MAJOR - ROYAL WELSH FUSILIERS 1891
Undress Uniform (Drill Order)
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This is the uniform that would have been worn on active service and manoeuvres, for drill and training in barracks. Our example, of Field Officer rank, would have been a mounted officer wearing overalls when dismounted, and not therefore, boots and gaiters.
The infantry officer's undress frock tunic was introduced in 1891 and was made from a scarlet serge cloth with five buttons and a high collar. Cuffs and collar were in the colour of regimental facings, and as a "Royal" regiment, the Royal Welsh Fusiliers wear garter blue facings. The collar carries a pair of gilded metal flaming grenades superimposed with the Welsh dragon in silver. At the back can be seen the famous RWF "flash".
In the days when soldiers wore pigtails they were worn powdered and greased, and to protect their jackets pigtails were enclosed in a bag known as a "queue bag". In 1808 the queue was abolished and hair ordered to be cut short. The ribbons that tied the pigtail were known as "the flash" and by a special decree from King William IV in 1834, the Royal Welch Fusiliers were allowed to retain the flash in the form of the black silk you see here.
Until 1900 it was worn only by officers and senior NCO's. The cloth shoulder straps in the facing colour of blue are edged with white cloth, carry rank and regimental insignia in gilded metal, and are secured with small regimental buttons. On the tunic front are two breast and two lower pockets all with pointed flaps, the breast pockets being buttoned.
A whistle on a scarlet lanyard is carried in the left breast pocket Over the left shoulder a crimson silk sash with tassel ends is worn. The fringed ends of the tassels are level with the bottom of the tunic. The sword belt and slings are of white leather with gilt fittings and the belt clasp is of regimental pattern and gilded. The sword itself is the 1822 pattern infantry officers sword and the Royal Welsh Fusiliers had a special device in the hilt. It is carried in a brass scabbard by an officer of Field rank.
The sword knot (undress) is made of white leather and acorn ended The overalls are of dark blue worsted cloth with a 1/4in scarlet welt down the outside seam. The forage cap is the straight sided type introduced in 1880 It was 3 1/4 in. high with an oakleaf pattern black silk band, although in our example from a royal regiment, the band is red. The black leather drooping peak had a band of gold embroidery and there was black figuring around a netted boss on the cap top. On the front is the regimental badge of a flaming grenade in gold embroidery surmounted by a silver dragon Brown leather gloves were worn when in Undress uniform
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