Sergeants and Warrant Officers 1898

The rank of Warrant Officer was introduced in 1881. Before that the RSM would have been 1st Class Staff. The two warrant officers in this photo are identifiable by their gold laced stable jackets, sitting either side of two officers in frockcoats. The WO on the right with a short stick on his lap is the bandmaster, who has no badge. The other WO is the RSM who has a very small embroidered crown badge just above the point of the cuff on his right arm. The jovial looking man next to him is the Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant (RQMS) with four inverted chevrons and an 8-pointed star badge over his Eagle badge. It should be noted that all the sergeants wear Eagle badges but the WOs do not. Next to the bandmaster is the Farrier Quartermaster Sergeant (FQMS). His badges are not clear but he has a horseshoe badge and a silver Eagle badge on the point of his chevrons. Other Farrier Staff Sergeants are standing behind him and it seems that the farriers observed the custom of wearing the Eagle badge on the chevrons rather than above. The collars on the stable jackets indicate rank in that sergeants and 2nd Class Staff Sergeants have gold lace on the top and front of the collar while 1st Class Staff Sergeants have an additional slimmer gold lace or cord along the base of the collar.

The two men lying down awkwardly in front are, on the right, the Sergeant Trumpeter (formerly Trumpet Major before 1881) with inverted chevrons on his forearm, and on the left the band sergeant. Both sergeants have extra braid on their cuffs forming a trefoil. All are wearing the pill-box forage cap on the right side of the head with a slim leather strap. The officers have gold zig-zag lace and the sergeants have zig-zag lace but duller in appearance. The rank and file had white zig-zags and it is assumed that the senior NCOs had gold but it is definitely not bright gold like the officers. The warrant officers have brighter gold than the sergeants and somewhat different shapes. I have not had the opportunity to see actual examples of senior NCO pill-box caps so cannot explain exactly what material was used for the cap-bands.

Regimental Details | Uniforms

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by Stephen Luscombe