Officers and Other Ranks 1685

This illustration was painted c1921 by H Oakes Jones, an ex officer of the Fusiliers, and was one of several he made of the regiment at various stages of its history. This one is an attempt to recreate the appearance of the officers and men but cannot be fully correct because of the lack of information. All we know of the early uniform is that they wore wide skirted red coats lined with yellow, brass buttons in the front and with yellow cuffs. Underneath the coats were white cravats with plain bands around the neck. Below the coat they wore grey breeches and stockings with yellow bows at the knees, and on their heads red conical caps with a yellow turn-up on which were embroidered a white cypher. The officers wore felt hats with a feather, the brims raised at one side. Their hair was long and curled, and fell to the shoulders. In 1689 at Tillroy camp they were described as 'Fuzileers red lined yellow' but in 1703 a description of a deserter had 'red lined blue'. Royal regiments have traditionally had blue facings but in the reign of James II yellow was the favoured colour.

The figure on the left would be a miner, as indicated by the axe and the plain cap. Next to him is a sergeant as indicated by the shoulder knot and the laced coat. The other ranker with a fusil on his shoulder has a plain coat. The senior officer in the middle has a cuirass or corselet and a silver waist sash while the lieutenant on the right has no cuirass and a crimson sash. He is carrying a Colour which was white with a complicated design of cannons and flags. It was said that the regiment had no ensigns because there were no Company Colours. This Colour was most likely Lord Dartmouth's Colour in his capacity as Master-General of Ordnance. Oakes Jones has included two cannons on each side of the painting to illustrate the badge which is the rose, garter and crown, as used by the Fusiliers throughout their history.

Regimental Details | Uniforms


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by Stephen Luscombe