UNIFORMS, ARMS & EQUIPMENT - LANCERS
LANCER OFFICERS UNDRESS UNIFORMS 1881-1902
Lancer officers wore the pillbox forage cap like their brethren in the rest of the cavalry but as with everything to do with Lancers, simplicity was the order of the day. The lace on the band generally conformed to that on the dress overalls and instead of a figure on the top there were two gold gimp braids crossing at right angles on the top beneath the gold purl button. Only the 17th Lancers had no purl button. All the caps were of blue cloth except the 12th Lancers who wore a scarlet cap.
FROCK COATS AND PATROL JACKETS
According to the dress regulations of 1883 and 1891 Lancers wore the same frock coat as Dragoon Guards and Dragoons and there is plenty of evidence that all the regiments wore it. The same regulations state that the 12th Lancers were to wear the Patrol Jacket instead of the Frock coat although there are a few photos of some officers wearing the frock coat. By 1900 the Frock Coat was not an item of dress described for Lancers in the regulations of the same year.
The patrol jacket was to be the same as that used by Dragoon Guards and Dragoons and was only meant to be worn by the 12th Lancers. Again much photographic evidence shows the patrol jacket being worn extensively by all regiments and many before 1890 with astrakhan fur edging.
By the 1900 regulations the patrol jacket for Lancers was described in detail and to be worn by all regiments except the 5th Lancers whose pattern had not yet been approved. Patrol jackets were abolished for all cavalry in 1902 but an officer of the 21st Lancers is shown in a photo wearing one at Hounslow in 1905!
STABLE JACKETS AND MESS DRESS
The stable jacket worn by lancers followed the pattern worn by all cavalry. The lace edging all round was to be one inch wide except for field officers in which it was 1 ½ Inches wide. The jacket was blue for all regiments except the 16th Lancers which was scarlet. The collar, cuffs and rear seam piping were of regimental facing colour.
Mess waistcoats for lancer officers were less elaborate than those worn by either the hussars or heavy cavalry. They were of facing color with gold lace edging and decorative lace. The 5th Royal Irish Lancers mess waistcoat allowed for the full white shirt collar to show. Unsurprisingly, the 21st Lancers continued to wear the mess vest worn when they were hussars.
In 1902, a simpler mess dress was authorized in 1902 which was not popular by any of the cavalry and the previous version was often worn right up to the Great War.
FIELD SERVICE UNIFORMS