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The Bugle badge and numerals

I am sure that many of us are aware of this General order in 1814 about numerals being placed below the Bugle Badge on the caps of Riflemen and Light Infantry:

In 2/95 we have had some discussion over the years about this - when or if - it was adopted by the 95th and if so in what manner.
We have buttons from the period which show the numerals placed between the strings of the bugle.

The same style of Bugle and numerals is found on the Forlorn Hope medal of Sjt John Himbury in 1813.  So period sources are depicting the 95 numerals so placed but was that adopted for the Regimental cap??

So - what we would like to see is any evidence or images of Bugle badges and numerals - either before 1814 or shortly after.

Over to you chaps - get digging!
Paul Durrant

4th Cacadores by Dighton 1812


In the image that Ben has just posted in our archive of some recently dug cap badges shows a 5th Cacadores, this had the number within the strings of the bugle horn.

Paul Durrant

From Dighton's Riflemen behind rocks.

Paul Durrant wrote:
From Dighton's Riflemen behind rocks.

That's good Paul - it certainly shows the numerals 95 but its an odd depiction with the Bugle badge up on the cockade and a stovepipe with cords - though the peak is correctly square.

A few more contemporary
images albeit not cap badges;

Frontispiece  to Wheeler :

Belt plate 43rd:

John Waller

Paul Durrant wrote:
From Dighton's Riflemen behind rocks.

Very odd. It's either a stovepipe with belgic cords or a belgic with the cockade and tuft in the wrong place. Bugle horn badge on the cockade as per line regt light companies.
Paul Durrant

Eddie wrote:

...its an odd depiction with the Bugle badge up on the cockade and a stovepipe with cords - though the peak is correctly square.

John Waller wrote:

Very odd. It's either a stovepipe with belgic cords or a belgic with the cockade and tuft in the wrong place. Bugle horn badge on the cockade as per line regt light companies.

Everything about that bloody Dighton pix is odd...

My general  feeling would  be that the  order  of Dec 1814 would  become the accepted norm for the next  issue  of  plates  and  caps, which  from memory would  be every 2 years in the case  of the metalwork.

It was normally accepted that  current stocks and supply could be  used  until the required time to issue replacements came around, as writing  off existing stocks that were not the  property  of the crown (ie the colonels and out  of the troopers reckonings) was an  unfair imposition

In that sense  it's  unlikely that it would be seen to  apply widely until around  1817 when all  troops would have received  new issue  of caps of the new pattern ordered  in 1816.

You may have got some issued  earlier when  re-equiping,  but  generally  it is unlikely that a whole new badge would have been devised and manufactured before June 1815
Paul Durrant

...and in 1816 we loose our 95th number.

I think the 1814 Order merely ratified a practice which some units had already unofficially adopted as there are images which predate the Order which shows numerals with bugle badges on caps.

The 1816 shako/cap  -according to Barthorp  - 'British Infantry Unforms since 1660 ' page 64 indicates a different Shako plate was then introduced to the Line -  the Rifles and LI kept the Stringed Bugle but placed the numerals above it on the cockade - in the case of the RB the Battalion number  went on the cockade.
Thus between Dec 1814 and 1816 there is not a large window of opportunity at all for the Order to have been adopted.

I don't trust one detail on that Dighton painting. I think he's making it all up.

Eddie, there is at least one image confirming to Barthorp's description.


Thanks Kieran
Do you have a date for that  ? I think its one that Rob Y was describing to me a short while back.
Do you have more of the image  - as an aside I want to see the style of sword the Sjt is wearing.

This is the complete image Kieran shows is of an Rifle Brigade Serjt {3rd Batt} and is dated 1816 and is on display in Edinburgh Castle.  


Obadiah wrote:
This is the complete image Kieran shows is of an Rifle Brigade Serjt {3rd Batt} and is dated 1816 and is on display in Edinburgh Castle.  

Ben Townsend

I'm sympathetic to Neilbelungen's hypothesis. Any changes would be expected to occur at the next issue. This was accepted. So when was the next issue?

The 1/95th were issued new 1806 pattern caps in April 1813. The other battalions had an issue of the 1812 cap at the same time.

The 1806 cap was intended to last one year for the felt  and two years for the metal badge. So in theory, by 1814 the 1/95th should have had a new cap issue of belgics. The old badges would be current if the numerals were seperate- we are not aware of a change of style, unless the numerals were an integral joined part to the buglehorn.

Im inclined to speculate that the numerals would have been seperate. This would mean that the universal buglehorn plate could continue, without the need for new dies for each regiment. Just a guess based on cost considerations.

So the 1/95th should have had an issue of caps in early 1814, but the order for numerals comes on 28.12.1814 AFTER the issue of kit for 1814 should have arrived. The new belgic cap was issued with a cap cover, and, as a result, the felt as well as the other parts were expected to last for two years, so the next issues after the order for numerals should have been as follows:

1/95th: Dec 1816 (two years from 1814 issue)

2/95th and 3/95th: Dec 1815 (Two years from 1813 issue)

Under these circumstances, the issue of numeral badges or numerals to add to badges, could only have occured as an extra issue apart from the regular cap chain of supply.

Thanks Ben
On the basis of what you say it seems unlikely that the numbers were "officially" issued before the end of 1815. Yet we do have examples of numbers being worn with the bugle before that :

36th Foot c 1808 - separate numbers between the strings. Worcs museum?

There is also the "Belgic" of the 33rd Light coy at Bankfield museum - (perhaps Doc W has an image? )Given the timescale for official issue how did that get its numerals before Waterloo?

The Order applies to all the Light Infantry so I wonder it if the 43rd 51st 52nd 68th 71st and 85th ever sported numerals during the Napoleonic period and whether their respective regimental museums have any examples?
John Waller

Craig Armstrong provided me with some pictures and details of the Howard 33rd Light coy cap in Halifax a while ago. Dont ask me why the units of measurement are mixed !

Body height front 16cms
Body height rear 17.5 cms
Height of false front 21cms
Width of false front 27 cms

Size 21" crown - bit on the small side

Badges - brass bugle horn over 1 1/4" brass numbers 33

The numbers would not fit inside the bugle badge.

No cords, plume or cockade remain. Front tape bound. Tape round crown.

I can't upload the pictures but if anyone would like copies please message me.

Cheers John.

Now found a reasonable image of the 33rd cap:

I have also found a picture in "Regiment" magazine issue 57 The Light Infantry" page 53 - Oil painting of an Officer of the 68th 1819. The Bugle badge is set high just below the cockade with the numerals 68 between the strings. Copyright so can't attach.

