Private, 34th Foot, 1854 (Border Regiment)


The Border Regiment was merged into The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment (King’s, Lancashire and Border) in 2004

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The 34th was raised in 1702 by Lord Lucas and was originally called ‘Lucas Foot’. At Fontenoy it covered the retreat of the British Army, and it carries a laurel on its colours to commemorate this. It is the only regiment in the army to bear the battle honours ‘Arroyo dos Molinos’. At Arroyo in 1811, in the Peninsula, it captured the 34th Regiment of France intact, the drum-major of the British 34th seizing the staff of the French drum-major and leading the drums with it out of the battle. In 1881 it was combined with the 55th Foot to form the Border Regiment. In 2004 it was amalgamated with two other regiments to form the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment (King’s Lancashire and Border). Based on a photograph by Roger Fenton, this shows a private soldier of the 34th Foot in the marching order worn in 1854, at the beginning of the Crimean war. The correct head-dress should be a shako. This shako was discarded by almost all troops on arrival in the Crimea, and the undress cap shown here substituted. The coatee, with its tight sleeves, tails and white tapes is not a garment particularly suited to active service. The equipment is like that worn by marching infantry even today – usually referred to by its wearers as the ‘Christmas Tree’. The worst feature of the equipment was the strap across the chest joining the two pack straps, which constricted the chest and interfered with the soldier’s breathing.

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Dimensions 24 × 37.5 cm