Drum-Major and Bandsmen 1851

A drawing from life by Ebsworth which gives us a valuable look at band uniform in the middle of the 19th century. The Drum-Major, in the middle was a very senior NCO and was dressed richly in a special uniform. His coatee had double rows of gold lace across his chest like the others but framed by a border of gold lace. His shoulders have fringed epaulettes and his sleeves are decorated with inverted gold chevrons all the way down to his slashed cuff. His upper arms are also covered by four gold chevrons of rank. His sword belt is white leather with a gilt beltplate but this is obscured by the wide drum-major's sash to which are attached two drumsticks. His bearskin has a red officer's plume on the right side.

The band corporal on the right of the picture holds a Euphonium and wears a curved sword of special band pattern. His coatee has 5 rows of double gold lace across the chest and a gold patch on the collar and a silver garter star on that. His epaulettes are stiff brass other ranks style. Next to him is a bandsman obliging us with a view of the back of the coat, revealing two pockets with four gold button loops.

The band drummers on the left are not to be confused with the drummers that belong to the Corps of Drums. See Drummer 1851. These men have similar uniforms to the band corporal but have inverted gold chevrons down the sleeve. The blue cuff is pointed to fit in with the lowest chevron and does not have a slash flap like the band corporal and the Drum-Major.

The drummer next to the drum-major is the bass drummer, having a short strap round his neck. The man second from left is hidden but we can see his drum carriage which looks blue with gold lace edges. All the bandsmen wear the undress forage cap which is , in essence, the same as that worn by the Guards of today, blue with white cap-band and welt round the top edge and a garter star badge.

Regimental details | Regimental Band


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by Stephen Luscombe