Mounted Trumpeter Postcard c1901

The colouring of this postcard is of better quality than the others of the series. Here, the trumpeter sounds the bugle while the trumpet is tucked under his arm. There was one trumpeter for each troop and they all came under the sergeant-trumpeter. The commanding officer had one trumpeter that rode near him to be ready to pass on commands with the sound of the bugle. The commands were: Forward, Trot, Gallop, Charge, To the Left, To the Right, Halt, Fire, Cease Fire etc.

It seems that carrying both trumpet and bugle would be an unnecessary encumbrance for the trumpeter. Traditionally the trumpet was the cavalry instrument while the bugle, starting life as a light infantry means of transmitting orders, became associated with all infantry. Infantry buglers were called drummers and cavalry buglers were called trumpeters. The bugle was much easier to carry and use when mounted so was adopted by the cavalry in that role. The trumpet was still used in camp and barracks when the trumpeter was on foot. So the carrying of both instruments while riding had its problems but tradition superseded practicality.

Regimental details | Musicians and Drumhorses


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by Stephen Luscombe