The Indian Army undoubtedly provided some of the most colourful and exotic uniforms.
A European touch was introduced in their design - especially for the British Officers. Traditionnal Lancers and Hussars tunics are thus found amidst some wonderful uniforms of more local design.
It must however be stressed that it is not always easy to differentiate Cavalry from Infantry units - many of the latter opting for braided uniforms.
More than any other, this
page does not aim for any kind of exhaustivity ; its sole purpose is to
display the photos that somehow made their way into my collection.
I have to admit that I initially bought this 1890s
photograph with the expectation that it was displaying some Hussar
Regiment on service in India.
The design of the pouch belt had me raise an eyebrow, but it is not until closer inspection that some details stood out :
My reference books about Indian Cavalry didn't
contain any uniform like this one. One will observe that there is no
Native in the unit presented above - One may thus surmize that this photo
presents some Volunteer European Cavalry - they were known in the late
XIXth Century as "Light Horse" units.
That's where luck came in - some casual browsing returning the most amazing result :
Some of the very same officers seen above are also
displayed in the collection of photos presented on the above-mentioned
website ; the officer in Lancer tunic is most likely detached as Adjutant
to the Regiment.
Thanks to Mike Easterbrook for kindly precising that the pouch belts are actually brown leather.
The back of the above photo shows the training of the Surma Valley Light Horse ; one can note that, in the center of the group of officers, the same genleman sporting the "Mother of all Beards" stands out.
Here's a wonderful composition featuring Officers
clad in a most Irregular fashion (unmounted large print - 33 x 26,5 cm).
Click on the image to see some uniform details.
Many thanks to Sean Weir for identifying the regiment