Mounted Officer 1892


The back view of the officer's uniform shows the decoration on the back seams of the tunic which was made up of a double line of gold chain gimp forming trefoils at the top and Austrian knots on the skirt, with netted gold caps at the waist. The gimp was traced all around with Russia braid to give the decoration more volume The officer in this Simkin watercolour is a captain. He has two stars on each shoulder and extra braiding on his cuff knot. The busby is the later version, 1.5 inches shorter than the previous busby of the early 1880s. It has a yellow plume on the front made of egret feathers, 13 inches high. The other ranks have yellow plumes of horsehair. In 1891, the CO, Lord Beaumont had requested that the regiment change from crimson plumes to yellow, and his request was granted. He financed the change out of his own pocket. The horsehair throat plume on the bridle is also yellow but the date of the change of this item from crimson is not known. This picture is a detail from a larger painting photographed at Tidworth in 2001. The whole painting is reproduced below, as well as a drawing that was published in the Graphic in 1892.

Simkin's large scale painting of the 20th Hussars on a field day shows the men forming up and others cantering towards them to join the ranks. A trumpeter is sounding the call for them to form up for orders to be given by the officer. They are not in marching order and appear to be dressed for inspection.

This cutting came with other pictures of the 20th Hussars from an old collection. It is based on Simkin's painting but has been changed to show Hussars Scouting. The men are in marching order as can be seen from the trumpeter's kit. He has a rolled greatcoat on the back of his saddle and mess tins just below it. He has a haversack over his right shoulder, and the plume on his busby is removed. The officer carries little in the way of extra equipment but has no plume on his busby, and is holding binoculars. As can be seen from the pencilled notes this drawing was published in the Graphic on 20 Aug 1892. There is a monogram in the lower left corner RS for Richard Simkin.


Regimental Details | Uniforms




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by Stephen Luscombe