Officers 1848

The uniform for officers changed little since 1830 although for the 13th Light Infantry the colour of the facings changed in 1842 from yellow to dark blue when they achieved royal status with the title Prince Albert's. This contemporary print shows off the elegance of the uniform but has a few errors. The tailed coatee is supposed to have white turn-backs according to the 1846 Dress Regulations. The white leather shoulder-belt has a belt-plate in the middle but the gilt whistle and chain is absent. This was an important feature of light infantry uniform so it is surprising that it has been omitted. The crimson tassels attached to the officers' chests are the ends of yard-long cords that extend round from the back of the waist. Flank company, light infantry and fusiliers had this style of sash. Interestingly the dress regulations stipulate that the tassels should hang below the sash, from a small loop on the bottom button of the coatee, but all portraits and prints of the period show the cords looped high on the chest.

These officers are in winter dress. From 15 Oct to 30 April the dark trousers were worn, while in summer grey tweed trousers were ordered unless the regiment was serving in a hot climate in which case white linen trousers were worn. The dark colour is described as Oxford mixture which is very dark grey, practically black. Down the outside seam was a scarlet welt. The shako was changed in 1844 from the bell-topped style to the one seen here, called the Albert shako. It was almost straight sided, being only a quarter of an inch smaller in diameter at the top. It was of black beaver and had a peak at the front and a smaller one at the back. There was a large gilt star badge on the front and a gilt chin chain. The top of the shako sported a green ball tuft.

Regimental Details | Uniforms


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by Stephen Luscombe