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Барабанщик Колдстримского гвардейского полка / Coldstream Guards Lance-Corporal Drummer


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Victorian CDV showing a young soldier (?) wearing colourful uniform of a musician, at least "swallow nests" hint him being the one.

Photo atelier logotype suggests Studio of Mr.W.Wright was situated at 98, Cheapside. Quick research showed that 3rd floor of 98, Cheapside of the City of London housed an atelier owned by Mr. William George Henry Wright in 1884-1896.

 

Some info on photographer:

 

William George Henry Wright (1860, Bethnal Green - 1915, West Ham), son of Edward Wright. Married to Sarah Johnson who was also born in Bethnal Green in 1860. The couple had two sons.

 

STUDIOS:

1. 12 Millfield Place, Green Lanes, Stoke Newington 1877 - June 16 1881. Absorbed into Green Lanes June 17 1881.

2. 189 - 190 Bethnal Green Road, Bethnal Green 1879 - 1884.

3. 69 Green Lanes, Stoke Newington June 17 1881 - 1884. Printing works.

4. 188 - 190 Bethnal Green Road, Bethnal Green 1884 - 1892.

5. 98 Cheapside, City of London 3 floor 1884 - 1896. Successors to William Henry Prestwich; succeeded by Club Photographic Co.

6. 71 Green Lanes, Stoke Newington 1886 - 1891. Printing works. Succeeded by Robert Hellis.

7. 10 Upper Street, Islington 1886 - 1891. Successors to George & John Springthorpe; succeeded by Edward Sharp.

8. 81 Whitechapel High Street, Stepney 1886 - 1895. Successors to William Hobbs.

9. 422 Mile End Road, Stepney 1889 - 1898. Successors to Thomas John Barnes; succeeded by Henry Francis Turner.

10. 83 Bishopsgate Street Without, City of London 3 floor 1891 - 1909. Renumbered as studio 14 in 1910. Bought by Alfred James Lewis 1900. Aka Adam & Eve Buildings.

11. 189 Bethnal Green Road, Bethnal Green 1893 - 1896.

12. 232 Mare Street, Hackney 1893 - 1897. Successors to Richard Beckett; succeeded by Hellis & Sons.

13. 93 Whitechapel High Street, Stepney 1896 - 1899. Succeeded by Frederick William Lewis.

14. 266 Bishopsgate, City of London 3 floor March 1 1910 - 1911.

15. 21 Broadway, Stratford - in Pritchard, but untraced.

 

County court judgement January 21 1885 £12/17/- (with 2 other firms) at 109 Bethnal Green Road, Bethnal Green, July 29 1908 £10/6/6.

Bill of sale to John Mills June 30 1908 £70.

Bankrupt on June 4 1909.

 

Any info on the musician is much appreciated!

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We can (a) identify this man as a member of the Foot Guards, and specifically, the Coldstream Guards; (b) further determine that he is a Lance-Corporal, specifically a Lance-Corporal Drummer, serving in the ‘Corps of Drums’ of either the 1st or 2nd Battalion of the Coldstream Guards; and © definitively date this photograph to between 1881 and 1900 from his uniform, though we already know that it was taken between 1884 and 1896, when William Wright had his photographic studio at 98 Cheapside, London.

 

Unlike today, where there are five regiments, during this period, i.e. the 1880s and 1890s, there were only three regiments of Foot Guards in existence, the Grenadier Guards (raised 1660) with three battalions, the Coldstream Guards (raised 1650) with two battalions, and the Scots Guards (raised 1661), also with two battalions. Unlike regiments of Infantry of the Line during the period in which this photograph was taken, who would always have one battalion in the United Kingdom, and one on Imperial service overseas, all battalions of the three regiments of Foot Guards were stationed in the U.K. Here, they undertook ceremonial and garrison function in London, and formed an element of the army’s ‘Home District’, based around the capital. However, Foot Guard battalions, companies and smaller detachments were deployed overseas on operational duty throughout this period, as the situation demanded.

 

The Coldstream Guards date their foundation to 1650, and, ironically, have Oliver Cromwell to thank for their birth! Colonel George Monck, an officer of Parliament’s ‘New Model’ Army during the Civil War, had impressed Cromwell on campaign in Ireland, and was rewarded with a regiment in 1650; this was a newly raised unit, comprising veteran Parliamentarian troops, and designated ‘Monck’s Regiment of Foot’. At Cromwell’s death in 1658, Monck was Governor of Scotland, and as the political situation descended into chaos, Monck made sure of his men’s loyalty, and gathering his forces at his regiment’s garrison town of Coldstream on the Anglo-Scottish border, marched south into England in 1659. Appointed commander-in-chief of the Parliamentary forces, Monck stabilized a fractious country, and facilitated the election of a new Parliament, to which he was elected in 1660. And here he revealed his true Royalist intention, leading Parliament in its vote for the restoration of the monarchy, and the return of Charles II.

