Poulett Somerset was the eldest son of Lord Charles Somerset, born on 19th June 1822. He was commissioned into the Coldstream Guards in 1839. Somerset served as an ADC to his uncle, Lord Raglan, during the Crimean War. He fought at the Alma, Balaclava, and Inkermann. At Inkermann, his horse was killed under him by a shell. He served at the Siege of Sevastopol and was made a CB for his Crimean services in 1855, as well as a Knight of the Order of the Medjidie, 4th Class.
In 1859, he was returned as Member of Parliament for Monmouthshire after his first cousin Edward Arthur Somerset resigned. He held the seat until 1871, when he became Steward of the Chiltern Hundreds.
He voluntarily undertook to raise the 2nd battalion of 1,000 men in 1858 and was its first commanding officer, gazetted 2nd Feb 1858. He commanded the battalion for more than 6 years, in Gibraltar and Malta.
He was married twice, to Barbara Mytton in 1847, and to Emily Moore in 1870. Barbara died on 4th June 1870 and he married Emily on 10th Sep in the same year. He had a daughter and two sons by Barbara and a daughter, called Cecily, by Emily. Poulett died on 7th Sep 1875 and was buried in the nave of Bristol Cathedral.
The portrait is in the Royal Fusiliers Museum and shows him as a colonel in his parade uniform wearing his Crimea medal, his Order of the Medjidie and his CB. The shako on the table is the 1855-61 pattern with the distinctive falling white plume of the Royal Fusiliers. Officers had a plain black shako but lieutenant-colonels had one row of gold lace around around the top, and colonels had two rows. His collar does not have the embroidered flaming grenade that was worn on later tunics, but a rose. There are no visible rank badges on the collar.
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