Privates 1871

The artist who painted this watercolour is not known and the date is not stated but it must be 1871, the year that boots and breeches replaced the leathered trousers. The mutton-chop whiskers also place it as early 1870s. The mounted figure is in dress uniform, although he has no white feather plume in his bearskin cap. His sword is attached to the white leather slings attached to his white waist-belt. The rings on the scabbard are not fixed either side at the top as they would be later in the early 1880s. The attaching of the sword to the saddle also came 20 years later in 1891. Up until c1871 the shabraque for the heavy cavalry horses was discontinued, but the officers continued to have them.

The standing figure looking sternly at the mounted private would appear to be a sergeant-major, but he has no rank badges on his right arm and is therefore also a private. He has an undress forage cap which is much lower than the one worn by the RSM in the 1860 photo. It has the white zig-zag cap-band and a red tourie on top. His stable jacket is scarlet with blue facings and a yellow shoulder cord. His trousers are for dismounted order, blue with a broad yellow stripe. He carries a riding whip and has short white gloves, so is probably dressed for walking out.

Regimental Details | Uniforms

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by Stephen Luscombe