Drummer, c1851


This lithograph was used on the front cover of a music sheet but is fairly accurate in it's depiction of the uniform of a Coldstream Guards drummer apart from some of the colouring. The image is taken from the Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research no. 135 which was published in 1955. The late Bill Carman wrote about the uniform.

At first glance, the coat is little different from that worn by all the Guards regiments at this time. It is waist length at the front and has long tails at the back. To get an idea of the back of the coat see Scots Fusilier Guards Drummer's Coat c1845. The white lace has blue fleur-de-lys designs along the whole length. Across the chest are four double rows of lace decreasing in length from top to bottom. The print, here does not show buttons on the chest but they supposed to be there. They were pewter with the garter star device. The double rows of lace are also used on the sleeves in the shape of six chevrons. The strip down the front of the sleeve was also doubled. The cuff is shown here as bright blue and plain but should be dark blue with a single row of lace round the top. There is a red slash flap on the cuff with two double button loops in a slimmer lace. The buttons here are coloured yellow but should be white metal.

The shoulders are decorated with large fringed epaulettes, a feature of the Coldstream Guards; the other regiments had tufted wings. The epaulettes are basically white but the fringes are a mixture of blue and white. The same colours are used in the collar fringe which obscures the blue collar. As well as carrying a drum, the drummer has to have similar crossbelts to those worn by the rest of the rank and file. The brass belt plate has the garter star badge and the broad belts support a white pouch behind his right hip (some sources show a black pouch), and sword on the left.

Another distinction of the Coldstream Guards was the strap, or carriage, holding the drum that goes around his neck. It is decorated with a double row of the royal lace. The Dayes print of a Drummer of 1792 has a similar carriage but with single lace. The drum is also similar to that used in 1792, having white hoops with red edges and a blue worm. The plaited white cords look a little too small and thin. The drummer wears dark trousers which are not the dark blue as worn these days but Oxford mixture. There is no leather leg protection to prevent the drum rubbing against his leg which must have made marching quite uncomfortable. His shoes are small and close-fitting.


Regimental details | Regimental Band




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by Stephen Luscombe