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Warwicks

British Cavalry Equipment 1914

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I wondered if anybody knew of sources of information for 1914 BEF cavalry equipment (man and horse)?

Also, does anyone know of any reenactment societies, museums where it is possible to view make-up of the equipment and how it was worn?

I'm particualry interested in ways in which I can get a series of photographs for research purposes

Thank you

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Anglesey's History of the British Cavalry (Vols 7 & 8) are a good source of information, as is Kenyon's book Horsemen in No Man's Land.

There are several regimental museums round the country with equipment on display: depending where you're based I might suggest the 15th/19th Hussars museum in Newcastle is a good place to go.

Or try these people: http://www.16thlancers1914.com/

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Superb thank you Steven, the 16th Lancers are in Nottingham on the 1st July, so a really good result!

Kind regards

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I've not been (sadly) so have no idea what it's like, but this museum might be worth a visit http://www.armymuseums.org.uk/museums/0000000002-13th-18th-Royal-Hussars-QMO-and-The-Light-Dragoons-Museum.htm and I'm thinking barnsley might be close enough to you. (Well it is Up North)

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I wondered if anybody knew of sources of information for 1914 BEF cavalry equipment (man and horse)?

Also, does anyone know of any reenactment societies, museums where it is possible to view make-up of the equipment and how it was worn?

I'm particualry interested in ways in which I can get a series of photographs for research purposes

Thank you

I am President of the International Cavalry Association. I have Officers, Yeomanry, and OR Cavalry kit in full christmas tree order. Indeed I use most of it in competition and campaign work across the world. If I can help you in any way I am happy. Message me so we can sort things out.

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Warwick,

I would go to the following forum and ask your questions.

http://www.militaryhorse.org/forum/

Under the UP forum ask--Some extremely knowledgable collects on UP saddles reside there.

Joe Sweeney

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I wondered if anybody knew of sources of information for 1914 BEF cavalry equipment (man and horse)?

Also, does anyone know of any reenactment societies, museums where it is possible to view make-up of the equipment and how it was worn?

I'm particualry interested in ways in which I can get a series of photographs for research purposes

Thank you

Warwicks,

Hope some of these are of assistance.

Regards,

LF

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Saddlery :- A complete set of Officers' Saddlery will be issued to each Officer. The following additional articles are required :-

Jowl plume, with plain plated boss. Regimental bridle bosses, obtainable from the Regimental Saddler-Staff Sergeant, to whom must be sent one pair of bronze collar badges.

Drill Order Mounted

Officers :- Service Dress; issued Saddlery, without wallets; jowl plume, except on tactical work; shoe case empty; sword on the saddle.

Other Ranks :- Service dress, issued Saddlery; rifle and sword on the saddle; saddle otherwise stripped; shoe case empty.

Church Parade Order Mounted

All ranks :- As for drill order, mounted, but with medals, and without rifle.

Marching Order

(The detail is given in terms of other ranks, and Officers will conform.)

On the horse

Blankets :- Under the saddle.

Cloak :- Rolled 32 inches in length, place on the front arch of the saddle.

Waterproof sheet :- Rolled as the cloak, and placed on the top of the cloak so that the buckles of the straps lie midway between the top of the cloak and the front arch of the saddle, with tongues and buckles downward.

Mess Tin :- Strapped on to the rifle bucket, holes of the tin uppermost.

Water bucket :- Placed over the rifle bucket.

Straps, SPP :- On the shoe case strap, near side.

Pegs, 2 :- Loops placed over the scabbard, and the pegs hung down the side of the scabbard.

Hay net :- Placed on top of the pegs, so that the pegs and the hay net are secured round the scabbard by the strap SPP.

Nose bag :- Strap to pass through the "D" of the rear fan of the saddle, through the centre "D" of the rear arch of the saddle, and fastened so that the bag lies in front of the sword.

Head rope :- Through the lower ring of the back strap of the head collar, and knotted round the neck with four and a half coils.

Built up rope :- Placed over the horse's neck, with the ring on the off side.

Heel shackle :- The strap through both rings of the head collar, and coiled on to the ring of the built up rope.

Grooming kit :- In the nose bag.

On the man

Water bottle :- With strap over left shoulder, the bottle under the right arm, and hung up to the right shoulder.

Haversack :- Over right shoulder, under left arm , the bottom edge of the haversack being in line with the button of the bottom pocket of the SD jacket.

Bandolier :- Over the left shoulder.

Field glasses (those to whom issued) :- Over the left shoulder, and under the bandolier.

Revolver (those to whom issued) :- on the left side, with the lanyard round the neck.

Revolver pouch (those to whom issued) :- On the right side.

Steel helmets will be worn.

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A fascinating list! For the benefit of those, like me, who barely know one end of a horse from the other, could the use of items like;head rope and built up rope, heel shackle and pegs be explained. If the pegs were to tether the horse how does this tie up with my understanding that the numbers of troopers available for dismounted action were limited by some having to to hold the horses while the others acted as infantry.

Old Tom

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Old Tom,

I think I understand your question but If I haven't theni am sorry. To tether horses to a horse line with them picketed on their heel shackle IS NOT what you do when you have committed part of your unit to dismounted action. The idea is to hold a position, not to attack. Therefore the very need for cavalrymen to get off their horses would indicate the position is atleast fluid.As such, the need to mount at speed precludes all of the palaver of horse lines and picket pegs.

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Thank you for that information which may not cover quite what I had in mind in my question. The point about the rifle strength of cavalry in WW1 is often made and clearly you response is an explanation. However in some cases, I believe, cavalry units were deployed in defensive situations when they were the only troops available and, again I believe, these actions lasted several days if not longer. It was that situation I had in mind.

Old Tom

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Tom,

I interprete your question in two scenarios.

Going into Defensive posture from horseback. This would sap a significant amount of strength. The No. 3 man would be retained as horse handler in a 4 man section and would take the reins of No. 1, 2 and 4, effectively sapping 1/4 of the rifle strength.

Use as ersatz Infantry in Trench Warfare. Not sure what the hoirse hadnling arrangements were but invariably some strength would be left behind to tend to horses on the horse lines but I doubt anywhere near 1/4 the strength.

Joe Sweeney

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Many thanks.

Old Tom

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Hi,

late addition to this topic. Is the mention of a 'built up rope' in the list of equipment of the Leicestershire Yeomanry provided by Lancashire Fusilier above a reference to a toggle rope (which I have seen mentioned elsewhere as being part of yeomanry equipment)? If so, does anyone know how long it was?

Cheers

Malcolm

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Use as ersatz Infantry in Trench Warfare. Not sure what the hoirse hadnling arrangements were but invariably some strength would be left behind to tend to horses on the horse lines but I doubt anywhere near 1/4 the strength.

Since this thread has returned to life: in the scenario of a cavalry regiment going into the Line during static warfare, generally a Brigade (of three cavalry regiments) would furnish a battalion, each regiment supplying a company. The rest of the cavalry regiment would be in billets looking after the horses, etc.

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In answer to Malcolm A, the "built up rope" was about 5ft long. It had a wooden toggle at one end and a loop or eye at the other, with a steel ring spliced in. I am not too sure of the correct terminology; a veteran Yeoman (Palestine 1940/41) referred to it as a "toggle rope", I have also seen it referred to as a "picketing rope". The term "built up rope" may more correctly refer to the rope "built up" by linking together successive ropes, toggle to loop, to form a longer line to which horses could be tethered by means of their head ropes, each to one of the steel rings.

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