Sergeant, Grenadier Guards, 1901


The Grenadier Guards are part of the Guards Division

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A Regiment of the Guards Division. The most senior regiment of the Guards Division and, as such, the most senior regiment of infantry. They trace their lineage to 1656, when Lord Wentworth’s Regiment was raised in Bruges, in Flanders, from gentlemen of the Honourable Artillery Company by the then heir to the throne, Prince Charles (later King Charles II) where it formed a part of the exiled King’s bodyguard. A sergeant of the Grenadier Guards in the white jacket and ‘pill-box’ hat worn at the turn of the century for duties in barracks, and sometimes on exercises. The white jacket was worn only in the foot guards and Highland regiments and is said to be a relic of the white sleeved waistcoats, worn under the coat in the eighteenth century and used, with the coat removed, as a fatigue dress; whether this was so or not it was a smart and practical dress, which survived until 1914. There was no difference between the regiments of guards in the grouping of the buttons on this coat, which was worn only by those of the rank of sergeant and below. The corresponding coat for warrant officers was a red tunic, like the full-dress tunic, but with simpler appointments. The ‘pill-box’ hat was a rather dashing affair, but probably rather useless. It was really a cavalryman’s hat and was not worn by line regiments. It was superseded by the Brodrick hat, less handsome but more practical.

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Dimensions 24 × 37.5 cm