Soldiers of Oxford museum collections show several 52nd Bugle badges with the numerals between the strings of the bugle but none of the badges are dated. They also have an image of just the numerals 52 - one in brass and the others white metal - again not dated - but the numerals were certainly used beneath the Bugle badge during the Crimea on Light Infantry 'pork pie' forage caps.

OK - where have we got to? Not very far I fear.

Looking for period images showing caps of Riflemen, Light Infantry Regiments and Light companies..........

Of the contemporary Riflemen images - the ones we know about often as not seem to show no badge all let alone numerals!

What of the regiments converted to Light Infantry during this period ?
with dates of conversion ie:
43rd  July 1803
51st 1809
52nd Jan 1803
68th 1808
71st 1809
85th 1808

So any images of theses regiments from these dates to say 1816 to confirm or negate the use of numerals on their caps.............

"85" conjoined numerals found at the British campsite New Orleans January 1815.

Don Trioniani's image bank :
Worth looking at the other pages too.

The 85th were deployed America  August 1814 to March 1815 and thus if these are cap numerals then they would have been using them before the Order of  28th Dec 1814.

Renee Chartrand "A Scarlet coat" War of 1812 page 82 - re the 85th:

"Being a Light Infantry regiment since September 1808 (WO 7/34), it wore the light infantry shako with a green plume and crowned bugle badge with '85' between the strings...."

WO 7/34 is National Archives reference to Board of General Officers - Clothing 1/1/1806 to 31/12/1810.  Has anyone had sight of this ?

Occupation Print 1815 - 71ST  - No numerals beneath bugle badge

There seems to be precious few detailed contemporary pictures of Light Infantry regiments -  a great number of course of the images we are familiar with from favourite books are illustrated with varying degrees of accuracy/inaccuracy by Victorian painters like Hillingford  or Caton Woodville - but I do so love them for the atmosphere they evoke!
But they do not serve our purpose for this little investigation.

So onward:

Goddard and Booth Military Costume of Europe 1812. Absence of numerals on the cap of the 43rd man. Absence of wings too. Absence of any badge at all on the Rifleman.

Haythornthwaite 'British Infantry of the Napoleonic Wars' p 83 shows a 43rd officer in Stovepipe with Bugle badge but no numerals.
Mercian Pete

Ooh-er! That Rifleman appears to be wearing a mid grey pack!! ???

What do the 60th wear Pete?

Mercian Pete

Eddie - you're right!  Wrong place and therefore deleted. q18

Mercian Pete

Deleted by author as inappropriate to the thread.

All contributions are welcome but methinks you digress ??

Ok then a bit more.
Re the 43rd - National Army museum have the cap "attributed" to Lt Kershaw :

A truly odd looking thing which someone added chin scales to at some point - but no numerals.

The 52nd?   - Well we have the familiar Hamilton Smith and Genty images - neither of which show numerals.

The 68th?
I can only find one period detailed image of a 68th Serjeant  in this  strange posture with his firelock  held over his head :

Is that unusual round badge a Bugle with 68 in the middle  - under a crown - or is it just my wishful l thinking ??  It isn't the standard rectangular Stove pipe plate.  Could it be prior to the 68th being converted to Lights? Well he certainly has a green plume and wings.

The 68th image is just as they changed over to LI. It's meant to be seeing the light or something like that so I've been told.


More like, somebody just pointed out his camel toe and he's falling over out of shock!

Sightly, more constructively, there's these badges from the the 52nd, which helpfully are undated, though I imagine they are both later than our period.
Mercian Pete

At the risk of mentioning 5/60 again, have a look at this. The LX numerals are clearly within the bugle strings (although on a cross belt)

Reasons to be suspicious? It seems to be in very good condition and if it's silver why has it been painted in a gold colour?

White-metal cast that has been given a cheap gilding? Have encountered it in other cases, but not british.
John Waller

Looks like brass to me not silver gilt. 60th officer's plates supposedly were silver with numerals 60 inside a crowned garter ribbon. See here:-

Thanks for the input chaps.

Kieran - those 52nd badges - not dated but seem to be Glengarry badges 1874 -81. Its the style that seems to have been adopted by all Light Infantry regiments:

The idea of a bugle badge constructed with integral numerals seems to be later than our period -  but somewhere there is an image of a bugle badge with an integral '5' which I think was dug in Spain. I think someone has already mentioned it.

This is part of an image that may have originated from a certain internet auction site, claimed to be Napoleonic and dug in the Carribean :

It would be Light Company 86th - but they did not serve in the West Indies until 1827.

It's definitely cast brass,  there's an  earlier forum  post on here which  has  an identical, if not the same plate,  dug  up in Spain.  
It's an O/R's  plate   which are always brass

Hallmarking rules still applied then and rarely would you find anything that expensive without at least a town mark, a date mark or makers mark

It's worth bearing  in mind that different conventions applied to  buttons and C/B plates as opposed to  cap  badges. Buttons were numbered very early on  (post 1760's) and  plates tended to have much more 'semi-heraldic'  and stylistic elements added either from tradition  or decorative embelishment  because  of the larger space and  individual nature of them.
Shako plates,  until  the 1816 period  onward were far more generic, and whilst  some regiments had their  own specific devices added (the  old 6 corps and guards) or numbering added to  a plate,  they had to  conform to  a much more universal specification and  costing.

The  95th,  with  it's individual uniform style  is much more  less likely to have required a numbered bugle-horn to identify  itself,  than say  a  light regiment.  Those also  kept the use  of the belt plate with  it's numerals,  so it may be worth examining  if there's a  pattern  between numbered bugles and belt plate/button  numerals  or the existence  of known numbered examples  of standard  pattern shako plates.

Given also  the more common use  of numbering of the 1812 plate,  it may well be that  later transitions to  a bugle (eg  post 1812 and an 1814/15  issue date) would  increase the  likelyhood that numerals could be added before the 1816 pattern shako  replaced  them.

Hamilton Smith -  looking for images of bugle badge and numerals which predate the 1814 order:

Plate showing Grenadier and Light company man 29th in 'Belgic' latter has regular plate no bugle or numerals.
Plate showing 87th - 'Belgic's'  - figure of Light company man behind Masterson - regular plate  no bugle or numerals.

Side issue -Question - did Line Light  companies wear the Bugle badge on caps  prior to 1814 order?

Line  light companies  wore a small  bugle  on the cocade as a general rule.

There are few known examples  of  light and  grenadier companies having their  own  variations  of  cap plates,  both pre and post 1812 pattern,  though they are  not the norm.
eg Guards regts  have light and  gren plates.

