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Tiger Pete 08-07-19 11:24 AM

Royal Sussex
2 Attachment(s)

I recently acquired this button which is a mystery to me. It bears the legend, 'Royal Sussex' and crown/ coronet. The button is a large size and appears to be silver plated copper alloy.

The construction is similar to two that I have to the Sussex Light Infantry Militia by Jennens and Hawkins. This button is MM, 'FIRMIN & SONS 153 STRAND LONDON'. From what I have been able to find online, this dates it to 1875.

I have seen it said that it is an alternative mess waiter's button or was worn by staff employed OHMS but to be honest, I'm not sure whether it actually relates to the Royal Sussex Regiment at all.

There was quite a bit of competition to obtain it so somebody must know. Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance,


Rob Miller 08-07-19 11:51 AM

Hi Pete

Its nice and I would have assumed mess waitor's too.

However there is a Royal Sussex Hotel in London?


Tiger Pete 08-07-19 12:20 PM

Hi Rob,

Thanks, that is very interesting. I had tried to eliminate other possibilities, but I was not aware of a hotel. I'll see what I can turn up.

Kind Regards,


49lassiepen 08-07-19 05:10 PM

Pete did you obtain this from Ianís site (known him for many years ) he is quite knowledgeable on mess waiters buttons

Tiger Pete 08-07-19 05:19 PM

Hi David,

I obtained it from everybody's favourite auction site. I do have the more common mess waiter examples but this is very different.

Kind Regards,


49lassiepen 08-07-19 07:32 PM

Ian Baker( Warrenevanz ).
Pete I still. have my R Sussex buttons and all my notes will check in next couple of days

grenadierguardsman 08-07-19 08:03 PM

That is very nice Pete.

Tiger Pete 09-07-19 05:48 AM

Thanks David and Andy.

Kind Regards,


Tiger Pete 09-07-19 06:13 AM

1 Attachment(s)
For clarification, these are the more usually attributed mess waiter buttons.



4966Ian 09-07-19 09:56 PM

Hi Pete, David and all,

Yes, you are correct this is a Mess Waiter's button to the 35th (Royal Sussex) Regiment of Foot.

I also have a similar large open backed button with the same backmark which is 26.8mm in diameter. I have also seen a picture of a smaller version of the same button as well.

There is also a large Gilt version of the same button, which is on my 'wants list', which is believed to have been in use prior to the Silvered version.

Though as with most Mess Waiter buttons, as they were paid for out of Mess funds etc. and were to the Regiments own design, rather than an official (approved) design, there is very little accurate info on patterns/designs and periods of use.

A very nice Mess Waiter's button and not one you see very often. I am not surprised there was a lot on interest in it.

The second pair of buttons Pete showed are indeed as he stated the standard Mess Waiters buttons for the Royal Sussex Regiment. They are probably amongst the largest Mess Waiter buttons found with the large buttons generally having a diameter of 29-30mm, against the 25-26mm of most large sized mess waiter buttons.

Cheers and thanks for showing it.


Tiger Pete 10-07-19 08:10 AM

Hi Ian,

Thank you for your confirmation and additional information. I am delighted with everyone's input; another example of the forum at its best!

If I am correct with the date of 1875, there would only have been one Battalion of Royal Sussex at this time. This could suggest that the design changed over time to the other version shown. I cannot imagine that the Sergeants' mess would have employed a specific design (especially different to the officers'), but I am happy to be proved wrong on this.

Do you by any chance have the picture that you mentioned of the other size?

The size measurements tally with those of your own; I was not able to provide measurements when I wrote the opening post.

Kind Regards,


4966Ian 13-07-19 09:50 PM

Hello Pete,

Sorry to say, that I don't have a copy of the photo. I made a note of the fact that there was two sizes, but now can't remember where I got the info or saw the info.

The use of Mess Waiters buttons in Sergeants mess is a possibility. And would go some way to explaining why the same button design can be found in both Silver and Gilt. For post 1881 buttons - there is a thought that the different metals (Silver & Gilt) were used to signify the Mess of 1st and 2nd Battalions - but that is only guess work and is us trying to find a likely reason for the use of different metals. It could just be something as simple as one Colonel liked Gilt Buttons and the next Colonel liked Silver buttons.

As far as I know and I would love to be proved wrong - there is no known pattern of Mess Waiters button to the 107th Regt of Foot (Bengal Infantry) - which post 1881 made up the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment.

I will let you know if I come across any more info on the Mess waiter buttons of the Royal Sussex Regiment.



Tiger Pete 15-07-19 05:03 AM

Hi Ian,

Thank you for your reply. In lieu of any primary data, your suggestions are perfectly reasonable and likely.

I have not seen any such buttons to the 107th. I have seen a photo of locally employed civilians in India wearing sashes with large metal shields attached, but this was post amalgamation.

Kind Regards,


49lassiepen 15-07-19 01:03 PM

Pete just found R Sussex buttons nothing very exciting These have not seen the light of day for approx 15 years. Looks like líve sold/given away 2 on. the board
Iíve placed these in my for sale file for now

Tiger Pete 16-07-19 12:19 PM

Hi David,

A very nice selection! I have all of these and I am looking for the following:

1.) CP RVC Officer's Victorian crown in silver plate (large & small);
2.) CP RVC OR's & Officer's (if both existed) in blackened metal (large & small);
3.) 1st Sussex RVC in white metal with the word 'Sussex' instead of 'Brighton' (large & small), (Ripley 286);
4.) 6th Sussex RVC in black metal (large & small), (Ripley 288);
5.) 16th Sussex RVC in black metal (large & small), (Ripley 290) and;
6.) 17th Sussex RVC in silver (large & small), (Ripley 291).

If anyone has any of these to help me complete my collection, please feel free to contact me!

Kind Regards,


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