Pioneer and Privates 1856

These men are veterans of the Crimea and therefore 3rd Battalion. They are wearing the double-breasted tunic which was soon to be superceded by the single-breasted type. Their whiskers cover the collar but not enough to hide the white grenade badge. We can also see that there is no white edge to the collar which is a puzzle because other photos and prints show a definite white edge. See Other Ranks 1856 and Guard Duty 1856. The blue cuffs have a blue slashed flap with 4 white lace button loops of equal length. The buttons are brass. White piping follows the edge of the tunic down the front, round the cuff and flap, and round the pocket flaps at the back of the skirt.

The pioneer has his badge of crossed axes with grenade, which was sewn on both sleeves. On parade pioneers would wear a clean white leather apron but this man is in marching order so wears a more workmanlike brown leather one. His pack and shovel are strapped to his back with brown leather braces and he has other items slung on both shoulders with white straps.

The privates wear a similar tunic to the pioneer but it is well covered by a criss-cross of straps. There is just visible a thin red line down the outer trouser seam of the man in the middle. The method of folding the greatcoat varies slightly, it is secured on top of the knapsack by three white leather straps. They are holding their rifles at the slope, these are .577 Enfield Rifles capable of firing two rounds a minute which is slower than the old flintlock muskets. They have 17inch bayonets which attach to the rifle with a socket.

Uniforms | Regimental Details

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by Stephen Luscombe