Sergeant c1794

Percy Sumner made these sketches from contemporary drawings, the source of which I am unsure. It shows the blue uniform adopted by light dragoons from 1784 to replace the red coats. The blue jacket was two garments, a braided waist-length under-jacket and a sleeveless over-jacket, also braided. The light dragoon helmet, or Tarleton, was of stiffened leather and having a black bearskin crest, generally worn after 1788. The turban around the helmet was at first of the facing colour and later was black. The feather was also of the facing colour but changed later to white over red for all regiments. The white shoulder belts support a sword on the left side and the carbine on the right. The two stripes on his right arm indicate the rank of sergeant at this time. A painting by Stubbs of a sergeant of the 10th Light Dragoons 1790 shows two chevrons but separated. NCO badges of rank were not officially sanctioned until 1803. Sumner dates this coloured drawing as between 1793 and 1796. In 1793 the ammunition pouch changed from white to black. The date 1796 may be the upper date because of the change to the white over red plume on the helmet, although 1794 is the date generally accepted. The main problem with these dates is the orange colour of the facings. The regiment became the Duchess of York's Own on 26 July 1798 and it is generally acknowledged that the facings changed from yellow to orange after that date. But these drawings indicate that the change may have come earlier, some time after 1791 when the regiment escorted Frederike to London.

Regimental Details | Uniforms

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by Stephen Luscombe