The Durham Light Infantry

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1870 Lieutenant-Colonel, 68th Light Infantry


The Artist is PH Smitherman.

This illustration plate shows the further evolution of the red tunic. The skirt has become shorter, and the general cut of the coat has taken on the appearance which it retains today. The slashed cuff- shown in Plates III and VI - was replaced in 1868 by the pointed ornamental cuff shown here. The three-pointed slash was originally a buttoned device to hold up the large turned-back cuff worn in the middle of the eighteenth century, and it did, therefore, represent the survival, in ornamental form, of a useful feature of the coat. The pointed cuff shown here was a mere piece of decorative millinery. The cuff shown here was that proper to a lieutenant-colonel. A major wore one similar but without the lower row of 'eyes', a captain wore it without 'eyes' above or below, and a subaltern wore one with one chevron only instead of the two shown here.

The shako worn by this officer is the final form of that head-dress which was introduced in 1869, similar in shape to the last, but with a new plate in front. The green plume worn here was peculiar to light infantry regiments, the rest of the line wearing white-over-red tufts.

The 68th was raised in 1756 as the 2nd Battalion of the 23rd Foot but became a separate regiment in 1758. The regiment served in the West Indies in 1800, when it had to march on the negro West India Regiment, which had mutinied. The mutinous West Indians were so much impressed with the parade-like precision of the advance of the 68th that they presented arms before they opened fire. In 1881 the 68th, which had had the territorial designation 'Durham' since 1783, was joined by the 106th Bombay Light Infantry to form the Durham Light Infantry


Wednesday, 8 August, 2007 12:03

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