Crimea Group 1855

The photographer Roger Fenton took photos of several groups from different units and are of great interest because they show how soldiers really looked as opposed to the more idealised portraits painted in high Victorian style. Seated in the middle is Brigadier Van Straubenzee who was formerly the CO of the Buffs, now wearing staff uniform. Lieutenant-Colonel James Paterson sits on a chair on the left with forage cap, scarlet shell jacket and pale trousers with leathered inside bottoms and a thin stripe down the outside. The right-hand standing figure is an officer similarly dressed but with boots. The boots and the steel-scabbarded sword slung from the waist, as well as his youthful appearance, indicate that he is the adjutant. His cap shows clearly the embroidered dragon badge which the Buffs were allowed to wear in place of the plain numeral.

Another officer, probably second-in-command, has a civilian style frock-coat and boots. The senior NCO in dress uniform has his buttons in pairs and indistinct shoulder straps. The chevrons on his right sleeve seem to be four with a crown above indicating that he is the RSM. He has the 1855 shako with the star shaped badge. It is more tapered than the previous type and influenced by the French kepi. Next to him is a trumpeter well wrapped in winter greatcoat and a peakless forage cap that has a 3 on the front.

Uniforms | Regimental Details


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by Stephen Luscombe