Uniform details: infantry, 9th East Norfolk Regiment

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Re: Uniform details: infantry, 9th East Norfolk Regiment

Postby jf42 » 07 Feb 2018 03:06

mike snook wrote:jf

I looked at Barthorp's 2 vols, uniforms of the Inf & Cav, book last night, (which I love and treasure). In there is a plate based on the Cunliffe HM 13th LI in 1841-2 painting. The caption directly links that plate to the 1834 regulation for a new hat. That's potentially significant, because I think that means that what Barthorp calls a Kilmarnock is not what I am calling a Kilmarnock, and, as you have alluded to, 'Kilmarnock' is not what the Army called that 1834 [Cunliffe-style] hat either. Only in 1844 (?) or thereabouts does 'Kilmarnock' start getting used and that [I think] is because that is the year of introduction of the very straight-sided [pork pie] version of the forage cap.

So the sequence seems to be:

Pre-1829 Substantially a regimental free-fire zone for undress caps, but mostly round topped, hat band in facing colour, woolen with a tourie etc. P1829/P1830 regulations for forage caps introduced. Much more closely regulated across the infantry than formerly. Still with facing colour hatbands. Large round top with a tourie. Officers of line regiments [less royal and highland] lose facing colour hatbands and adopt black oak leaf hatband. Sergeants get own forage cap with peak. No peak customarily worn by ORs. Scots regiments still using various slightly taller hummel bonnets (eg. HM 72nd in 6th CFW 1834-5 with improvised peaks).
P1834 forage cap signed off. slightly flared from bottom to top Still a facing colour (or diced where appropriate) hat band but now narrower. Not actually seen anywhere until 1836 (certainly with HM 29th in Mauritius).
Generally fitted with peak for all ranks in India. Probably used by HM 22nd Meanee (with cover, curtain and peak).
Used by HM 13th LI in 1st Afghan War (1839-42, with no peak,) in 1st ASW (1845-6).
Used by HM 58th (?) and others in 1st AMW (NZ). Obsolete and no longer seen by Crimea.
P1844 forage cap signed off. The cylindrical pork-pie pattern. Probably not seen out and about until c 1846
An end to facing colour bands, except for retention of diced bands in some Scots regiments Otherwise plain blue or green (rifles [black tourie] and light infantry [green tourie]). Probably not in India in time for 1st ASW (1845-6).
Probably used in 2nd ASW though some regiments Worn in 8th CFW in SA, typically though not invariably with peaks (eg HM 91st (Argyllshire) and HM 43rd LI with 'em, 1st Bn Rifle Bde without 'em).Universal by time of Crimea. Covered, curtained and often peaked in Mutiny.

Any thoughts? [Anybody else pse feel free to chip in too]. The proposition being that there are 1829/30, 1834 and 1844 patterns.

Slightly avoiding HM 46th in Dublin in 1837 as 'awkward': doesn't really fit with postulation, which would have it that they should have a coloured band and a slightly flared top.


FIrst, I though it might be helpful to post the relevant pages from Michael Barthorp's 1978 JSAHR article 'Infantry Undress Uniforms 1822-1902' ( courtesy of our colleague Peter W. in NSW so all can consult that particular hymn sheet verbatim at their leisure. (Sorry about the image size).

Undress pp.26-27 Barthorp  JSAHR 1978).jpg
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Mike- I would say your slight avoidance of Michael Hayes 1837 watercolours of the 46th in Dublin is an important omission. These illustrations were examined by Michael Carman in a monograph published by NAM CHelsea in 1972. I have seen the booklet and, although I was not considering the introduction of the Kilmarnock when I read it, the 46th were unquestionably wearing the plain blue forage caps we would expect from Barthorp's assessment of the 1834 forage cap.

While awaiting sight of the relevant Circular, the evidence from the text of 'Regulations for the Dress of General, Staff, and Regimental Officers of the Army 1st August 1834, relating to the substitution of a black silk oak leaf band on the officers' blue cloth forage cap, with only the Royal regiments to retain a coloured band, to my mind argues for the likelihood that Barthorp's report of the introduction of a plainer forage cap for the men at the same time is reliable, and that the subsequent retention of caps with bands of facing colour by any corps, was anomalous.

As you will see in the excerpt from the Barthorp article, he takes into consideration the examples of pre-1834 caps continuing to be worn from 1842 to as late as 1853 (13th, 58th, 68th, 38th), as well as of peaked, covered caps being worn abroad in the 1840s in India and elsewhere.

