Before photographs became widely available there was usually an artist serving in the ranks of each regiment who could make an image of his fellow soldiers which could be sent home. This watercolour was made of Private Joel Hampton at Chatham in 1843. The artist has named his regiment the Old Buffs, a nickname of the regiment since the 31st Foot was referred to as the Young Buffs by George II at Dettingen.
The shako is the old bell-topped type which was replaced in 1844. He is in a battalion company which is indicated by the white ball tuft and the white epaulettes. His coat is laced across the front with plain white lace and his white belts across his chest have a rectangular brass plate. He looks as if he is standing guard near a sentry-box but he is carrying a pack and rolled greatcoat. A print of the Royal Irish Regiment Various Types c1832 also shows a sentry in marching order so it seems that the poor man had to bear the weight of his pack and coat for the duration of his guard duty.
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