 

Rewarded by the King with a Dukedom, Monck’s regiment now became known as the ‘Duke of Albemarle's or The Lord General's Regiment’. After proving themselves in putting down a revolt, the King decided that alone of all regiments of the New Model Army, Monck’s was to survive Parliament’s decision to disband its own army; and, moreover, was to be given the honour of being made Foot Guards. However, the technical disbandment of the regiment had to be proceeded with according to the new law, and so on 14th February 1661 the ‘Duke of Albemarle's or The Lord General's Regiment’ of the new Model Army paraded and laid down its arms, only to immediately take them up again as ‘The Lord General’s Regiment of Foot Guards’ of His Majesty’s Household Troops. At Monck’s death in 1670, the regiment was retitled the ‘2nd Foot Guards or Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards’. In 1711 a second battalion was raised. Since 1817 the regiment has been designated simply as the ‘Coldstream Guards’, or more formally, as ‘His (or Her) Majesty's Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards’.

 

The regimental motto, ‘Nulli Secundus’, or ‘Second to None’, refers to the fact that despite officially coming second in precedence after the Grenadier Guards because, technically, the regiment was only raised for Royal service in 1661, the Coldstream Guards remain proud that they are in reality the oldest regular infantry regiment in the British Army, being the only one to trace its heritage back to 1650 and the Parliamentary regiments of foot.

 

By the time this photograph was taken, the Coldstream Guards had already had a long and illustrious career. Forming part of the Guards Brigade which served during the Crimean War, the 1st Battalion fought at the Battle of the Alma, Battle of Inkerman, and took part in the siege of Sevastopol. A long period of ceremonial and garrison duties at home after 1856 was ended by the Egyptian campaign of 1882, where the 2nd Battalion formed part of the Guards Brigade despatched for active service, and fought at the Battle of Tel-el-Kebir. The next period of active operations was in the Sudan during 1884-85, when two officers and forty men were detached from each of the three regiments of Foot Guards to form a mounted ‘Guards Camel Regiment’ (!), part of the force gathered to relieve General Gordon under siege at Khartoum. The 1st Battalion was also despatched to Suakin in the Sudan during 1885, as part of the Guards Brigade tasked with rounding up remnants of the Mahdi’s army. From 1895 to 1896, a Coldstream detachment formed part of a ‘Guards Composite Company’ of the force sent to Ashanti in West Africa, to depose a local ruler practicing human sacrifice and slavery. After this photograph was taken, the Coldstream Guards would form a third battalion in 1897, and during the Second Boer War of 1899-1902, the 1st and 2nd Battalions would see active service in South Africa.

 

(a) We can identify this man as a Coldstreamer most simply by the badge on his Round Forage Cap, and the arrangement of buttons on his tunic.

 

The regiments of Foot Guards have long shared a basic uniform (most noticeably the bearskin cap, worn by all regiments since 1832), thereby differentiating themselves from Infantry of the Line. However, this shared uniform has also necessitated variations in insignia and embellishment to distinguish one regiment of Foot Guards from another. Thus, from the 1850s and the introduction of the tunic (still worn today), ‘Other Ranks’ of the Coldstream Guards have been identifiable by:

 

• a scarlet plume on the right side of the bearskin (granted by William IV in 1832, to commemorate the bravery of the regiment in Egypt in 1801).

• the oval version of the Garter Star worn as regimental insignia on collar and forage cap (granted as a badge to the regiment by William III in 1696, worn as a badge on the back of the bearskin till 1837, and commemorating the award by Charles II of the Order of the Garter to General George Monck, founding Colonel of the regiment).

• Tudor Rose shoulder insignia (traditional floral heraldic emblem of England, forming part of the Collar of the Order of the Garter, and a traditional badge of the regiment, worn as a badge on the front of the bearskin till 1837).

• white band and piping on the forage cap (giving rise to the regimental nickname of the ‘Lily-whites’).

• buttons worn in pairs (representing the ‘2nd Regiment’ of Foot Guards, each button bearing the Garter Star).

 

This method of differencing the arrangement of buttons on the tunic as a regimental distinction is, together with the bearskin, the quickest identifier of a Guardsman, none of these features being shared with Infantry of the Line.

 

(b) We can identify this soldier as a Lance-Corporal by the large, point-down, two-bar white worsted lace chevron on his upper right arm, worn in conjunction with ‘Good-Conduct’ badges on his lower left arm. Whereas the Infantry of the Line utilized a one-bar chevron for Lance-Corporals, and a two-bar chevron for Corporals, the Foot Guards had (and still have) their own system: a two-bar chevron for both Lance-Corporals and Corporals, the only way to distinguish the two being the presence on the uniform of ‘Good-Conduct’ badges, which Corporals did not wear; however, it was customary (today, automatic) that Corporals in the Foot Guards be appointed to the position of ‘Lance-Serjeant’; these men were (and still are) paid as Corporals, but distinguished by a three-bar chevron in white (distinct from full Serjeants, who wear a three-bar chevron in gold). Moreover, we can identify this man as a Lance-Corporal Drummer, in the ‘Corps of Drums’ of the Coldstream Guards, by the pattern and arrangement of lace on his tunic.

