Guard Duty 1856

The two men are in full dress as for guard duty outside Buckingham Palace. They both wear the double-breasted tunic of 1855. We can clearly see white piping following the edge of his collar, epaulettes, cuffs and down the front edge of the tunic. The private on the right has only his pouchbelt on and no knapsack or greatcoat. His white leather waistbelt carries a small pouch for the percussion caps. His Enfield Rifle has the socket bayonet attached.

The man on the left is a sergeant or Colour-Sergeant. Although he has a Colour badge on his chevrons it is difficult to determine his rank because drill sergeants also had this rank badge but with more gold lace. His collar is obscured by a beard and his cuff flaps could be white lace or gold. The NCOs sash is on the left shoulder and appears to cover up his pouchbelt which he needs because he has a rifle. The following year NCOs changed the sash over to the right shoulder so that there was a difference with officers who continued to wear it on the left shoulder. The sergeant wears white gloves but the private does not. Just below his left elbow we can see a sword hilt.

Uniforms | Regimental Details

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by Stephen Luscombe