Officers c1886

This scene in camp by Orlando Norie shows three orders of dress. The left hand officer is in field order with greatcoat and cape for foul weather. His trousers are tucked into black gaiters, and his sword hilt protrudes from an opening in the coat.

The central figure is in parade order with dress tunic and helmet. The helmet, worn from 1878 onwards, was for light infantry covered in dark green cloth. The scarlet tunic has blue facings and the cuffs are pointed with captain's gold lace and braid. Other ranks, from 1881, had round 'jam-pot' cuffs. His waist-belt is white with a regimental clasp. The gold belt was worn for levees and ceremonial state occasions. His trousers are blue with a quarter inch welt of scarlet down the outside seam. The officer is in the act of hooking up his sword so that it does not trail on the ground.

The officer on the right is in undress mounted order. The most striking thing is his forage cap which has a red band. The top of the cap is dark green and the peak is vertical rather than horizontal as in the group photo of 1872. The red band was worn on forage caps of regiments with royal status, as stipulated in Dress Regulations, but a photo of Colonel Thomas Cary who commanded the 1st Btn 1885-87 shows him wearing a cap with the more normal black silk cap-band in the oak-leaf pattern. This cap became obsolete for light infantry within 10 years. He has a blue patrol jacket, and his sword is slung from a hidden web waist-belt, along with a plain black sabretache supported on three slings. His rank badges could be a crown and star indicating that he is the CO, or two stars for a captain in which case he is the adjutant.

Regimental Details | Uniforms


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by Stephen Luscombe