 

Each regiment of Foot Guards maintained, as they still do, a regimental band. Bandsmen were distinguished by dark-blue ‘musicians’ wings’, which were strapped and edged in gold lace, with gold lace also edging the collars, shoulder straps and tunic fronts. Moreover, gold lace was also formed into button-hole loops across the chest, in rows matching the regimental arrangement of the buttons, and as loops inside each cuff-slash (today, bandsmen wear gold lace on shoulder straps and wings only). However, each battalion had, and continues to have, a separate ‘Corps of Drums’, wearing instead of gold the special Guards-pattern ‘drummers’ lace’ (in white bearing a blue ‘fleur-de-lys’) which heavily embellishes the tunic, especially across the chest in regimentally arranged button-hole loops, and as chevronels up the sleeves (this uniform in its entirety is still being worn by Foot Guards drummers today).

 

Whereas bandsmen were trained as musicians first and foremost, the drummers of the ‘Corps of Drums’ were men of the battalion companies, albeit with the prime role of acting as signallers in battle, and for this purpose carrying either a drum and bugle, or flute (fife) and bugle. Thus they were proficient on the side- and bass-drums, fife, and bugle, having to memorize the correct ‘calls and beats’ to relay commands. Two drummers (‘Other Ranks’ in the Corps of Drums of the Foot Guard regiments hold the appointment of ‘Drummer’, whether playing drum, fife or bugle) were attached to each company to transmit the Company Commander’s orders, the men forming into the ‘Corps of Drums’ at the head of the battalion when on the march.

 

Unlike line regiments, where each battalion had a band, each of the Foot Guards regiments only had one band; and thus, not being integral to any battalion, and, moreover, being essential for ceremonial duties in London, they did not deploy on active service. In contrast, where a Foot Guards battalion went, its ‘Corps of Drums’ did too. During the period in which this photograph was taken, drummers of infantry regiments were often boys, enlisting from around the age of 14; however, after the Battle of Isandhlwana in 1879, when many drummer boys were mutilated beyond recognition by the Zulus, 19 years became the minimum age for active service, and so the youngest drummers remained at the regimental depôt at home, or battalion station overseas, learning their trade.

 

© Although we know that this photograph was taken between 1884 and 1896 when Wright had his photographic studio, there are elements to this Lance-Corporal Drummer’s uniform and insignia which, by themselves, pin the photograph down to between 1881 and 1900, namely (i) the collar, (ii) ‘Round Forage Cap’, (iii) Lance-Corporal’s rank insignia on the upper right sleeve, (iv) ‘Good-Conduct’ badges on the lower left sleeve, and (v) the waistbelt. This knowledge as a dating device is helpful because, in essentials, Full-Dress has remained, for the Foot Guards (apart for Bandsmen), the same pattern since 1856! In that year, all infantry, including the Foot Guards, adopted the single breasted tunic, with collar, pointed shoulder straps, and round cuffs with a three-pointed scalloped slash in regimental facing colour, and all, including the tunic front, piped white. Since 1868, when the rest of the infantry changed the pattern of the cuffs, and in subsequent years when other details have altered, the Foot Guards have kept to the original Full-Dress tunic, with dark-blue facings. This has been the same for the bandsmen and drummers, whose use of chest loops – and, for the drummers, use of chevronels – have been unique in the infantry since 1856.

 

Before we look at this man’s uniform in detail, we should give a general overview of the various uniforms worn by the Infantry of the Line and Foot Guards during the 1880s and 1890s. In the Infantry of the Line (except for Rifle, Fusilier, and Scottish (Highland and Lowland) regiments, which are studies in themselves), a man was issued ‘Full-Dress’, comprising the scarlet cloth tunic, and spiked ‘Home-Service Helmet’, and ‘Undress’, which was a scarlet, coarse woollen ‘frock’, i.e. a simplified field jacket, plus Undress cap. In ‘Review Order’, for ceremonial, guarding royal residences, church parades, etc, complete Full-Dress was worn, with limited equipment. In ‘Marching Order’, for active service, manoeuvres, marches, etc, the Undress frock was worn, with Full-Dress headdress, and full equipment carried. In ‘Drill Order’, for drill, training, etc, complete Undress was worn, with limited equipment. These orders of dress served for both ‘Home Service’ and ‘Foreign Service’, except that over-seas the frock issued was of an even simpler pattern in serge, and the white Foreign-Service helmet (pith helmet) was worn.

 

The Foot Guards, in contrast, maintained, through conservatism and circumstance, a more limited appearance. ‘Full-Dress’ was the scarlet tunic and bearskin, ‘Undress’ a waist-length white shell-jacket, plus forage cap. ‘Review Order’ and ‘Marching Order’, however, were practically the same, both being Full-Dress, only differentiated by the addition of full equipment and black leather gaiters in ‘Marching Order’. This was due to the fact that, unlike the Infantry of the Line, the Foot Guards did not see active service overseas between 1856 and 1882, and thus had not hitherto been issued with the frock in any form (its use on ‘Foreign Service’ having directly inspired the heavier version issued for ‘Home Service’). The serge frock was issued to the Foot Guards in 1882 prior to their embarkation for Egypt, although its use in subsequent campaigns was limited: in the Sudan during 1884-85 the Guards Camel Regiment were issued grey frocks (thought superior for desert conditions), and in the Suakin Expedition in 1885 the Guards Brigade were equipped with khaki frocks (considered an improvement on the grey). The coarse woollen frock was not adopted by the Guards as Undress at home; for this they retained the popular white shell-jacket, and therefore utilized it for ‘Drill Order’ (this white shell-jacket had once been regulation for all infantry, but was abandoned for a red version by all except the Foot Guards and Scottish Highland regiments in 1830). Parade-ground smartness was the priority for the Foot Guards on ‘Home Service’ during these years, and not the pursuit of field-service simplicity.

