Field Officer 1866

By the mid 1860s the uniforms were more regulated to make the men look less wild. The illustration here is based on photos of the officers of the regiment. This officer is the Commandant, Major H L Campbell. Photos show him both in white breeches and dark coloured breeches. In a group photo showing British and Native Officers they wear the dark breeches with either blue tunics or alkalaks. Facings are red at this stage, reflecting the distinctive colour used by Hodson when he raised the regiment. The gold lace and braid on the sleeves is in the same pattern as used by British light dragoon regiments, and denotes the rank of major and above.

The red collar is only suggested here as the photos do not show the detail which is covered by a beard. It is unlikely that so much red would be visible. It is fair to assume that the collar would be similar to that worn by field officers of British light dragoon regiments, that is, laced along top and bottom with swirling braid loops all around the collar. His red and gold pouchbelt has no chains and pickers as they are a cavalry regiment as opposed to a lancer regiment. The illustrator has given him a plain black pouch which is also unlikely as the Indian Cavalry regiments invariably had ornately embroidered pouches.

The black braid that hangs across his chest is of black mohair and was peculiar to Bengal and Punjab cavalry. It was inspired by French and Belgian cavalry uniform. The shoulders have shoulder chains, another Indian cavalry peculiarity which later was adopted by British regiments. The embroidered red kummerbund and red pagri wrapped around the white helmet had been worn since the raising of the regiment

Uniforms | Regimental History

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by Stephen Luscombe