King's Dragoon Guards


Captain in India and China, 1857 - 1860


The 1st, 2nd and 3rd Dragoon Guards were sent to India on the outbreak of the Mutiny. Our heavy cavalry had not served there before so were unprepared for the climate. This officer has an early pattern tunic that was worn by heavy cavalry after the change from the tailed coatee. This is the full dress tunic despite fact that he is on campaign. The blue velvet cuff is simply decorated with a gold lace chevron, this changed to the more ornate gold cord Austrian knot after 1870. The blue velvet collar is rounded at the front and bordered with gold lace. On the old coatee, the badges of rank were on the fringed epaulettes. The tunic only had thin gild cord twists so rank badges went on the collar. The crown and pip denote the rank of captain at this time. There were three arrangements of rank badges: one pip for a cornet, one crown for a lieutenant, a crown and pip for a captain. Field officers had an extra band of lace along the bottom of the collar so that the collar looked almost completely gold. The rank badges would then go back to the beginning: one pip for a major, one crown for a lieutenant-colonel and a crown and pip for a colonel. The helmet (see Officer and Helmet 1864) is the full dress, home service type with the red plume removed and a pagri wrapped round it. Beards were fashionable in the army after the Crimean War. The brown boots were non regulation.


Regiment | Uniforms




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by Stephen Luscombe