A quick post to flag up (and put down some tags for) a few new uniform pages added to my series for auxiliary forces:
For the Local Militia, pages on East Yorkshire and Worcestershire. And the start of a new set on the volunteers of 1803, beginning with Manchester and West Yorkshire, with a brief introductory page here.
Not the last word on their subjects, by any means, but they’re a start. And with more areas to come, as time allows. Meanwhile, existing pages have had small updates from time to time. As usual, links to pages from Home are either by the tabs up the top, or the Page listing at the right. Sample slide show below.
A quick post for a new series of pages on that most neglected category of the neglected auxiliaries – the Local Militia of 1808 to 1816. Pages set up so far are for:
Derbyshire Local Militia
Gloucestershire Local Militia
Lancashire Local Militia
Shropshire Local Militia
Staffordshire Local Militia
North Yorkshire Local Militia
West Yorkshire Local Militia
An overall introduction, with much solid general information, can be found here.
Often disregarded as the boring tail end of the volunteer movement, the Local Militia regiments present their own challenges and surprises. I don’t recall ever seeing a surviving Local Militia garment that wasn’t an officer’s – hardly surprising, as this clothing was not retained by the men but handed back into storage after each training. On the other hand, the dress followed the patterns of the existing county militia, so reconstruction is perfectly feasible. Having said this, buttons, plates and some other aspects were mostly specific to individual regiments, so the field is not without variety.
These pages are very much work in progress, and some gaps will be obvious. Corrections and new information will be put in whenever possible.
Tracking back to previous posts (here and here) on the topic of cavalry styled jackets worn by light infantry officers of militia regiments, here’s a rather remarkable jacket (currently for sale online) that confirms the trend, and with a whole lot of braiding as an extra delight. This is for an officer of the light company of Col John Silvester’s 1st Manchester Local Militia of 1808-16. The three rows of 17 buttons are braided and looped with scarlet twist, the top rows ending over the shoulder in whorls. The dark blue collar also has self coloured braid edging and loops. Though the overall cut is orthodox, these details very much give an impression of cavalry or rifles. [Click to enlarge.]
As they accumulate, these examples prompt the question of what exactly the militia was imitating here. Is it possible that officers of some light infantry regiments and companies of the line wore similar jackets? There are the famous red or grey pelisses of the 43rd of course, but the Napier portrait shows a pelisse worn with the regulation jacket. It seems unlikely that militia regiments would have had the temerity to initiate this styling, but at the moment I can’t spot any model among the regulars that they might have been following.