I'd suspect there are  probably one  or two illustrations  of  light company troops  having a bugle only in place  of a cap plate,  but that  is  probably likely to have evolved as a 'fashion' in the field mirroring the trend  from  the line light regiments rather than being an  official policy (ie regimental or company level). Hence evolving  into a more official policy via a general order later to  reflect already happening habits.
Richard Warren

FWIW - Walker, 'The Costume of Yorkshire' (1814, but the drawings for it done some years before) has a plate of a light company man of the East Yorks Militia in a cap with a bugle under what looks like a Yorkshire rose.

Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum - image by Dighton of a light company sergeant of the South Gloucs Militia, 1805, in cap with bugle :

Militia, I know, so agreed - maybe not the norm ...
Mercian Pete

a bit of a monster - but look at the badge!!

... and look at the price!

May God have mercy on their souls.

Id doesn't even  really look  much  like the supposed  original  apart from vaguely and with a few  extra add-ons thrown in for good  measure.

It's a victorian lining style...  because  it's a Royal Artillery  Albert shako
The  lions are  off an  1824  pattern  lancer hat  (I should  know, I have the moulds where they came from)

As for the reproduction...  dear god !!  sums  it up... For sombody with access to  the  original you think  they could have done better than a victorian  glengary and a set  of  american  1880's cap lines.
John Waller

Know him?

Look under the infantry section - lots of 95th stuff. What do you think apart from the poor grammar and spelling?

So to summarise up to now - acknowledging the various contributions above:

The use of numerals on caps was known before the Order of Dec 1814 - but obviously on an informal basis by individual units -  the official issue is unlikely to have taken place before December 1815 - if at all  - because in the interim an order (August 1815 ) had come out to introduce the "Regency" shako - which itself would begin to appear in 1816.
(The numerals go up on the cockade of the Regency shako above the bugle badge.)

The original question of whether the 95th ever wore the numerals ?
On the face of it this seems extremely unlikely though Dighton shows this on a rather ambiguous painting of 1810 :

The cap lying on the ground - see page one

The actual use of a bugle badge by Light units does not seem to have been 'official' until the same order of Dec 1814 - the 1802 Dress/ clothing regs describe the permitted use of the Bugle Horn badge on caps by Officers of 'Light Infantry' - and by the "Rifle Corps"  - there being no actual Light Infantry regiments in 1802. The fact that Light Infantry regiments and some Light companies did subsequently wear a bugle badge on the cap is known from several contemporary images and writings.

Which brings me back to the 95th - and dare I say this ? I can find no contemporary image which actually shows a 95th Rifleman wearing a badge on a 'stovepipe' cap !! The Order of 1802 authorises it but the majority of paintings and drawings I have seen in the vaults of our reference archive (including volunteer units) show a cap unadorned by badge - until the 'occupation prints' 1815 onwards when a bugle badge appears on several "Belgics"
Is this merely an artists omission - of course they wore a Bugle horn badge - didn't they?   Heresy!!!!

Neibelungens' comment that perhaps the 95th did not need to proclaim a regimental number on their caps as their distinctive dress showed who they were made me think......was the bugle badge also left off?
I leave you to ponder...........

Sounds like a reasonable summary and does seem to match much  of the evidence.

If I get the chance tonight  I'll post up an an image  of a early    dated buglehorn  and the  victorian ones just as a comparison.  

It taken from   an    militia  officer's pouchbox  of about 1828 date,  so  is  probably fairly contemporary to  the styles worn  about that date.  It's also  exactly  identical to  a mounted  one  on a 12th foot officer's   light company belltop plate  plate (probably from the same die).  
As was common  on the belltop officer's  plates.  the devices  were  usually the  earlier 1822 stars  or badges,  so it's very  probably that  it was the same badge  used  in  light company caps at least  from that date.

It's  interesting to  note,  that the  1822 regulations  specificaly state the  addition of  numerals  within light company  bugles and  the HG GO  316  of  12 June 1816  specifies  a bugle  instead  of a  plate with  seperate  numerals  on the cocade.

I suspect there was a lot  of  transitional variations between these orders,  which  usually follow the form of  confirming an  existing  practise, or at least  setting  habbits to  a  particular form after that date.

Just to  raise a  point  of  how  long  hat changes can  take to implement  I have a note on how the  19th  foot did not discard  the  1812 shako  until  their return from Ceylon  in   June 1820

To  add another  image..  I've a  poor quality photocopy of a silluette of light company officer of the 45th  in  1806 cap  with  bugle only.

1820's Officer's bugle horn  compared with a Victorian  pattern large bugle (2 1/2")

I am glad you posted those images as it allows me to go off subject - just a little into the development of the Bugle badge.

The original form of the bugle horn badge appears to be the Georgian type based on the Halbmond "Half moon" German hunting horn - examples of this badge Ben will tell you are being dug up in the Pyrenees every year:

It is this style of Bugle Horn badge 2/95 have adopted and in doing so we acknowledge the work done by James Kochan and the like -  before I joined  - I stand to be corrected if wrong.

For some reason -  over a short period of time the curved shape of the horn became shallower - and moved away from depicting an actual musical instrument that was used for field signalling  - to something more akin a cow horn with metal chased fittings.  Such shallow bugles start to appear on coat turnbacks (as authorised in the 1802 regs) see "Wellingtons'Infantry vol 1 Bryan Fosten p16 23rd foot jacket. Also Haythornthwaite - British Infantry p  84 - 85 - good comparison of the two Bugle badge types - the cap badges are clearly Halbmond but the Tailors version on the jacket is the shallow "cow horn" type.
The badges Neibelungen has posted show very nicely the transition from Musical instrument to cow horn - a badge which is closer to what the modern day Rifles wear today - but no longer really depicts the old Halbmond !

Now I have never played a cow horn - but I guess you can't get a proper note range out of it that is needed to play field calls - and we have the original sheet music from the De Rottenburg manual used when the Rifles and Light Infantry were in their infancy.
(If  - as is claimed by some authors - that British Napoleonic Light troops were running around controlled by a cow horn I reckon thats bollocks. Our blokes don't recognise half the calls I play on a proper Bugle - even when I get them right!)   I guess it was OK for Robin Hood.

The cow horn style badge is surely closer to a powder flask?
I think the early term 'Bugle Horn' may have confused matters early on.

I suspect the stylistic changes are more to do with space considerations for where they are being applied rather than from different types of instrument.

Tail ornaments and cocades are examples where you have limited area and tall, deeper horns will have more trouble fitting in or filling the space.

Another factor is the change to placing numerals within the horn as part of the entire badge. While separate numbers fit nicely inside a deeper earlier form, to have them attached to the horn they become distorted in height. Hence the Victorian horn becomes shallower to allow a more proportional space and to have contact points top, bottom and side for the numbers.

A hunt through Kipling and King of shako plates would generally support this  hypothesis. Conversations I have had with  both  embroidery and badge engravers/designers  have confirmed that space and proportion are predominant factors they look at for layout.

