Military Patchwork, British

Artist unkown

around 1870


Height: 254.5 cm

This patchwork was made for the 98th (Prince of Wales’s) Regiment of Foot, as indicated by the regiment’s colours and ‘XCVIII’ inscribed on the Union flag in the centre. The 98th served in India between 1858 and 1867 and in Ireland from 1870 till 1873. It was stationed in Malta when, in 1881, it was amalgamated with the 64th Regiment to form The Prince of Wales’s North Staffordshire Regiment. Its present-day descendant is The Mercian Regiment.

Made with various scraps of military material, the patchwork may have been produced by convalescing soldiers at a field hospital. The initials ‘V.R.’ (Victoria Regina) and the crown honour the reigning monarch. The two central flags are the regimental colours, below which are stitched two crossed rifles, a badge that was awarded to the best shot in the regiment.