Summer Drill Order 1901

This reproduction of a watercolour by Simkin is taken from Y W Carman's book on uniforms based on the work of military artist Richard Simkin (1850-1926). The picture is inscribed 'Summer Drill Order 1901' and is said by Bill Carman to be 'one of the most informative paintings made by Richard Simkin, for it covers... uniforms that he must have observed personally.' The Queen's Bays were distinguished by this combination of the wide brimmed hat worn with the scarlet frock and dress breeches. It was adopted shortly before they embarked for South Africa in 1901, and although other Boer War units adopted the slouch hat the Bays wore theirs with the brim down instead of fixed up on one side. Mr Carman offers no explanation for this regimental distinction. Michael Mann's history of 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards is no more helpful on this point.

The regiment arrived in South Africa in December 1901 and were issued with rifles and bayonets. However, it seems, from this picture, that they spent the months previous to embarkation training with the shorter cavalry carbine. The mounted officer has his sword attached to the front of the saddle, an unusual place to have it. He has a white leather undress pouch-belt instead of the ammunition bandolier.

Regimental details | Uniforms


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by Stephen Luscombe