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'Alphabet of our Soldiers', children's book, 1860

A volume of chromolithographs, published by Dean and Son, as part of 'Dean's Infantile series', 1860.

It was once thought essential that children understood Britain's military and imperial history so that they would grow up as patriotic citizens.

This book depicts soldiers from across the British Empire with the initial letters of ranks, troop types and uniform.

One vignette, illustrating the letters, 'W' and 'X', shows the battlefield of Waterloo. 'W for Waterloo, where the battle began. EX-celling all others that Wellington won'.

Other vignettes feature a soldier of the 1st West India Regiment in zouave uniform, sappers of the Royal Engineers, an adjutant of the Adjutant, 100th (or Prince of Wales's Royal Canadian) Regiment of Foot, a trooper of the 2nd (Royal North British) Dragoons, a colonel of the Royal Regiment of Horse Guards (The Blues), a lancer of the 17th Light Dragoons (Lancers), an ensign of the 75th Regiment of Foot, a Grenadier Guard, a hussar of the 11th (Prince Albert's Own) Hussars, a trumpeter of the 1st Regiment of Life Guards, a quartermaster of the 3rd (The East Kent) Regiment of Foot (The Buffs), and a disabled pensioner of the Royal Hospital smoking a pipe beneath a tree.

A jemadar of the 15th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry is captioned, 'J is for Jemmadar, an officer seen. With Sepoys, good soldiers, who fight for the Queen'. Another, depicting a soldier of the Rifle Brigade, is captioned, 'R is for Rifleman, who must not miss his aim. Dressed in green, on the grass, he looks just the same'.

NAM Accession Number

NAM. 1982-04-265-1


National Army Museum, Out of Copyright


National Army Museum, Study Collection

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