Private 1856

The photographers Howlett and Cundell recorded some of the men who fought in the Crimea and titled their album Crimean Heroes 1856. Private Macnamara was photographed twice, one picture can be seen at Rough-Rider Macnamara, the other is less formal and gives us a better view of his rough-rider spur badge. It is embroidered with gold wire and probably on a green velvet backing. A similar badge is used by riding instructors in the household cavalry today but is inverted so that the spur points upwards. He has stripes on his right sleeve which are for long service and good conduct. After 1881 they were placed on the left forearm. He has the two usual Crimean medals and gleaming white gloves and pouchbelt. The shoulder strap is green velvet with yellow edges. His brass helmet is the pattern worn between 1848 and 1871. The Dress Regulations state that the helmets in the heavy dragoons should have different colour falling horsehair plumes for each regiment. The 5th Dragoon Guards were supposed to have white over red but Macnamara is wearing the black plume as worn by all the heavy regiments before the Crimean war.

Regiment | Uniforms

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by Stephen Luscombe