Uniform Museum

We have a large collection of original and recreated Victorian (and some later) uniforms and equipment which are displayed on full-size mannequins. We have divided the collection into two sections described below:. If you click on to the photograph of either section you will be led to a collection of separate photographs and text on each uniform in that section.

"From Crimea to Boer War"

CRIMEA TO BOER WAR UNIFORMSWe have given this title to the major part of our collection because it has been chronologically arranged here to demonstrate the gradual change, during the last half of the 19th century, uniform and equipment little changed since the Napoleonic era, to the first emergence of khaki as general issue. We have started with an infantryman in Crimea war - a Royal Welsh Fusileer, and ended with the same infantryman (now promoted to Sergeant!) in the Boer War. The uni form and equipment (and hard lessons learned), in the Anglo-Boer wars formed the basis for the development of khaki uniforms and webbing equipment of both WWI and WWII, which have further developed into the familiar camouflage and sophisticated equipment of today's soldier. This particular line-up is quite unique. Regimental museums only display the uniforms of their own regiment, be it infantry, cavalry, artillery or whatever, and in any case, comprise mostly of officer's uniforms and accoutrements, as the equipment of the ordinary soldier simply wore out and was lost. There is no museum in the UK showing uniforms and equipment across all branches of the Victorian Army, and we are very proud to be the only museum, (albeit a museum in cyberspace!! ), to do this.

Ceremonial and Review Order Uniforms


Although, as the title suggests, a collection comprising mostly of ceremonial or dress uniforms, we have also included one or two which are not strictly ceremonial, as they have no place in the first category above of uniform development from Crimea to Boer.





Mr. W.Y. Carman, ex-Deputy Director of the National Army Museum, and the very well known author of countless books on British and Empire uniforms, inspects the collection whilst on temporary display at the National Army Museum, 1998


Mr.W.Y.Carman - A note of thanks

When I was very new to the world of Victorian uniforms, (a period which is well documented in an article now in the Archive section of our website), I quickly realised that a certain Mr W.Y.Carman was the author or editor of the majority of the books I was beginning to collect. Over the next few years and as I acquired more books and experience, I realised that where knowledge on matters of uniform was concerned, this man was the head of the fountain. The first time I ever spoke to Mr. W.Y. Carman, I felt as if I were addressing someone who was speaking to me from a very much higher, almost ethereal, level, and even though I can now regularly seek his advice and opinion on obscure and very detailed matters, that feeling of almost reverential respect is always present. In fact, "Bill" Carman has always been extremely helpful and encouraging, particularly when I founded the Uniform Study Group within the Victorian Military Society and in my own particular interest of the British Victorian Indian Army .It has been my great privilege recently to be invited to visit his home. What an experience!! A Victorian house which is absolutely crammed and bulging with reference works and items of uniform and accoutrements from both Victorian and Napoleonic periods. On my first visit an amazing afternoon was spent listening to him recounting his part in the formation of the British Model Soldier Society, his involvement in World War II with a government department engaged in developing camouflage, and then dashing into this room or that in order to look up a certain reference in order to answer my many questions.. At the age of 92 he was leaving, the day after my visit, for a "business trip" to Malta - the man's energy and the sharpness of his faculties is absolutely astounding and would shame many a person of half his years.
As a token of extreme respect I would like to list below the books written and the positions held by Mr W.Y."Bill" Carman, and take this opportunity to thank him publicly for all his help and encouragement.
Keith Perks
List of Books by W Y Carman

Naval Uniform, Past & Present Foster Groom 1940
History of the Egyptian Army Schindler, Cairo 1945
History of Firearms Routlage 1955
British Military Uniform Contemporary Pictures Leonard Hill 1961
Reprint Paul Hamlyn 1968
Indian Army Uniforms; Vol I Cavalry Leonard Hill 1961
Indian Army Uniforms; Vol II Infantry etc Leonard Hill 1969
British Military Uniforms Longacre Press 1962
Louis Napoleon on Artillery Arms & Armour Pr 1967
Headdress of the British Army; Vol I Cavalry Carman 1968
Headdress of the British Army; Vol II Yeomanry Carman 1971
Sabretaches Nat Army Museum 1969
Military Uniforms of the World (Editor) Blandford 1968
Dress Regulations for Officers 1900 Arms & Armour Pr 1969
Dress Regulations for Officers 1848 Arms & Armour Pr 1971
Glengarry Badges pre 1881 Arms & Armour Pr 1973
Badges & Insignia of the British Armed Forces
in conjunction with Cdr W May (Maritime
Museum and Dr J Tanner (RAF Museum) A & C Black 1974
A Dictionary of Military Uniform B T Batsford 1977
Richard Simkin's Uniforms (Cavalry) Webb & Bower 1982
Richard Simkin's Uniforms (Infantry etc) Webb & Bower 1985
Some English Yeomanry Sabretaches Mil Hist Society 1987
Yeomanry and other Sabretaches Mil Hist Society 1988
Uniform of the Foot Guards (Past & Present) Pompadour Gallery 1995
Light Horse and Mounted Rifle Volunteers Carman 1996
Sabretaches of the Light Cavalry Mil Hist Society 1998
Full Dress Sabretaches of the British Army Mil Hist Society 2000

Contributor to the following:-
Journal of Society for Army Historical Research. Many hundreds of articles etc
Bulletin of the Military Historical Society
Bulletin of the British Model Soldier Society
Articles in Military Illustrated, Military Modelling, Men-at-Arms etc etc
Encyclopaedia Britannica (Military Flags)
Junior Oxford Encyclopaedia
The British Army (Editor Peter Young). Chapters on Artillery and Services

Uniform Research:
Films. "55 Days in Peking". "Khartoum" and "Night Runners of Bengal" (not released)
BBC TV "The Great Churchills" and other plays
Private clients, Lord Cambridge, Brigadier Peter Young and many collectors

Associations of W Y Carman:
Fellow, Society of Antiquaries, from 1959
Fellow, Royal Historical Society. Member from 1955
Society for Army Historical Research from 1938, Life Member,
Council Member, Vice-President from 1993
Military Historical Society, Founder Member 1950, Vice-President
Military Heraldry Society, Founder Member 1950, President, now Life Vice-President 1998
British Model Soldier Society, Founder Member 1933, Past President, now Life Vice-President
International Society of Military Collectors, Vice-President
The Company of Military Historians, Washington DC, USA, Fellow 1954
Organisation of Military Museums of Canada 1982, Honorary Fellow 1998.…'./




We are very proud to announce that we were commissioned by the Isle of Man Government to design and produce a tunic and belt for the official Swordbearer to wear at the opening of the Island's parliament - the Tynwald - in July 2000. The tunic was based on a Victorian Infantry officer's dress tunic and the sleeve embroidery and epaulettes were based on traditional Isle of Man Celtic knot designs. The gold lace belt was based on a Victorian cavalry officer's pattern with a gilt plate clasp bearing the IoM th ree legged device in silver As you will see the tunic was very closely inspected by HRH The Prince of Wales and his pleasure and approval is evident!


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Thin Red Line
Thin Red Line, PO Box 65, Seavington, Ilminster, TA19 0WE. UK