The Officers and Other Ranks Full Dress uniform (except for the headdress and collar badges, shoulder titles and buttons remained unchanged in 1910 when the Regimental title changed to King Edward’s Horse. In 1913, a girdle of gold lancer pattern was introduced for Officer’s Full Dress with two crimson silk outer horizontal stripes and Other Rank’s Full Dress made of web striped ¼” inch yellow, ½ inch in red, 1 inch khaki, ½ inch red and ¼ inch in yellow.
The accompanying photographs show a KEH Officer's tunic worn in 1914 by Lieutenant William Charles Phillips Harvey, an Australian (see KEH Nominal Roll entry) who was seconded to the Colonial Office following the outbreak of war. His tunic and trousers are in excellent condition and have his name on the Hobsons and Sons makers label. The uniform came with his lancer-style girdle made by Appleton & Sons and marked 1914 and named to Sykes (as yet unidentified KEH Officer). The hat that came with the uniform bears the correct plume and 1910 'spikey' crown KEH cap badge. The cap badge is incorrectly positioned to the side of the correct scarlet pagri. That hat itself is not original but is a 1944 dated slouch hat. The 20mm tunic breast buttons and 16mm cuff buttons are all KEH pattern marked Hobson & Sons The tunic is missing his shoulder pips and shoulder titles.
The KEH Other Ranks were equipped with the British 1899 Pattern Cavalry Trooper’s Sword. This pattern sword was introduced on the 19th October 1899, eight days after the Second Boer War broke out. It was intended to be a refinement on the 1890 Pattern, with a slightly shorter blade, greater protection for the hand and a longer grip. Users generally considered it on the heavy side and much more effective in the thrust than the cut: this cemented the growing consensus that cavalry swords should be built entirely for thrusting. Photographs taken on active service show that KEH troopers carried the 1899 Pattern sword into WW1. This was not uncommon for reserve units – the newer 1908 Pattern was issued first and foremost to the regular cavalry and older patterns were retained as long as they were serviceable. The sword shown in the following page is marked with the post-1910 form of the unit’s name, KEH and this combined with its grey-green field paint scheme, makes it even more likely to be one of these WW1-used examples. The sword and scabbard bear different markings and are not an original pair, although their similar condition suggests they have been together a long time. It may well be the case that the regiment used the same swords it was initially supplied with in 1901 as the King's Colonials through to the end of WW1. Photograph and information courtesy of Richard Breislin www.blackthorn-antiques.com