These latter, from the evidence available, seem fairly clearly to have been a separate design, as distinct from simply being the caps ordered in 1829 with peaks added. Indeed, the broad crowned 'foreign service' caps were also in evidence as late as 1853, being worn by troops in Burma, almost ten years after the date you suggest for the introduction of the Kilmarnock. However, looking at the available images, it seems wise to sound a note of caution, because in some instances it is not possible to assert with absolute confidence that the headgear being depicted is not meant to be a standard Kilmarnock in a white cover.

Something else to consider, which was discussed in the threads back in 2013-14-15 is that the slightly flared, hourglass shape that is, for example, in evidence in Cunliffe's painting of the 13th LI at Jellalabad, need not be a structural element but simply the result of the lower edge of the cap repeatedly being stretched as a result of being pulled firmly on the head over the passage of time. it is equally in evidence in photos of soldiers in the Crimea- who are wearing what is unequivocally the KIlmarnock as we understand it. I find it interesting that the 13th were wearing a 'home' forage cap of any sort, without a white cover, on the Northwest Frontier. However, Cunliffe showed himself to be a reliable observer so we have reason to trust him, especially as the men are shown in shirtsleeve order, so there were no concessions being made to regimental vanity.

My reminiscing about early official mention of the term 'Kilmarnock' was way off. It related to an excerpt from 'Equipment of Infantry' handbook from 1865 (posted by Rob rd78), and it was I who speculated whether the term could, for instance, be found in the 1844 DRs. This was not resolved.
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Re: Uniform details: infantry, 9th East Norfolk Regiment

Postby mike snook » 07 Feb 2018 14:27

Frogsmile and jf,

V. Interesting. Thank'ee both kindly for respective thoughts.

There is certainly no ambiguity in this respect: Barthorp definitely means P1834 = pork pie Kilmarnock.


I note in his Infantry book Barthorp states, 'This plain blue or green cap called a Kilmarnock, was to last for nearly 30 years, though worn in numerous ways and issued in different dimensions.' Hmmm. Bit of a generalisation?

I am not d'accord (at present, though I retain an open-mind on the matter) with a separate, as yet unaccounted for 'foreign service cap' explaining away the non-appearance of the pork pie Kilmarnock in India. Neither am I d'accord with the flared shape of the not-the-Kilmarnock (which is either a P1830 or a P1834 in my opinion) being anything other than built into it structurally. We can best see that type of cap on Frogsmile's Royal Artillery in the 1840s photo - not on the heads of the wide topped officers in front, but on the (narrower-topped, still flare-topped), gunners riding the limber, and the driver in front of them, all of whom have their backs turned. That's the same hat as is being worn with a peak in the rather nice sideways on watercolour. It is, I believe, also the same hat, that appears in the Cunliffe HM 13th painting, and the same hat that accounts for all those Sikh War peaked forage cap pictures, some of which appear earlier in the thread, the bona fides of which (as even vaguely realistic portrayals) are often questionable at best. It is markedly different from all the not very closely regulated pre-1829 forage caps in that it is stiff and not that broad across the top. In some ways it's a bit like a slightly elevated sailor's cap. When it is covered in Indian cotton you get a bulge, which can suggest that the top surface is chunkier than it actually is.

To my mind the 1st Sikh War cap is either the P1830 or P1834 forage cap (in which latter case it was, at first introduction, similar to, but not identical to, a later 'pork pie' version of about the mid to late 1840s). If all those Sikh War portrayals had been done with the proper care and attention, the top surface would in my view have been portrayed much smaller.

All a bit fiddly to explain....I am often astonished when one tries to take an artist's portrayal back to first basics, by just how many of them prove to be more than a little suspect when it comes to uniforms. I really don't take anything at face value any more, unless it was sketched or painted by an officer who was there...or by a proper war artist...like Thomas Baines in South Africa.

I'll have to be cleverer about finding the 46th Regiment in Ireland.

As ever

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Re: Uniform details: infantry, 9th East Norfolk Regiment

Postby Frogsmile » 09 Feb 2018 13:28

Here are two more views of the RA cap from different angles. It strikes me that a cloth cap of stout "milled worsted", must have cost the War Office and the Board of Ordnance a great deal more than the other, knitted cap, that for a period at least was seemingly worn concurrently. There might well also have been some motive to create worn for the Kilmarnock area that specialised in the felted wool process, it certainly created employment for decades and made the town and its surrounds prosperous for quite some time. The scale of the contracts must have been huge.

We can sometimes forget that the lines of communication were long, and changes in regulations, the time consuming and expensive process of resupply, a separate administration in India, as well as local climate and cost considerations, must all have played a part in the range of simple forage caps that were worn across the Empire, seemingly concurrently.