 

This man is dressed in regulation uniform for ‘Walking-Out’, i.e. what he would have worn one off-duty, away from barracks, or when on furlough, and so wears the Full-Dress tunic, Undress cap (for the Foot Guards, the ‘Round Forage Cap’), waistbelt, and carries a pair of white gloves and a regimental cane. Trousers are dark-blue, with a scarlet welt down each leg (worn in both Full-Dress and Undress).

 

His heavily laced Coldstream Guards drummer’s scarlet Full-Dress tunic is worth describing in detail. We see its dark blue faced collar, wings, shoulder straps (bearing a white Tudor Rose), and cuffs, all heavily ornamented with special Guards-pattern ‘drummers’ lace’, in white bearing a blue ‘fleur-de-lys’ (this commemorating the death of Charles II, when the Arms of both England and France were incorporated on the mourning band). This lace straps and edges the wings; edges the collar, the shoulder straps, leading edge of the tunic, top of the cuff, and inside the cuff-slash; travels down both seams of each sleeve, forming six evenly-spaced point-up chevronels in-between on the outer side; travels across the back of the shoulders, and down the back of the tunic along the centre and side seams to the hem, and edges the scalloped skirt-slashes; and, across the chest, forms button-hole loops, arranged in rows following the paired Coldstream spacing of the buttons. In addition the collar is ornamented all round with a dark-blue and white hanging fringe (meaning the Garter Star collar insignia is not worn), with the same fringe edging the wings.

 

Now to those aspects of the uniform which pin it down to the 1880s and 1890s.

 

(i) Tunic collar: initially very rounded, it gradually became less so, until by about 1910 it was being cut high and straight. The tunic collar in the photograph is of the type seen from the 1880s till circa 1910. Under the collar we see visible the leather tab that fastened across the neck opening.

 

(ii) Round Forage Cap: in place of the venerable peakless ‘Round Forage Cap’ known as the ‘Kilmarnock Bonnet’ (which had been worn in various forms since the Napoleonic Wars), in 1874 ‘Other Ranks’ of the English, Welsh and Irish regiments of Infantry of the Line adopted the Undress headgear long worn by Scottish troops, namely the practical ‘Glengarry Bonnet’ (similar to a side cap, but with no flaps), for ‘Drill Order’, and for wear in ‘Marching Order’ in lieu of their ‘Full-Dress’ headdress. Inherently conservative in all things regarding Dress, the Foot Guards alone retained the Round Forage Cap, which due to its lower crowned final form, was nicknamed the ‘pork-pie’. The Guards-pattern Other Ranks’ Round Forage Cap we see in the photograph, (dark-blue, with white cap-band and piping, plus Garter Star badge [known as a ‘Cap Star’ within the regiment]) had been worn since the 1850s, a far more stiffened item than that worn by the Infantry of the Line, and the result of the adoption by the Foot Guards, in the Crimea, of a new dark-blue ‘Austrian’ pattern peakless field-service cap (with fold-down flaps) for actual campaign wear. This allowed the Round Forage Cap (always worn on the right of the head, with chinstrap under the lip) to be retained by the Foot Guards as the smartest possible alternative to the cumbersome bearskin in ‘Review Order’ or ‘Marching Order’, and the smartest possible accompaniment to Undress, the ‘Austrian’ pattern cap being entirely relegated to active service, or field-training away from the public gaze. However, and thus dating this photograph, in 1900 the Foot Guards adopted a new Guards-pattern forage cap, still round, peakless, and dark-blue, with regimental cap-band, badge, and piping, but now with a stiffened flat crown, raised at the front, and no chinstrap; the Infantry of the Line (except Scottish regiments) adopted a similar cap in 1902, but this ‘Forage Cap, New Pattern’, popularly but disparagingly known as the ‘Brodrick Cap’ after the then Secretary-of-State for War, was deeply unpopular: troops complained that it made them look like German sailors! In 1906, a peaked ‘Forage Cap, Universal Pattern’ was introduced as a replacement, for both Foot Guards and Infantry of the Line (save for Scottish regiments, who yet again kept their Glengarry bonnets), and, with minor modifications, is the pattern worn today.

 

(iii) Lance-Corporal’s rank insignia: the two-bar white worsted lace chevron on this Lance-Corporal Drummer’s upper right arm indicates that this photograph was taken after 1881. In that year, regulations stipulated Non-Commissioned Officers wear rank insignia on the upper right arm only, whereas previously rank insignia was born on both arms.

