Military History/Bengal Light Infantry Item
Alfromeo wrote at 2012-10-26 23:16:58
Unfortunately I feel Herb Swingle has rather led you astray with his answer. Whilst this is a should belt buckle there is nothing that can connect it to the "35th Royal Sussex Regiment" as the "107th Regiment of Foot, Benal Native Infantry" only merged with that Regiment in 1881 - long after the Revolutionary War.
All we can say is that this is a should belt buckle that was common issue to the Bengal Native Infantry. Whether this example was issued to a European Private or Native Seopy we cannot tell, but since it is not in silver we can rule out it being issued to an Officer. Typically ajoined to the belt is another device which was used to hold hot embers, so I would search the area where you found this as the belt may have rotted away, and the device and a chain may still be in the ground.
I would think that this was in the possesion of a man who had either served in a European Bengal Native Infantry Regiment or been a member of the British Army who had taken it as a prize of war during the Indian Mutiny (1857) and retired to Michigan - perhaps having been discharged in Canada whilst on military service.
If you have no interest in it I would suggest you put it in auction - you will achieve the best price by assigning it to a British Auctions - Dix Noon Webb or Spinks would be your best bet - or a direct sale once you have a valuation.
Leslie Deacon wrote at 2015-03-19 23:37:54
I am a historian for the Royal Sussex Regiment in which I served.
I am sorry, but I beg to differ with Herb........
In the French & Indian War, all fighting ceased in 1760.
The Royal Sussex Regiment did not amalgamate with the 107th Bengal Light Infantry untill 1881 (becoming their 2nd Bn.)before this date there was no connection. This also rules out any connection during the American Revolutionary War.
Formed in 1858, The Bengal Light Infantry were in the pay of the East India Company and did not come under the Crown untill 1862.It certainly is the buckle of a bayonet-strap, but we can assume, that it is a trophy from a much later battle.