Officer, Undress 1898

These two images, both by Richard Simkin, show officers of the 8th Hussars wearing serge frocks before and after 7th February 1898 when the new patterns were approved for cavalry officers. The officer on the right wears the new frock which had no belt and four outside, and four inside, pockets. The top pockets had gilt buttons which replaced blue buttons. The most significant alteration was the addition of steel shoulder chains which were at first attached to red backing cloth but later changed to blue. These chain-mail shoulders originated in India in the mid 19th century when curb chains from bridles were sewn on the non-regulation frocks for protection from sword cuts.

Collar badges were also taken into wear, and the scarlet field service cap, which now had a black leather chin strap. The officer in the new kit also has his full dress pouch-belt and sword and sabretache. Photos of officers of the regiment on cavalry manoeuvres in 1894 show them wearing the pre-1898 frock with the dress busby, and also the dress pouchbelt, and sword and sabretache apparently slung with gold laced straps.

Uniforms | Regimental details


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by Stephen Luscombe