 

(iv) ‘Good-Conduct’ badges: the two-bar white worsted lace chevron on this man’s lower left sleeve are in fact two ‘Good-Conduct’ badges indicating 6 years unblemished service. The ‘Good-Conduct Badge’ was in the form of a chevron, awarded for 2 years service with no disciplinary entry on a soldier’s ‘regimental conduct sheet’; an additional chevron was granted for 6 years good conduct, a third for 12 years, a fourth for 18 years, a fifth for 23 years, and a sixth for 28 years, each new chevron adding a penny per day to the man’s pay. The badges were only worn by Privates and Lance-Corporals, as promotion to non-commissioned officer rank (and technically, Lance-Corporal was an appointment held by Privates, not a rank) required good conduct as a prerequisite, without need for display. The chevrons were to be worn point-up, the only exception to this being allowed for the drummers of the Foot Guards, where as seen here, they were worn point-down, in contradistinction to the point-up drummers’ chevronels worn up the sleeves. We can tell that this photograph was taken after 1881, as in that year regulations moved ‘Good Conduct’ badges to the lower left sleeve; previously they had been worn on the lower right sleeve, or sometimes on both.

 

(v) Waistbelt: this man wears the buff leather waistbelt (heavily whitened with pipeclay) of the ‘Valise Equipment’ of 1870, issued from 1871, with brass regimental locket buckle bearing the Garter Star. This equipment was worn till it was slightly modified to become the Valise Equipment, Pattern 1882, which in turn was again replaced by a new pattern in 1888. The waistbelt of 1870 is identifiable by the absence of keepers either side of the locket, features of both earlier and later patterns. Its use here either means the photograph was taken early in the 1880s, before the introduction of the 1882 pattern, or simply that this man, who has served 6 years, has retained an older, but perfectly acceptable waistbelt, as a separate item for ‘Walking-Out’.

 

The only weapon carried by infantry drummers was, after 1856, the special pattern ‘Drummers’ Sword, Mark I’, which had a straight double-edged blade, 19 inches long ,with a brass 'Gothic' style cross-hilt carrying the royal cypher 'VR' in the centre. The scabbard was of black leather with brass fittings and it was carried in the same buff leather frog that was used for the bayonet. This would have been the weapon carried by this Lance-Corporal Drummer during the period in which this photograph was taken, in all orders of dress, though only a Lance-Serjeant and above would have worn it for ‘Walking-Out’. In 1895 the ‘Mark II’ sword was introduced, with a shorter blade of 13 ½ inches, and with a less elaborately decorated hilt. Drummers’ swords were declared obsolete in 1905, being replaced by the bayonet.

 

As we have discussed, ‘Lance-Corporal’ was an appointment, not a rank, and as such was granted, maintained, and withdrawn purely on the judgement of the Commanding Officer, without any formality. This man’s six years unblemished service, as indicated by his Good-Service badges, are those counted from the age of 17 years (18 years after 1881), which was the minimum age for adult enlistment – any ‘Boy’ service from the age of 14 would not count. However, the fact this man has already served 6 years would tend to indicate that he had indeed joined as a boy: boys enlisting as drummers undertook to serve 9 years with the Colours and 3 with the Reserve once they had reached adulthood (12 years total service being the obliged period of service, with the option for further service subsequently). This contrasted with new adult recruits, who signed up for 6 years Colour service and 6 years in the Reserve (pre-1881), 7 years Colour service and 5 years in the Reserve (post-1881), or indeed, could elect to spend the whole 12 years full-time in the Army, with no Reserve obligation. Like the Grenadier Guards, the Coldstream Guards, despite proudly bearing the name of a Scottish town, was and is an ‘English’ regiment of Foot Guards, recruited from across England, but with emphasis on men from those counties in the North-East and Midlands through which ‘Monck’s Regiment of Foot’ marched through on its way to London in 1660.

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Boy Drummers, Coldstream Guards, in 'Home Service Review Order' with Undress Cap (Round Forage Cap) in lieu of the bearskin cap, circa 1888-1900. Up until World War Two, a 'Ticking Bag' was provided to carry the drum when in transit, constructed from blue and white striped ticking fabric; when the drum was in use the bag was rolled and tied to the left side of the drum, as seen here.

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Serjeant-Drummer (i.e. Drum-Major), and Boy Drummers, of the Corps of Drums of a Coldstream Guards battalion, circa 1900. The Serjeant-Drummer is in ‘Home Service Marching Order’, and although only ranking as a Staff-Serjeant, his appointment as Serjeant-Drummer (indicated by a point-up gold four-bar chevron on his lower right sleeve) entitles him to the ‘First Class Quality’ tunic worn by Warrant Officers, with the addition of special pattern gold lace loops and chevronels. He wears the regulation Undress cap in lieu of the bearskin, which for Staff-Serjeants and Warrant Officers, was the Foot-Guards Officers’ pattern dark-blue, low-crowned, peaked forage cap, with gold edged peak, but with the senior Non-Commissioned Officers’ distinctions of gold lace band, piping and Cap Star. He wears the crimson sash worn by all Warrant Officers, and Non-Commissioned Officers from the rank of Serjeant; but the heavily embroidered and ornamented wide Drum-Major’s shoulder-belt, normally worn over the left shoulder, is absent, not being required in Marching Order. Likewise, the Drum-Major’s shoulder-high staff, carried in ‘Review Order’, was replaced, when in barracks, on active service, or on manoeuvres, with the shorter ‘Parade Cane’ seen here, with twisted cord decoration.

