26th Regiment of Foot

Colour Sergeant, Private and Officer 1873

This print reveals several interesting features of infantry uniform. The colour sergeant on the left is in full dress, wearing the 1869 to 1878 pattern shako. The ball tuft is red and white, worn by the whole regiment as flank companies had been abolished in 1860. The chinstrap is made of interlinking brass rings whereas previously a plain black leather strap was used.

In 1868 the slash cuff was discontinued for line infantry and a pointed cuff introduced but the design was modified in 1870 to incorporate braiding with a trefoil design. The low collar had rounded corners to show the black stock at the neck. Collar badges, usually plain brass crowns, made an appearance for the first time but in this print are indistinct. The colour sergeant rank badge on his right arm changed in 1868 from the single chevron and crossed swords to three chevrons and crossed flags.

In 1871 the method of carrying equipment was changed so that the ammunition pouch was no longer carried on the rear right hip as in Officer, Other Ranks and Piper 1866 but attached to the front of the waist-belt. At first it was black leather, as seen here, but later it was white leather then a second pouch was placed on the other side to balance them up. He has a crimson sash on his right shoulder and a medal for the Abyssinian Campaign. The rifle is the Snider, soon to be replaced by the Martini Henry.

The private in the middle of the group is in undress with a serge frock of 1870 pattern. Only the collar is yellow, the rest is scarlet, including the shoulder straps. He has collar badges and two good conduct stripes on his right sleeve. The garment is shorter in the skirt than the tunic, and has five brass buttons down the front whereas the tunic has 7. The cuff braid is white and forms a simple loop. He wears his white leather waist-belt to carry his bayonet and he holds a cane in his right hand. The glengarry has the regimental pattern diced band and a badge.

The officer, on the right, is also in undress, having a forage cap with diced band and embroidered 26 in the front. His frock is also simple in design but has gold braid on the sleeve which indicates the rank of lieutenant. See Officer's Undress Frock c1875 He has no badges on his collar. His medal ribbon is for Abyssinia. The sword belt is worn underneath the frock and he has a steel scabbard instead of the usual black leather and gilt type.

Uniforms | Regimental Details


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by Stephen Luscombe