John Henry Kirke (1833–1892) wore this patrol jacket when it was introduced in 1867. He served with the 19th Regiment on active service during the Crimean War and in the aftermath of India’s First War of Independence. He earned the Crimean campaign medal and Turkish medal during his service, the ribbons of which are displayed on the front of the jacket. His obituary describes him as an intensely private man, only well known to a small circle of family and close friends.
As the name suggests, the jacket was worn when on active service and is therefore cut more practically. It is a loose garment with a plaquet inserted into both side seams to allow for a greater range of movement. The jacket is not shaped, unlike more formal garments, with only a small amount of lining added across the shoulders and down the centre of the back. No additional padding has been included and so it feels considerably thinner than earlier uniforms. Further room for movement is allowed for in the sleeves and shoulders. The shoulder seams are cut slightly off the shoulder while the sleeves are cut wide and straight. This results in excess fabric around the elbow but allows greater range of movement.
Decoration is provided in the form of braid on the front, sleeves and back of the jacket. The braid on the front of the jacket is known as frogging. It is this which gives the garment an appearance of shape by graduating the braid so that it is shorter towards the waist. Needle-lace toggles are simply a decorative method to fasten the garment; behind them is a row of hooks and eyes.