Private, Coldstream Guards (1856)

The Coldstream Guards are part of the Guards Division

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The Coldstream Guards is the oldest regiment in the British Army in continuous active service, originating in Coldstream, Scotland, in 1650 when General George Monck, given permission by Oliver Cromwell, founded the regiment. It is one of two regiments of the Household Division that can trace its lineage to the New Model Army, the other being the Blues and Royals (Royal Horse Guards and 1st Dragoons). The clothing of the rank and file was altered in 1856 in a manner similar to that of their officers, and this plate shows a private of the  Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment (King’s, Lancashire and Border), in light fighting order, in his new tunic. The guards did not discard their bearskin caps in the Crimea, as the infantry of the line did their shakos, but with their new dress they received bearskin caps rather reduced in size, which were soon succeeded by others similar to those worn now. The appointments of the tunic shown here are virtually the same as those worn by modern guardsmen. On the old coatees a number of regiments had worn their buttons grouped in pairs, but this grouping disappeared with the coatees. The guards, however, retained their buttons in pairs for the Coldstreams and in threes for the Scots Fusilier Guards, and they still retain them today. The growing of beards was permitted in the Crimea, and many men grew them for convenience, and possibly for warmth. After the war those who had fought in the Crimea were allowed officially to retain them, but in fact they very soon disappeared.

Additional information

Weight 0.013 kg
Dimensions 24.5 × 37.5 cm


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