Coldstream Guards Fatigue UnIform

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Coldstream Guards Fatigue UnIform

Postby 19thranker » 03 Sep 2017 18:26

Hi All......
I'm trying to find exact details to the white Fatigue uniform worn by infantry, specifically the Coldstream Guards , during the 1840's into the Crimean War.
The details I lack are:
1. I'm sure the jacket and trousers were cotton, know the infantry white Fatigue jacket was wool in the Napoleonic period, but I'm guessing by the 1840's they were white drill.

2. On the kilmarnock or Fatigue cap, what badge did the Other Ranks wear on the cap, I know regiments like the 19th wore those numbers.

3. Did the Fatigue jacket have shoulder straps and how many buttons went down the front? Were they pewter or brass?

4. I have read also that other issued trousers could be worn with the white Fatigue jacket? True?

Any photos , illustrations or info would be most appreciated, thanks, Mike
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Re: Coldstream Guards Fatigue UnIform

Postby Frogsmile » 03 Sep 2017 19:08

1. The white, waist length 'drill order' shell jacket was always wool (confusion caused because of term 'drill' which in another context meant stout cotton) and was initially a cream colour. It was later whitened with a paste solution causing problems in rain!

2. Uniquely at that time Foot Guards had two undress caps, forage caps and Albert bonnets. The former had metal badges and the latter worsted cloth. SNCOs had superior versions with gold lace bands.

3. There were shoulder 'cords'.

4. In Cold season (Oct to May) dark blue (later Oxford) trousers were worn and in Warm season (May to Oct) white linen duck trousers.

N.B. For illustrations and explanation see my posts (as Toby), at page 5 here: http://www.britishbadgeforum.com/forums ... per&page=6).
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Re: Coldstream Guards Fatigue UnIform

Postby 19thranker » 04 Sep 2017 00:33

Hi Frogsmile,
Thank you so much. I accessed the link , but can only read the text, but can access no images.
So, portraying a Coldstream Guard (1840's to Crimea), you are saying:
The Fatigue jacket is a cream wool.......how many buttons down the front and brass or pewter in type?

The Fatigue cap is peaked, meaning a visor prior to crimea(you're right, a much better look than the Kilmarnock brimless one)
Do you have an image of the badge for Other Ranks (private) that goes on this cap and where can I get one....does anyone Repro one?

Again, thanks so much for all the info! Mike
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Re: Coldstream Guards Fatigue UnIform

Postby Frogsmile » 04 Sep 2017 08:30

19thranker wrote:Hi Frogsmile,
Thank you so much. I accessed the link , but can only read the text, but can access no images.
So, portraying a Coldstream Guard (1840's to Crimea), you are saying:
The Fatigue jacket is a cream wool.......how many buttons down the front and brass or pewter in type?

The Fatigue cap is peaked, meaning a visor prior to crimea(you're right, a much better look than the Kilmarnock brimless one)
Do you have an image of the badge for Other Ranks (private) that goes on this cap and where can I get one....does anyone Repro one?

Again, thanks so much for all the info! Mike


The 8 small buttons on the cream (i.e. natural, untreated wool) jacket were brass for Foot Guards sergeants, but pewter for rank and file and Highland line, plus 2 for the white, twisted shoulder cords and 1 on each cuff. Chevrons were narrow black felt for rank and file. I forgot that you will need to register with the site to see the images. Well worth doing. The forage cap (not 'fatigue') had a simple brass star, or grenade, depending upon regiment (the earliest Coldstream badge was elongated, as enclosed, and looking at the scale possibly doubled as the cartouche badge (but not valise badge)). The pre-Crimean pattern are very hard to find, but the later type with equidistant points and used on a tall, pill box cap that was worn tipped to the side with chinstrap downs, was very similar. Again, there are images on the site to which I linked you, but see below. The peaked cap was replaced by a cap without peak around 1853, although battalion 'staff' sergeants retained peaks to mark their status. The Coldstream Guards rank and file had a white band around their caps. The other cap shown below is the so-called 'Albert bonnet' and unique to the Foot Guard regiments.
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Last edited by Frogsmile on 27 Sep 2017 13:08, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Coldstream Guards Fatigue UnIform

