An Analysis of a Indian Army Tunic

Published: 26 May 2023

[bold]Object:[/bold][breakrow][breakrow]The tunic dates to 1882 or 1884 to 1902. This tunic was worn by an officer of the 27th Madras Native Infantry, formally called the 27th Madras Regiment after 1885, although the former name continued to be used. This pattern of tunic was worn 1880-1902, but the 27th Madras Native Infantry only adopted yellow faces in 1882 (according to W.Y. Carman) or 1884 (Hart’s Army Lists reports the regiment adopted yellow facings in 1884, although Hart’s is often 1-2 years behind). The buttons bear the numeral “27” and the battle honour “Mahdipore,” for the victory there in 1817. The regiment was at peace from the end of the Third Anglo-Maratha War in 1818 until 1857, when it participated in the Siege and Capture of Lucknow during the Indian Mutiny. The regiment next saw action in the Third Anglo-Burmese War in 1885. The regiment became the 87th Punjabis in 1903 and adopted new insignia.[breakrow][breakrow][bold]Possible Attribution: [/bold][breakrow][breakrow]This uniform was worn after 1882 by a Lt-Col. in the 27th Madras Native Infantry who was a veteran of the Indian Mutiny. Based on an exhaustive examination of Hart’s Army Lists, the best candidate for the owner of the uniform is Lt-Col. Bryan William Broughton, who was a wing commander in the 27th Madras Native Infantry from 1883-1886. Broughton was a veteran of the Indian Mutiny and served in the regiment during the period it wore yellow facings while holding the rank of lieutenant-colonel.[breakrow][breakrow]An alternate candidate is Lt-Col. Harold Seymour Robinson, who was second-in-command of the regiment in 1882. According to available records, Robinson is another only Lt-Col. who served in the regiment and was a veteran of the Mutiny. However, it is notable that Robinson left the unit before 1884, when some sources claim it adopted yellow facings (others state 1882), which makes Broughton a better candidate.[breakrow][breakrow]