ROYAL MARINES 1805
The Marine Corps was created in 1755 by recruiting the Commanding Officers from the 49th and 50th Infantry Regiment. The militaries wore a long-tailed red jacket with collar, cuffs, epaulettes and lapels in white. The Marines represented a combat force able to fight on board ship, like infantry on dry land. As a secondary duty their presence on board had the purpose of discouraging and repressing any potential mutiny. The Marines ward-room, in fact, was between those of the Officers and the Sailors (nevertheless, a number of Marines were involved in the mutiny of the Nore and the Spithead).
In 1795 the 15,000-men Corps was given the title of Royal Marines, and in 1802 and 1805 the number of regulars was increased to 30,000. Under the title Royal the colour of the collar, cuffs, epaulettes and lapels became Royal Blue.
The Corps was originally organised into three Divisions, the first was Stationed at Chatham, the second at Portsmouth and the third Division was stationed at Plymouth. In 1805 a fourth Division was created and was stationed at Woolwich; however, it must be said that these Divisions were merely administrative since the major force was detached on board the ships.
The Marines were used by the Shipping Companies both for service onshore and for disembarking troops, even if they belonged to units as big as a Battalion, as for instance the one included in 1801 in the Cavan Brigade in Egypt.
In September 1810 the 1st Marine Battalion was specifically created to be on garrison duty at Lisbon during the Campaign of the Peninsula. In 1812 it was detailed to Northern Spain where it completed several disembarking operations, the most famous of which took place at Santander, (which later became the logistic base of the British Army).
In August 1812 a second battalion was created and sent to Santander, in 1813 both the first and the second battalions were detached to North America, where in February 1813 they were reached by a third Battalion that had just been created.
Hat: Black with white stripe, black silk rosette with central tin button.
Battalion Company – white brim edge, black brim supports, white feather on red background.
Grenadier Company – black brim edge, white brim supports, white feather.
Light Infantry Company - black brim edge, white brim supports, dark green feather.
Jacket: Red with white tail laps edged with ribbon carrying the regimental colours (white with centred blue, white and red outlines), the ribbon formed the braiding on the collar and chest, the cuffs, the back pockets and the triangle between the pockets, and matched the collar and the epaulettes. Collar, cuffs and epaulettes Royal Blue: the epaulettes end in a tuft of white wool. Tin buttons.
Trousers: White cloth.
Gaiters: Black with tin buttons sometimes covered with black cloth.
Shoes: Black leather
Bandoleer: White leather with brass badge.
Snuff-box: Black leather with brass decoration.
Bayonet: Iron with black leather sheath and brass ferrule.
Haversack: Kaki canvas with brass or wooden buttons.
Canteen: Wooden, light blue-grey with iron edges and natural leather strap.
Overcoat: Light blue-grey fastened by a white leather strap.
Rifle: Natural wood, steel metal parts, brass finish, white leather strap, waterproof canvas protecting the shooting mechanism.
Sculpture: Maurizio Bruno
Painter: Francesco Sapienza