SWORD BELT, SWORD & SABRETACHE SLINGS
Photographic evidence shows that heavy cavalry officers had begun to wear their sword belts under the tunic (like hussars & lancers) since the mid eighteen-seventies and it had become universal by 1881. The waist belt had by then become, in essence, a girdle which was the way it was described in Dress Regulations of 1894. At the same time a white canvas belt, reinforced with black leather along with a similar cross-belt for support was described. It was illustrated as a diagram in the 1900 Regulations. . One imagines that, for comfort sake, the cross-belt was not often worn.
The sword and sabretache slings were of regimental gold lace patterns edged in Morocco leather in regimental facing colour and backed with velvet. The illustration shows how they were attached to the sword belt. (See Plate 14)
THE SWORD, SCABBARD & SWORD KNOTS
Heavy cavalry officers had essentially been carrying the same sword pattern since 1821. It had been modified in 1834 when the “Honeysuckle” hilt was introduced and again in 1856 when another scroll hilt was adopted by some regiments. In 1887 the same sword was modified with a stronger blade and the honeysuckle hilt also strengthened and made standard for all cavalry. Hussars, however still managed to hang on to their three-bar hilted light cavalry sabre until 1897.
The sword knot was intended to be worn on the wrist to prevent losing the sword in action. While this was certainly the case for swords carried by other ranks, like much that officers wore at this time, their sword knots were largely decorative. Most regiments knots ended in basket-woven gold lace acorns, but the Royal Scots Greys had a thistle. The 1st, 2nd, 4th & 5th Dragoon Guards had white leather straps attached to the acorn, while the 3rd & 6th Dragoon Guards and the Royal Dragoons had gold lace cords. The 7th Dragoon Guards had a black line woven into the cord and acorn while the 6th Inniskilling Dragoons had a crimson line. (See Plate 15)