The Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry was created on 1 July 1881 as part of the Childers Reforms, by the merger of the 32nd (Cornwall Light Infantry) Regiment and the 46th (South Devonshire) Regiment. The DCLI incorporated the militia and rifle volunteers of Cornwall. In 1959 it merged with the Somerset Light Infantry to form the Somerset and Cornwall Light Infantry which in turn was merged, in 2007 to form The Rifles, which continues the lineage of the DCLI. Here is a captain of the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry in the ceremonial dress common to most infantry regiments at the end of the nineteenth century. The shako was superseded by the helmet in 1878. This Teutonic head-dress had little to commend it and was as unpopular as the earlier shakos had been. One disadvantage of it was that when a man was firing in the prone position the back peak caught on his shoulders and pushed the helmet over his eyes. It was quite common for men firing on the ranges to wear their helmets back to front. The shoulder cords were made larger in 1880 and the badges of rank moved back to the shoulder from the collar, and in most regiments collar badges were introduced, such as those shown here. The gold and crimson sash replaced the usual crimson one in court order and on certain ceremonial occasions, when the gold belt seen here replaced the ordinary buff one.
Captain, Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, 1897
The Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry merged first with the Somerset Light Infantry and, in 2007, with other regiments to form The Rifles.
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