Other Ranks in Bivouac 1815

James Howe's painting of the Scots Greys in bivouac is a valuable source of information on the dress of the dragoons during the Waterloo campaign. The main item of interest is the undress cap worn by the other ranks. It is a blue Tam o'Shanter type cap with a red tourie on top and a red cap band decorated with a yellow zig-zag. In Brennan's collection there is a copy of a miniature of Cornet Walker in an undress blue cap which has a red cap band with a gold vandyke lace on the lower part.

One man near the cooking pot has sergeant's stripes. Rank badges for NCOs were instituted in 1795 with two stripes for a sergeant. In 1803 they had three stripes. A man behind him is in shirt sleeves, but the man smoking a pipe in the foreground has a white undress jacket. The grey overalls have two blue stripes with buttons down the middle. The mounted dragoons on the right of the picture are in marching order. The rolled cloak on the front of the saddle has a string sack strapped on top.This is to collect forage for the horses. The bearskin caps are uncovered and have the white plume which would normally be removed. All the men have moustaches which at that time was a distinction of the Hussars, but the Scots Greys were the only heavy cavalry regiment to have them.

Regimental Details | Uniforms

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by Stephen Luscombe