1/95th Rifle - A Rifleman's Kit
Regimental Cap (aka Shako)
The ‘Experimental Core of Riflemen’ were formed in 1800, it is unclear as to what style of headdress they wore. Some say it was a tarlatan helmet, such as that worn by the officers. And indeed their is evidence of such in various prints and notes from the era, including rifle drill manuals.
What we do know is that in 1802, when the regiment was formed into line as the 95th (Rifle) Regiment of Foot, they adopted the 1801 Pattern Leather Shako, the first cap of the British army. Made entirely of leather, the example below is shown with the back extended, was used to provide some protection from the sun and also to prevent rain from soaking the inside collar.
The 1801 was replaced by the 1806 Pattern ‘Stove Pipe’ cap (above right). This is the pattern that we use today as it was in use throughout the Peninsular War.
It was made mostly of felt and leather with a cotton lining for the interior. The standard green plume, depicting light infantry, was worn at the front above a leather cockade with a pewter button in the centre.
From the cockade came the ornamental green piping which ran the circumference of the cap to end at the rear, stitched to the base.
The Regimental badge is of course the light infantry bugle as worn by light infantry companies and regiments alike.
It is still, in this modern day, the symbol of the current regiment, The Rifles.
When the army adopted the 1812 Pattern ‘Belgic' cap the 95th and most light regiments retained the 1806 design.