Officer and Lance-Corporal 1886

This watercolour was painted primarily to show the campaign medals of the lance-corporal. The Greys contributed 37 men and 2 officers to the Heavy Camel Regiment that took part in the Gordon Relief Expedition of 1884-5. Eleven men of the Greys and one officer were killed at Abu Klea, five wounded. Taking into account other casualties in the Sudan at that time there would have been few men of the regiment left to show off their campaign medals.

Orlando Norie painted many scenes involving the Scots Greys but although he was a keen observer of uniform detail he has made at least two mistakes in this watercolour of an officer in stable dress and a lance-corporal in marching order.The first error made by the artist involves the officer's pill-box cap which is shown as having gold braid figuring around the button on the top of the cap. All photos of officers of the Greys clearly show that during the period covering the use of this cap, from c1860 to c1900 there was only the gold button, without braid.The second error is the rectangular brass waist-belt plate on the lance-corporal's belt.This was replaced before 1875 by the S-shaped snake clasp.The lance-corporal has another gold stripe, point upwards, on his left forearm which is a good-conduct stripe. Before 1881 this stripe was on the right forearm but was transferred to the left in that year.

Regimental Details | Uniforms

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by Stephen Luscombe