N.B. It's interesting to see just how similar the silhouette of these caps is with the coloured forage caps still worn by many parts of the Army today.
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Re: Uniform details: infantry, 9th East Norfolk Regiment

Postby Frogsmile » 09 Feb 2018 13:37

(with apologies to JF, who will have seen this before) I have been doing some more research, much of it via the work of the military historian Mr Charles Griffin, who has been able to gather together rare drawings and paintings of Foot Guards in undress wearing their own, unique pattern of forage cap at a time when line infantry had only the Kilmarnock (knitted) Bonnet that I have mentioned previously. From these contemporary drawings, it is clear that all ranks of Foot Guards were wearing a peaked cap surprisingly like today's variant throughout the 1830s and 1840s, but switched to a peakless version for ranks below battalion staff just before the Crimean war:

"The recruits being drilled by a sergeant are all wearing white drill jackets and forage caps. The forage caps are plain blue without the Scottish diced band that became the distinctive head-dress of the regiment. A regimental order of 20th Dec 1837 talks of new caps without specifying their appearance so perhaps the diced band caps were issued later in 1838. The drill sergeant has a full dress coat with a forage cap that is decorated with a gold band. His epaulettes and lace are also gold, and he wears a sword and crimson sash. This painting is another by MA Hayes while the regiment were in Dublin."

"The Scots Fusilier Guards probably started to wear the forage cap with diced band late in 1838. In the second painting, by M A Hayes, the men have forage caps with plain black peaks, brass badges and chin straps. The officers have the same pattern forage caps as the other Guards regiments with a black silk band. The frockcoat is dark blue with black mohair lace and braid. A black leather belt is worn over the crimson sash.
The other ranks are in summer drill order with white trousers and buff coloured jackets. A corporal has black stripes on both sleeves. The men are stacking arms in groups of three. The brass belt-plates and buckles are clearly depicted, there being two on the pouch belt. The pouch has a long flap and a brass badge, while the badge on the black knapsack is painted on. The mess tins are carried on top in a light coloured cover."
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Re: Uniform details: infantry, 9th East Norfolk Regiment

Postby Frogsmile » 09 Feb 2018 13:39

This next picture is later, around 1850, but the men, this time Coldstream Guards, are still wearing the peaked forage cap (with brass star) mentioned from the 1838 Scots Guards above. They seem to be practising the slow march and carrying out a left form. Unusually, files seem to be carrying their arms differently, which makes me wonder if they are a way of indicating 'guides'.

"The sketch by Ebsworth that gives us a very useful idea of what the Coldstream Guards looked like when not parading in their dress uniforms. At first glance this looks like an informal stroll but they are marching in column of four, preceded by two sergeants, an officer and a trumpeter (sic - actually a drummer with bugle). What strikes me as strange is the fact that although they are in ranks and marching in step, they are very casual about the way they carry their muskets. Some are at the slope and some carry them by their side or under their arm.
They are all in undress summer order which means white trousers and short white jacket. The white jacket was a feature of Guards dress up to the early part of the 20th century and had its origins in the white waistcoat that was worn under the coat in full dress but was worn on it's own when drilling or performing menial work. The forage cap at this period has a peak and looks very smart so it is odd that it was transformed into the peakless pill-box by the time they were in the Crimea and which was retained until 1900."

The officer, at the front, wears his blue frock coat, sash and sword. His cap has a black lace band whereas the men have the white cap-band. The trumpeter has a knapsack like the others but no pouch belt, only a belt for his sword. The sergeants have the same equipment as the men. They have gold cap-band and a crimson sash round their waist.
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Re: Uniform details: infantry, 9th East Norfolk Regiment

Postby Frogsmile » 09 Feb 2018 13:42

Turning this time to the Coldstream Guards band and drums, once again we can see clearly the peaked forage caps and brass stars around 1850-51.

"A drawing from life by Ebsworth which gives us a valuable look at band uniform in the middle of the 19th century. The Drum-Major, in the middle was a very senior NCO and was dressed richly in a special uniform. His coatee had double rows of gold lace across his chest like the others but framed by a border of gold lace. His shoulders have fringed epaulettes and his sleeves are decorated with inverted gold chevrons all the way down to his slashed cuff. His upper arms are also covered by four gold chevrons of rank. His sword belt is white leather with a gilt beltplate but this is obscured by the wide drum-major's sash to which are attached two drumsticks. His bearskin has a red officer's plume on the right side.
The band corporal on the right of the picture holds a Euphonium and wears a curved sword of special band pattern. His coatee has 5 rows of double gold lace across the chest and a gold patch on the collar and a silver garter star on that. His epaulettes are stiff brass other ranks style. Next to him is a bandsman obliging us with a view of the back of the coat, revealing two pockets with four gold button loops."

