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British Napoleonic Uniform Guide - Line Infantry

The figure of a British line infantryman shown at left depicts a typical soldier during the Peninsular war period from 1808 to 1814. He is wearing grey trousers or overalls instead of (or over) his regulation white breeches. The blue regimental facing colors visible on his collar and cuffs indicate he is from a "royal" regiment, in this case the 18th Royal Irish Regiment. His shako is a model 1806 version with a rear neck flap which could be folded down in foul weather.
This figure of a British line infantryman portrays a man from the grenadier company of the 35th line wearing the model 1812 Belgic shako which is best known for having been worn by units during the Waterloo campaign. The laced "wings" on his shoulders indicate his grenadier status. He is wearing buff colored trousers over his regulation white breeches, and his orange regimental facing colors coupled with his oval shaped strap buckle (located at the center of the chest) indicates his regiment.
A British jacket and stovepipe shako from the French Army Museum. The jacket is posted as being from the British 83rd Line Regiment, which is supported by the pale yellow regimental facings on the cuffs, shoulder straps and collar. This image was shot with film, and was therefore slightly affected by the yellow tinted lighting in the museum, which partially disguised the red color of the jacket. The cylindrical shape of the shako is apparent from this view, as is the large brass shako plate. There were two versions of the stovepipe shako; the first version, authorized in February of 1800, was straight sided (like the example shown here). In October of 1806 a new version was authorized, the main difference being that it tapered slightly toward the top. The Belgic or "Waterloo" shako was actually authorized in March of 1812, with supplies reaching troops in the Peninsula only toward the very end of that conflict.
A close-up of the British jacket shown above. This photo is a native digital image, and so the natural colors and tones of the jacket are more apparent than in the photo taken above. The white worsted strips of lace adjoining the pewter buttons are all clearly visible. Note the strips of lace also on the cuff.

British Regimental Facings and Belt Plates
Regiment Facing Color Belt Plate Regiment Facing Color Belt Plate
1st Royals Blue Oval 50th Black Oval
2nd Queen's Blue Oval 53rd Red Oval
3rd Buffs Buff Oval 54th Grass-Green Oval
4th King's Own Blue Oblong 55th Dark Green Oval
5th Emerald Green Oval 56th Purple Oval
6th Deep Yellow Oval 57th Yellow Oval
7th Royal Fusilers Blue Oblong 58th Black Oval
8th King's Blue Oblong 59th Lily White Oval
9th Light Yellow Oblong 61st Dark Buff Oblong
10th Bright Yellow Oblong 62nd Yellowish Buff Oblong
11th Deep Green Oval 63rd Deep Green Oval
12th Pale Yellow Oval 64th Black Oval
13th Philomot Yellow (brownish) Square 65th White Oval
14th Buff Oblong 66th Emerald Green Oval
15th Yellow Oval 67th Pale Yellow Oval
16th Yellow Oval 69th Grey-Green Oval
17th Greyish-White Oval 70th Black Oval
18th Royal Irish Blue Oval 72nd Highland Yolk Yellow Oval
19th Deep Green Oval 73rd Highland Dark Green Oblong
20th Pale Yellow Oval 74th Highland White Oval
21st RNB Fusilers Blue Oval 75th Highland Bright Yellow Oblong
22nd Pale Buff Oval 76th Red Oblong
23rd RW Fusilers Blue Oblong 77th Yellow Oblong
24th Willow (dark) Green Oval 78th Highland Buff Oval
25th Blue Oblong 79th Cameron Highland Dark Green Oval
26th Pale Yellow Square 80th Yellow Oval
27th Buff Oblong 81st Buff Oval
28th Bright Yellow Oval 82nd Pale Yellow Oval
29th Pale Yellow Oblong 83rd Pale Yellow Oval
30th Pale Yellow Oval 84th Pale Yellow Oval
31st Buff Oval 86th Yellow Oval
32nd White Oblong 87th Deep Green Oval
33rd Red Oval 88th Pale Yellow Oval
34th Bright Yellow Oblong 89th Black Oblong
35th Orange Oval 90th Deep Buff Oval
36th Emerald Green Oval 91st Bright Yellow Oblong
37th Pale Yellow Oval 92nd Gordon Highland Bright Yellow Oval
38th Bright Yellow Oval 93rd Sutherland Highland Lemon Yellow Oblong
39th Pea Green Oval 94th Green Oblong
40th Deep Buff Oval 96th Buff Oblong
41st Red Oblong 97th Yellow Oval
42nd Royal Highland Blue Oval 98th Pale Buff Oblong
44th Oval 99th Pale Yellow Oblong
45th Grey-Green Oval 100th Deep Yellow Oblong
46th Pale Yellow Oval 101st White Oblong
47th White Oblong 102nd Yellow Oval
48th Buff Oval 103rd Pale Buff Oblong
49th Dark Green Oval 104th Lt. Yellowish-Buff Oval

Other Regimental Notes
5th - All ranks wore a white feather plume on their shakos
13th - Blue overalls (trousers) after 1810.
17th - Breeches were greyish-white to match facings.
19th - Belt plates oval after March, 1815.
25th - Facings yellow before 1805. Belt plates oval until 1805.
28th - Wore a "28" at the bottom rear of their shakos. Wore the 1806 pattern shako at Waterloo.
29th - Wore old style hairy calf-skin backpack until 1812. All drummers were black, probably from West Indies.
35th - Facing color actually a brownish orange due to unstable dyes.
42nd - 2nd Battalion belt plates: Oblong. Goatskin purses discarded 1808.
45th - Wore blue overalls (trousers) at least in 1809.
72nd - Kilt and highland status discontinued 1809. Oblong belt plate from 1809.
73rd - Kilt and highland status discontinued 1809. Oblong belt plate from 1814.
74th - Kilt discontinued 1809 (retained highland status).
75th - Kilt and highland status discontinued 1809.
84th - Oblong belt plates after 1811.
86th - Blue pantaloons after 1808.
91st - Kilt and highland status discontinued 1809.
92nd - Wore Spanish cockade after 1808. Black gaiters usually worn instead of red/white diced socks.
93rd - Hummel bonnet worn overseas (instead of feather bonnet).

All - Regiments with buff facings also colored their cross belt buff by including red ochre in their pipe clay (pipe clay was used to color cross-belts white).

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