THE 1879 GROUP

Uniform of the Victorian Soldier of 1879

The Full Kit can be expensive, so to get you started we would encourage you to first purchase what we call Basic Kit. You can then purchase parts of your Full Kit when you can afford it.

Basic Kit
• Grey shirt This can be the army issue 'Grey back' or any authentic civilian shirt of the period.
• Boots These should be black, with no toe cap and certainly no lacquer or modern bull.
• Gaiters Black lace up pattern fastened by a buckle at the top.
• Braces Made of authentic white/cream canvas.
• Glengarry Black with the appropriate regimental badge.
Full Kit
• Tunic There are two types of tunic. The most common (and the one you will need) is the 5 button scarlet serge frock, with General Service buttons. The other is the tight cut 7 button home service tunic, piped white down the front.
• 1871 Valise Buff leather. This kit comprises of support straps or braces, waist belt with appropriate buckle, two ammunition pouches, bayonet frog and black leather expense pouch. Other items such as a mess tin and blanket can be added.
• Helmet Round peaked version. These were stained light brown whilst in the field. The 1869-78 pattern Shako plate was virtually never worn but you are required to have one for parade duty.
• Water Bottle Oliver or 'Italian' patterns, with buff leather strap.
• Haversack Commonly known as the 'bread bag' it contains personal effects.
• Martini Henry The rifles used during the war were the Mk 1 and Mk 2 varieties. The Mk 3 is post-1879 but virtually identical, so also acceptable.
• Bayonet You can choose either the 16.9" 1853 'bushed' socket bayonet or the more fearsome 21.75" 1876 socket bayonet, more affectionately known to the troops as the 'lunger'.