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Figures Lt Latham defending the colour at Albuhera, May 1811

Smeggers

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The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment), formerly the 3rd Regiment of Foot, was a line infantry regiment of the British Army traditionally raised in the English county of Kent and garrisoned at Canterbury. It had a history dating back to 1572 and was one of the oldest regiments in the British Army, being third in order of precedence (ranked as the 3rd Regiment of the line). The regiment provided distinguished service over a period of almost four hundred years accumulating one hundred and sixteen battle honours. In 1881, under the Childers Reforms, it was known as the Buffs (East Kent Regiment) and later, on 3 June 1935, was renamed the Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment).

In 1961, it was amalgamated with the Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment to form the Queen's Own Buffs, The Royal Kent Regiment, which was later merged, on 31 December 1966, with the Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment, the Royal Sussex Regiment and the Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own) to form the Queen's Regiment. This regiment was, in turn, amalgamated with the Royal Hampshire Regiment, in September 1992, to create the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment (Queen's and Royal Hampshires).

The Colours, The King’s/Queens’s or Sovereign's Colour and The Regimental Colour, were taken into battle to act as a rally point for soldiers in battle. For the enemy, they are seen as prime targets for attack. Both of these Colours are the pride of the Battalion, for which any officer or soldier would die before they were lost.

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The model depicts Lieutenant Latham who had taken up the Colour when the Ensign (officer responsible for The King’s Colour) was mortally wounded by gun fire, at the Battle of Albuhera in 1811. Latham himself has already been slashed by the French Hussars.

The King’s Colour was later returned after being found by a Fusilier inside the tunic of a hideously gored and apparently dead officer, Lieutenant Latham. He had been swamped by French Hussars who attacked him mercilessly, but they could not wrench the staff from his grip. He survived, losing one arm, which a surgeon removed. The crevice caused by a sword slash across his nose and cheek was staunched but Latham was hideously disfigured. After the battle his fellow officers presented him with a gold medal. The King, on meeting Latham back in England and hearing of his heroism paid for, what in those days was cutting edge surgery, to restore his features.

This is one of a number of historical figures I intend working on. Being originally from the County of Kent myself, this incident held some interest for me. A number of family members of mine served with the Buffs and also with the Royal West Kents.

The model itself is a 120mm scale mix of white metal and resin from the Victory Miniatures stable. I have, in the past, commented on Victory Miniatures and have nothing but praise for them. I have made several of their Victory Gun Deck figures, a large 120mm diorama that is on the back burner at the moment. I know we're in the middle of a Group build, but I've been wanting to do this for some time and as I am awaiting some parts through the post for my offering, I thought now was an excellent time to start.

(All paints mentioned are Vallejo Acrylic unless otherwise named)
The kit consists of 15 pieces, Head, Gorget, Body, Left Arm, Right Arm, Left Leg, right Leg, Sword, Sword Slings, Sash knot, Flag, Flag-pole, Flag cords and a one inch length of shaped resin which acts as a spigot to hold the top and lower halves together. All pieces were washed in warm soapy water and dried on paper kitchen towel. After leaving everything for 24 hours, I set about dry-fitting the pieces together. Joining the legs together went easily, with only a minute amount of filler required. Fitting the arms to the body will require a bit more thought as the joining pegs on the arms have been cast oversized. Everything has been given a coat of Vallejo Acrylic primer. I gave these all a day to dry and then decided to undercoat things. I tend to use a solid Orange for anything that will be painted Red, so thaf was the upper torso. I deliberately avoided painting the sword belt as this is going to be finished in Buff (Dark Sand). The Britches were undercoated in Ivory, while the boots, hat and sword were given a coat of Medium sea grey. All areas to be finished in Buff, were undercoated with Ivory. This included the epaullettes, collar, cuffs, coat-tails, sword belt and flag. Most pictures of the Regimental colour show it to be a light yellow colour, but having visited the Buffs museum, I can assure you that the flag is a buff colour. It's certainly going to throw up a challenge or two.

That's it for tonight, I'm doing 1400-2200 tomorrow and Saturday so Sunday will be my next time for modelling.
 
“This Happy Breed” was on again this week. I mention this as the two male neighbours regularly reminisce about their Great War service over some whiskies. One of the old soldiers is ex-Buffs (The other East Surreys, IIRC). Superb film, and they get in the line “Steady the Buffs”.
Looking forward to the end result.
 
