The Royal Tyrone Regiment - Richard Simkin (1850-1926)
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Overall: 49cm (19in) x 64cm (25in)
Watercolour and gouache on paper. Study of Band-Master, Drum-Major and Musicians of The Royal Tyrone Regiment wearing State Dress, circa 1810. Framed and glazed.
The Tyrone Militia was formed with Lord Abercorn as its Colonel in 1793 against French invasion. In August that year the regiment was embodied and remained so until the short lived Peace of Amiens was proclaimed in May 1802. During this first period of embodiment the Tyrones took part in the battles against the United Irishmen in the 1798 Rebellion. The Royal Tyrone Regiment also formed a band that not only provided music on the march but would play at formal official occasions. It also played at a party in Wexford to celebrate the birthday of the politician and poet George Ogle and ‘contributed not a little in detaining the joyous party to a late hour next morning’ while, in 1809, it also accompanied the lord lieutenant on the Grand Canal; the band, in full uniform, were on ‘a small and elegant passage boat’ that attended the vessel carrying the lord lieutenant.
Richard Simkin (1850-1926) was born in Kent, served in the Artists Rifles and attended the Heatherley Art School. He was employed by the War Office designing recruiting posters and providing illustrations for the ‘Army and Navy Gazette’. He married in 1880 and lived for six years at Aldershot before moving to Herne Bay. He illustrated ‘The War in Egypt’ for publisher George Routledge in 1883; and in 1888, produced a volume of illustrated verse under the title ‘Following the Drum - Sketches of Soldier-Life in Peace and War, Past and Present’. Regarded as an authority on British military uniforms, he depicted imperial and colonial troops to create such series as 'Types of the Indian Army' for the ‘Army and Navy Gazette’ in 1901, having gained much first hand information at the Colonial and India Exhibition of 1886. During his lifetime, he contributed illustrations to numerous publications including ‘The Graphic’ and ‘Boy’s Own Magazine’. His work can be found in many regimental museums.