King's Colonials Officer's Full Dress Uniform 1901-04


One of the most comprehensive descriptions of the uniforms of the King's Colonials appeared in an article by R. J. Smith (see acknowledgement of photographs and annotations) with illustrations by R. J. Marrion in the July 1984 edition of 'Military Modelling' magazine.   The following sections sample that description.  

On formation in November 1901, the Officers and Other Ranks of the King’s Colonials adopted a distinctive Full Dress uniform of khaki serge tunic and overalls set off by a garish, tall, high-crowned, drab felt hat which was not dented at the top. The Tyrolean-shaped top hat was set off by a scarlet plume at the front and a broad brim which was turned up and fastened to the left side of the crown. Another unique feature of the top hat was that it bore three badges (see headdress badge section). The plume on the Officer’s hat was made up of scarlet hackle feathers which stood much taller than the simple Hussar-type short brush worn by Other Ranks. Around the base of the top hat was a two-inch scarlet band with a bow on the right-hand side and scarlet cap lines were secured by a spring clip to a ring at the rear of the brim. This style of headdress was worn until 1904.

The Officer’s and Other Rank’s Full Dress uniform was worn with tan wrist gloves and tan Wellington boots for Officers and tan ankle boots and leggings for Other Ranks, all fitted with plated box spurs.  Although D. J. Knight and R. J. Smith in their description of the uniform of the King's Colonials note that all ranks wore brown Elcho boots (The Uniforms of the Imperial Yeomanry 1901-1908, The Military Historical Society, Arrow Press, London 2009).  The waist belt for all was of brown brindle leather.  A pouch belt of 2 ½ inch brown brindle leather and a brown brindle leather pouch to the rear with a rounded flap was worn by Officers.  The pouch belt was adorned with gilt front ornaments consisting of a lion’s head holder with three chains and a whistle.  The pouch belt was worn over the Sam Browne belt for parades.  Officers carried swords in a leather scabbards suspended from the Sam Browne belt with a leather sword knot.  

The Officer’s and Other Rank’s tunic had a stand-and-fall (Prussian) collar with two ¾ inch scarlet cloth rings with pointed ends to the front.  The pointed cuffs were piped in scarlet cloth and bore five vertical stripes of ¾ inch scarlet cloth.  Each stripe was furnished with a small button at the top edge of the cuff.  The tunic was fastened with five larger buttons and bore four breast pockets each fastened with a smaller button.  The buttons were gilt for Officers and gilding metal for Other Ranks.  The front edge of the tunic was not piped but there was scarlet lancer piping to the back seams.  Shoulder chains were mounted on a scarlet cloth backing and were secured by four hooks.  A scarlet aiguillette was worn looped across and behind the left shoulder with the pommel ends finishing below the right shoulder.

Figure 47: Photograph of Lieutenant Colonel N. Willoughby Wallace, Commanding Officer of the 4th County of London (King’s Colonial’s) Imperial Yeomanry in Full Dress uniform circa 1902 (R. J. Smith collection).

Figure 48: Photograph of Lieutenant George Hamilton of the 4th County of London (King’s Colonial’s) Imperial Yeomanry in Full Dress uniform circa 1903-05.  Note the pouch belt and three badges to his first pattern felt hat.  He is wearing three medals which appear to be the Queen’s South Africa with three bars, a King’s South Africa with two bars and possible a General Service Medal with one bar (From an electronic auction site).


Figure 49:  Painting of an Officer of the 4th County of London (King’s Colonial’s) Imperial Yeomanry in Full Dress uniform circa 1902 (R. J. Smith collection).



























































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