26th Regiment of Foot

Colour Sergeant, Private and Officer 1815

These uniforms are mostly associated with Waterloo but the 26th was in Gibraltar at the time, being under-strength and in poor shape since the Walcheren expedition and time spent in the Peninsula. The red and white plumes, tufted shoulder straps and officer's epaulette tell us that these men are in a battalion company. They wear the Belgique or Waterloo shako introduced in 1812, the other ranks had white cords and tassels while the officer had gold and red cords. The large brass badge on the front can be seen at Other Rank's Shako Badge 1812-15.

The rank of Colour Sergeant was instituted in 1813 and the badge at that time was a single chevron surmounted by crossed swords with a union flag and gold crown. This was only worn on the right arm in battalion companies; grenadier and light companies wore rank badges on both arms. The lace on the private's jacket had two yellow and one blue stripe as before, although they are not clear in this illustration. Corporals also had this regimental pattern lace, not only on the button loops but also on their chevrons; sergeants had plain white lace while the Battalion Sergeant-Major had silver lace and chevrons. The Colour Sergeant is armed with a sword and a nine foot crossbar pike. His sash of office is red with a yellow central stripe, following the regimental facing colour. Both he and the private are in marching order with knapsack and rolled greatcoat on their backs and haversack and water-bottle slung over the left and right shoulder respectively.

The officer has a double-breasted jacket made of finer material than the other ranks. It is a brighter scarlet colour than the private's jacket but almost the same as the sergeant's. His silver buttons are in pairs and decorate the collar and cuffs, which also have silver lace loops. His single silver epaulette on the right shoulder shows that he is below field rank and his sword is hung on his left hip from a white leather belt with silver belt plate. All these men wear the grey overalls worn on foreign service, the men having dark grey spats over their shoes.

Uniforms | Regimental Details


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by Stephen Luscombe