65a Coldstream Guards 1854
Set 65a is an add-on to set 65 and comprises a set of six Coldstream Guards (1854) soldiers all marching at slope. The uniform of the Guards has come to represent the traditional toy soldier; Red Tunic with white belts, blue trousers, bearskin hat, backpack and pattern 53 Enfield rifle.
Founded in 1650, and named the Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards from 1678, the Regiment's name was officially changed to the Coldstream Guards in 1855. On the commencement of the Crimean War (1854-56), the 1st Battalion of the Coldstream Guards was soon in action at the Battle of the Alma, where the objective for the British were two Russian redoubts. Initial attacks fell into confusion on both sides, and into this were brought the Guards who ‚'advanced in beautiful order-a well-dressed steady line as perfect as though it was in Hyde Park.'
Riding with the Coldstreams was the Guards Commander, the Duke of Cambridge, and so fierce was the fighting it was feared ‚'The Brigade will be destroyed', It was then that Sir Colin Campbell made his famous speech to the Duke, "Better, sir that every man in Her Majesty's Guards should be dead upon the field than that they should turn their backs upon the enemy". Then leading the Guards and the Highland Brigade they carried all before them with the enemy in full retreat.
The Coldstream Guards went on to fight at Inkerman (1854) and Sevastopol (1855). On its return from the Crimea, four men of the regiment were awarded the newly instituted Victoria Cross.