The Royal Irish Regiment

Private, 1842

This illustration by Pierre Turner is of a private of the Royal Irish Regiment in China during the 1839-42 war. He is wearing the undress shell jacket which is waist length and has no tails as there are on the dress jacket. The collar, cuffs and shoulder straps are blue but without any decorative lace. The shako is worn in this illustration which may be incorrect. It was usual for infantrymen to wear the forage cap with the shell jacket. There is a black object on his left shoulder which is the stock that was worn around the neck under the dress jacket. Other regiments suffered heatstroke as a result of this restricting item of dress but the Royal Irish were allowed to take it off and have their collar open. This helped them to cope with the heat. Percussion muskets were introduced in 1839, at first they were converted flintlocks and the rifle he is holding may be an example of such a weapon. The cross belts have the regimental belt-plate in the middle and they support the ammunition pouch on the right hip and the bayonet on the left.

Regimental Details | Uniforms


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by Stephen Luscombe