Military review, probably in New South Walesafter 1850

by unknown artist

This scene shows a volunteer infantry regiment on parade in red coats, most likely in a small township in New South Wales. The British garrison started wearing red tunics with the arrival of the 77th Regiment in 1857. By 1870 Sydney’s infantry volunteers had followed suit and by the early 1870s so had rural volunteers. The woman on the left of the painting is wearing a princess line dress with peplum skirt and contrasting trim, a look that became popular after 1860.

The darting dog nearby lends a sense of movement to this quaint scene of a small village gathered to view its volunteers in formation – a proud and exciting event for a country town in the late 19th century.