Officers in the New Tunic 1855

This print by Ackermann was published in March 1855 and shows what must be 1st or 2nd Battalion officers since the 3rd Battalion were still entrenched around Sevastopol and did not receive this new uniform until 1856. It is an unlikely scene because the two main officers are in different orders of dress. The left hand officer is dressed for levees and state occasions. His trousers have a gold lace stripe, his sword-belt is gold-laced and he wears a crimson and gold sash. The right-hand officer is dressed for parade with a red trouser stripe, white leather sword-belt and crimson sash. The sashes are in this case worn over the left shoulder, not round the waist as before the uniform change.

The new tunic was very short lived because in 1856 a different style was introduced. The 1855 tunic, shown here, was double breasted, designed to allow the lapels to be turned back when not on duty. The collar was lower, and here can be seen to be cut away showing a black stock. There was white piping along the edge of the collar, down the front edge and round the slash cuff flap. There were no epaulettes so rank had to be shown on the collar. The skirts appear very long here and the artist has made every effort to show off the slashed flap on the back of the skirt. The 1855 Dress Regulations state that the skirts are to be 14 inches deep for an officer of 5ft 9inches, with a variation of half an inch for every inch difference in the height of the officer. The scarlet slashed flap on the skirt behind should be 12.5 inches deep but looks here as if it is almost the same length as the skirt.

To the left of the two officers can be seen a mounted officer and an officer in undress frockcoat. Basically he is dressed the same as the officer in the Hayes print of 1846. See The Three Guards Regiments 1846 But now his swordbelt is white leather and his sash is over his left shoulder. He seems to be wearing a peakless forage cap with a gold laced band.

Uniforms | Regimental Details

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by Stephen Luscombe