A similar pattern can be seen in the use of lion-head ornaments on shako and helmets.  Earlier forms are more elongated, becoming progressively more round (or square) in proportion by the 1840s onwards. Cavalry pouch boxes and their ornaments too, take a shortening development,  probably related more to the size of cartridge required, until the development of the 'envelope' and  lancer box with silver plate forms  of the 1840's/50/s onwards.   Shako height mirrors this as well, becoming shorter and shorter until the final 1870's  French pattern caps become replaced by the Picklehaube style.
Ben Townsend

Wow. This thread is hotting up. Quite a lot to cover.

It may be that the brass 'halbmond' style cap badge is the chronologically anomalous one. The two pouch cross belt plates we know of to the 95th (from 1803 and 1807) are reproduced below.

Note that the Rifle Corps/95th are using mounted actual cowhorns as prizes for shooting or service in the first five years of the regiment's existence. So cowhorns were present from the beginning on gorgets, beltplates etc.

I think trying to impose a typology or developmental history of the buglehorn is, if not a red herring, a digression here, so...  

..back on topic. Numerals on caps for 95th. Were they introduced, if so when, and was there even a bugle horn at all?!

For Officers, we have only a regulation that they were to wear a cap similar to that of the men, and indeed the cap in Winchester has no buglehorn badge.
"General Order.
24th December, 1811

Respecting the Dress of Regimental Officers p376. (p352 in online copy in Members section)

'...Officers of Infantry to Wear a Cap of a pattern similar to that established for the Line.

The first detailed regs for officers in 1822 state,
"Cap- black beaver; bell shape; about seven inches and a half deep; black sunk glazed top, eleven inches in diameter; a black silk two and three-quarters inch band round the top; a two inch ditto round the bottom, and two stripes ich ditto (in an angular direction) on each side; a black lace double circle in the centre, communicating by a black bullion loop and button to a bullion rosette at the top; black lines and acorn tassels; bronzed scales and lion's heads; black stamped peak. "

No mention of a bugle horn, though it is specced for the pouch.

The Heaphy portrait of Colonel Barnard shows a simple cap with no buglehorn. So did the officer's wear it at all at this time? Was it common?

In 1809, on the formation of the third battalion, the colonel commandant sketched some ideas for kit changes on the back of a tailor's bill. This is preserved in his papers, and includes this note for officer's,

"Cap- As at present- with addition of x Bugle & 3 xin front of centre, one inch in size-x "

The X's are present in the original and I believe they indicate changes in intention- ie these changes were not carried out. Probably on the demand of the CinC who deplored the unnecessary expense in constantly changing kit.

So in 1809 it would appear that officer's tended not to have a buglehorn on their cap, otherwise why would it be noted by Stewart above as , "an addition".

Furthermore, it seems likely that there weren't numerals within the strings at this date, or the '3' for 3rd battalion would have been anomalous. I accept that anomaly is part and parcel of uniformology, but even so, you take my point.

Dave, I was trying to find your notes on Stewart's intended changes in the clothing of the 3/95th. The infamous 'grey' uniform ;)  Does it mention caps?

I shouldn't read too much  into  the shape  of the  bugle design as representing any particular  instrument.
It's depth  will be  purely stylistic and  fitted  into  the  space available,  so  will  change considerably when  required.

Ben  does raise some  instremely  interesting  points and  certainly the evidence does seem to  support  it.

Generally  cap plates are  mentions  in a seperate section of most  Dress regs and  dress guides,  so  it wouldn't necessarily be  included under the hat.
There are a number  of changes  about 1822 as they  abolish the  existing cap plates and introduce new designs for  officer's but the  O/R's keep  the existing  round crowned  plate.
I would  probably assume that  the GO of 1816 regarding  bugles would probably still  apply and the water colour sketch earlier  would support that assumption.
It may be that  officer's   simply  used the bugle from existing  caps  and  later moved to  more formalised  plates as we certainly have evidence  of plates by  1829.  Though  it's absence may explain the adoption  of the maltese cross  as the central  feature  ?

As  a follow-up  evidence  of a bugle  post 1815/16  would  be the  Negro  Drummer   watercolour by  Noel  Finart which can be seen  definitively  in the  1812 cap  awith bugle badge,  which I think  would lend some credence to  the cap  changes and  badges  at least  post Waterloo and pre 1816  cap  change. (HMD 0840/41)

Ah Ben  - you are quite right to chastise us for digressing from the main thrust of this topic  - but as the "Author" I must crave your indulgence even if you are a Forum General - for one last word!

As a Bugler I feel rather insulted that history chose a stylised cow horn and not a Bugle Horn to be the image of the British Light infantry!

Neibelungen - there is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that the Georgian Bugle horn badge does represents a Halbmond - see my other topic of that name - page 1.
It may have been that De Rottenburg introduced the Halbmond style of badge and perhaps the actual instrument was never used or even seen in England - though it appears on the cover of Hydes' Preceptor in 1798 which specifies the musical notation initially approved.
So ignoring all that the badge developed into something more akin to this:

The source of this image is actually very appropriate - "A child's book of Warriors" - its more suitable as I said for Robin Hood and his merry men - how can that be called a Bugle horn?
The German Jager tradition had developed beyond using such things in the Napoleonic era and the British Lights were following much in the footsteps of our German friends.
OK - rant over!! Back to the subject :

Neibelungen - yes - very valid point on space being a strong influence on design - no doubt that's why the '95' ended up between the strings on buttons.

Ben - some good stuff there you have been keeping up your sleeve!

The 1822 regs not specifying a badge - the image of Humbly page 11 of our reference topic "Contemporary images of Riflemen" - regency shako and big black rosette  but no badge(or numerals) - could attach image but not sure re copyright.

Re  Officers not wearing a badge at all - we do have an image again in 'Contemporary images' page 8  - again can't reproduce it - of the very fine portrait of a young Rifle officer -sold at auction a few years back in London - he is wearing a stovepipe which does have a bugle badge but no numerals.

To quote from General Regulations and Orders 1822

"The caps of non-commisioned officers, and privates of the line are to be without any badge, device, or inscription" (the crowned orb with numerals plate of 1816).

"The officers, non-commisioned officers and privates of the Light Infantry Corp and Companies, and of the Rifle Brigade are to wear a small bugle horn only in the front of their caps, with the number of the regiment on the cockade in case of Light infantry Corp and companies, and with the number of the battalion in the case of the Rifle Brigade."

Certainly suggests that a precedent was probably pre-existing that the Rifle Brigade was considered separate in terms of cap plates to all others and that identification of the regimental number was not something entirely necessary, even with the change to being outside of the regimental numbering system.

