Captain 1832

The artist Dubois Drahonet painted this officer in 1832 and he is named as Captain James Edward Alexander of the 42nd. His high bonnet seems to be made of black curly material rather than ostrich feathers, but the red hackle of vulture feathers looks well observed. The small Sphinx badge can be seen at the base of the hackle, on a black cockade. The double-breasted jacket is red fronted since the blue lapels were dispensed with c1828. There is enough gold lace on the collar to cover the blue facing colour, and the cuffs are plain blue but with rich gold slashes and 4 gilt buttons. Because he is in a battalion company he has large well-formed epaulettes with an embroidered silver thistle badge on the strap. His sword belt has a gilt belt plate, half hidden by his crimson sash, but it does not conform with any known plate. There is a medal on his chest with a striped ribbon. This was for service in Persia when he was ADC to Col Macdonal Kinneir, the British Envoy in 1826.

He has a sporan which is more in line with the one worn by the Black Watch in full dress at the end of the 19th century, and still in use today. It is attached with a white strap. Around his waist is a unexplained shiny black belt that has no apparent buckle. This covers his gold laced dirk belt. The red and white checked hose are supported by red ribbons that have a neat bow and serrated ends. The buckled shoes are very dainty in appearance, surely not very hard-wearing.

Regimental Details | Uniforms

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by Stephen Luscombe