Bandsman and Bugler c1910

Harry Payne's painting of a sergeant gives us a useful look at the back view of a bandsman's uniform as he chats to a bugler. The two uniforms of these musicians can be compared because there were marked differences. The bugler has the same pattern tunic as drummers in the infantry, with white tape of the crown-and-inch pattern on his collar, each side of his sleeves and up the back seams. The shoulder straps are blue like the sergeant's but the wings are red and stripped with the crown lace. A red and white fringe decorates the edge of the wing. His blue pointed cuff is edged with red and white piping. Up until 1902 the dress tunic had the round jam-pot cuffs without an edging, although the undress frock had pointed cuffs as seen in the 1890 photo. The green cord and tassels of his bugle can be seen but they are not, at this stage, formed into decorative plaits and fixed tassels as they became later.

The band musician has a simpler dress tunic with unfringed wings. He has no crown lace on the sleeves or back seams, and his wings are decorated with plain white tape. His collar and cuffs are edged in white and we can see that he has a white edge to the top of his collar whereas the sergeant does not. The back of his tunic skirts shows the false pocket flaps with white edging and 3 buttons on each side. This style of vent was similar to that of the Guards and replaced the former pre-1902 straight vent, for all ranks. The white shoulder belt is cavalry-style and has a white pouch on the back for sheet music. The badge on the pouch was usually slightly different from the regimental badge. Both he and the bugler have special musician's short swords in frogs attached to the waist-belt. The back of the bandsman's belt has dark lines which are unexplained. All these men wear the green cloth covered home service helmet with brass fittings.

Regimental Details | Musicians and Drummers


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by Stephen Luscombe