Probably no numerals and may be no cap badge ? Perhaps there should be a Reenactor's Health Warning on this topic " Reading this could seriously affect preconceived notions" ?

Certainly I think sometimes its almost better not to know - but :

Atkinson - early picture of Rifle corps

from Goddard 1812

Naïve picture - haven't got a better image - courtesy Gower collection.

Journal of Army research - Sumner - claimed to be 1804 but square peaks place it later.

Hamilton Smith of course

What's he doing here? Well actually the Victorian artist P W Reynolds did a preliminary watercolour of a 95th private taken from a tracing of a French artists 'occupation' sketch  - and the absence of a badge on the cap he thought was the original artist's omission................. Ben can comment more on Reynold's work.
Steve Day

I’ve been following this post with great interest.  There has been a lot of theorising about the style of badge.  At the start of the post, Eddie attached a nice image of our tunic button, which is generally accepted by all as being 100% authentic.  Is it not reasonable to think that the cap badge would have been made to a very similar design, and may also have displayed the crown as per the clothing Orders.
The 2 / 95’s new cap badge is nice, but I’m a little concerned the archaeological finds in Spain could be from any of our allies, i.e. the print of the 4th Cacadores print posted by Paul.


I think your clutching at straws here Steve. Our "New Cap Badge" which we have had for about 5 years now was made from the examples found in America. We have never said that our cap bade is a 95th but that of a Georgian military pattern. Where the example of our badge we use was found was a known British encampment and the 95th were the only Light Bob's there. I can't confirm this as it was told to me by the guy who produced the badge James Kochran. Just as another point of interest I've seen one of these badges at an auction that have been dug in the UK.

I agree that the the image on the button would be similar to that of the cap badge but may have not been exactly the same. I still think the crown would be separate to the bugle horn and can been seen on things like regimental silverware etc.

The Clothing Reg's or Orders were at the outset but may have changed. Like the 1802 Reg's, basically it what was wanted but may have not been approved or adopted, i,e the Armour's Jacket or the amount of buttons used on the jacket etc.  

When we first started looking at changing our cap badge over five years ago, like Eddie I found that for every image of a Rifleman with a cap badge there was one without.

So until we find a bugle horn cap badge with a big label attached to it say this is a 95th cap badge, I think we will stick with what we got. What you and the 3rd 95th will do we wait with baited breath.

Ben Townsend

Hi Steve,

Our capbadge was re-created from a model provided by Kochan. His example was found in America. My fragmentary badge was found in Kent. Multiple examples have been found in France and in Spain. I believe its generally accepted that the cacadores didn't make it into America, England, or far into France.

Besides which, we expect cacadores' cap badges to look more like this, (below).

In fact, the cap badges we now use in the 2/95th have been found in all the same locations as the button you cite as universally accepted. Actually the button took a long time to achieve acceptance after it was first developed by the 2/95thbeing rejected initially by all the other UK groups. Its eventual acceptance by other units had everything to do with time elapsed allowing people to get used to it, and nowt to do with research, since afaik nobody came to ask us for our reasoning or evidence!

We saw our options as these:

1. Using a genuine Georgian Light Infantry/Rifles Horn.

2. Using a later period horn.

3. Making something up, because it 'feels' right to our C21st susceptibilities.

Now, for me, I can't think of any reason to go for 2 or 3, when option 1 is available. I suppose you could add a 4th or 5th options,

4. Copy a popular TV show.

5. Wait until something else is dug up?

Cheers, Ben
Paul Durrant

Could the simple horn design dug up from Spain be from our allies? Yup! Could have been. Could they have been ours also... dunno, what d'ya think?

Thanks for your interest which is really pleasing - even if some of my friends are perhaps a little uncharitable in their replies!  
The purpose of this topic and indeed the Forum has a whole is to prompt interest and encourage debate - and hopefully attract contributions, images and the like which add to our collective knowledge - even if sometimes it does challenge views previously held for generations.
Much of our knowledge of this period is influenced by the work of Victorian artists and secondary source printed works - and accepting that they were closer to the period in time and would have had access to living survivors and relics - the evidence we find today as a result of the internet and the accessibility to the knowledge of experts, historians, artefacts  and yes even re enactors worldwide often raises questions about what is the correct interpretation.

I'll try to sum up my interpretation of the various points raised so far with a few notes of details:

The early images of officers in 'tarletons' clearly show a bugle badge and a separate crown worn probably up to at least 1803-4. It's likely that the bugle (at least) made a transition to the 1806 caps for officers, though the crown may have not.

The issue of caps and badges is separate and at very different dates from actual regulations being announced and that the supply of equipment into the field was sporadic and often dependent on troops deing withdrawn home or into reserve cantonment where it would finally meet up with replacements.

Caps were a yearly issue and badges a 2 yearly issue. This would imply that caps would be issued without badges, so it's likely that units issued with new caps would not always have badges to transfer across if lost previously.

In 1809(?) we find the peak being changed (authorised), which implies that this style may have been adopted or improvised previously and could result  n a mix of peak shapes up to 1810/11 (with or without badges issued/transferred).

1812 sees the order for new pattern caps ('bang-ups' or the 'belgic') being authorised  and  delivery not occuring up till 1814.

While it implies new badges, since the bugle isn't specifically changed or fully authorised until 1814 it may make sense that the rifles kept the existing badges (or lack) as they did not use the pre-existing line pattern plate of 1802.

1814 sees specific order specifying the use of bugle and regimental number of the new caps. This implies that there was some uncertainty/inconsistency in light regiments/light companies and rifles? as to how to interpret the change of cap plate in 1812.

The oil-cloth cover was issued with the 1812 cap for the first time.
This may account for some  of the  images we see of the 1812 cap with no bugle,  although plumes and cords are visible.  (in many cases the portrayal of a cover may have been difficult to render, or the notes/sketches taken later, interpreted and coloured differently (particularly with french occupation prints who were unfamiliar with British uniform, eg; showing French bugle styles, etc.).

Notes: it's unclear if the tarleton badge was two separate devices, or a single plate with a black lacquered ground (eg, 12th dragoon type) but are often individual. These again show no numerals on the so may well be separate items.

Various militia prints/paintings clearly show examples of caps issued without badges, implying that the two were separate items and issued separately.  (From a hat makers perspective, cords and plumes are integral to the hat trade, while the badges are usually different companies/manufacturer and designed whereas a cord or a plume is more generic in construction - materials only, not patterns and moulds/dies)

I'd suggest that the 95th probably did have a bugle badge  but that it  may well have been missing or awaiting issue at various times. The 95th probably had no need to add regimental numbers, being very distinctive in uniform/creation/employment, etc, eg; not an existing unit. 1812 caps appear with covers and research might throw light as to whether badges were issued with them or transferred across/issued later?

