Victorian Officer’s Blue Cloth Home Service Pattern, 108th Madras Infantry Regiment Helmet Plate.
A scarce 1878 pattern, 108th Madras infantry regiment helmet plate. A gilt eight pointed Victoria crowned star surmounted by twin gilt laurel wreaths. To the centre there is a floriated ‘108’ on a lush deep red velvet ground all lying within a raised strap inscribed ‘Madras Infantry‘. To the base of the outer wreath there is a scroll which is inscribed ‘Central India’. A very fine and rare 108th Madras infantry regiment helmet plate. There are three fixing loops to the reverse.
The 108th Madras Infantry Regiment of Foot: In 1766 the East India Company raised a 3rd Madras European Regiment, formed of non-Indian soldiers, for service in central India. This was merged into the 1st and 2nd Madras European Regiments in 1774.In 1777 a new, two-battalion 3rd Madras European Regiment was raised, but this only lasted until 1796 when it was disbanded. The unit was revived by Colonel George Cornish Whitlock in 1854. as the 3rd Madras (European) Infantry. It fought during the Indian Mutiny (1857-59), winning the battle honour ‘Central India’ and fighting at Saugor, Banda and Kirwee. Like all other Company units, it was transferred to the control of the British Crown immediately after the uprising. In 1862. the unit was formally transferred to the British Army, with the numeral 108. However, it remained in India until December 1876 when it landed in Britain for the first time. Garrison duties at Colchester and Preston followed. In 1881. it was amalgamated with the 27th (Inniskilling) Regiment of Foot to form The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. In 1968. the regiment merged again with the two other regular infantry regiments of Northern Ireland, The Royal Ulster Rifles and The Royal Irish Fusiliers (Princess Victoria’s), to form The Royal Irish Rangers (27th (Inniskilling), 83rd and 87th). 108th Madras infantry regiment helmet plate.