Coldstream Guard 1815 Light Coy Sergeant sword or no sword?

Discussion in 'General Figure Talk' started by Jimbo, Dec 7, 2019.

  1. Jimbo A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Hi all
    I am in the middle of converting a Coldstream Guard Light Coy Sergeant and wishing to get it right I asked Kev Peart as my go to tree of information on military uniforms what his thoughts on it were, so between the two of us we have been having a friendly online debate over the wearing of Sergeants swords for a Light Company Sergeant around the 1800 -1815 period of any British Regiment.
    Basically Kev's come up with a lot of convincing info and illustrations of a Light company Sergeant of the Coldstream guards wearing a Sergeants sword during active duty, whereas I have found some written and illustrated evidence of Light Company Sergeants not wearing a sword and carrying a "fusil" & bayonet.....I understand why a Flank/Battalion/Grenadier company Sergeant wore a sword as he had no firearm and just a 9ft Pike/ Spontoon, whereas the Light Coy Sergeant carried a fusil or musket?
    So the question I am asking has anybody got any further infinitive evidence to convince me if it should be "Sword or not sword" "Fusil,bayonet & sword" or "Fusil, sword & no bayonet
    I appreciate any help on this subject so I can get the conversion historically correct, because at the moment I have my head up a certain dark place and can't seem to be able to make my mind up?
    Cheers (y)
    Jim
    Babelfish likes this.
  2. Geoff Saunders New Member

    Does this help.
    [IMG]
    The waterloo shako had a false front to give it height. The plume was placed on the left side and was green for the light company. Sergeants had gold cords instead of white and the Coldstream Guards badge was surmounted by a brass stringed bugle badge. He is in marching order and his bayonet belt has a whistle, a distinction of light company NCOs. He carries a short rifle instead of a pike.
    His coat is laced with gold lace instead of white for the button loops, and they are in pairs. All buttons are brass instead of pewter. The wings on his shoulders are blue with gold lace and edged with gold fringes. The grey trousers are tucked into black gaiters and he has a crimson sash round his waist.


    geoff
    Babelfish likes this.
  3. Jimbo A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Hi Geoff
    I have seen this picture previously but many thanks for your input
    I might just add the sword as Kev said and be done with it.
    Cheers
    Jim
  4. fogie A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Just one other thing, Jim, NCO's wore tunics of what was known as 'lesser scarlet' ( dyed with a mixture of expensive
    cochineal and much cheaper madder ) the resultant colour was brighter than the ranker's kit but duller than an officer's
    jacket, which of course would have been tailored of higher quality cloth and dyed with pure cochineal.

    Mike
    Jimbo likes this.
  5. arj A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    I can't solve your problem Jim, but I can give you a bit of information on how equipment was worn.

    Coldstream Sgt.jpg

    This is from one of the Almark publications (Bryan Fosten) on British Foot Guards at Waterloo.

    Cheers,
    Andrew
    Nap and Jimbo like this.
  6. Jimbo A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Thanks Andrew
    Yes bit of a mystery is this one..Sword or no Sword that is the question, it begs the question how a Sergeant carrying a musket would be able to use the sword unless he dumped his musket?...As he's going to be light Coy I'm more inclined to leave the bayonet in place and forget the sword?....then again :facepalm: Ooooo!
    Jim
  7. Nap A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Jumbo

    Just don't make him Light Coy...give him a spontoon !!!!!...sorted

    The Almark pic Añdrew sent was in amongst my stuff I sent as well ...cracking books

    Happy thinking

    Nap
    Jimbo likes this.
  8. Jimbo A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Oh bugger it!...it's going to be a sword & no bayonet!...decision made!:facepalm:
    Nap likes this.
  9. fogie A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    The only thing I have specifically for the 'Hundred days' campaign - and it's probably something you've already
    seen - is this...........(The first is a grenadier company and the second is the light company)

    grenadier coy.png light coy.png

    Mike
    Jimbo and Nap like this.
  10. Nap A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Hi Mike

    No sword on the Lt Coy !!

    Didn't the Lt coy also carry a shortened musket

    Nap
    Jimbo likes this.
  11. fogie A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    No real idea sadly, Kev, Guards regiments aren't my thing. I always preferred the earthly line regiments (not
    that I know too much about them either). A logical guess suggests to me that a Light company Sergeant carried
    a New Land pattern musket and not the sword. Whereas with Sergeants of the Centre companies it was the other
    way round. Can't really add much to this discussion other than the pictures above and the stuff about 'lesser scarlet'.
    Wish I could..........sorry !

    Mike
  12. Jimbo A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Thanks Mike
    Well that's definitely showing the Light Coy Sgt with no sword!(y)
    Thanks for your input
    Cheers
    Jim
  13. Geoff Saunders New Member

    I havn't got the book but if you or any one has what does Carl Franklin say on the matter,??
    Geoff
    Jimbo likes this.
  14. Nap A Fixture

    Country:
    England

    Ah.......but others show it being worn .....

    The question remains l..LOL

    Jimbo...just give him spontoon !!

    Nap
    Jimbo likes this.
  15. Jimbo A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    It's a flipping minefield, some show a sword & others don't?
    And I'll give you a spontoon Mr Peart!.....;)
    No Sword..just a bayonet...That's the end of it!...:woot:
    Cheers
    Jim..
    Nap likes this.
  16. fogie A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    As you well know, Jim, there are times when a subject crops up that sparks something in the brain and you can't seem to let it go - you
    become like a dog with a bone. This business of swords, spontoons, muskets and what have you is one of them.

    So a few thoughts............ A Sergeant of a centre company would use his largely ceremonial spontoon to straighten the line formation
    ( Colour Sergeants used the thing as a long reach defensive weapon to protect the colours). It seems logical then that Sergeants of the
    centre companies would also carry a sword - a musket would be impractical. Both Light and Grenadier companies however were expected
    to move quickly and independently in loose skirmish formation when required - a spontoon would then prove an encumbrance. So again
    logic suggests that in the flank companies, Sergeants would be armed with a musket - and a sword would be superfluous.

    None of this is definitive, Jim, and when did the British Napoleonic Army bother itself with logic ? Looks like you're going to have to
    toss a coin. As you so aptly said......." Bugger ! "

    Mike
    Babelfish and Jimbo like this.
  17. Jimbo A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Thanks Mike for all the useful info, there's always something new to learn in this hobby of ours...even if it does become a bit nitty gritty at times..(y)
    Cheers
    Jim
  18. arj A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    And just to add to the confusion, here's one from "Uniforms of the Foot Guards from 1661 to the Present Day", by Bryan Fosten and William Carman.
    I know it's 1st Foot Guards, but it's light company, and a sergeant to boot.

    Sgt 1st Foot Gds 1815.jpg

    So, there you have one (a Lt. Co. Sergeant) with musket and sword.
    Happy coin tossing.

    Cheers,
    Andrew
  19. Jimbo A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Hi Andrew
    Thanks mate it's a good picture with great detail but the coin has been tossed...sticking with just a bayonet & no Sword..(y)
    Jim
  20. fogie A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    I expect you wish that you never asked.............:arghh::arghh:

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