Colour Sergeant 1860

In 1860 the 13th Light Infantry were in India. A second battalion was raised in 1858 but they went to South Africa and Mauritius from 1859 to 1867. When Simkin was painting his series of regiments through the ages he may not have had time to research the history of each unit. But there were soldiers at home in the depot while the regiments served abroad so this man in home service uniform may be based on such a soldier. The sergeants of the 13th Light Infantry were distinguished by having the crimson sash on the left shoulder instead of the right. Unfortunately, the sash at this time was covered by the white leather shoulder-belt that supported the ammunition pouch (and a small percussion cap pouch on the front of he belt). In this illustration the sash can only just be seen on the lower edge of the belt.

The rank of Colour Sergeant was instituted in 1813. The badge on the right sleeve was a single gold lace chevron with a Union Colour above, and crossed swords on the flag pole. On the other sleeve three chevrons were worn, as flank companies, light infantry and fusiliers were required to have rank symbols on both sleeves. The tunic is the 1856 pattern. The slash flap on the cuff was blue like the cuff itself, and had 3 brass buttons with white lace loops. In 1868 the cuff was changed to a pointed type.

The rifle he carries is the percussion short Enfield rifle as carried by rifle regiments and sergeants. While the rank and file had 17 inch socket bayonets the sergeants were issued with sword bayonets that were 22.75 inches long. He is in marching order with a knapsack on his back and mess tins in a waterproof cover on top. His greatcoat was folded and strapped to the valise. His shako is the 1855-61 pattern with a light infantry falling green plume.

Regimental Details | Uniforms


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by Stephen Luscombe