finally went after twenty -nine years' existence, and its place was taken by the 'Albert Pot' shown here. The bearskin cap of the grenadiers went two years earlier, in 1842. The j th, being a fusilicr regiment, wore a dress similar to that of grenadiers, and had worn a fur cap up to r842. It will be noted that the ball tuft of this regiment is red-over-white, instead of white-over-red. This was because they had long worn a white plume in their head-dress but when, in 1829, all the infantry took to wearing a white plume, they were permitted to change theirs to red and white, and they retain this plume to this day. Their gosling green facings are also unique and have survived several efforts by the planners to alter them. The wearing of a grenade on the collar was a privilege which at this time was allowed to no other line regiment.
The j th were originally raised by William of Orange to fight the French in the Netherlands, and they accompanied him to England in 1688 when he came to the throne of this country, and were put on the establishment as the 5th Foot. In 1762. they were permitted to wear fusilier caps because of their defeat of the French grenadiers at Wilhelmstahl, and they became a fusilier regimwt proper in 1832., as the 5th Northumberland Fusiliers. Although they have a connection with the county of Northumberland, the title was given to them in 1784 as a compliment to Lord Percy, who had commanded them for fifteen years. Their title, Northumberland Fusilicrs, was confirmed in 1881.
Jouree: A contemporary water-colour drawing- by an unknown artist.
Officer, 5 th Fusiliers
DRAWN BY 1'. H. SYITH.t.R.MIIN @ ... HUGH ,E;VELrN II:\L"'T
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