Captain 1857

The tailed coatee was discontinued in 1855 and replaced by a tunic which at first was double-breasted. The following year a single breasted tunic was adopted, as worn by the officer in this portrait. He is Captain Charles Knight Pearson who later commanded the Buffs, and also a column in the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879. He had been adjutant in the 31st Foot in the Crimean War and exchanged to the Buffs in 1857 as a captain. The 31st was also a buff-faced regiment (nick-named the Young Buffs) so Captain Pearson would only have had to have the buttons changed, assuming that the 3rd and the 31st had the same shade of buff on their collar and cuffs. We can tell that he is wearing Buffs uniform by the badge on his 1855-pattern shako. Although the dragon badge is not very distinct it is easily distinguishable from the number 31.

The collar is very much cut away revealing a black stock. There is a single line of gold lace along the top which was indicative of the ranks of captain and below. Majors and above had an extra line of gold lace along the bottom of the collar. The rank of captain was denoted by a crown and star. We can see the crown but the star is on the curve,almost out of sight. The crimson sash is now worn over the left shoulder instead of round the waist. It is held in place by a slim twisted crimson cord and small gilt button. There is nothing on the right shoulder. The cuffs are buff with a lace edge and a buff slash flap decorated with three loops of half inch gold lace and buttons. A waistbelt now supported the sword instead of the shoulder belt worn previously. It was of white leather with a regimental pattern belt clasp. This was worn in all orders of dress; there was no gold-laced dress belt at this stage. His sword is carried in a black leather covered scabbard with gilt fittings. The field officers had all-brass scabbards and the adjutant had a steel scabbard.

Uniforms | Regimental Details


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by Stephen Luscombe