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Re: Re: Crimean war British light infantry

Light Infantry regiments:
13th (Prince Albert's?) - blue facings
68th (Durham) - green
71st (Highland)- buff
90th (Perthshire Volunteers) - buff
Green ball tufts on shakos, and green undress caps with black band (though the 71st had blue with a diced band).
Trousers black ("Oxford mixture") with red side welt in winter, dark blue in summer (1 May - 14 October)
Trews for 71st (wonder how long they lasted) - Government with white overstripe.
Wings for all.
71st (along with the 74th) had an old-fashioned bell-top shako - 71st with dicing.
46th light company had red ball tufts. (Don't know if this isn't a legacy of the AWI)
Fusiliers all had white, and wings.
Forage caps blue for light companies in line regiments, not green.

This all from an old Osprey, so no guarantees that it's still correct!
I'd dearly like to see photographic evidence of the old-style shako for the 71st.
NB buttons could be white or yellow metal - white for the 68th, not sure about the rest, but probably the same as in the Napoleonic period.

Crimean war British light companies (infantry)

Dear Gartlym

You are right about the colours of the facings ( actually collars and cuffs ) but the lace is also important as a signifier. The uniforms are no different from those already released as line infantry when in their red brown plastic form.

The full titles in the 1850s
13th (1st Somersetshire Light Infantry)Regiment of Foot
71st (Glasgow Highland)Regiment of Foot
90th Regiment of Foot (Perthshire Volunteers)(Light Infantry)

The parentheses were normally dropped but all soldiers understood that the 90th was Scottish etc. Obviously the commanders knew which battalion or regiment consisted of more light companies than another.

The green ball tufts were for light companies. Red and white for centre companies, black for the Rifle Brigade.
8 companies made up a battalion with two sections per company. In some battles the light companies could come from for example a regiment's 2nd Battalion though many regiments had only one battalion. The battalion could attack or defend two deep or in a defensive square 4 deep with two companies at each side. A company varied depending on the period between 100 and 150 men. A company at the Alma could be about 80 -100 comprising of 4 sections of 20-25 each. In practice at the Alma the Light division's fighting was done in groups with individual fire or lined as skirmishers like the Rifle Brigade. They were all indeed, equipped with the Minie rifle and aimed shots were proving more devastating than volley fire.

Most of my uniform info comes from regt histories but most of all from Military Illustrated No 6 1987 The British Light Division at the Alma 1854. Osprey is good MAA 196 same author & illustrator as above but condensed and the battles in 1855 or Inkerman in '54 were fought in circumstances when the organisational niceties were not as clear as they were at the Alma or Balaclava.
Trousers were very dark blue almost black (Oxford mixture) not like the Strelets illustration.The grey ones worn in 1855 were the obsolete summer pattern tweeds often seen in sketches done on the spot. Buttons were silver.

If I can't get my photos on this site I will put them on the Najemo one.