The New Doublet 1856


The Dress Regulations published on 1 April 1855 described the new doublet that was to replace the previous short-tailed jacket. The red garment was as the one worn by the captain in this print which was published by Ackermann on 10 Feb 1856. It was double breasted with two rows of diamond shaped gilt buttons down the front, 8 inches apart at the top and 4 inches at the bottom. The collar and cuffs were dark blue and the cuffs has a blue slash flap with three gold laced button loops although the print incorrectly shows a red flap. The skirts were made up of four Inverness flaps which were doubled so that the smaller one lay on top of the larger. Gilt buttons with gold loops decorated the smaller top flap. There was white edging all around the flaps and down the front edge of the doublet. There were gold shoulder cords on both shoulders to retain the sword belt and crimson silk sash. The rank badges for officers were now to be displayed on each side of the collar. Subalterns and captains had a line of gold lace around the top of the collar and around the top of the cuff. Field officers had the same but another row of lace on the bottom of the collar, and along the edges of the skirt flaps and cuff flap. There was also an extra row of gold lace around the top of the cuff.

The rest of the uniform stayed as before. The officer here is not wearing the spats introduced in 1840, neither are the men. His dirk is supported by a belt which is under the doublet so that all we can see is the buckle peeking out from the front opening of the waist flaps. The men behind him are in marching order and carry a valise on their backs. The ammunition belt is across the left shoulder and the bayonet is kept on the white waist-belt. This uniform lasted only a year because the double-breasted jacket was found to be unsatisfactory and was replaced by a single-breasted doublet. Not only that but the diamond shaped buttons, which were part of traditional Highland costume, were replaced by more conventional round ones. The 42nd arrived back from the Crimea on 24 July 1856 so were probably issued with the double-breasted doublet after that date. They left Britain in August 1857 to go to India, by which time they would have had the single-breasted doublets.


Regimental Details | Uniforms




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by Stephen Luscombe