1722, Gunner, Royal Artillery

£5.00

Uniforms of the Royal Artillery 1716-1966

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Description

The familiar blue coat with red facings was adopted with the formation of the first two permanent companies of artillery at Woolwich in l716. There is no contemporary pictorial evidence of the details of dress, but some small figures in a print of the funeral of the Duke of Marlborough indicate that the early dress of the gunners was as shown in this plate. Normally gunners wore hats, but on the occasion depicted in this print caps were worn. This is not surprising, because the Royal Fusiliers, raised in 1865 to escort the train of artillery in action, and possibly to help in manning the guns, always wore caps of this type. However, these caps were soon abandoned by the Royal Artillery, although from time to fatigue caps of this kind of shape were worn. No doubt a device of some sort was worn on the front. The sword was worn by all ranks of the artillery at this time but was abandoned by all but sergeants at the end of the eighteenth century. Subsequently it was carried by N.C.O.s of field batteries and a special artillery sword was carried by some Indian ranks until 1939. The gunner’s staff, or linstock, was a weapon peculiar to the Artillery (a staff about three feet long, having a pointed foot to stick in the deck or ground, and a forked head to hold a lighted match). In action the slow match on it was alight and was used to fire guns. It was in 1722 that the two original companies raised at Woolwich and the other independent trains of artillery at Gibraltar and Minorca were combined to form the Royal Regiment of Artillery. Source: Contemporary print of the Duke of Marlborough’s funeral.

Additional information

Dimensions24 × 37.5 cm