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‘Tallest Man and Shortest Drummer, 1st (Battalion) Coldstream Guards’. Lance-Corporal and Boy Drummer, both in Full Dress, circa 1905. The Lance-Corporal is a veteran of the Second Boer War of 1899-1902, and wears both the Queen’s and King’s South Africa Medal.

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Drummer, Coldstream Guards, in ‘Home Service Marching Order’, circa 1899. On the lower left sleeve, above his two ‘Good-Conduct’ badges (point-down for Drummers) indicating 6 years unblemished service, can be seen the crossed rifles of the Skill-at-Arms in Musketry badge, at this date awarded in gold for the best shot in each company of a regiment or depot of infantry, and in worsted for each qualified marksman. We can see the hilt of the shorter bladed ‘Drummers’ Sword, Mark II’, which was carried between 1895 and 1905.

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The Adjutant, and Corps of Drums, 1st Battalion, Coldstream Guards, 1898. The Corps of Drum wear ‘Home Service Review Order’ with the Undress cap (in lieu of the bearskin cap), apart from two Boy Drummers, who wear ‘Drill Order’ and thus the Undress uniform. While the Other Ranks wear the Round Forage Cap, both the Serjeant-Drummer and the Battalion Adjutant wear the Officer’s-pattern peaked forage cap. The Adjutant wears the dark-blue frock coat, heavily frogged with black mohair braid, which was the Undress uniform of officers of the Foot Guards. The flag draped over the piled drums is the crimson silk ‘Camp Flag’ of the Adjutant of the 1st battalion.

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Boy Drummer, Grenadier Guards, in ‘Home Service Review Order’, circa 1895. The Grenadier Guards’ distinctions were white plume on the left side of the bearskin cap; buttons single-spaced;red band and piping on the forage cap; and grenade insignia for forage cap, collar and shoulder straps (current shoulder insignia comprises the royal cypher, reversed and interlaced, surrounded by the ‘Royal Garter’ bearing the motto ‘Honi soit qui mal y pense’, all ensigned by a crown). This photograph illustrates the special pattern ‘Drummers’ Sword, Mark I’, introduced in 1856 and worn till 1895, which had a straight double-edged blade, 19 inches long, with a brass 'Gothic' style cross-hilt carrying the royal cypher 'VR' in the centre.

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Drummer, Grenadier Guards, in ‘Home Service Marching Order’, circa 1890. This man is using the drag ropes of his side drum for their intended purpose, i.e. the carrying of the drum on the back, for when on the march. This was also the regulation position for the drum when drawing the sword in battle; and although British Officers carried swords to France in 1914, even as late as 1901 it was regulation for drummers to have their swords sharpened before embarking on active service.

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Drummer, Coldstream Guards, in ‘Home Service Review Order’ with Undress Cap in lieu of the bearskin cap, circa 1905-06. The Undress cap being worn here is the new Guards-pattern forage cap, adopted in 1900; still round, peakless, and dark-blue, with regimental cap-band, badge, and piping, it nevertheless differed from the ‘pork-pie’ in having a stiffened flat crown, raised at the front, and no chinstrap. Never popular with troops, it would be replaced from 1906 by the peaked ‘Forage Cap, Universal Pattern’, which, in essentials, is the pattern worn today. The wearing of a bayonet can also be used to date this photo, the ‘Drummers’ Sword, Mark II’ being withdrawn from service in 1905. The bayonet itself is the short-lived Pattern 1903, very similar to the previous Pattern 1888, but suitable for attachment to the 10-round .303-inch ‘Rifle, Short, Magazine, Lee-Enfield Mark I’ that was adopted for service in 1903.

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Private, Coldstream Guards, in ‘Home Service Marching Order’, circa 1899. Full-Dress is worn (tunic and bearskin) with the addition of black leather marching gaiters, full equipment (‘Valise Equipment, Pattern 1888’, commonly known as the ‘Slade-Wallace’) and the .303-inch ‘Rifle, Magazine, Lee-Enfield Mark I’ introduced in 1895. The Valise as designed for the Slade-Wallace equipment was carried high on the back, as seen here, and was constructed of black-varnished canvas, edged in leather.

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Private, Coldstream Guards, in ‘Home Service Marching Order’, circa 1899, wearing the Undress cap (Round Forage Cap) in lieu of the bearskin cap. The strap for the haversack is worn over the right shoulder, and the strap supporting the water-bottle worn over the left shoulder.

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Privates, Coldstream Guards, in ‘Home Service Marching Order’, circa 1890-92. They wear the ‘Valise Equipment, Pattern 1888’ with Mark II ammunition pouches introduced in 1890, plus the ‘intrenching implement’, first introduced in 1882. This tool was cumbersome, only issued to troops when required, and finally declared obsolete in 1892. The rifle is the .303-inch ‘Rifle, Magazine, Lee-Metford Mark I’, the British Army’s first magazine rifle, introduced in 1888 (either the artist has forgotten the protruding 8-round box magazine (!), or the detachable magazine has been removed by the men portrayed, in order to facilitate carrying the rifle at ‘The Slope’ in the then regulation manner; this was amended in the early 1890s to have the rifle carried flat on its side on the shoulder). The soldier on the right wears the unmistakable five-pointed ‘Khedive’s Egyptian Star’, presented by the Khedive of Egypt to every British serviceman awarded the ‘Egyptian Medal’, the campaign medal awarded for service in Egypt 1882-89.

