FULL DRESS TUNICS
In 1881 the tunics of Lancer officers was virtually unchanged from 1874. The collar, cuffs, lapels and piping were of facing colour and for the six regiments existing in1902, the distinctions were as follows.
The 5th (Royal Irish) Lancers. Tunic Dark Blue, Facings Scarlet
The 9th (Queen’s Royal) Lancers. Tunic Dark Blue, Facings Scarlet
The 12th (Prince of Wales’s Royal) Lancers. Tunic Dark Blue, Facings Scarlet
The 16th (Queen’s) Lancers. Tunic Scarlet, Facings Dark Blue
The 17th (Duke of Cambridge’s) Lancers. Tunic Dark Blue, Facings White
The 21st (Empress of India’s) Lancers. Tunic Dark Blue, Facings French Grey
In the 1883 and 1891 Dress Regulations describe the tunic front (sometimes called the Plastron) was to be buttoned back (Showing the facing colour) but allowing for it to be buttoned over on the march or in inclement weather. There is little photographic evidence of officers buttoning lapels over after 1881 although the 17th Lancers may have during the Zulu War. (There are photos of other ranks doing so). In the 1900 regulations there was no mention of it. The tunic had two rows of buttons, seven on each side including one by the collar which were 8 inches apart at the top and 4 at the waist. A flat button on each side was under the girdle. For Captains and Lieutenants, the collar was edged with one inch lace of regimental pattern on the top and front and on the pointed cuffs extending to 8 ½ inches at the top. For field officers there was an additional row on the bottom edge of the collar and two above the pointed cuffs. The piping in facing colour went down the back seams and sleeves of the tunic and around the skirts. The skirts had a three pointed flap on the back edged with gold cord with three buttons on the flap and two at the waist. The shoulder cords were of bright gold wire lined with scarlet in the 16th Lancers and blue in the other regiments.
The girdle for all regiments was gold lace 2 ½ ins wide with two crimson silk stripes and fastened on the left inside with a buckle and loop and the outside with 3 gold gimp cords attached to gold olivets.
Although described with the lancer cap, the gold cord cap lines were actually separate and part of the full dress tunic. The four joined lines were looped around the body passing under the left shoulder cords. A narrow gold lace sleeve was attached around the lines under the shoulder cords to allow the two lines attached to the cap to pass through and loop up to the left side attached to the top button with a thin gold cord, the olive ends hanging down. For review order and Levees only, The 12th Lancers had the “Flounder” type of ends to the cap lines. These were worn by all regiments before 1855.
The gold lace shoulder belt and pouch (described in the next section) was worn over the left shoulder over the cap lines around the body.