As a speculative issue, it's interesting to note the 95th had cords on the 1806 cap while almost all other regiments did not, yet there are no rules or regulations implying or directing this feature ?  

To add a further speculative note, we see occasional images of the 1812 cap with the square peak. Would officers interpret this as using the existing 1809 rule to be applicable to the new cap, at least initially?  Or caps sent from home as replacements to officer's.. or artistic interpretation at that point but noting a feature.... or officers adding a front to existing caps until a new cap arrived or was made?

Interpret and tear apart as  required...  

I don't there's a need to tear apart Andy. A very good summing up and which I think it puts to bed the original question of the 95th having their regimental numbers on their caps. No. Which is great for me, as I enter my last year or so in re-enacting I don't have to make, design or produce a new piece of kit on mass by a deadline. Woo hoo.

Eddie, I don't think me and Ben were being uncharitable? Remember we have been fighting these battles for many years and some of this we have been through many times before. However I totally agree that the whole idea of this forum is to promote a better understanding of this period.

Ben Townsend

To add to the reservoir, here is an image of an 1830 cap badge to the 71st Highland Light Infantry, post Georgian, but pre-Victorian Smilie_PDT

From the Bristol social Museum reserve collection. Look at the quality on the numerals.

Steve Day wrote:
 Is it not reasonable to think that the cap badge would have been made to a very similar design, and may also have displayed the crown as per the clothing Orders.

I think Neibelungen gave a good answer to this - the limitation of space being the deciding factor in design - which is very obvious in the case of the button - it was necessary to cram the Crown over the top of the string knot and put 95 between the strings.  I did myself first speculate whether they would have used the same design for the cap badge but we don't have an example of such a composite badge for this period.

I think this topic has been well aired and thanks for all contributions.

Just another image for the reservoir:

Cap plate Light company 80th  c1835 - the Georgian style Bugle Horn still making an appearance.

That style (dimensions and design elements) of stamped plate with bugle seems to have become fairly standardized on the O/R's Light company bell-top plate, as I've a practically identical set of images of a 51st foot plate to that design. K&K illustrates a 12th foot officer's plate with identical dimensions on the bugle too.

I'd suspect the same manufacturer using hobbing dies to produce them as individual elements to 'punch' them into a background die.  

It's a common feature you see on many die patterns produced by the same manufacturer and was an especially common method used in button dies.

(A closely matching general recess is cut into a soft die and a hardened punch of the design element (the hob) is pressed into the recess to create the actual die. Lettering/numerals is applied this way too, particularly to buttons.  It means you cut a crown, a bugle and a set of numbers/letters, etc, just once and can create several master dies with the same set, all identical. You can also create unified hobs to create other unified dies - both male and female, with this  method. It's still used extensively in coining today.)

As a slightly  interesting side note,  in his  'Desultory Observations' of  'The Regimental Companion'  (Charles  James,  1811) where  he  is commenting  on what he feel  should  be uniform changes for the  Army

"Corp intended for service in the East  or West  Indies might be clad  in a sky-blue mixture; and every description of sharp-shooter, from the  95th Rifle Regiment down to  the smallest  provincial  corp inclusive,  ought to  appear in a dark  green  mixture with covered, or black  horn  buttons, plain caps, black  belts,  black  feathers and without any ornament than  what  is worn for mere parade duties. The slashes, or chevrons, on the serjeants's sleeves should also be black."  (page xliv)

It  would  imply, indirectly,  that  caps  had ornaments (badges)  and/or cords  as well  as  bright buttons.   Or at least he felt that these were some fault he thought  it suitable to  draw attention too.

Wow Andy, not seen that before but very interesting. Some of those recommendation were taken up later.
Mercian Pete

or, he could be emphasising the need to keep cap plain and unadorned (perhaps in the context of others wanting to decorate it)?

Mercian Pete wrote:
or, he could be emphasising the need to keep cap plain and unadorned (perhaps in the context of others wanting to decorate it)?

Just thinking that the absence of a shiny badge glinting on your forehead would make good tactical sense for a Rifles skirmisher - why give the Voltigeurs a mark to aim at ?  The move had already been made to sombre clothing and black belts and would soon lead to black buttons.  Perhaps the lads ditched the badges in the field - if issued at all.

The certainly seemed to  learnt a lesson from the habbit,  as by  1829 you have blackened bronzed plates and black plumes  on the bell-top  shako.

It may be  it was a field expedient by some to  remove the badge and return it for dress occasions.  It may account why some  pictures have an absent badge as many  of these seem to be  combat type  images.

It's worth bearing in mind,  that the badge  is a supplied neccesity,  so  it's  loss would  have come  out  of the soldiers  pocket,  so  they are  unlikely to  have removed  them permanently  without  orders.
Mercian Pete

Eddie wrote:
 Perhaps the lads ditched the badges in the field - if issued at all.

Hence the apparently abundant archaeological record!

Sounds like coppers never wearing their helmets when dealing with real incidents Eddie - often just not practical.

Some shite coming out hear now. Next your be saying they blackened their faces with camo paint and wore gilly suits.  

Try not to think of this in a modern way but from a 19th Century point of view.


From Vicissitudes of a Soldiers Life, John Green 68th Regt, p22

While barracked along with the 85th in Kent, learning drill from General Derottenburgh in 1808;

"At Christmas our new clothing was ready. It was completely altered, having, instead of shoulder knots, wings, green tufts in the place of white ones, and bugles in the front of our caps instead of plates."
Steve Day

Dave, don’t see it as a battle, I’m just getting into the discussion.  I’m not having a dig at you or anyone else.

I’m extremely grateful to anyone who’s willing to do the research.  It must take up a great deal of time and money.

Has it really been five years since you went to the brass bugle?  It only feels like yesterday.

I’m not happy with our current cap badge (3/95).  I think it’s been fabricated based on a spec dreamt up by someone.  It’s hard to get any real details from Jim where this badge comes from.  I’d be happy to go with no badge, until we decide as a group which way to go.

Hi Ben, do you have James Kochran contact details, as I wouldn’t mind talking to him?  Is there any chance you could bring your fragmentary badge to an event for me to have a look at?  The examples found in France and Spain, would these be in private collections or in meuseums?

I never knew ‘the button’ wasn’t accepted by the 1/95 at first.  We just got told you guys had found an original and starting making them.  We were told we had to have the new buttons, with no explanation or discussion.  It’s only recently that I've spoke with Nigel who gave me a bit of the history behind the research and making of the button.

