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Date > 1800 > 1850-1859

Subject > Armed Forces > Military Life

Resource Type > Image

Trooper, 1st Troop of Volunteer Militia Cavalry of the County of York, circa 1855

Type: Image

Unofficial known as 'Dennison's Troop' after the family that led them for three generations, Toronto's volunteer cavalry unit dates back to 1822. The uniform shown in the photograph was dark blue, with silver lace and pale buff facings. It was adopted after the 1838 rebellion (when the unit was known as the Queen's Light Dragoons) and worn until 1871 (by which time it was The Governor General's Body Guard). (Library of the Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence

Interior of soldiers' barracks at St. Andrews by-the-Sea, New Brunswick, 1854

Type: Image

Painted by a British officer of the 76th Regiment of Foot, this watercolour of the 1850s confirms that open fireplaces still heated some barracks, despite wood stoves being introduced in the 1840s. The man at centre wears a grey military greatcoat, while others wear the red regimental coat. At right can be seen several soldier's beds, each with storage above for a knapsack, clothing and accoutrements. (Library and Archives Canada, C-008404)

Site: National Defence

Officer and gunner, Royal Regiment of Artillery, 1854

Type: Image

The Royal Regiment of Artillery had this blue full dress uniform with red facings and the ‘Albert’ shako from 1845 to 1856. This model of shako owed its nickname to Prince Albert, the Consort of Queen Victoria. This reconstruction of an officer (left) and gunner (right) in 1854 shows the grenade badge on the collar that became characteristic of later uniforms.

Site: National Defence

Private, service dress, Colored Infantry Company, Upper Canada Incorporated Militia, 1843-1850

Type: Image

Raised in 1838, the Colored Infantry Company recruited from Blacks in Upper Canada was the only provincial unit on duty between 1843 the unit's disbanding in 1850. It served mainly along the American border in the Niagara area. Besides the service dress shown, these Black Canadian soldiers also had the shako and scarlet coat trimmed with white lace for full dress as in the British infantry. Reconstruction by Garth Dittrick. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

Militiamen raising the May pole in front of their captain’s house

Type: Image

The tradition of raising the May pole in front of the Militia captain's house, which began in the era of New France, went on in French Canada until the middle of the 19th century.

Site: National Defence

Volunteer, Victoria Voltigeurs, 1851-1858

Type: Image

The Victoria Voltigeurs were members of a volunteer unit of Métis raised on Vancouver Island in 1851. Their clothing and weapons were provided by the Hudson's Bay Company. The Voltigeurs acted as a combination of military unit and police force until 1858. Reconstruction by Ron Volstad. (Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence

Private, Royal Newfoundland Companies, circa 1854

Type: Image

The Royal Newfoundland Companies were a British garrison unit of veterans, stationed in St.John's, Newfoundland from 1824 to 1862. In 1862 they were absorbed into the Royal Canadian Rifle Regiment. Reconstruction by David Webber. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

Sir George Augustus Wetherall (1788-1868)

Type: Image

Lieutenant-Colonel Wetherall, 1st, or The Royal Regiment of Foot, won the battle of St. Charles on 25 November 1837. This print shows him later in life, in the uniform of a British general. (Library of the Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence

'Cat of nine tails' whip

Type: Image

The ‘cat of nine tails’ was a whip used to flog soldiers. This one was used in the British 83rd Regiment of Foot. The length of the wooden stick was 43cm (1' 5"), its tails 53cm (1' 9"), and it weighed 141,75 g. (5 ounces). (Library of the Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence

British Army folding iron barrack bed

Type: Image

This type of bed gradually replaced wooden double bunks from 1824. Every day, the bed was folded and the mattress rolled up for inspection. Army Circular Memorandum of 12 June 1860.

Site: National Defence