Corporal and Officers 1880

A watercolour signed and dated R Simkin 1880. The Corporal is in marching order with valise equipment introduced in 1871, having the ammunition pouches on the front of the waistbelt. Unfortunately there was a great deal of blanco-ing of white straps to achieve smartness. His knapsack is worn lower on the back while the greatcoat was folded and strapped to the upper back. In full dress the greatcoat was carried but not the knapsack. He is holding a Martini-Henry rifle, introduced in 1874, with a 22 inch socket bayonet. For marching and field days, black gaiters were worn round the ankles.

The officer in a similar order of dress is a lieutenant as he only has one row of lace on his cuff and collar. He has a star badge of rank on his collar. From 1881 the rank badges were transferred to the shoulder straps. His crimson sash is over his left shoulder, kept in place by one of his gold shoulder cords. His trousers have a broader red stripe than the other ranks but he has black gaiters like the corporal. The sword, suspended from a white leather waistbelt, has a white sword knot with a gold acorn.

The other officer is in undress with a peaked forage cap and blue patrol jacket. The garter star badge on the cap is embroidered and the cap-band is embroidered black silk. He wears white kid gloves and caries a silver-topped cane. The private marching in the background shows the knapsack more clearly. His title is still Private at this time, the title Guardsman was not instituted until after World War I. Another man, on the right, who looks as if he has fallen over is probably resting but looks strangely over-dressed for it.

Uniforms | Regimental Details


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by Stephen Luscombe