Quartermaster Sergeant, 2nd Foot, 1802


II Infantry Uniforms of the British Army 1790-1850

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The 2nd Foot were raised in 1661 to garrison Tangier, which came with Catherine of Braganza she married King Charles II. Originally the Tangier Regiment, then the ‘Queen’s’ regiment (in honour of Catherine, whose crest, the Lamb, was their badge). They served under Kirke in the Bloody Assizes and acquired their nickname ‘Kirke’s Lambs’, and under Howe in 1794 on the ‘╦ťGlorious First of June’ for which they were awarded the badge of a naval crown – one of their colours. Throughout their long history they have been famous simply as ‘The Queen’s’ but today are part of Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment. Before 1802 the rank of NCO was shown by epaulettes and shoulder knots. In 1802 it was ordered that these ranks be indicated by chevrons – sergeant majors to have four, sergeants three, and corporals two. At first, it was uncertain if the chevrons were to be worn proper (as here) or inverted, as mostly worn today. An 1803 order stated the point was to be worn downwards. Sergeant majors, quartermaster sergeants and drum majors wore them this way, just above the cuff, at the end of the nineteenth century, and drum-majors wear them so today. As befits a senior N.C.O. this uniform resembles that of an officer. His sash, sword-belt and plate, hat-feather, black silk stock and white collar are all like those of an officer. A sergeant major would have been dressed similarly, except with silver lace instead of white tape shown here.

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Dimensions24 × 37.5 cm