UNIFORMS, ARMS & EQUIPMENT - ROYAL ARTILLERY
THE ROYAL REGIMENT OF ARTILLERY 1881-1902
UNDRESS & MESS DRESS
Officers on the staff of the Royal Artillery wore the standard forage cap of the General Staff with a cap band of regimental lace. Regimental officers of the Royal Artillery as a whole, wore a blue peak-less cap (Pill-Box) with band of regimental lace. First introduced in 1864, it was 3 inches high with a band of 1 5/8 inches and a gold netted button on the top with a figure of braided lace 4 ½ inches wide around the button. In 1883 the height of the cap was lowered to 2 5/8 inches. It was officially abolished in 1902 but mostly worn before the general issue of peaked caps in 1904.
FROCK COATS AND PATROL JACKETS
Staff officers wore the frock coat of the general staff pattern (described in a forthcoming section). Regimental officers wore the patrol jacket, first introduced in 1864. It underwent several alterations in 1867. A new pattern was introduced in 1874. This garment was to survive until it was discontinued in 1902. It was blue cloth with a stand-and-fall collar edged all round with black mohair lace. The jacket was originally intended to be worn over the stable jacket, but ( for obvious reasons, one suspects) it could be worn with a false collar similar to that of the stable jacket. Later images seem to show that the false collar was abandoned in later years. Five plaits of mohair braid were worn down the front, each terminating with olivets and crow’s feet. The pointed cuffs were also decorated with a crows foot. The rear of the jacket had a double row of braid down each rear seam with two loops each side and terminating in crow’s feet top and bottom. A pocket on each side was decorated in a similar fashion to the rest of the braid. Dress regulations ordered that the skirts at the rear reached down to the saddle without break.
STABLE JACKETS AND MESS DRESS
The stable jacket followed the general pattern of the rest of the army. It had scarlet collar and cuffs and was edged all round in gold lace. A gilt grenade was worn on the collar. The cuffs had knots the same as the for the full dress jacket for captains and lieutenants. For field officers the cuffs bore an inverted gold lace chevron with flat braided eyes either side. Two small buttons above the lace on the rear of the cuffs.
The stable jacket served as a mess jacket for all branches of the Royal Artillery. It was worn with a scarlet mess waistcoat which was edged with narrow lace for the Royal Field and Royal Garrison Artillery. For the Royal Horse Artillery, the lace was somewhat more elaborate on the waistcoat with eyes and eyelets. Its use as a stable or shell jacket for some mounted duties were reserved for the Royal Horse Artillery who wore it with a full dress or undress pouch belt and/or pouch.
UNDRESS POUCH, SABRETACHE & WAISTBELT
Royal Artillery officers wore a plain patent leather pouch in undress. First worn in 1855, it was 5 ½” x 4”. On the flap was large gilt gun 3 ½” long. The undress pouch belt was of plain buff leather and had used the same buckle, tip and slide as on the full dress pouch. The binocular case is described in the next section.
The undress sabretache had been worn by the R.H.A. since 1833 and by mounted officers of the R.F.A. and R.G.A. since 1855. It was decorated with the helmet plate of the Royal Artillery since 1878 and was abolished in 1901.
The undress waistbelt worn over the tunic or frock by the R.F.A. and R.G.A. and under the jacket by the R.H.A. was white buff leather. It had loops for the sword and sabretache slings. It has a special fastening device in the form of a gilt belt plate with a device of the Garter and motto with crown above the Royal Arms within. Around all a rose, thistle and shamrock wreath with a scroll below inscribed “UBIQUE”.
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