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Privates and Drummers, 2nd Battalion, Coldstream Guards, 1882. This photograph was taken in July 1882, just before the 2nd Battalion embarked for Egypt to see service in the Anglo-Egyptian War, and shows the contrast between ‘Home Service Marching Order’ and the ‘Foreign Service Marching Order’ worn in Egypt. With the Foot Guards not having seen foreign service since the Crimean War, and their Undress white shell-jackets deemed unsuitable for active service overseas, this was the first the first time that they had been issued with the scarlet serge frock, long worn by Regiments of the Line on foreign deployments. The pattern of scarlet serge frock adopted by the Foot Guards, as seen here, was plain, with five brass buttons, unadorned collars in facing colour (dark-blue), and regimental insignia only on the scarlet shoulder straps (for the Coldstream Guards the white Tudor Rose from the Full-Dress tunic). Trousers were as for Full-Dress. We see the regulation white ‘Foreign Service Helmet’, with brass chin-chain, but on active service in Egypt the chin-chain was removed and a puggaree worn around the helmet. Puggarees were issued white, but were often stained with tea to produce a ‘khaki’ colour, and in the case of the Foot Guards, had the forage cap badge attached to the front. The Full-Dress tunic worn here by the Private has the very rounded collar seen from 1856 to the early 1880s, and together with the seated soldier, has a five-bar chevron indicating five ‘Good-Conduct’ badges, totalling 23 years unblemished service: the fact they are on the lower right sleeve rather than the left indicates a transitional period as the 1881 regulations came into effect (which the Lance-Corporal Drummer has observed, his rank chevrons and ‘Good-Service’ badges being as per regulation). Equipment is the ‘Valise Equipment’ of 1870, introduced in 1871, and the rifle is the .450-inch ‘Rifle, Breech-Loading, Martini-Henry Mark II’. The falling-block Martini-Henry was first introduced for service in 1874, with the Mark II being adopted as standard in 1877.

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‘The New Recruit’. Colour-Serjeant and Private, Coldstream Guards, in ‘Drill Order’, circa 1890. Both the Colour-Serjeant and the Private wear ‘Drill Order’ consisting of the Undress uniform of white shell-jacket (only worn by ranks below that of Staff-Serjeant) and Forage cap (which for all ranks below Staff-Serjeant was the Round Forage Cap). The shell-jacket had eight regimental-buttons down the front, one on each cuff, and on each shoulder, fastening twisted white shoulder cords. The Colour-Serjeant has the distinctions worn by all Warrant Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers (from the rank of Serjeant), namely gold band and piping on the forage cap, and crimson sash over the right shoulder. His rank insignia of gold crown above a gold three-bar chevron is of the configuration worn by Colour-Serjeants on Undress uniform and the lower right sleeve of greatcoats; on the Full-Dress tunic it was the Coldstream ‘Colour Badge’ (crossed scimitars underneath a reversed crimson flag bearing the Garter Star and Egyptian Sphinx, surmounted by a crown) superimposed on a gold three-bar chevron, worn on the upper right sleeve. The Private is in full equipment (Valise Equipment, Pattern 1888) and marching gaiters, ready for field training.

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‘Musketry Drill’, Coldstream Guards, 1896. Undergoing training in volley fire, this squad is in ‘Drill Order’, and is armed with the 10-round .303-inch ‘Rifle, Magazine, Lee-Metford Mark II’, introduced in 1892. The senior Non-Commissioned Officer in the background wears the Undress uniform worn by Staff-Serjeants and Warrant Officers of the Foot Guards. Instead of the white-shell jacket, this consisted of a scarlet tunic with dark blue collar and cuffs, and piped in white only down the front edge of the tunic and the top edge of the cuffs, with twisted gold cords on each shoulder. Regimental collar insignia was worn, and buttons down the front of the tunic were spaced regimentally. No rank insignia was worn, though as seen here the crimson sash, and especially the peaked forage cap with gold band and piping as worn by Staff-Serjeants and Warrant Officers, indicates his status.

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Corps of Drums (in ‘Drill Order’), Irish Guards, 1902. This painting illustrates the distinctive shape of the new Guards-pattern forage cap introduced in 1900 for use as the Undress cap, similar to that of the reviled ‘Brodrick Cap’ adopted by the Infantry of the Line in 1902. The Irish Guards were raised in 1900, the first new regiment of Foot Guards since 1661 (the Welsh Guards would follow in 1915), and was formed by command of Queen Victoria to commemorate the Irish regiments fighting in the Second Boer War. The Irish Guards’ distinctions were and are a blue plume on the right side of the bearskin cap; buttons spaced in fours; green band and piping on the forage cap; the Star of the Order of St Patrick as forage cap and shoulder insignia; and a shamrock leaf as collar insignia. The scene depicted is probably a rehearsal for the Coronation parade of King Edward VII; the man in the foreground is not a Drummer, but a private with slung rifle and carrying a rolled-up marker flag. Note the senior Non-Commissioned Officer in scarlet Undress uniform.

