Mounted Private 1880


This contemporary watercolour by Simkin, dated August 1880 is probably based on observation and sketches made on the spot. The helmet is the 1871 version which was brass for the dragoon guards, and white metal for the dragoon regiments. The Queen's Bays had a black plume, the badge on the front being a silver star with a white metal 2 in the middle. The tunic, up until 1864 had yellow button loops on the white facings but after that date the braided Austrian knot was used on pointed cuffs, with white braid being the distinction of the Queen's Bays. The braid can just be seen coming out of the gauntlet. The regimental facings which had been buff since the middle of the 19th century had become white, or at least light cream, at some stage and this was reflected in the white braid which was also worn on the collar edging and back skirts. The Queen's Bays qualified as being a 'Royal' regiment and therefore entitled to blue facings but they were proud of the buff which had been worn by the regiment since the early 18th century, apart from the 70 year period when they wore black.

This trooper has shoulder straps of the facing colour with 2 D G embroidered in red. The buttons are brass. The white straps crossed on his upper body are the white leather pouch belt and a white canvas strap for the haversack. The black leather pouch for the carbine ammunition has a brass crown badge in the centre. The Martini Henry carbine was carried in the upright holster behind his right leg. Behind that can be seen a coiled white rope which is wound around a picket, used to tether the horse in the open. Behind that are the shiny circular mess tins which were previously strapped to the top of the valise behind the saddle. The red ends of the valise, which contained his cloak, are embroidered with 2 D G in white. We can see the tip of his sword scabbard hanging on the near side of the horse. This is suspended from the left side of his waistbelt, it wasn't until 1891 that the scabbard was attached to the saddle.


Regimental details | Uniforms




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by Stephen Luscombe