United Kingdom

Cartes-de-Visite, studio W.H. Midwinter, Bristol

Cornet in the North Somerset Yeomanry

These photographs diplay a very interesting uniform of the North Somerset Yeomanry.

This regiment used to wear dragoon-like uniforms ; the Albert pattern helmet testifies to that heritage. The helmet plate displays a royal cypher within a garter, on which "The North Somerset" is inscribed. The garter is surrounded by a wreath of laurels. This helmet was adopted in 1851.

The sitter is wearing the unique tunic adopted in 1856, adorned with silver lace for officers. This tunic, with its four pairs of Austrian knots fastened by olivets, will be replaced by 1879 by a tunic with five rows of regular Light Dragoons braiding.
The uniform is dark blue with silver lace ; the cuffs are scarlet.
The overalls have double silver stripes for dismounted use (riding overalls had double red stripes)

It is quite interesting to note that the helmet's plume is still made of black feathers : the black plume (made of feathers for Review Order, and horsehair for Marching or Field Day order) was discontinued in 1856 (when the new tunic was adopted) in favour of a white horsehair one ; the feathers had a natural greenish tinge. Likewise the silver laced pouch belt was theorically replaced in 1856 by a brown leather one. 

Our sitter is wearing the full dress sabretache, covered in dark blue cloth and inscribed "North Somerset Yeomanry" under the Royal Cypher and Crown. 

The sword is adorned with a gold olivet sword knot.

W.H. Midwinter was active at 24 College Green from 1863 to 1879. These CDVs are likely mid-1860s.