17th Lancers

17th Lancers, 1832

An officer is shown here in full dress, mounted, during the short period when all the lancer regiments of the British army wore scarlet. The fall lancer capalways white-topped for this regiment - is heavily gold-laced, and upon a rayed gilt plate on the front it carries the regimental device in silver, incorporating the skull and crossed bones with the motto on a label beneath "OR GLORY." The plume is of black cock's tail feathers. Note the false peak at the back.

The collar, cuffs and stripe in the gold-laced shoulder belt are white - the regimental facing colour.The shoulder belt has silver pickers, spikes shaped like arrows and attached by chains to a mount. These were used to ram into the touch-holes of captured guns, thus making them unserviceable. Hence the phrase "to spike their guns."

The elegant saddle-cloth combines the Royal Cypher "WR" over crossed lances, surmounted by a crown, with the regimental device and number below. With suitable change of cypher, this was worn until 1914.

17th Lancers: Uniforms | Regimental details


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by Stephen Luscombe