Uniform for Naval Brigade Midshipman

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Uniform for Naval Brigade Midshipman

Postby zRedBaron » 25 Mar 2015 20:19

I am looking for information on uniform, insignia, and accouterments for a Naval Brigade Midshipman in the 1879 Zulu War. I would like to get my son involved in my peculiar hobby but seeing as how there were no boy's in the infantry during the war there just wasn't a place for him. However, he is 14 now and is the perfect age to portray a young Midshipman and that will work for him for the next 5 years or so. I have to admit that information has been a little harder to come by than I had anticipated so I am putting the query out to the masses. So far it is my understanding that Naval Brigade officers were wearing a blue frock coat, likely single breasted at this rank, with either a stand or roll collar (may have been personal choice). Trousers either seem to be be blue or white with tan canvas gaiters. Not sure what the white trouser material would be, though (canvas?). I have seen one written reference that the foreign service helmets had blue covers (and photographic evidence seems to support this) but I am not sure of what other pattern cap they had. Also, not sure of any unit/ship insignia or what, if any, rank insignia a Midshipman would have at this time. Leather gear seems to be brown. I know that they did have a dirk instead of a sword but am not certain if this is something that was worn in the field or was used primarily for more formal occasions. I am assuming that a 14 year-old 1st year Midshipman would not be sporting a revolver but that is just a blind assumption. Any clarity or corrections you can provide to this information will be very appreciated. I do ask that you support any findings with some form of documentation (photographs and extant examples would be great!) as I do participate in judged events where sources are required. Thank you.
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