Officer 1840

The order for the change of uniform of the light dragoons was dated 29 June 1840. The scarlet coatee with blue collar, cuffs and turnbacks had to be changed to a blue coatee with red facings. The gold lace and braid remained as before. This must have been frustrating and expensive for officers who joined the regiment shortly before the change. The epaulettes probably remained as before apart from the backing cloth which was the same as the colour of the coat. The pouch-belt had to have a red central stripe and edges, with the waist-belt and slings to match. The portrait shows the trousers as having a red line in the middle of the double gold stripes down the outside seam. This is a mistake by the artist. This uniform lasted until 1855, but we can date the portrait to 1840 because of the shako he is holding. It is the old style bell-topped shako with a plaited gold festoon across the front. The puzzling thing about it is the badge on the front, which, although obscured by the white feathers, appears to be a Maltese cross superimposed on a star. In 1822 the bell-topped shako was described as being 11 inches in diameter at the top while the 1845 Dress Regulations call for a shako 8 inches in diameter.

Regimental Details | Uniforms

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by Stephen Luscombe