Officers in Undress 1880

These figures are a part of a large water-colour by Simkin which shows different types and scenes of the Queen's Bays. It is dated August 1880 so that the uniforms have the pre-1881 characteristics. The shoulder cords on the stable jacket worn by the right-hand officer are the simple twisted type that were changed at the end of 1880 to the stiff plaited gold cords with silver embroidered rank badges. The jacket is the same as the mess jacket seen at Mess Kit pre-1880. He wears it with an undress pouchbelt that has the dress pouch on the back. Under the jacket is a webbing waistbelt that has white leather slings attached for the sabretache and sword. The swordknot on the hilt is the same as in dress, white leather with a gold acorn end. He has gold laced breeches and knee boots, short white gloves and a gold-banded blue pillbox forage cap.

The other officer is in the smart blue frockcoat. This sometimes had the white sword belt worn over it but he is unarmed, carrying a cane and wearing short white gloves. The frockcoat has six rows of flat-braided loops across the chest, and on the collar, cuffs and back seams. Only field officers wore rank badges, on the collar. After 1880 the rank badges were worn by all officers above the rank of sub-lieutenant (the rank of cornet was abolished in 1871). This officer wears trousers or overalls instead of breeches as he is in dismounted order, although, being a cavalry officers he still has silver-metal spurs.

Regimental details | Uniforms


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by Stephen Luscombe