UNIFORMS, ARMS & EQUIPMENT - ROYAL ARTILLERY
THE ROYAL REGIMENT OF ARTILLERY 1881-1902
UNDRESS UNIFORMS AND MARCHING ORDER
THE FORAGE CAP
The forage cap for Warrant Officers after 1884 was the same as that worn by the officers. For Staff Sergeants and sergeants, the cap was 2 ½ Inches high with a gold lace band 1⅜ Inches with a gold netted button on the crown. Other ranks wore a cap that authorized in 1883 and it had a 1-inch band of yellow lace. The addition of small chevrons in front for Corporals and Bombardiers dated back to 1864. They were scarlet backed from 1868. The cap was replaced by the “Brodrick” cap in 1903.
THE FIELD SERVICE CAP
The Torin field service cap worn by officers was adopted by all ranks in 1883. It differed by having yellow instead of gold piping, although Warrant officers probably wore gold like the officers. At first the letters “RA” were worn in brass on the front and later replaced with the universal grenade in brass. The folding FS cap in plain blue appeared in 1895 and by the end of the century Both Field and Horse Artillery sergeants had gold edging and a scarlet body to the cap while the Garrison Artillery retained all blue.
THE UNDRESS FROCK
The undress frock was adopted by all other ranks of the Royal Field and Garrison Artillery in 1878. It was the same material as the tunic with scarlet collar. For ranks below sergeant the base of the collar and the shoulder straps were edged yellow. On the cuffs were yellow cord trefoils with a small loop at the rear where there were two small buttons. A brass grenade was worn on the collar and the battery number on the shoulder straps. For sergeants and above, the cord was gold and went around the front and skirts. Staff Sergeants and above had a wider gold loop on the cuffs edged gold braid. In 1891 a new frock based on the new tunic was authorised. This had yellow or gold shoulder cords and collar and cuff lacing as before. Photographs seem to show that the 1878 frock was almost universally worn until the mid-nineties or even later. Warrant Officers and Sergeants tended to wear the other ranks frock, devoid of any lace, at the latter part of the century, especially on exercise.
THE STABLE JACKET
The stable jacket was worn by all ranks of the Royal Artillery until 1877 when the RFA adopted the frock. The Royal Horse Artillery had worn stable jackets since the 1840s and in 1881 they had changed very little since then. Edged all round with gold lace they were virtually the same as the full dress item without the frogging and showing only small yellow cord figure eights on the lower part of then rear. Staff Sergeants and above had gold lace. The RHA never took up a field service frock right up to the end of the century.
Gunners wore their field service jackets on campaign during the Egyptian War of 1882. Thereafter, they were generally worn on home service or in barracks overseas. The RFA gunner is carrying a ramrod, which by 1890 was no longer needed with breech loading artillery. He wears a utility pouch on his belt. The RGA Corporal is in full marching order worn only by this branch of the artillery. He wears the 1888 valise equipment. [ Note: the full description of infantry equipment will be fully covered in a future section of this series. It is not appropriate here.]. The AIG is wearing his frock with Torin cap c. 1885. The RHA Bombardier is in field service order. Haversack and water bottle were generally worn over the left shoulder when in action. Last view is the rear view of a gunner in barracks.
THE UNIFORMS OF THE
ROYAL ARTILLERY BAND