Postby Frogsmile » 04 Sep 2017 13:15

These pictures, mostly drawn at the time, show how tall the peaked forage caps were (typical of the Georgian period - think Oliver Twist) and make clear the contrast between the cream woollen jackets (before it became fashionable to whiten them with a form of pipe clay) and the laundered white of the stout linen trousers. The 3rd (Scots Fusilier) Guards in the 1838 picture have not yet adopted the diced band on their caps. Guards forage caps were often blocked with buckram (hessian stiffened with gum/glue) to give structure and a smarter, more upright appearance.
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Re: Coldstream Guards Fatigue UnIform

Postby 19thranker » 04 Sep 2017 16:20

Frogsmile.....this is absolutely fantastic information, thank you very , very much.
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Re: Coldstream Guards Fatigue UnIform

Postby Frogsmile » 04 Sep 2017 21:30

19thranker wrote:Frogsmile.....this is absolutely fantastic information, thank you very , very much.


I'm glad to help and will be interested to see the eventual fruits of your efforts.
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Re: Coldstream Guards Fatigue UnIform

Postby 19thranker » 04 Sep 2017 21:45

Thank you
If you know anyplace to get repro buttons, cap badge and bayonet sling plate for either Coldstream or Scotts Giards impression, I'd appreciate it, again, many thanks.
Doesn't seem like anyone is reproing the Albert bonnet, that would be neat to have and display!
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Re: Coldstream Guards Fatigue UnIform

Postby Frogsmile » 04 Sep 2017 22:22

19thranker wrote:Thank you
If you know anyplace to get repro buttons, cap badge and bayonet sling plate for either Coldstream or Scotts Giards impression, I'd appreciate it, again, many thanks.
Doesn't seem like anyone is reproing the Albert bonnet, that would be neat to have and display!


This is the company whose reproductive efforts I rate the most highly: http://www.militaryheritage.com/crimean.htm
I'm sure they will make whatever you ask.

There is also a list of recommended and reputable suppliers here: http://m.inniskillingsdatabase.com/site ... rk=fw#2133
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Re: Coldstream Guards Fatigue UnIform

Postby 19thranker » 24 Sep 2017 16:45

I'm going to start assembling the 1840's Guard Forage cap and was noticing the above illustrations. It looks as though the chin strap has no side buttons , it seems to be attached from underneath.......is that correct?
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Re: Coldstream Guards Fatigue UnIform

Postby Frogsmile » 24 Sep 2017 17:07

19thranker wrote:I'm going to start assembling the 1840's Guard Forage cap and was noticing the above illustrations. It looks as though the chin strap has no side buttons , it seems to be attached from underneath.......is that correct?


Yes, for other ranks it was attached inside the cap band, no buttons. For the peaked forage cap your best bet would be the type used by re-enactors of the US/Mexican war, as that is very similar. You would just need to add some buckram stiffening.
Last edited by Frogsmile on 27 Sep 2017 13:05, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Coldstream Guards Fatigue UnIform

Postby Frogsmile » 27 Sep 2017 13:03

Here are two photographic examples of these extremely rare caps, although in both cases they are the staff officers' version (not Guards) with rich gold bullion lace, finer cloth and decorated peaks (US 'visors'). Nevertheless they give a useful idea of scale, method of construction and how the chin strap was secured.

Also two artwork prints showing the same style cap used by Line Officers between the 1830s and mid 1850s (these can also be seen in Fenton daguerrotypes during the Crimean War).

The Foot Guards pattern for other ranks was blocked (stiffened), probably with buckram (hessian treated with gum). It is clear that the peaks give the caps worn by guardsmen an officer's silhouette and I cannot help wondering if that factor played a part in the removal of the peak from successive forage caps through until 1905.
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