KEH Service Dress Uniform 1914-18


The Service Dress of the King Edward’s Horse remained unchanged from 1910 through to the disbandment of the Regiment in 1924. This uniform for both Officers and Other Ranks was of standard cavalry pattern of khaki forage cap, tunic and overalls. Shoulder chains were dispensed with for Service Dress.

Officers of the King Edward's Horse and 2nd King Edward's Horse wore the 1896 Pattern Cavalry Officer's Sword, as one would expect for the time periods. Although only part of Major John Howard's sword can be seen in Figures 304-305, this is also an 1896 Officer's pattern from the blade shape and period (Information courtesy of Richard Breislin www.blackthorn-antiques.com). The Officer's swords were privately purchased often with an engraved blade (as shown for an earlier King's Colonial sword of Major Howard in Figures 304-305) and they were also armed with a service revolver. The Webley Revolver (also known as the Webley Top-Break Revolver or Webley Self-Extracting Revolver) was the most common pistol carried by Officers. The Webley is a top-break revolver and breaking the revolver operates the extractor, which removes cartridges from the cylinder. The Webley Mark IV rose to prominence during the Boer War of 1899–1902 and would have been carried in 1914 and was replaced by the Mark VI in 1915. Firing large .455 Webley cartridges, Webley service revolvers are among the most powerful top-break revolvers ever produced. Other Ranks were equipped with .303 SMLE Mark 1 rifles and 1903 pattern, Mounted Infantry leather 50 round bandoliers. The leather bandolier was 50 inches long and 3.25 inches wide and held 50 .303 cartridges. It was made up of four sections each x ten cartridges, plus one section x six cartridges and one section x four cartridges. Towards mobilisation for war in 1914, Other Ranks were equipped with the 1908 pattern cavalry sword which was basically the same as the Officer's 1912 pattern cavalry sword with a plain blade and simpler grip and guard. The Officer's 1912 pattern and Other Ranks 1908 pattern cavalry swords were described as 'cut and thrust' weapons with a blade length of 34 3/4 inches which with an extended sword arm could counter a lance or rifle bayonet.

The Officer's of the King Edward's Horse wore a standard tunic with brass KEH buttons instead of bronzed OSD buttons with Sam Browne belt and cloth rank badges (single crown of a Major) on the shoulder lapels. The tunic shown in Figures 145-147 is of a Staff Officer with red gorget patches to the front lapels of the tunic.

Figures 145-147. Staff Officer's (Major) Service Dress tunic 1914-18 (courtesy of Victor Taboika).