Other Ranks in Camp 1898

The illustration here appears to be based on close observation of the uniform and equipment. It shows two scarlet clad privates of the 5th Dragoon Guards in camp somewhere in Britain, with a blue-clad sergeant of the 7th Dragoon Guards. The scarlet undress frock has replaced the dress tunic for field days and manoeuvres. There were different versions of this garment but this one has green collar and cuffs and the steel shoulder chains that had been taken into use by Indian cavalry regiments some years before. The serge frock with chains was introduced in 1898 for the British cavalry, but what is difficult to explain is the timing. The 5th Dragoon Guards served in India from 1893 to 1899 and then they went on to South Africa to serve in the Boer War until 1902. They then went back to India, not returning to Britain until 1908.

The other odd aspect to this illustration is the carbine held by the man in the foreground. It is a Martini Henry which was introduced in 1878 and converted in the early 1890s by changing the barrel. In 1894 they were using a bolt action, magazine Lee-Metford and two years later the Lee-Enfield. The 7th DG sergeant wears a side cap that was introduced around 1895 so this view of a camp in Britain cannot be pre-1893.

Regiment | Uniforms

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by Stephen Luscombe