This fine photo of SSM Brearley was sent to us in 2010 by Janet Mullins and Barbara Kelly, his grand-daughters who live in Australia.
Brearley was promoted to sergeant in 1904 and served in England and Ireland until September 1907 when he transferred from the 11th to the 13th Hussars and sailed to India. The rank badges on his right arm are three gold lace chevrons on crimson cloth with an embroidered badge above which is the regimental badge of the Prince Consort's Crest and Motto. NCOs took to wearing the Crest as an arm badge around 1880. This was a silver metal badge worn on the stripes. By the mid 1890s the senior NCOs were wearing embroidered badges like the one seen here. Brearley was promoted to Squadron Sergeant-Major, presumably in 1906 or early 1907 whilst he was still wearing 11th Hussar uniform, at the age of 26.
The tunic that he wears is very smart but it is undress uniform and was called a frock, or serge frock. It is dark blue and was worn with the full dress crimson breeches or trousers. The buttons were brass and the shoulder chains were silver metal. On each side of the collar are small regimental badges in the distinctive shape of the Prince Consort's Crest. The cuffs, of the same blue material, are pointed and are clearly edged in a material which looks also to be the same colour. There are two brass buttons on each cuff. Above the cuff on the left sleeve are two skill at arms badges; crossed rifles to indicate that he is a marksman, and crossed swords to denote that he is the best swordman out of 20 men.
Regimental Details | Uniforms