The field service cap worn by the British Army has been well described in the same section of the Heavy Cavalry article. For hussars, the first pattern cap (also known as “Torin” or “Austrian” pattern) was also to be dark blue except for the 11th Hussars, whose cap was crimson and the 15th Hussars where it was scarlet. The edges and top were trimmed in gold Russia braid.
Early on the 13th Hussars had caps made with white bodies and it is not known whether the 3rd Hussars adopted red ones. The 19th Hussars followed the 13th with white bodies and blue crowns and the 20th and 21st did the same with crimson and French Grey respectively. It appears that the “New” hussar regiments were eager to distinguish themselves from their established colleagues. One myth that persists is that, sometime after 1885, all hussars except the 11th and 13th were to wear scarlet caps. This actually did not happen until 1898.
As early as the 1883 regulations, a “Regimental” badge was ordered to be worn on the cap. This was less of a problem for Infantry as they already had badges designated in the dress regulations. Cavalry regiments, however, did not have readily available cap badges and although some regiments chose at first not to wear any badge or adopted to wear the Royal Cypher, this was less than distinctive. The cavalry were certainly not short of badges. Pouches, shoulder belts, sabretaches, shabracques and other items all bore regimental devices. For some regiments whose sergeants wore arm badges there appeared to be a solution. The 3rd, 8th, 10th, 11th and 14th Hussars all wore cap badges that were similar to the sergeants. The 3rd Hussars adopted the rearing horse badge which became also their first collar badge which would later change to the “long” horse badge. The 19th Hussars had their elephant, which was certainly used as a cap badge. Some badges, however are a little more difficult to identify. I have not seen a badge for the 4th or 7th Hussars although the badges used on the later field caps may have been already in use. The 13th Hussars may have used the puggaree badge authorised for use by other ranks in 1890 (probably in brass) It became their collar badge in 1898, so it is likely they used it on the field cap. In looking at photographs of officer groups in the 18th and 21st Hussars, it is obvious that they are wearing badges which are very indistinct, even under a magnifying glass. The badges illustrated for those two regiments are therefore conjectural and only bear a resemblance to those in the photographs.
A special undress cap being worn by at least two regiments was the “Tent” hat. This was very similar to the Danish undress cap, which in turn was based on the old and ubiquitous French “Bonnet de Police”. The two regiments known to have worn it were the 10th and 18th Hussars.
The 10th Hussars wore it from the late 1870s until well into the 1890s and there is much photographic evidence of it. It was worn with the cap badge on the left. There is no photographic evidence of the one worn by the 18th. The illustration shown is from descriptions by Robert Ebsworth and sketches by P.W. Reynolds and are therefore conjectural. Both artists were famous for seeking out unusual uniform items, especially of bands and unfortunately, apart from their descriptive notes, there is often little physical evidence. Today, the cap is worn in green by the Queen’s Royal Hussars who inherited it from the Royal Irish Hussars.