Soldier, 10th Royal Veteran Battalion, circa 1812

Caption: Soldier, 10th Royal Veteran Battalion, circa 1812

The Royal Veteran Battalions were units of garrison troops, made up of older soldiers still able to stand guard and give other useful service. The 10th Battalion was raised in 1806 for service in Canada. Although not intended to serve in the field, the veterans were the only regular troops at Fort St. Joseph at the start of the War of 1812, and were part of the British surprise attack that captured the American Fort Mackinac. The Royal Veteran Battalions wore the standard British infantry uniform, with the blue facings of a royal regiment. A new pattern of uniform was ordered in 1812. This man wears the older uniform, with an 1806 pattern of shako, white breeches and knee-length gaiters. It took at least a year for the new pattern uniforms to be issued on the Canadian frontier. The background figures are (far left) a sergeant major, three private soldiers (right centre) and a sergeant (far right) carrying a spontoon. Reconstruction by Charles Stadden. (Parks Canada)