Privates in Marching Order 1840

Between 1840 and 1844 Spooner published their Oblong Series, drawn by M A Hayes and engraved by J Lynch. This one was no.10 in the series, titled 14th (or The King's) Light Dragoons. Heavy Marching Order. The quality of this print is poor so it may be a pirated version. The regiment was posted near Dorchester at this time, prior to embarking for India in April 1841. The two privates have stopped in a town and the mounted man is lighting a pipe from fire provided by a woman on the right. They wear the recent blue uniform adopted in 1840 to replace the scarlet coats worn in the 1830s. The colour in this print is too light; the uniform was a very dark blue. Because they were a royal regiment they had scarlet facings on collars, cuffs and tail turn-backs. The collars and cuffs are edged with yellow tape that forms a loop at the point of the cuff. The girdles are red and yellow striped and fastened with two buckles. The shoulders are protected by brass shoulder scales.

The mounted man has a carbine by his leg but it is not attached to the spring clip on the end of his pouch-belt. The standing private has fixed gloves to his clip. The white leather waist-belt supports a sword and a plain black leather sabretache. Across the right shoulder is a canvas haversack for food. They wear the bell-topped shako at this stage, but within a few years this would be changed to a straight-sided headdress. Their shakos have a waterproof covering but the caplines are attached to the right side and come under the left arm to attach to the front of the coat. Their horses have a shabraque with worsted embroidered corners. These are protected from the weather by turning the corner up and hooking it just below the black sheepskin saddle cover. Behind the saddle is a valise for the cloak, with embroidered lettering: 14 LD.

Regimental Details | Uniforms

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by Stephen Luscombe