Steve, I can certainly remember where the 3rd's current badge came from, though I would imagine Nick would know more details. As far as I can remember Gavin made them up sometime in 2006/7, based upon the original regs, Victorian LI badges, the Reynolds image and hear say/supposition. I believe there was some debate about there being string instead of ribbon and three knots, one being obscured by the crown. I could never get an explanation as to what lead to these decisions, though I know the choice of pewter over brass came from the Reynolds painting.
Paul Durrant

Neibelungen wrote:
From Vicissitudes of a Soldiers Life, John Green 68th Regt, p22

While barracked along with the 85th in Kent, learning drill from General Derottenburgh in 1808;

"At Christmas our new clothing was ready. It was completely altered, having, instead of shoulder knots, wings, green tufts in the place of white ones, and bugles in the front of our caps instead of plates."

Nice one!
(I thought someone had been through 'Vissitudes...'. How did we miss that?)

Steve, don't mind us, we're just yanking your chain a bit. But it is frustrating to have to go through all this again to a unit that's not renowned for it's researching prowess. However I don't envy your task in trying to change things in the 3rd where you have those who will be against anything that seems to have come from us. It's getting through to them that this information isn't our's WE {2/95th} don't own it, we put all our research out for anyone to see and use. What I will say is that we make sure any of our research is a watertight as we can make it. It stays in house until we are certain it's as accurate and reliable as it can be. I'm not saying that we don't make mistakes, as we do, but thankfully they are few and far between. It's like when the decision was taken to go over to the 1812 Pattern cap {Belgic} the order form was put on hold several times whilst we checked out different leads and threads of info regarding them. I remember one of your guys saying that our foraging caps are wrong and I'll prove it!! We're still waiting! On that note their is a possibility that we may have to change our foraging caps to ones like that what the 33rd wear. But that's a work in progress.

We changed over to the brass bugle horn in May 2007 just after you went to your current one. I remember asking if the 3rd would be interested in obtaining some but the reply was that they have made their own one based on an original. When I asked if we could have info and see it we were refused but given a copy of one of your newsletters with how the research was done for your new cap badge.

Personally I would stay with what you got rather than remove them until you decide what your gong to change it to.

It was the 3rd who didn't accept the 95th button. After the 1st/3rd split  the some of the 3rd put their plain buttons back on or even rubbed off the the bugle horn from their buttons. I'm glad to say that common sense has now prevailed.
Steve Day

Hi Dave,

There is no way our cap badge is from an original, it doesn't exist.

A bit of pointless history, the 3/95 didn't exist when we went over to the embossed buttons, we were still the Handscum's 1/95.  Once we split, we had to go through the backdoor to get back into the NA as the 60th Rifles.  The Handscum's (backed up by the NA) told us we could not wear our 95th buttons, so we had to replace them with plain buttons until we forced a change in the NA to allow more than one battalion of the same regiment into the NA, and thats why we became the 3/95.  Most of us changed back to the embossed buttons, but there are still some lazy sods that still haven't swapped over yet.
Mercian Pete

I don't actually think that trying to establish what might have been practice on the ground rather than the contents of some Horseguards clothing warrant is "shite'.  Some areas of academia would consider what you do akin to experimental archaeology. There is and always has been a world of difference between what the people who order and acquire kit understand and the reality for people who are doing a job operationally and the latter invariably improvise changes on the move. Things get ripped off, cut, done away with or never worn. Other bits and pieces are added. Most of this stuff fell apart after a few weeks anyway when exposed to front line duties, so the men you would have seen, as described by Kincaide, looked like a bunch of harlequins.  Isn't there also an interest in understanding from your own experiences what the men and their officers would have really done?

Crikey where did that lot come from ?   'Ding Ding! Seconds out - Round two!"

[quote="Paul Durrant:
(I thought someone had been through'Vissitudes...' How did we miss that?

Paul "We" didn't - or rather Ben didn't   Smilie_PDT  - as he has this as a footnote in the Research section -Regimental Cap on the main website:.

A soldier of the 68th confirms that there was no difference between the regular and light infantry cap in 1808 except the plate. Christmas  1808, in the 68th.
"When at Hull, our regiment was made a Light Infantry regiment: here we had our regimental clothing altered, and learnt to manoeuvre by the sound of the bugle, instead of the word of command; and, in conjunction with the 85th, were taught the light infantry exercise and evolutions under the command or direction of General Baron Derottenburgh. (sic)
At Christmas our new clothing was ready. It was completely altered, having, instead of shoulderknots, wings, green tufts in place of white ones, and bugles in the front of our caps instead of plates. We also gave in our arms and accoutrements, and received in return japanned muskets, with double sights, and a complete set of new accoutrements."

p.17 The viccisitudes of a soldier's life; or, a series of occurences from 1806 to 1815

The same is also quoted in an article on the 68th a few years back entitled "Durham's most complete machine " which also has a different version of the 1814 order which is pertinent to this topic :

"In December 1814 a circular letter addressed the Colonel of the 68th stated 'That Regiments of Light Infantry shall in future wear on their caps, a bugle horn with the number of the regiment below it instead of the brass plate now in use'  "  
Clearly this is contrary to the above quote from 1808 and does indicate I think the unofficial adoption of the Bugle badge earlier than the order by many units.

Sorry Steve If I got the button thing wrong. Obviously I got it from a different prospective. LOL.

Pete my dear. We can only go by what we know, it's so easy to speculate what might rather than what is. The fact is we don't really know what they did  do we? Reading period accounts don't seem to shed much light on the matter.

Combat ranges of the time would be a max of 100yrds. So both sides were clearly visible to each other and so would there need to remove your cap badge? Your cap itself is more of a hindrance so would they have fought in their foraging caps?

As for wearing the kit and experiencing for it was for them. I was going to put up a small article on the NA FB page on my uniform. Got all written up just about to attach some images and pressed the wrong button and deleted it. So I re-write and post it hear first. Your kit does take a pounding, trousers rip, belts rip, haversack rip, cap plume get lost etc. Having done several campaign events you soon learn how to adapt your kit.  

An example of how kit was changed during wartime due to it not being up to the task is the knapsack. And for as rifles at the start we used more patched ball than cartridges by the end we were using more cartridges.
Ben Townsend

Thanks Steve, for another perspective on inter-unit button assimilation.

Regarding the 3/95th cap badge, Blakey and I had the origin story firsthand from Gavin, when we needed the gen to help an antiquarian who had come across one of your capbadges for sale through a dealer as a dug artefact. As per usual, the response was: "Despite the bloke who made it confirming he made it c.1999, I still think it has a good chance of being real and original."  This becomes a familiar refrain as I'm sure Neilbelungen can confirm.

Pete- it is wonderful to stumble across data on kit modifications. We have examples of extra-regulation kit changes for the 95th (and others) at regimental, battalion and company level, but very little, if any, at individual level for OR. This might just be a hole in the record, as this sort of data comes almost exclusively from memoirs or personal papers. I think we all get excited when we come across a brigade order detailing, for example, cap tapes being added to hold the caps on as a consequence of training for amphibious assaults.

