Sergeant 1954

Dress uniforms returned to the regiments of the line in the 1950s. The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 encouraged the army to look beyond the dull khaki service dress and battledress that had dominated the last 40 years. The dress uniforms seen here are actually based on undress uniforms of the first decade of the 20th century. While the line regiments were mostly wearing blues instead of the old scarlet dress tunics the light infantry were now clothed in green tunics and green forage caps. The trousers were blue with green stripes. Red waist-belts were worn at this stage but within a few years changed to white, and then black belts. This illustration is taken from Regiments at a Glance. by Lt-Col Frank Wilson (c1954). His page on the Light Infantry Brigade has an illustration of the Durham Light Infantry and the Somerset Light Infantry. Both uniforms are included here to compare the similarities and differences. The Durhams still retained the whistle and chain while the Somersets had discarded it 50 years earlier. The sash worn on the different shoulders is evident here; the Somersets being the only regiment in the British army where the sergeants wore their sash of office on the left shoulder. Both men are armed with the old .303 Lee-Enfield but that was starting to be replaced in 1954 by the 7.62 SLR.

Regimental Details | Uniforms


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by Stephen Luscombe