Other Ranks 1856

There are several good photos of men of the 42nd taken in 1856. This one has a Colour-Sergeant posing with two privates, displaying their Crimea medals. The Colour-Sergeant has the old style badge on his sleeve, a Union Flag with crossed swords and a chevron below. This was at first repeated on the other arm as can be seen in a photo of 1860. A few years later the left arm badges were changed to three sergeant's chevrons. The infantry normally wore rank chevrons on the right arm only at this stage; flank companies had the privilege of chevrons on both arms. But the men of all companies in the Highland regiments were given this distinction. He has his crimson sash over his left shoulder but at some stage before 1860 this was changed to the right shoulder for sergeants and above, to differentiate from officers.

The double-breasted doublet is worn here, with diamond shaped brass buttons. The black leather ammunition pouch is carried on the right hip, hung on a white leather shoulder belt. The bayonet hangs on the left hip from a white waist-belt. They have sporans with black leather cantles and five black brushes. The man on the right has his valise and rolled greatcoat on his back while the middle man rests his foot on equipment. This shows the number 42 on the valise, and the covered mess-tins strapped to the valise straps. The other change that came with the new doublet was the dark coloured stockings. The Black Watch adopted black and red to replace the white and red worn previously. They all hold percussion rifles; the .577 Enfield Rifle issued in 1853.

Regimental Details | Uniforms

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by Stephen Luscombe