Sketch of Drum Banner c1860

P W Reynolds has this sketch of a drum banner in his notebooks. The caption beneath it says: 'Kettle Drum Banner (one of a pair, of course), supposed to have been made about 1850, in the above form, with the word PERSIA, not earlier than 1856, still in use in 1860, and, according to Ebsworth, occasionally for many years afterwards. Drawing taken, by S M Milne from one supplied by the present owner (1901).'

The battle honours include the Peninsula War and Second Sikh War as well as the Persian campaign. It is hard to see how this banner could have existed in 1850. The Sikh War honours were not awarded until December 1852, and Persia in 1858. Ebsworth's painted sketches have scrolls on the banners. Such a distinctive design as these large laurel leaves would surely have been recorded by the artist.

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by Stephen Luscombe