Bandsmen and Drumhorse 1856

It is fortunate that the artist Ebsworth was so diligent in recording the soldiers of the period around the middle of the 19th century. This sketch was made after the changes to the uniform that were made in 1855, while the regiment were still in Ireland. The men in dress uniform are now in tunics, and have leathered trousers for mounted duty. What is astonishing is the colour of the facings. It has always been assumed that the change from black to buff came at the same time as the change from the coatee to the tunic. The band sergeant-major stands near the drumhorse, and has four chevrons on his right sleeve. The RSM is in stable dress, wearing four chevrons and a badge above the stripes, probably a crown. His jacket is similar to the bandsman in undress, the only one with a red cap. But the RSM has gold lace edges to his jacket as opposed to yellow tape which was the band distinction.

The man on the extreme left is a trooper wearing the unlaced stable jacket with black facings. His shoulder straps are also black, and his cap is dark blue like that of the RSM, but with a yellow cap-band instead of gold. The drummer and musicians in dress uniform have aiguilettes on the right shoulder. It seems that at some point between 1853 and 1871 these appendages were switched to the left shoulder. Certainly they were still on the right shoulder in 1865 as can be seen in the photo of Trumpeter Monaghan VC. The plumes on the helmets are black in every case. The band had not started to have white plumes at this stage.

Two of the figures wearing dress uniform are not musicians. The mounted man on the left is an officer, and the standing man on the extreme right is a trooper, or at least a junior NCO. They both have a black leather sabretache with a crown badge. The trooper has a pouchbelt with a black leather pouch that is decorated with a crown badge. The extra strap for retaining the carbine goes under the pouch. The officer has either a gold or plain white leather pouchbelt with a silver pouch. The collar of the officer has gold lace along the top and bottom which indicates field rank. The trooper has a yellow lace loop on his collar.

Regimental details | Musicians and Drumhorses


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by Stephen Luscombe