United Kingdom

19th Hussars

Carte-de-Visite - no studio


This Carte-de Visite was a bit difficult to sort out. Its back is annotated "corporal 14th Hussars" in non-contemporary writing.

One important element is the Arm Badge over the corporal chevrons on his right sleeve ; thisbadge is called a "Sergeant Arm's Badge" because it was sported by...Sergeants ! The exception to this rule exists in the 14th Hussars, where all ranks from Lance Corporal to Staff Sergeant were entitled to such a badge (as describer by the 24 september 1887 regulations).

Then again, the busby bag on this photo really looks white. The busby bag of the 14th was yellow, but that specific shade / fabric always turn out to look darker on contemporary photographs.

Further research increased doubts as the 14th Hussars' Arm Badge consisted in a Prussian Eagle in an oval shield - this Carte-de Visite is not the clearest, but the form of the badge is obviously not oval, being straight at the bottom.

Everything cleared when I found several references showing corporals from the 19th Hussars, all sporting an Arm Badge over their two rank chevrons. The badge is in the form of an elephant, and its base is straight. The 19th Hussars' busby bag is white - the only such busby bag along with the 13th Hussars (but this regiment'uniform is highly recognizable with its white collar). The 1887 regulations indicate that this badge is for sergeants and staff-sergeants - another example of Hussar non compliance with regulation ! (to be noted, I have seen late 1890s photos of corporals with the same pattern, so it is not a case of discontinued tradition).

So we have a 19th Hussars corporal. He's wearing one Long Service and Good Conduct chevron, indicating at least 4 years service. He's wearing it onthe right sleeve, under the pre-1880 pattern, which helps us to get an idea for the dating.