Napoleonic Wars Forum

The Napoleonic Wars 1792-1815

British Army Buttons

For all discussions relating to military uniforms, insignia, equipment and medals of the Napoleonic period.

British Army Buttons

Postby Curhalios » May 18th, 2017, 6:56 am

I am new to the Forum so please forgive me if this posting is too long!

I live near a town called Ottery St Mary in Devon. The town had a barracks during the Napoleonic wars, which closed in 1816. From local records, the barracks appears to have been close to the town. It is possible to identify the regiments stationed there from the marriage registers!

About 2 miles away is a Tudor house, Cadhay. In a field nearby a friend has found a number of military buttons, musket balls, horseshoes, thimbles and pipes. The field abuts a minor lane that leads to the old Fosse Way, the A30, about 0.5 miles away. The location is about 15 miles from Exeter.

He has identified a number of different regiments, none of which appear to have been garrisoned at the town barracks:

1st The Royal Dragoons;
28th (North Gloucestershire) Regiment of Foot
34th (Cumberland) Regiment of Foot
88th Regiment of Foot (Connaught Rangers)
Coldstream Guards
Herefordshire Militia
Ottery Volunteers
Royal F Cavalry or King's Royal Rifle Corps
Royal Navy

He has also found a number of buttons in various states of decay stamped in the middle with the letters SD.

Any assistance in identifying these buttons would be greatly appreciated please!

Unidentified buttons
Untitled.jpg (63.29 KiB) Viewed 406 times
New Member
Posts: 2
Joined: May 16th, 2017, 8:42 am

Re: British Army Buttons

Postby jf42 » May 20th, 2017, 9:02 pm

The only thought that occurs is 'South Devon', the full title of the 46th Regiment being 46th (South Devonshire) Regiment but it would be unusual to have the initials of the subsidiary title as the emblem on the button. I don't believe the 46th showed any effort in cementing bonds with South Devon after they received their new title in 1783.

Moreover, the regiment spent most of the first seventy years of its existence service in the Americas or in Ireland. During our period, it returned to England in 1796 after a twelve-year stint abroad, moved to Ireland in 1799 before heading back to the West Indies. It returned to England in 1811, went to Jersey for a year, then after returning in 1813, sailed off for another nineteen-year stint abroad.

As for whether the 46th were ever down at the Ottery Barracks during one of their rare visits to these shores, is a whole other kettle of tricks...
User avatar
Senior Veteran Member
Posts: 1276
Joined: June 23rd, 2011, 10:17 am
Location: United Kingdom

Re: British Army Buttons

Postby Owen » May 20th, 2017, 9:39 pm

Hello Richard,

Welcome - the forum is a fascinating place to spend time. I think this button belonged to the South Devon Militia. There is an example here:


"How long was I in the army? Five foot eleven" Spike Milligan
User avatar
Participating Member
Posts: 117
Joined: December 2nd, 2012, 12:23 am
Location: Hampshire, UK

Re: British Army Buttons

Postby jf42 » May 20th, 2017, 11:13 pm

User avatar
Senior Veteran Member
Posts: 1276
Joined: June 23rd, 2011, 10:17 am
Location: United Kingdom

Return to Uniforms, Insignia, Equipment & Medals

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest