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Title 31st Foot officer's shoulder belt plate
Nationality British
Period c 1847-55

This ranks amongst one of the more colourful of the genre, being smothered in battle honours and regimental devices. Originally raised in 1713, known as the 31st Foot in 1751, and then in 1782 receiving the county title (Huntingdonshire). The 31st Foot later became the 1st Battalion of the East Surrey Regiment, the 2nd Bn being the 70th.

This shoulder belt plate cannot be any earlier because, amongst other things, the Cabool battle honour was granted in 1844 (for 1842).

These were worn by all regimental officers of infantry and artillery in the 19th century, the sword being carried at the end of a white buff shoulder belt, of which this was the buckle, worn in the centre of the chest. According to Parkyn, this was the last shoulder belt plate worn by the regiment. In 1855, the new Prussian-style tunic, for which a waist belt was designed, replaced the old coatee.

There is some loss of gilding to the top of the frame and behind the XXXI. Otherwise, the plate is in excellent order with most of the original relief on the silverwork nice and sharp, the whole being silver on brass.

If you want to comment on this item—re quality, age, etc—please email me.

[Militaria : Badges : British : 19th Century]


I have in the last six months inherited my late father Alan Swain's police memorabilia collection along with much paperwork receipts etc. I would like to pass on to you my thanks for such good dealership with my father going back to the late 80s and well into the 1990s.

Laurence Swain, UK, 20.08.2016

Found the item a little on the expensive side and a bit disappointed that you were unwilling to bend a bit on the price of the Officer's Tunic Eagle (half the fun of buying, after all, is the haggling), but impressed by the speed of delivery and the quality of the item. Was well worth it in the long run...

G F, UK, 30.08.2005