What we have to guard against is the tendency to speculate that they would have done such and such because it feels like common sense to us now, with the benefit of our hindsight. Its an easy error to commit, but I for one would rather err on the side of regulation than try and simulate 'campaign adaptations' for which hard evidence doesn't exist. Unfortunately in re-enactment groups this can lead to an 'anything goes' attitude very quickly, and next thing you know everybody is wandering around with valiant stormer patches, binning items of kit they find uncomfortable, and sporting bits of kit they 'captured from the French'.

To avoid this sort of cluster copulation we opted to attempt to portray a unit fairly recently re-equipped, and make uniformity a key objective over individuality.

Re speculation - in this instance I am probably the cause of some of this "heat"  as I did exactly that  - in wondering if the badge had been left off for some tactical field reason and I now rush in take some of the flack! Smilie_PDT

In fairness I think that "speculation" isn't really that far from "interpretation" at times -  when we have a gap in our knowledge - but I would agree its a dangerous premise to actually follow if that's all you have.

On this forum speculation has its place though - even if just to provoke response and debate and I for one never mind getting sniped at if I put my head above the parapet  - if we end up with a well reasoned answer!
Mercian Pete

Dave / Ben thanks. I appreciate your take on things and enjoy the discussion on this forum a great deal. I wonder though, how much soldiers change in habit and reactions over time. I was made to think by the comment on "necessaries" - and thrown back to the 1970's. We were issued with kit that would be charged for if lost (e.g. the dreaded Prismatic compass) and other kit that was completely useless (the standard feather down sleeping bag that was either soaking wet and left you freezing or too hot to sleep in dependent on weather conditions).  Most guys preferred to keep the Prismatic out of harm's way and use a cheap Silva, whilst the sleeping bag was replaced by personal purchase green 'space blankets" that were lighter, kept you warm, stayed dry and when stowed in the large pocket at the rear of your combat jacket at least attempted to keep your backside dry when you sat down.

You find some pictures of caps with badges and some without. If it was a "necessary" whose replacement was chargeable, I know what soldiers of my generation would have done with it, especially if experience had shown that it had a tendency to fall off! That is my point. Common usage may be the reason for the lack of consistency.
Paul Durrant

A detail from a series of sketches by Eugène Louis Lami from the Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection;

European troops, 1815
Lami, Eugène Louis (artist)
One of a suite of 7 unsigned pencil drawings (by Lami) of uniform groups, officer and soldier types, outdoors, showing Prussian, English, Dutch, Austrian, Russian infantry and cavalry.

It's dated as 1815 but that would put Lami (January 12, 1800 – December 19, 1890) as only 15 at the time. However, he worked with Horace Vernet. In 1819 produced a set of 40 lithographs depicting the Spanish cavalry. These, plus a collaboration with Vernet on a large set of lithographs titled Collections des uniformes des armées françaises de 1791 à 1814 helped build a reputation for doing military scenes which transferred to his paintings.
Mercian Pete

I wondered if this might assist the debate. Whilst reading "Celer et Audax" - kind of necessary reading for the members of the new "No 1 Company, (Galiffe's), 5th Bn, 60th where fate has now firmly placed me - Major Davy's orders for March 1809 concerning parades on halting days whilst on the march:

"On halting days the officers commanding companies will inspect their men at 11 o'clock roll call, and they will pay particular attention to the state of the arms, ammunition and accoutrements... The stocks are to be worn and the rosettes and bugles which have been torn out of the caps are to be replaced."

There is also reference to only wearing white drawers if it was an "absolute necessity".

An insight, perhaps into why the bugle is sometimes shown and sometimes not?
Ben Townsend

I'm picturing some serious brambles Smilie_PDT Great insight into wear and tear.

Without overstating the value of 're-enaction' as an archaeological/historical tool, we have experienced some correlation in our travels to the Peninsula. It is extraordinary how many bits and pieces work themselves loose or break off in movement over rough terrain or sleeping out.

Pete wrote:
" The stocks are to be worn and the rosettes and bugles which have been torn out of the caps are to be replaced"

A nice contemporary detail there - kit inspections looking for stocks, rosettes(cockades?) and bugle badges - an acknowledgement as you say that such things easily get lost on campaign whether by accident or design!
Certainly it shows that the 60th were wearing bugle badges in 1809.

Does "replaced" mean that the badges and cockades have been lost by the soldiers? Or could it mean that they were purposely removed ("torn out") by the men for safekeeping in order to prevent loss on campaign?
Mercian Pete

Eamonn, I read it as the latter in the context of "Celer et Audax" whose author at this point is describing Major Davy's attention to detail in trying to keep the battalion's standards whilst the companies have been spread across all of the brigades in Wellington's army. Davy was permitted by Wellington to travel between companies to inspect them and maintain the identity and standing orders of the 60th.

So I believe Davy was re-acting to an observation that the men had been removing these adornments to their caps for whatever reasons. So if the 60th were doing it, why not the 95th and others? That might then cause observers to be unsure as to whether they wore a cap badge or whether they didn't? Just a proposition.

That makes sense to me, Pete.

As you say, I think the removal of items like the bugle badge to prevent loss on campaign is a plausible explanation for their absence in many period illustrations.

Davy's words seem to imply that the bugle badges was worn for inspections but not on the march.

I wonder if the removal of these items was an initiative of the men or whether was sanctioned by the officers.

A bit more padding.  Found this fellow on A S K Brown - part of a group of allied troops in Paris 1815 by Mdme Chereau - as always the occupation prints throws up anomalies - the blue facings are at odds with our regular  LI regiments.

Note the Bugle badge no numerals - and the bugle on the belt plate - we did wonder about a correlation between the bugle badge and if it appeared in the same form on the belt plate.
 Here are some extant LI belt plates  just to add to our overall view :

So some show the bugle others not - of course some may predate the conversion to Lights  and I have now seen three different examples of a 51st plate.
Ben Townsend

Example of bugle badge with numeral and crown.

Dug 'on 1813 battlefield, Pyrenees'.


We have already discussed this badge on our reference forum - and were of the opinion that the Crown is not in the British style - more likely Portuguese or Spanish. Also the casting is not so clean cut as the British example.
The numeral 1 could possibly indicate 1st Cacadores.
Now if we could find one like this with a British Crown and '95' in the centre ............
Paul Durrant

Lisbon Military Museum, Portugal.
Bugle horn on cartridge pouch of Portuguese something or other... (apologies, snatched piccy)

Ben Townsend

Recent eBay horn, Pyrenees dug. No scale.

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