Saturday, January 31, 2015

Le Chevalier discourses on Chasseurs Britanniques, Part One

Chasseurs Britanniques
Part One – the Shako

So here we go. Working on a Chasseurs Britanniques uniform. This will be an 'other ranks' uniform, but I will most likely add serjeant's insignia just because.

Sources disagree a bit on whether the Chasseurs were outfitted as a Line Regiment or a Light Regiment. I am leaning towards the Light Regiment and am going to do my kit in that style.

Starting at the top we have the Shako. Actually a pretty useless piece of head ware, however it is quite impressive and dwarfs many top hats in sheer height.

I went with the earlier stovepipe Shako and was able to pick one up from Corps Sutler. This came with the bugle style issued to emigre and contract troops. This is not the style of insignia I wanted, but the Shako is correct.

As far as insignia goes there is some degree of variation.

Plumes/tufts: Companies in Line Regiments wore one of three colours of plumes. White for grenadiers, white over red for line companies and green for light companies. In light infantry regiments all companies were outfitted as light companies. I went with a green wool tuft from Spencer's Mercantile.

Shako Cord: Similar to the plumes/tufts the colour of the cords designated the type of unit. In Line Regiments the grenadiers and line companies wore white cords while the light company wore green. Light Regiments all wore green. I purchased my cord from Spencer's Mercantile.

Plume/Tuft and Shako cord from Spencer's Mercantile

Shako Plates: All of the Shakos had brass shako plates. Some regiments had regiment specific ones while other used a standard one. To further complicate matters some light companies and light regiments adopted the light infantry bugle badge. I am going with the bugle, I have one, but am not confident it is quite right. I think the loops at the top are supposed to be kind of squashed into a rounded triangle rather than nice, round loops. I also think the cords are supposed to hang straight down rather than be draped over the cords. Then again, I have seen some information to suggest that all of these styles are accurate, so who knows?

So, other than the bugle badge (if I decide I do not like the one I have) I have all the parts for my Shako and just need to assemble it.

 Next step will be looking at the uniform tunic.

~ Le Chevalier


“Wellington's Mongrel Regiment”

Corps Sutler:

Spencer's Mercantile:

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