Officer and Troop c1814

The radical change of uniform style for the light dragoons took place around 1812. Following the accession of the Prince of Wales as Prince Regent and the re-appointment of his brother, the Duke of York, as Commander-in-Chief, in 1811, a board of officers was ordered to recommend changes in the clothing of the cavalry. The Peninsula campaign had highlighted many problems with the uniforms and change was needed. The resulting new dress was authorised by a Royal Warrant dated 12 March 1812, and revised on 17 August. But many regiments did not complete the changes until 1814.

The 20th changed their facings colour from yellow to orange in 1809 while still wearing the old style braided jacket. At the same time the braid for officers was changed to gold instead of silver. The new jacket introduced c1812 was still blue but had a plastron front in the orange facing colour to match the collar, cuffs and turn-backs. Gold epaulettes were worn by officers and a new style gold laced pouch-belt with orange stripe. Around the officer's waist was a gold and crimson girdle instead of a crimson sash. The new headgear was a shako with gold lace and a plume at the front and cap-lines attached to the body in case it fell off. Sabretaches may have been worn before 1812 but regulations insisted on dress sabretaches for officers and plain black ones for the men. This original watercolour by Brennen shows two officers riding out in front of the Troop, with guidon flying.

Regimental Details | Uniforms


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by Stephen Luscombe