This is the Business Smeggers! proper bit of Military History at long last, these pages having to suffer French Tanks, Queen Elizabeth Luxury liners and Rusty fishing trawlers, and dodgy Bints getting their Chebs out, sanity reins at long last, and a very good Regiment I have to say.
 
This is the Business Smeggers! proper bit of Military History at long last, these pages having to suffer French Tanks, Queen Elizabeth Luxury liners and Rusty fishing trawlers, and dodgy Bints getting their Chebs out, sanity reins at long last, and a very good Regiment I have to say.
“Bints getting their Chebs out”? Why did no one wake me for this.
You rotten buggers, grumble, mumble etc....
 

Smeggers

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This is the Business Smeggers! proper bit of Military History at long last, these pages having to suffer French Tanks, Queen Elizabeth Luxury liners and Rusty fishing trawlers, and dodgy Bints getting their Chebs out, sanity reins at long last, and a very good Regiment I have to say.
Where da chebs?
 

Helm

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That's quite the project Smeggers, watching this one with part anticipation and part glee ;)
 

Dread

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For a "spoiler", you need to write "Camilla's Commandos" on the scroll under the wyvern on the flag, and then see if anyone notices.
 

Smeggers

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Smeggers

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That's quite the project Smeggers, watching this one with part anticipation and part glee ;)
I'll give it my best mate. One thing puzzles me; the model shows Latham wearing a bicorne hat, but the silver centrepiece at the Regimental museum shows him wearing a Shako!
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Mind you, the centrepiece shows Latham's Left Arm already severed. According to the accounts from the battle, Latham's arm was removed by surgeons after the battle. Artistic license always trumps historical evidence every time (photographs courtesy of The Buffs Museum, Canterbury, Kent).
 
In 1977, while serving in 2 Queens, I was stiffed for a working party setting up for a Dinner Night in the Officers mess at Lathbury barracks in Gibraltar. The Latham centrepiece was brought out and we were told the story behind it.

A very impressive bit of silverwork.
 
the silver statue may be wrong on the Shako if they are wrong on the arm, maybe your kit shows him in the moment just prior to being attacked, so both arms in use, Officer hat to distinguish him from the men. This guy was nails. I'd go with the kit as laid out.
 
The thread title should be changed to. 'Lt Latham struggles with the colours, while calling for some private to come and take the damnable job off his hands'... Im a bally officer dont'cha know... ;)
 

Smeggers

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The thread title should be changed to. 'Lt Latham struggles with the colours, while calling for some private to come and take the damnable job off his hands'... Im a bally officer dont'cha know... ;)
Now, now! No rupert bashing on here
 

Smeggers

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Evening all. Achieved quite a bit on Latham today. The upper and lower halves have been painted, in Vallejo Acrylic and are reunited. Sorting the arms out seems a little problematical as I couldn't get the two in the correct configuration to be holding the colour. I had an unusual brain wave! I detached the right hand from its forearm, and was able to position the arms correctly with the right hand being re-fitted with a more natural looking posture. A small amount of filler (Artist's Modelling Paste) was used to fill the usual joins around the armholes.
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Showing the upper and lower halves fitted. Filler is visible on the right arm and the hand is obviously missing from it's attendant forearm. Jacket colour is Vermillion, with Dark Red for the sash. The sword-belt, collar, cuffs and facing as well as the britches are all given a coat of Desert Sand which is as near perfect for Buff as I can get. The boots are done in Black-Grey with Cork-Brown tops. The silver buttons and sword-belt badge are undercoated in Sky Grey and will be finished in Chrome Silver.
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Rear view showing both sides with filler. The turnbacks on the jacket are buff with the bows picked out in Ice White. The epaulettes are buff overall (Desert Sand) with silver trim and silver tails. One item that is not clearly visible from the photos, is the white jabot worn at the throat. Just above this is the black cravat worn by all officers of the period. The lace on the jabot matches that of the shirt cuffs, which are just visible below the jacket cuffs. The sword belt badge bears the figure "3" indicating the regiment being the 3rd Regiment of Foot.
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The bicorne hat has been painted with Black-Grey with the satin ribbon along it's edges highlighted with Satin Varnish. The cockade below the plume is Matt Black with a touch of Mahogany Brown to give it a richer look. The plume is painted Cool White and drybrushed with Sky-Grey. The face was initially undercoated in Ivory and then a coat of Life Colour's Flesh Base #2 was applied.
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Once the Flesh Base #2 was dry, I drybrushed the whole of the face with Flesh followed by a second drybrushing of Light Flesh. The lips were picked out in Dusty Pink and a line of Rose Pink was painted below the eyes. The eyes themselves have been given a coat of Sky Grey. The object to the left of the head, which resembles a cow turd, is actually the model's base. This was sprayed with Grey auto-primer and then airbrushed with Burnt Umber. Several washed of various browns were applied "wet on wet" to allow the shades to blend.
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The indentations for the positioning for the feet have been drilled out ready for fixing pegs to be inserted.
I've not been able to do any more as I'm waiting for the filler to dry. I'll crack on some more tomorrow, so until then, bye for now!
 