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Drummer, Lance-Corporal, Colour-Serjeant, Serjeant, and Privates, Coldstream Guards, 1914. These figures are from a recruiting poster for the Coldstream Guards, and show some of the versions of ‘Home Service Review Order’ and ‘Drill Order’ as worn immediately before World War One. In 1902 the khaki Service Dress, universal for all arms-of-service across the British Army, was introduced for Home Service. Troops retained their Full-Dress tunics for ‘Review Order’, but Service Dress was now worn for ‘Marching Order’ and ‘Drill Order’. The Foot Guards adopted Service Dress too, except that its use was kept limited to field-training, manoeuvres, and active service; otherwise Full-Dress was worn, in ‘Review Order’ of course, but also on certain occasions as ‘Marching Order’, such as on ‘Field Days’. They also retained the Undress uniform for ‘Drill Order’.

 

The Drummer here is in the usual ‘Review Order’, and we see the regulation scarlet, blue and yellow bugle cords. The Lance-Corporal wears the regulation, Atholl Grey, five-button greatcoat, with his two-bar chevron of rank on the lower right sleeve; all rank insignia worn on the greatcoat was and is dark-blue on red backing, and follow a more simplified design than that seen on the tunic (Lance-Serjeant and Serjeant therefore indistinguishable). He wears the waistbelt of the ‘Valise Equipment, Pattern 1888’, with rolled cape behind, and though obscured here, only one ammunition pouch at the front (this configuration ordered for those duties carried out away from the public eye, whether official events, in barracks, or for drill). The Colour-Serjeant wears the ‘Serjeants’ Quality’ Full-Dress tunic with the very distinctive insignia of his rank on the upper right sleeve, and carries the fuller scale of equipment worn in ‘Review Order’ for public events such as mounting Guard at royal residences, state ceremonial, and parades. He too wears ‘Valise Equipment, Pattern 1888’, with the rear-opening ‘Pattern 1894, Mark I’ pouches, and carries a folded greatcoat high on his back (this replaced the Valise in ‘Review Order’ in 1905). The Serjeant (his three-bar chevron should be gold, not white) is in the Undress uniform worn for ‘Drill Order’, and wears the ‘Forage Cap, Universal Pattern’ introduced in 1906. Peaked (with brass rim), with white band and piping for all non-Officers, it meant the abolition of the yellow band and piping worn by Serjeants and above, and, moreover, the demise of the Officers’ pattern peaked forage cap worn by Staff-Serjeants and Warrant Officers; to mitigate this loss, rank was now indicated on the peak of the new forage cap by concentric rings of brass strips or Russia braid. This man has the brass rim and two parallel brass strips indicative of Serjeants and Colour-Serjeants. The Private in the background is dressed for ‘Walking-Out’, while the Private at far right, in ‘Rank and File Quality’ Full-Dress tunic, is in the same mode of ‘Review Order’ as the greatcoated Lance-Corporal.

 

We see on the Full-Dress tunics depicted in this illustration the style of collar that had become standard by 1910, i.e. cut high and straight. The rifle depicted here is the 10-round .303-inch ‘Rifle, Short, Magazine, Lee-Enfield Mark III’, introduced in 1907. The Colour-Serjeant displays the gold embroidered badge of crossed rifles under a crown; this was a ‘Prize Badge’ in Musketry, and when worn on the lower left sleeve, as here, it signified that it had been awarded to the senior Non-Commissioned Officers of the best shooting company of an infantry or engineer battalion, or Squadron of a cavalry regiment. The award recognized that Serjeants were responsible for both directing fire and maintaining fire discipline within their companies: by 1914, the appointment of ‘Company Serjeant-Major’ had been introduced, being the most senior Non-Commissioned Officer in an infantry company, and was held by those with the rank of Colour-Serjeant. On the lower left sleeve of the Private on the extreme right, above his ‘Good-Conduct’ badges, can be seen the badge of crossed rifles under a star (introduced in 1898), indicating he is the best shot in his company. This man, together with the Serjeant and Colour-Serjeant is a veteran of the Second Boer War of 1899-1902, all having been awarded the Queen’s and King’s South Africa Medal, while the Colour-Serjeant also wears the crimson ribbon of the Army ‘Long Service and Good Conduct Medal’.

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From a magazine article of 1895

 

“Two Notable Guardsmen: Second-lieutenant Heathcote-Amory of the 1st Battalion, Coldstream Guards, is the tallest officer (6' 5.25") in the Guards Brigade. The Drummer is John Maskell, a boy with a story. Picked up at the manoeuvres near Swindon, in 1893, while following the troops, and found to be an orphan and a fine spirited boy, the officers of the battalion placed him in the Gordon Boys' Home. There John Maskell did well and became cornet player in the band, whence the officers of the Coldstream Guards took him into their own band as a drummer. He is a universal favourite and a good boy.”

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