Officer's Helmet, post 1871

The heavy cavalry helmet introduced in 1871 replaced the 1847 type which was basically the same shape. This simplified but elegant helmet has survived as the final full dress head-dress up to modern times. A very similar design is used by today's Household Cavalry, dragoon guard bands and yeomanry regiments. Dragoon guards and dragoons were differentiated by the colour of the metal used. The former had gilt metal helmets and the latter had silver metal. The only silver pieces on the dragoon guard helmets were the hobnail 12-pointed star and the royal cypher in the middle. Around the cypher was the gilt garter inscribed THE PRINCESS ROYAL'S DRAGOON GUARDS.

The plume holder and laurel-leaf decoration above the peak were also gilt as was the oak-leaf decoration up the back seam and the edging around the front and back peak. The gilt chin-chain was lined with black velvet and attached to the sides of the helmet with rose-shaped devices. The black and white plume was now made more obvious so that it could be seen from the front. On top of the falling horsehair plume was a gilt rosette. The plume could be removed when the regiment was in marching order.

Regiment | Uniforms


Armed Forces | Art and Culture | Articles | Biographies | Colonies | Discussion | Glossary | Home | Library | Links | Map Room | Sources and Media | Science and Technology | Search | Student Zone | Timelines | TV & Film | Wargames |

by Stephen Luscombe