Officer, Light Company, 45th Foot, 1831 (Sherwood Foresters)


The Sherwood Foresters amalgamated with other regiments to form the Mercian Regiment in 2007

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The first 45th were raised in 1740 as marines but disbanded after eight years. When this second 45th came home after a long tour abroad in 1778, they were linked with Nottinghamshire, and the association remained. It was in 1778 that they gained their popular title, the Sherwood Foresters, which they retained after their amalgamation in 1881 with the 95th Foot. Now part of the Mercian Regiment. This officer is wearing the dress worn in India at this time, like the summer dress worn at home. Even in the cold weather in India these clothes must have been hot indeed, but in those days little concession was made to climate – campaigns were fought in clothing that was unsuitable. Indian troops of the Honourable East India Company were made to wear clothes like these. As a member of the light company he wears the green ball tuft on his hat, introduced in 1830. As a subaltern officer he wears no badge of rank but has a bugle device in gilt on his wings. He also has on his sword-belt the whistle introduced in about 1830 for light infantry and rifles, and his sword is curved as befits a light company officer. His buttons are in pairs, an arrangement adopted by many regiments, and the braided button-holes on his cuff slashes are in pairs too. This type of coat was introduced in 1830 – a proper double-breasted coat, without embroidered lapels beneath.

Source: Contemporary print by L. Mansion and S. Eschauzier.

Additional information

Weight 0.0131 kg
Dimensions 24.5 × 37.5 cm