The Royal Irish Regiment

Sergeant-Drummer c1899

Today we would call this NCO a drum-major, but in 1881 the drum-majors were down-graded to sergeant-drummer. This lasted until 1926 when the title was restored. The photo is a detail from a group taken in Mhow, India at the turn of the century. The sergeant-drummer's blue cloth belt of office is fairly plain, having no battle honours sewn on, only the crown and QV cypher, miniature drumsticks, and his medal for the Tirah campaign. His tunic is the India frock with gold lace on the collar and gold braid on the cuff and edges of the tunic. He has a crimson sergeant's sash on his right shoulder. The white foreign service helmet has no badge but it has a thick white pagri around it and a gilt spike on top. The gilt chin chain is hooked up to the top of the helmet.

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by Stephen Luscombe