Smeggers

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Smeggers

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Just found this photo of Lt. Matthew Latham, taken in 1870. The caption seems to deny much of the story about him.
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Lieutenant Matthew Latham Matthew Latham was the hero of the Buffs who saved one of the Colours at Albuhera despite having his face badly cut and his arm severed. This photo of Latham was taken in 1870 and shows that his left arm is intact. The silver table ornament depicting his brave deed shows his left arm as being the one that was cut off in the act of saving the King's Colour at the battle of Albuhera on 16th May 1811. The story has different versions in the histories of the Buffs. Some say that he was carrying the Colour throughout the battle rather than having picked it up from the dead Ensign Walsh. Also that it was he that shouted "Only with my Life!" not Ensign Thomas. What is puzzling is why Richard Cannon failed to mention Latham or his heroic fight in the first history of the regiment. This was rectified in 1840 by Surgeon John Morrison who served with the Buffs. He wrote a long letter to the United Service Gazette.
This photo is of a man whose face does not look disfigured so we cannot be sure how severe his injury was. The medals must be the Military General Service medal, awarded in 1847 for Peninsula veterans, on the left, and the special medal purchased by his fellow officers at a cost of 100 guineas. It is the larger of the two medals and is gold suspended from a ribbon of scarlet with buff edges.
 

Helm

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Just found this photo of Lt. Matthew Latham, taken in 1870. The caption seems to deny much of the story about him.
View attachment 547697
Lieutenant Matthew Latham Matthew Latham was the hero of the Buffs who saved one of the Colours at Albuhera despite having his face badly cut and his arm severed. This photo of Latham was taken in 1870 and shows that his left arm is intact. The silver table ornament depicting his brave deed shows his left arm as being the one that was cut off in the act of saving the King's Colour at the battle of Albuhera on 16th May 1811. The story has different versions in the histories of the Buffs. Some say that he was carrying the Colour throughout the battle rather than having picked it up from the dead Ensign Walsh. Also that it was he that shouted "Only with my Life!" not Ensign Thomas. What is puzzling is why Richard Cannon failed to mention Latham or his heroic fight in the first history of the regiment. This was rectified in 1840 by Surgeon John Morrison who served with the Buffs. He wrote a long letter to the United Service Gazette.
This photo is of a man whose face does not look disfigured so we cannot be sure how severe his injury was. The medals must be the Military General Service medal, awarded in 1847 for Peninsula veterans, on the left, and the special medal purchased by his fellow officers at a cost of 100 guineas. It is the larger of the two medals and is gold suspended from a ribbon of scarlet with buff edges.
Interesting find, but playing Devil's Advocate here, he may well have a dummy arm, it was not unusual in those days, and the facial injuries may well be hidden by the hair ala Jimmy Edwards and his 'tach, as well as the poor exposure
 

Smeggers

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Interesting find, but playing Devil's Advocate here, he may well have a dummy arm, it was not unusual in those days, and the facial injuries may well be hidden by the hair ala Jimmy Edwards and his 'tach, as well as the poor exposure
I agree. A closer inspection of the photo shows a linear marking from the middle of the right eye diagonally to the lower jawline. There also appears to be quite a lump on the bridge of his nose. Considering his injuries, he lived to the ripe old age of 79. Depending on which version you read, he either died in 1865 or after the photo was taken. Perhaps he's related to someone else who's parents were killed twice?
 

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