Officer c1803

From the late 1890s the light dragoons wore the blue waist-length braided jacket which for the 14th had silver braid and buttons, and orange collar and cuffs. With this was worn a wide crimson barrel sash around the waist. The collar was high and worn with a black cravat tied around the upright white shirt collar. This drawing is stated to be of Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel Hawker in both Bryan Perrett's and L B Oatts's histories of the regiment, but it has little resemblance with the portrait of him in the 1830s. The coloured print is taken from the Royal Collection which titles it as the Prince of Wales. This is confirmed by the Garter Star badge on his left breast. Other states of the print have removed the badge. The Prince was more associated with the 10th Light Dragoons and it would be expected that he would wear their uniform, but the 10th had yellow facings and these are orange. The similarity of the light dragoon uniforms of the period allowed print makers to change the colouring to alter the title of the print. Like other caricatures of the period by Robert Dighton this figure wears a huge light dragoon Tarleton helmet. The bearskin crest has more volume than before and the plume is about 2 feet long. It is now white over red, having changed from orange c1794. The turban is a light blue colour here which agrees with some portraits of 14th officers of this period, although the Edridge portrait of John Egerton shows a black turban and others have a leopard skin turban. The Egerton drawing shows the other side of the helmet which has a badge with the eagle in the middle. Around 1805 the officers wore the pouch-belt for pistol ammunition, at first of white leather and later of gold lace. His sword is slung from a waist-belt that is worn low on the hip, pulled down by the sabretache. The belt is of light brown leather embroidered in silver. The back of the sabretache is shown here, but other portraits display the front which is of blue cloth with a star badge that has the Prussian eagle, and a crown above. The curved light dragoon sword, which proved so ineffectual in the Peninsula War, has a curved handle and long gold sword knot.

Regimental Details | Uniforms

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by Stephen Luscombe