Mounted Officer and Men c1823

The first uniform worn by the newly converted 8th Hussars was silver laced. Of the four original hussar regiments in the British army, two were gold laced (the 7th and 10th) and two were silver laced (the 15th and 18th). By 1821 the 18th had been disbanded, so the 8th replaced it.

The 8th Light Dragoons had been in India since 1803 and during that time had adopted a plain blue uniform with red facings and gold epaulettes. So the new hussar uniform was a radical and extravagant change. The jacket was all blue and heavily braided with silver dead gold gimp and Russia braid. The blue pelisse was decorated similarly. In dress they wore scarlet cossacks but on field days, as here depicted, they wore blue-grey cossacks. The dress regulations stipulated a lace stripe but this painting by Denis Dighton shows a double red stripe.

The impressive hussar cap was of black beaver and regulations stated that it should be 8.5 inches deep. The silver lace around the top was formed into interlinking circles. There was a silver socket on top to hold the black drooping cock-tail feathers. The horse furniture was very elaborate, having a heavily embroidered shabraque and a bridle with cowrie shell decoration. The sabretache was red faced with silver lace and embroidery mixed with gold.

Uniforms | Regimental details


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by Stephen Luscombe