Drummer c1763

The painting of the mounted drummer and private of the 15th Light Dragoons is by David Morier and is part of a collection at Wilton House, featured (in monochrome) in the Journal of the Society of Army Historical Research no 74 in 1940. The coloured illustration on the right is by Pierre Turner, taken from British Cavalry Uniforms Since 1660 by Michael Barthorp. The musicians at this time wore reverse coloured coats so that the coat was green with red collar and cuffs. But the striking feature is the profusion of red and white lace. There are also hanging sleeves behind his shoulders with red and white chevron shapes. The shabraque is green with an edging of white lace with a red centre.

The drum has a stag and hound device which is also found on the regimental Guidons. There is a motto underneath: THE SWIFT, THE VIGILANT AND BOLD. It has been suggested that this is the crest of the Eliotts but it is not recorded at the Heralds College. The use of the drum was an infantry custom for communicating orders. And since dragoons were originally mounted infantry it was thought that they should also use the drum. But this drummer had a short existence in the 15th because an order of 1764 forbade the use of the drum and insisted on a brass trumpet instead.

Regimental details | Band

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by Stephen Luscombe