"The band drummers on the left are not to be confused with the drummers that belong to the Corps of Drums. See Drummer 1851. These men have similar uniforms to the band corporal but have inverted gold chevrons down the sleeve. The blue cuff is pointed to fit in with the lowest chevron and does not have a slash flap like the band corporal and the Drum-Major."

"The drummer next to the drum-major is the bass drummer, having a short strap round his neck. The man second from left is hidden but we can see his drum carriage which looks blue with gold lace edges. All the bandsmen wear the undress forage cap which is , in essence, the same as that worn by the Guards of today, blue with white cap-band and welt round the top edge and a garter star badge."

"The second sketch, again from life by Ebsworth. The drummer on the left and the fifer on the right are members of the Corps of Drums, not the band. Between them stands a pioneer, leaning on his musket. They are in undress drill order. The white jacket was worn in this order for many years in the Guards, all year round, but the white trousers were only worn in the summer months. The undress cap is similar to the modern day forage cap, having a white cap-band and peak.
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Re: Uniform details: infantry, 9th East Norfolk Regiment

Postby Frogsmile » 09 Feb 2018 13:50

And finally, Grenadier Guards in Canada, Circa 1838, the larger picture an artwork after the contemporary drawing sketched and painted in Canada by a careful artist and shown below.

Whilst recognising that the Foot Guards have always had their own dress and clothing regulations; just like the RA, I show this series of Foot Guards images merely to demonstrate that peaked forage caps, whether manufactured as such, or retrofitted locally, were much more common that we might have thought. They were clearly stipulated as regulation wear by Horse Guards, the Board of Ordnance and HQ Foot Guards, over similar periods, but seemingly for different purposes.

N.B. For the Foot Guards these (cloth) peaked forage caps were smart, undress wear for use when not on parade in bearskins. There was an additional undress cap, of so-called Torin shape and known as the 'Albert Bonnet', that was worn on manoeuvres and in the field.

Around 1851-52 the peaks were removed from the forage caps, apart from the caps of Battalion Staff Sergeants. As so often with the swinging pendulum of military fashion the peak-less caps remained the vogue (albeit with changing patterns) until 1905, when the peaked version returned and has continued in use right up until today.
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Re: Uniform details: infantry, 9th East Norfolk Regiment

Postby mike snook » 09 Feb 2018 16:21

Fascinating Frogsmile. Thanks for sharing. Was this all that you lost the other night? I do hope not - that must have been wildly annoying if so. If doing a long one I always highlight and copy it before pressing submit, in case the system has decided I've been too slow about it and must have gone to the pub or something.

Nice set of images. New to me in most instances. The Guards are always interesting but as you will appreciate always that little bit inclined to do their own thing, such that they can be difficult to 'read across' to units of the 'line'. I feel sure however that the cap in the 1838-40 ish Scots Guards images is the same pattern peaked and covered cap that romps around the 1st Sikh War iconography (which term I use advisedly). I also think it is the same hat that the 13th LI are wearing in Jellalabad, albeit in their case without the peak, and the same hat that the RA other ranks are wearing variously with and without peaks.

In my view it is not any mark of cap that pre-dates 1829-30, which would be floppy on top. These are stiffened on top. I believe it must either be the 1829-1830 'more closely regulated than before' version or the new 1834 version. If the 1834 is in fact the Kilmarnock of 'pork pie' persuasion it remains a mystery how it could take so long to be adopted in India. There must be an explanation for that.

We've mentioned a distinguished historian in connection with this subject already. I regret to say that I have today learned that Major Michael Barthorp, late of the Northamptonshire and Royal Anglian Regiments, has very lately passed away at the age of 90. I will post a separate entry to that effect, citing a recent notice from a Jersey paper, on completing this, but I cannot move past the mention of his name here without paying tribute to the fantastic work he did as a historian and author. I don't think I have ever, since my teenaged years, (a fearful long time ago now), passed over a Barthorp title without buying it on the spot. His work is indispensable in so many areas, perhaps not least that of uniformology. I also well recall his classic text on the 1st Anglo-Maori War, with which he had a regimental connection through the Northamptons to the old 58th which played such a prominent role in that war. RIP Michael Barthorp, not only a tremendous author and historian, but a great servant of his country.

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