Category: national army museum

victoriansword: Colonel James Skinner CB, 1s…


Colonel James Skinner CB, 1st Regiment of Local Horse, c.1836

Oil on canvas by an unknown artist, a copy of the portrait by William Melville, c.1836 (in the vestry of St James’s Church, Delhi).

The Anglo-Indian soldier James Skinner (1778-1841) was the son of a Scottish officer in the East India Company’s service and a Rajput lady. Formerly an officer in the Maratha Army, Skinner raised two cavalry units for the British, later known as 1st and 2nd Skinner’s Horse. Nicknamed ‘The Yellow Boys’ for their flamboyant saffron-coloured uniforms, they were famous for their horsemanship and skill at arms.

Skinner was well rewarded, enabling him to acquire a town house in Delhi and a large estate at Hansi, Haryana. He maintained a close interest in Indian culture and was an important patron of the arts, commissioning a number of paintings recording his life and exploits.

Skinner lived in princely style and liked to be addressed by his Moghul title, ‘Nasir-ud-Daula, Colonel James Skinner Bahadur Ghalib Jang – Most Exalted, Victorious in War’. Although he was brought up as a Christian, his household included a number of Hindu and Muslim wives and mistresses. He built a church in Delhi, but also a mosque and a Hindu temple.

Such a cross-cultural lifestyle had few admirers among the following generations of soldiers and politicians in India. Towards the end of his life, although promoted to colonel and created a CB by the British, Skinner was conscious that his mixed race status had denied him the highest rewards for his military skills and leadership.

victoriansword: Indian Mutiny and William Hod…


Indian Mutiny and William Hodson Display at the National Army Museum in London

victoriansword: victoriansword: Native Offic…



Native Officers of Ambala, 1850s

Here is a very similar double breasted padded jacket from the National Army Museum, which they say is associated with 9th (Queen’s Royal) Lancers, circa 1880.

victoriansword: Light dragoon pattern shako…


Light dragoon pattern shako and plume worn by Cornet C Cazenove, 6th Madras Light Cavalry, 1851 ©.

The 6th Cavalry were originally raised in 1799. The British officers of the Madras Army’s Light Cavalry regiments wore a distinctive French grey uniform that had been adopted in 1818. Their shakos, tunics and overalls closely followed the British pattern.

NAM Accession Number

NAM. 1963-09-264-2


National Army Museum, London


National Army Museum, Study collection

Object URL

victoriansword: Home Sweet Home Charles Mar…


Home Sweet Home

Charles Martin Hodges (1858–1916)

A corporal of the 11th (Prince Albert’s Own) Hussars appears to have just returned home, but the occasion is not quite as cosy as the title suggests. This young couple look grave and there is tension between them, suggesting the title of the painting is ironic, but it is not clear why this is. Perhaps it is the strain of separation caused by army life. There was no system of regular leave in the Victorian Army, although officers could obtain leave of absence in peacetime with relative ease.

barbucomedie: Uniform of Colonel John Wilkie …


Uniform of Colonel John Wilkie of the 10th (The Prince of Wale’s Own) Royal Regiment of Light Dragoons (Hussars) dated around 1854 on display at the National Army Museum in London

On 17 April 1855 Wilkes’ unit arrived in the Crimea, having been sent from from India, to replace the cavalry lost in the Charge of the Light Brigade at Balaklava along with the 12th Lancers. In the Crimea they were part of the Siege of Sevastopol and the Battle of Eupatoria in the same year they arrived.

Photographs taken by myself

victoriansword: Equipment belonging to Ma…


Equipment belonging to

Major Thomas Everard Hutton, 4th (Queen’s Own) Light Dragoons,

used by him during (or awarded to him for) the Charge of the Light Brigade, Crimean War, 1854. 

Pattern 1821 Light Cavalry Officer’s Sword

“Hussar” or “Hungarian” saddle, c.1854

Pattern 1846 Light Dragoon Shako

Pillbox forage cap, c.1847-57


Officer’s full dress spurs

Crimea War Medal, 1854-56, with clasps: Alma, Balaklava, Sebastopol

Order of the Medjidie, 5th Class

Thomas Everard Hutton (1821-1896) exchanged into the 4th Light Dragoons in 1847 from the 15th (Yorkshire, East Riding) Regiment of Foot, and was promoted captain in 1852.

Captain Hutton rode in the Charge of the Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaklava (1854). He was shot through the right thigh during the advance of the Light Cavalry Brigade and on returning from the guns he was again severely wounded through the left thigh. His horse was wounded in 11 places and had to be destroyed.

After treatment at Scutari and Malta, Hutton returned to England in March 1855 and received his Crimea War Medal from Queen Victoria at the presentation ceremony on Horse Guards Parade, 18 May 1855. He retired from the Army as brevet-major by sale of his commission in 1857.

victoriansword: victoriansword: Bruce Dickin…



Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden poses with a British Pattern 1853 Cavalry Trooper’s Sword at the National Army Museum’s “Britain’s Greatest Battles” exhibit in March of 2013.

Source: National Army Museum Facebook Page

Bruce is the last living survivor of the Charge of the Light Brigade.

victoriansword: Captain Alexander McInnes, 2…


Captain Alexander McInnes, 2nd Life Guards

Ramsay Richard Reinagle (1775–1862)

National Army Museum

McInnes served in the Peninsular War (1808–1814) under Wellington. He wears the uniform of the élite Life Guards, one of the two household regiments that acted as the personal bodyguards of the King. The accoutrements of the uniform are not only decorative, but also symbolic, which was necessary in an era before rank badges were worn. For example the gold ropes, or aiguillettes, attached to McInnes’s sash allowed his rank to be identified at a glance.

In fact, the uniform worn in this painting is virtually identical to that still worn by the Life Guards when on royal ceremonial duties.

In addition to his piercing eyes, McInnes is armed with a Pattern 1814 Household Cavalry Officer’s Dress Sword.

victoriansword: Kulah Khud, Persian style h…


Kulah Khud, Persian style helmet, c.1898

This handsome iron and brass helmet was recovered from the Omdurman battlefield. It would have been worn by a Dervish warrior. Situated just north of Khartoum, the battle of 2 September 1898 marked the culmination of Major-General Sir Horatio Herbert (later Field Marshal, 1st Earl) Kitchener’s re-conquest of the Sudan. Kitchener commanded a force of 8,000 British regulars and a mixed force of 17,000 Sudanese and Egyptian soldiers. Armed with modern rifles, Maxim guns and artillery they easily defeated the 50,000 strong Dervish army of Abdullah al-Taashi. Kitchener’s force lost 48 men with 382 wounded as opposed to the 10,000 dead and 13,000 wounded of the Dervishes.

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