Lee Enfield, 1895 Pattern & Lee Enfield 1853 pattern.
1842 most flintlock weapons had been replaced by percussion muskets
and Infantry equipment was gradually modernised. The long established
method of cross-belted equipment was being replaced, in 1854,
by a single shoulder belt supporting the cartridge pouch and a
waistbelt with locket and clasp, which supported the bayonet in
Other Ranks were wearing the kilmarnock forage cap for undress
until the early 1870s when it was replaced by the glengarry. This
was also adopted by the officers. In 1880 an alternative, straight
sided, droop peaked, forage cap was introduced for officers and
staff sergeants, which replaced the old “cheesecutter”
flat peaked pattern. In 1894, a new style blue folding cap, in
the Austrian style, was introduced for officers and was later
adopted by the men.
1855 a new infantry headdress was introduced to replace the straight-sided
“Albert” shako. Although similar it had a deeper back
and was tapered towards the crown. In 1861 this, so-called “French”
shako, which had proved uncomfortable, was replaced by a plainer,
smaller cap with a flap peak. It retained the French forward tilted
style and was covered in blue cloth, visibly stitched to the cork
carcass, which gave it its popular name the “Quilted”
shako. The new plate was a crown and star for all ranks. In 1871
the “Quilted” shako was replaced by the last British
Infantry shako. It was similar in shape and style but slightly
lower and had a smooth cloth surface. The Officer’s pattern
had gold lace around the top and bottom edges and gold braiding
up the sides and the centre back. NCOs and Other Ranks had a distinctive
red and black braid on their caps.
1888 Slade Wallace Equipment.
1878 the last of the infantry shakos was replaced by the Home
Service blue cloth, spiked, helmet. The Foreign Service Helmet
was dyed khaki for active service and a dome ventilator was supplied
in lieu of the full dress spike.
In 1866, the Enfield, the last of the muzzle loading rifles, was
replaced by the Snyder, the first of the British breech loading
weapons. Between 1888 and 1892, the Infantry were armed with the
1874 Martini Henry followed by the Mark I or Mark II Lee-Metford.
In 1895 the Long Lee Enfield was introduced. Seven years later
the Short Magazine Lee Enfield (the SMLE) became the standard