Corps of Guides

Indian Officers, 1880

These men look thoroughly professional and self-assured as indeed they should have, being the cream of the elite cavalry unit. They all wear the drab coloured kurta with red facings and beige silk lace and braid. On their chest there were three rows of lace traced round with braid that formed close circles. The cuffs are elaborately braided, becoming more so with each ascending rank. The highest ranking officer here is the one seated on the right, holding a mameluke sword. He would be a risaldar-major. A cord hangs round their necks attaching to the butt of a pistol in a holster. They have a small ammunition pouch on the front of the belt and a three bar hilted sword. Their epaullettes are small cords that do not carry badges of rank. These would be replaced in ten years time by the more familiar chain-mail epaullettes. The turbans of Indian troops tended to be more loosely tied at this time, but it is still possible to distinguish between sikhs and pathans (the seated figure on the left looks very much like a pathan while the man standing next to him in a white beard is a sikh).

Uniforms | Regimental History


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by Stephen Luscombe