1751: 41ST REGIMENT OF FOOT UNIFORM
On 1st July 1751, the regiment was numbered 41st and re-designated as the 41st Foot (or Invalids). Its service was confined mainly to the Portsmouth Garrison with detachments at Plymouth and in the Channel Islands.
The black tricorne of the private Infantrymen has a white worsted woollen tape binding known as lace. It has a black horsehair cockade secured with a 41st regimental button.
Soldiers would wear ponytails that were powdered and greased. In order to protect their jackets, soldiers enclosed the ponytails in what was known as a ‘queue’ bag.
The soldier would wear a long coat, reaching below the knees. Whilst marching or in battle, it is possible that its long skirt would have made it difficult to manoeuvre in. Up until 1787, the 41st Regiment’s facings were blue. The coat was typically red in colour, made of wool, and featured blue turn-back cuffs. The shoulder straps are red, fastened with a white metal button. The blue waistcoat features a low V-shaped neckline and was often buttoned down the front. It provided additional warmth and protection.
The coat would have featured white metal buttons. These buttons were uniquely marked with the number “41,” indicating the soldier’s affiliation with the regiment. This showed an adaptation towards more regimental distinction compared to previous periods.
The belts worn over the coat are of buff tanned leather. These belts were typically worn around the waist and shoulder and served various purposes, including holding equipment and providing support. The soldier’s bayonet scabbard belt was attached at the chest using a brass breastplate. The breastplate featured the distinctive Regimental number “41” on it, allowing for easy identification and adding a sense of regimental pride.
The breeches of the soldier were blue and had a drop front. They came to just below the knees with black regimental buttons fastening them there. The white linen gaiters were worn over black leather shoes.
1812: 41ST REGIMENT OF FOOT OFFICER’S UNIFORM
In August 1799, the 41st Regiment was deployed to Canada. However, their hopes of an early return home were shattered when the United States declared war in 1812. This led to an extended stay for the regiment in Canada. During this time, the 41st Regiment, with support from Canadian forces, gained distinction as one of the few British lion regiments that played a crucial role in defending Canada from being absorbed into the United States of America. Throughout the challenging campaign, the 41st Regiment received reinforcements from the second battalion, and the two battalions combined to form a single formidable force. They actively engaged in military operations until the end of the war in December 1814, contributing significantly to the defence and preservation of Canadian territory. The dedication, bravery, and joint efforts of the 41st Regiment and their Canadian counterparts played a vital role in safeguarding Canada’s sovereignty during this period.
The officer would have worn a beaver fur woollen felt Belgic style shako. It was adorned with a white over red feather hackle on the right side to signify that he commands a “Line Company”. The Shako has a gold-plated shako plate which displayed the regiment’s insignia, as well as golden bullion shako cords.
A 41st Regiment Officer would have worn a new design wool coatee that has short tails and gold bullion lace (ribbon) around the double breasted button holes. The early war regulations for the 41st Regiment of Foot called for silver lace with a black worm (thick thread) running in the middle of the lace. The uniform is unique to the 41st Regiment as it has rare red facings. Soldiers would have worn a white cross-over belt, which held their sword and bayonet on the left side.
These trousers are made of grey doeskin with a stripe of golden metallic bullion down the outside seam. They were cut in a loose-fitting style, providing ease of movement for the soldiers. They had no pockets except for one to carry his watch in, usually on the right hand side at the coatee hem level. Officers of the British Army adopted rubber boots called wellingtons. These waterproof boots provided excellent protection against wet and muddy conditions.
1840: 24TH (2nd WARWICKSHIRE) REGIMENT OF FOOT MAJOR’S UNIFORM
Although the men’s cocked hat had been discontinued by the general order of 24 February 1800, officers still continued wearing it. This 1840 painting of Major H Greig shows a black cocked hat with gold lace ornamented with a white plume.
The single-breasted red coatee was very similar to that worn in 1830, in which year the 24th changed from being a silver laced regiment, to gold. Major H Greig CB has a large gold epaulette on each shoulder telling us that he is of field rank. The high collar was gold with gold lace, and the cuffs were green decorated with gold lace and buttons. He wears a crimson sash with tassels.
A square belt plate ornamented the belt. It is of burnished gilt with a simple design of a gilt laurel wreath and crown surrounding a silver Sphinx of Egypt and 24. This handsome ornament remained until 1855.
The coatee had gilt buttons with a “24” on them.
The trousers were very dark in colour, not blue, but almost black, that were called Oxford mixture. Gold lace decorates the outside seam.