Sergeant, 13th Light Infantry, 1833 (Somerset Light Infantry)
The Somerset Light Infantry became the Somerset and Cornwall Light Infantry, then the Light Infantry before amalgamating into The Rifles in 2007
The 13th were raised in 1685. In 1707 they became the Somerset Light Infantry. Sergeants wore their sashes over the left shoulder, as officers, instead of the right. At Jellalabad in 1842 all the officers were killed or wounded, and sergeants commanded the battalion. Arising from the same incident the officers wear their sashes on the right instead of the left side. Like the Norfolks the officers have a double line of black in their gold lace, probably to commemorate the deaths of the officers on that occasion. Now part of The Rifles. In this plate the coat, and the sleeves, are tighter, smarter in appearance but less practical for active service than 20 years earlier. The leather equipment has changed little. With the pack added it would be almost the same as that of 1811. The pack straps were badly designed – they had to be tight restricting the chest, so physical exertion could be painful. The collar is now closed and tight, and slashed cuffs, have returned. As a light infantryman he has a green ball tuft in his shako, and white wool wings. In 1836 white lace on the coats of all infantry sergeants was abolished. They wore a plain coat like their officers. As a sergeant he is armed with a rifle and he wears a bayonet and a sergeant’s sword. These swords disappeared after the Crimea. He wears a crimson cotton sash round his waist with stripes of his facing colour.
Source: Portrait of Sergeant Smart by Alexandre-Jeanne Dubois-Drahonet at Windsor Castle.
|Dimensions||24.5 × 37.5 cm|