POUCHES & POUCH-BELTS
As in other cavalry regiments, the pouch and Pouch-Belt were an important part of the regimental identity of hussar officers. The pouch was originally designed to contain “writing materials” but for the most part was entirely decorative by the 1880s.
Seven of the regiments (the old Light Dragoon regiments and ex-Bengal cavalry) had a black leather pouches with silver flaps ornamented with a gilt device. The silver flaps generally had a decorative border on all four sides, which varied, even within regiments and which depended on the engraver’s design.
Differences existed even with embroidered pouches of the six other regiments as some were made not only in Britain, but places as far away as India. Every embroiderer had a different idea about the design of a crown or cypher.
The Pouch-Belt (described as a “Shoulder” belt in the 1900 regulations) was also of regimental design, the same seven regiments (with the silver pouch flaps) having essentially the same belt with different central stripe.
The silver buckles, tips and slides plus the chain and picker plates were also the same with differences in engravings around the edges.
The regulations from 1883 onward generally describe it as follows: Gold lace of regimental pattern, the width not to exceed 2 Inches.
The lining of Morocco leather the same colour as that of the sabretache – Buckle tip and slide and ornaments of regimental pattern in silver except for the 7th, 8th, 10th, 15th and 18th in which they are gilt.
The 3rd (King’s Own) Hussars
Pouch-Belt: Gold herringbone lace (Light Dragoon pattern) on scarlet Morocco leather backing with scarlet silk central stripe. Silver buckle, tip and slide, silver ornaments with chain and pickers.
The Pouch was of black leather with silver flap mounted with a gilt Royal cypher.
The 4th (Queen’s Own) Hussars
Identical to the 3rd Hussars.
The 7th (The Queen’s Own) Hussars
Pouch Belt: Gold Vandyked (Austrian Wave) pattern on scarlet Morocco leather backing. Gilt buckle, tip and slide of regimental pattern. No ornaments. Pouch: Scarlet leather with scarlet cloth flap edged with gold tracing cord bearing laurel leaves.
In the centre, the cypher of Queen Charlotte (George III’s wife) doubled and intertwined in gold embroidery.
The 8th (King’s Royal Irish) Hussars
Pouch-Belt: Gold Irish shamrock pattern on scarlet Morocco leather backing. Gilt leaf design buckle and slide, tip with Royal cypher. No ornaments. Pouch: Scarlet leather with scarlet cloth flap edged with gold Russia braid. In the centre, a gold harp with silver strings surmounted by the Royal crest all upon the Royal cypher in silver.
Below a scroll inscribed “Pristinis Virtutis Memores”. A spray of shamrock leaves on each side upon which are battle honour scrolls. Reading down the left “Leswaree”, “Alma”, “Inkerman” & “Central India”. Down the right “Hindoostan”, “Balaklava”, “Sevastopol” & “Afghanistan”.
The 10th (Prince of Wales’s Own) Hussars
Pouch-Belt: A unique black patent leather belt ornamented with a gilt trellis chain. Gilt buckle, tip and slide of 8th Hussars pattern. Gilt picker plate mounted with silver Prince of Wales’s feathers and lions head chain plate. The chain itself in silver.
Pouch: Black patent leather mounted with gilt metal laurel leaf edging on the flap. Gilt metal cypher in the centre surmounted by a silver hooped crown. Upon the cypher, the Prince of Wales’s feathers in silver with gilt coronet.
The 11th (Prince Albert’s Own) Hussars
Pouch-Belt: Gold diamond & chain lace (unique to the 11th Hussars) on a crimson leather backing. Special pattern silver buckle, tip and slide, the tip with engraved battle honours on a brass plate. Regimental pattern silver chain and picker plates.
The chain ornament was a silver coronet with crimson cap.
Pouch. Crimson leather with polished brass flap. Silver metal laurel leaf decoration around the edge. In the centre in silver, Prince Albert’s cypher doubled and intertwined surmounted by a crown.
Below it a silver Sphinx with the legend “Egypt”. On the left of the Sphinx, a scroll with “Prince Albert’s”, on the right a scroll with “Own Hussars”. On scrolls above and around the cypher, the following battle honours. “Balaklava”, “Inkerman”, “Alma” and “Sevastopol”.
The 13th Hussars
Pouch-Belt: Gold herringbone lace on white Morocco leather backing with white silk central stripe. Silver buckle, tip and slide, silver ornaments of standard pattern with chains and pickers.
Arranged above and below the chain and picker plates, six scrolls with the following battle honours beginning at the top; “Peninsula”, “Waterloo”, “Alma”, “Inkerman”, “Balaklava”, “Sevastopol”. Pouch: Standard black pouch with silver flap and gilt cypher.
The 14th (King’s) Hussars
Pouch-Belt: Gold herringbone lace on plain Morocco leather backing with gold silk central stripe. Silver buckle, tip and slide. On the silver chain plate a gilt eagle and on the picker plate, the Royal Crest.
Pouch: Standard black pouch with silver flap. Special regimental device in gilt on the flap. The crowned Duchess of York’s cypher (doubled & Intertwined) with Prussian Eagle laid upon it.
The 15th (The King’s) Hussars
Pouch-Belt: Special gold regimental pattern chain lace on scarlet Morocco leather backing. Gilt buckle, tip and slide of 8th Hussars pattern. No ornaments.
Pouch: Scarlet leather with scarlet cloth covering on the deep flap. Gold chain gimp edging with Russia braid edging inside. In the centre a trophy of arms with flags at the sides all in gold embroidery with silver blades on sword blades and spear tips. On the trophy the Royal Crest in gold. Above all a gold crown. Around the central motif a spray of laurel leaves upon which are battle honours in gold embroidery on gold scrolls.
From top to bottom, battle honours are; “Emsdorf”, “Villiers en Couche”, “Egmont op Zee”, “Sahagun”, “Vittoria”, “Peninsula”, “Waterloo” & “Afghanistan”.
The 18th Hussars
Pouch-Belt: Gold Artillery Wave lace on a scarlet Morocco leather backing. Gilt buckle tip and slide of 8th Hussars pattern. Regimental pattern gilt chain and pickers ornament with gilt chain.
Pouch: Scarlet leather with gold embroidery on the flap. The flap was edged with gold floral lace and in the centre was the Georgian cypher doubled and intertwined with hooped crown above.
Either side of the cypher was a large spray of laurel bearing three battle honours (inherited from the 18th Hussars disbanded in 1821) On the left was “Peninsula”, on the right “Waterloo” and below was “Conamir”.
The 19th Hussars
Pouch-Belt: Standard light dragoon pattern on white leather with central silk white stripe. Standard silver buckle tip and slide with chain and picker ornaments. Between the picker plate and chain plate, a silver elephant with curled trunk.
Above the elephant a scroll with the battle honour “Assaye” and below a scroll with “Niagara”. (All from the previous regiment in existence from 1781 as the 23rd Light Dragoons renumbered 19th in 1786, converted to lancers in 1817 and disbanded in 1821). Pouch: Standard cavalry pouch.
The 20th Hussars
The same pouch and pouch-belt as the 3rd & 4th Hussars on crimson Morocco leather backing and crimson silk stripe down the centre.
The 21st Hussars
The same pouch and pouch-belt as the 3rd & 4th Hussars on French Grey Morocco leather backing and French Grey silk stripe down the centre.uch: Standard black pouch with silver flap and gilt cypher.