The Royal Irish Regiment

Colour Sergeants, India c1899

The Colours of the 2nd Battalion are held by the sergeant-drummer while the colour-sergeants pose either side. The CO, Lt-Col Burton Forster, with moustache, and the adjutant, Capt H N Kelly sit either side of the drums and bugles. Forster commanded the battalion in India from 1897 to 1901. The officers are wearing blue patrols and the NCOs are wearing scarlet frocks with blue collars. The hot climate frock differed from the home service frock and was mainly distinguished by the white trefoil braid on the cuffs. Two of the colour-sergeants have a different braiding, in the form of an Austrian knot; the man besides the adjutant and the man behind his left shoulder. This may denote senior staff-sergeant status. Apart from the man sitting on the extreme right of the picture, they all have a medal for their ill-fated Tirah campaign. The white foreign service helmets have thick white pagris around them, spikes on top, and brass chin-chains that are mostly hooked up. The colour-sergeants either side of the Colours are armed with rifles and have an ammunition pouch on their white waist-belts, but the other NCOs only have canes and no pouch.

Regimental Details | Uniforms


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by Stephen Luscombe