Army Lists

Military Head Dress 1870 - 1904

1750 - 1810 | 1811 - 1830 | 1831 - 1852 | 1855 - 1869 | 1870 - 1904

General's Cocked Hat   5th (Royal Irish) Lancers
General's Cocked Hat 1870  
1870  
General and Staff Officers' cocked hats have varied but little for nearly a century and then principally in the matter of height. This hat is of black beaver, bound at each corner with black oak leaf lace and with tassels of gold and crimson bullion at each end. The various ranks of General and Staff Officers are denoted by the length of the red and white swan feather plume and the gold lace or cord ornament on the right side of the hat.
 
Officer's Forage Cap 1870  
Officer's Forage Cap 1870  
All ranks of Lancers at this time wore small round forage caps, with black leather chin straps. The cap was of the dark blue cloth (scarlet in the 16th Lancers) with gold lace at the bottom and gold cord up the sides and across the crown. In the centre of the crown was a gold button in all Regiments except the 17th Lancers. Yellow lace and cord were substituted for gold lace for troopers. The cap was worn tilted over the right ear.
60th Rifles (The King's Royal Rifle Corps)   5th (Northumberland Fusiliers) Regiment of Foot
Officer's Full Dress Busby 1873-78  
Officer's Full Dress Busby 1873-78  
In 1873 a fur busby replaced the shako hitherto worn. This busby was of black lambskin for officers and of seal for other ranks, the top being covered with dark rifle-green cloth. It was trimmed with black cord, the ornaments being of dark bronze. In the front above the regimental device, was a black silk corded bosswith a bronze crown on it, the plume being black with a scarlet feather base, though at the present time the plume is scarlet and the base black.
 
Officer's Full Dress Fur Cap 1874  
Officer's Full Dress Fur Cap 1874  
In 1874 all Fusilier Regiments took into wear for all ranks a fur cap of black racoon skin, 9 inches high, with a gilt grenade in the front, bearing the regimental badge. The chin strap was a gilt curb chain lined with black velvet. At this date the Northumberland Fusiliers was the only Fusilier Regiment wearing a plume, though subsequently plumes were authorized for all other Fusilier Regiments.
68th (Durham Light Infantry) Regiment of Foot   42nd (Royal Highlanders, The Black Watch) Regiment of Foot
Officer's Full Dress Shako 1874-81  
Officer's Full Dress Shako 1874-81  
Light Infantry Regiments at this time wore a shako covered with dark grey-green cloth, with a row of gold braid at the bottom, up the sides and back and two rows at the top. In place of the braid at the top, Colonels and Lieutenant Colonels had two rows of lace, and Majors one row. When first issued, a dark green worsted ball tuft was worn in place of the drooping horse hair plume. The gilt badge in front was of universal pattern, each regiment having its own number in the centre of the bugle.
 
Officer's Bonnet 1875  
Officer's Bonnet 1875  
Except in size, the Highland feather bonnet has undergone little change since the Highland Regiments came into the British Army. At first a few feathers or tufts of black bearskin were attached to the undress cap for ceremonial purposes. As more feathers were added, the bonnet increased in height. The Black Watch, the senior Highland Regiment, is the only one to wear the red hackle, granted for services at Gildermalsen, 1795. All other Highland Regiments wear a white hackle.
Grenadier Guards   17th (The Leicestershire) Regiment of Foot
Officer's Full Dress Bearskin 1875  
Officer's Full Dress Bearskin 1875  
Little description is needed of this head-dress, which has changed very little since the early part of the nineteenth century. During the first quarter of the last centurya gilt plate was worn in front and cords and tassels of gold and crimson at the side. The three regiments of Guards (there were only three at this period) are distinguished by the plumes in their bearskins; the Grenadiers wearing a white goat's hair plume on the left side, the Coldstream a scarlet cut feather on the right, and the Scots Guards no plume at all.
 
Officer's Full Dress Helmet 1879-81  
Officer's Full Dress Helmet 1879-81  
This head-dress, which was ordered for Line Regiments in 1879, was of cork, covered with blue cloth (dark green for Light Infantry and Rifles) with gilt ornaments (bronze for Rifles). The staf was universal, each Regiment having its own number and badge in the centre, mounted on coloured velvet, which in this particular Regiment was black. For ranks other than officers the front peak was bound with black leather and was rounded, not pointed.
The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)   The Royal Scots (The Lothian Regiment)
Officer's Full Dress Shako 1894  
Officer's Full Dress Shako 1894  
A shako was authorized for this Regiment in 1894; the pipers, however, wore the glengarry. This shako was covered with dark green cloth with black patent leather peak and chin strap. Officers wore a band of black silk lace round the top and bottom: black silk cord in front and at the sides, and double cord round the back; black silk square body line with egg mould and sliders, and a plume of black feathers. Being a Rifle Regiment, all ornaments are bronze.
 
Officer's Full Dress Kilmarnock  
Officer's Full Dress Kilmarnock  
After having won a helmet for over 20 years, a head-dress of more distinctively Scottish type was authorized for this regiment, and also for the King's Own Scottish Borderers. This head-dress, with its black cock's feather plume, is worn by all ranks except pipers, who wear a glengarry. The bonnet is worn cocked on the right side, and is of blue cloth with diced band and a black silk rosette on the left side, on which is worn the regimental badge.

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