Drummer and Drum-Major 1811

This photo was taken on 28th October 1994 when the 2nd Battalion of King's Own Royal Border Regiment celebrated it's regimental anniversary. That date is observed annually in memory of the action of the 34th Foot at the battle of Arroyo dos Molinos. On 28th October 1811 the 34th came face to face with their opposite number in the French army, the 34th regiment of Infantry. Our 34th came off best and captured the drums and mace of the French band. The uniforms worn here are a creditable attempt to recreate those worn at that time by a drummer and drum-major. The yellow coats with red facings worn by the musicians and drummers were the reverse of the rest of the regiment. The drummer has white lace across his chest and down his sleeve. The lace worn should be decorated with coloured thread as had been the custom for 70 years or more. The fur cap is probably a modern fusilier cap adapted. The one worn at the time was more pointed with the fur running upwards, and a more ornate metal front to the cap. The fur cap was valuable and not worn in the Peninsula by drummers, they wore the shako like the men. He should be wearing a sword. The drum he carries is probably a replica of one of the drums captured from the French.

The Drum-Major has a bicorn hat with red and white plume and fancy edge. His coat has a red plastron with silver lace across, a sort of reverse of the coats worn by officers. His drum-major's belt is worn over the left shoulder and should be on top of the sword belt. He carries the captured French mace, or a replica of it.

Regimental Band | Regimental details


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by Stephen Luscombe