MUSICIANS' FULL DRESS UNIFORMS
It is generally understood that hussar musicians had no particular distinctions beyond the standard tunic and breeches worn by the rest of their regiments. However, this is not altogether true. Although evidence is not readily available for all the hussar regiments it certainly appears that, early in the 1880s and perhaps much further back, some regiments had special distinctions.
This generally came in the form of parti-coloured lace on the tunic and cap lines. The 13th Hussars had white lace with blue flecks on their lace until 1886 after an Inspection by Sir Evelyn Wood had revealed no authorization for this uniform. This resulted in the Horse Guards ordering in 1887 all hussar musicians to revert to the standard regimental uniform with no embellishments. Notes from other notable military observers such as P.W. Reynolds and Col. Ebsworth noted that the 14th, 19th, 20th and 21st Hussars had flecking in their tunic lace – the 14th Scarlet, 19th Blue, 20th Crimson and the 21st French Grey. A single line in the regimental history of the 14th Hussars notes that in 1889 “During this year, the dress of the bandsmen, which had latterly been of regimental pattern, was assimilated to one uniform pattern in all hussar regiments by order of the Adjutant-General to the forces.”
The 11th Hussars had one special distinction that they maintained until the amalgamation of 1958. The trumpeters and kettledrummers of the regiment wore a grey, almost white fur busby.
The tunics of Bandmasters and sergeant-trumpeters followed the pattern worn in the regiment. Both wore a 1st class staff tunic with gold lace. The badges worn by bands and trumpeters were the same as for other branches of the cavalry with backings of regimental colour. The bandmaster’s lyre badge was worn only after 1887.