Departure Of The 6th Regiment
The full title of this naive ink and watercolour sketch on paper is 'The departure of the 6th Regt. for the Frontier'.
It shows the enlisted men marching to the left of the picture with a group of officers behind them saying their goodbyes to their sweethearts. There are various speech bubbles from a soldier saying 'I say Bill, did you cock my eye, I remember such a go' to a NCO behind him saying 'No talking Jones if you please'. The ladies and their officers are being more romantic - a lady with her arms raised says 'Goodbye my love, make haste goodbye', a kneeling officer says to his lady 'Friend of my soul, think of me when I am far away and promise to write to me often', another lady has a bubble with 'Say my dearest that you love me and I will follow you to the frontier'. An officer says to girl seeking a memento 'Spare but a part of my locks as you have taken all of my whiskers'. At the rear a mounted officer says, 'Come Peter and Edward we must fall in so take a last farewell and come on.'
Its likely that this picture was drawn by an officer in the regiment, with the speech bubbles referring to in jokes. The soldiers have blue facings, which were changed from yellow, when they became a Royal Regiment in 1832. The also look to be wearing Albert Shakos with a peak to the front and back. It was introduced in 1844 and in use until 1878.
The Warwickshire regiment took part in the 7th and 8th Xhosa Wars (1846 - 1853) in South Africa and also fought in India in 1857. It maybe that this water colour relates to one of these wars. The artist, although amateur, is a good draughtsman with his quick lines accurate in portraying the figures and the horse.
The picture is unmounted or framed. Mid 19th Century.