Postcard c1900

The colouring of this card is rather heavy-handed but accurate. The caption says: Signallers and Types, Queen's Bays, and has three figures. The right hand figure looks as if he is in charge, but is in fact a private, dressed, as the others are in the undress frock that was adopted c1898. It is scarlet with detachable white collar pieces and steel shoulder chains. He has a blue pillbox forage cap with a white cap-band. He has proficiency badges on his left sleeve for shooting and swordsmanship, and blue trousers with a broad white stripe for dismounted duties.

The right-hand figure is a Sergeant-Signaller who has three gold lace stripes with crossed flags above. These are on his right sleeve only, as can be seen in the accompanying photo. The angle of his stance shows us that the white tabs on his collar reach as far as the shoulder chains, and have a brass Bays badge. He is in breeches and knee boots with steel spurs. His blue and white field service cap was adopted by the Bays in the mid-1890s. On a tripod in front of him, is a heliograph, named after the Greek word for sun, ilios, as it uses sunlight to transmit messages. A signalling flag rests on a leather satchel draped on the tripod. Behind them is a mounted trooper, the same man who appears in the other postcard, Trooper in Marching Order 1900.

Photo of Types

This photo taken on the same day as the postcards shows the same men plus others, giving us a different view. We can see that the imposing figure of the private in trousers, on the left, has no rank badges on his right sleeve, and has no braiding on the top of his cap as some regiments had. Behind him is a trumpeter in marching order who features in his own postcard to be seen in the Band section of this site. He has a trumpeter's badge on his sleeve and has short gloves instead of gauntlets.

The Sergeant-Signaller in the foreground is adjusting the Heliograph mirror, and in this picture the telescope is included. His field service cap is worn at a steep angle but held on by a thin leather chin-strap. In this photo he has a haversack and water-bottle slung over his right shoulder.

Behind him is the same trooper in marching order, this time turned so that we can see the carbine in a holster behind his right leg. It appears that the lance was held in the right hand when on parade, but carried on the left side on the march. On the extreme left is the drumhorse which also appears on a postcard in the band section. The trumpeter and drummer wear the white leather pouchbelt while all the others have the ammunition bandolier.

Regimental details | Uniforms


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by Stephen Luscombe