Uniforms of the Fife and Forfar Imperial Yeomanry

Sgt-Major instructing recruits c1902

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In 1901 with the conversion of the Light horse into Imperial Yeomanry a new set of uniforms was issued.

As described by the Adjutant of the Regiment, Gerald Burgoyne in his 1904 book

"THE FIFE & FORFAR IMPERIAL YEOMANRY AND ITS PREDECESSORS."

"The new uniform was a drab jacket with blue collar and shoulder straps, blue crows feet on the cuffs, G.S. Imperial Yeomanry buttons, breeches lacing at the knee, with blue welt down the sides, putties and brown boots.

Officers wore badges of rank and leather gaiters, otherwise their uniform was the same as that of the men. All ranks wore the same pattern of brick-coloured slouch hat, and badges were worn on the collar and side of the hat. The regiment was served out with G.S. pattern blue cloaks, and with bandoliers and rifles in place of swords and carbines."

In this photograph we can see several details as described as well as a field service cap on the troopers, which Burgoyne doesn't mention.

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At Camp c1902

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In this photograph of troopers its slightly easier to see the details of the collar dogs and crows feet detail on the cuffs

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Sgts Mess at Annsmuir

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In this low quality picture from a press cutting of the time it is just about possible to see the IY shoulder titles. It is possible it was a 2 part title F&F over IY but better evidence is required to be sure.

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Imperial Yeomanry Button

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The Standard Imperial Yeomanry Button, worn by the companies that went to South Africa and by the new Home Regiments

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Officers' uniform

Group of Officers at Annsmuir camp

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In this photograph of officers, there is a variety of uniforms, some are wearing the Black Patrol Jacket, whilst other wear the drab uniform introduced in 1901.

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Honorary Colonel John Anstruther Thomson 1902

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In this photograph of the Honorary Colonel we can see that he still wears the same pouch as in the FLH.

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The 1903 Uniform

Yeoman 1907

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In 1903 in an effort to increase numbers, a new smarter regimental uniform and colours were decided on.

The Regimental IY button was first introduced on this uniform but would be worn for much longer.

The Regimental Colours decided upon were yellow and crimson, with a blue stripe.

"The new uniform, which received the sanction of the War Office authorities in November, carried out in the frock, as far as possible, the design of a subaltern's tunic of the old Light Horse. The lace on the frock is of the same pattern as the silver lace on the Fife Light Horse tunic.

The facings on collar and shoulder straps were blue, and were edged with drab braid. The cuffs, of the same design as those of the Light Horse, were ornamented with four buttons and drab braid; otherwise the frock was of the same pattern as the old serge. The men wore overalls with one inchstripe and Wellington boots and spurs for foot parades; but for mounted work, pants with a blue welt down the sides, putties and brown boots, with a G.S. spur in nickel.

Slouch hats cut and cocked after the pattern of those worn by the B.S.A. Police, with a short blue plume (Band wore red plumes), a field service cap, and a G.S. cloak, completed the equipment. The buttons were bronze."

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3 Troopers

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Another group in the enhanced drab uniform introduced in 1903.

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Martingale badge

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This badge was worn on the breastplate of the officers' horses, a similar one is described as being used by the FLH.

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Shoulder Title

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The pattern of metal shoulder title for the Yeomanry worn on the 1903 uniform

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Arm badge

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"All Sergeants and N.C.O.'s above that rank wore the Regimental crest (thane of Fife inside an oval Garter) on their arms - in bronze on the drab, in silver on the blue serge. For social functions N.C.O.'s and men were allowed to wear the Fife Light Horse undress uniform, but these they had to get at their own expense.

To distinguish the Sergeant-Majors of the permanent staff from other members of the Sergeants' mess, their frock was decorated in the same way as that of the officers, except that they wore shoulder straps and bronze buttons. they also wore a brown leather peaked drab staff cap with a blue band, bearing the arm badge in bronze in front."

As is common the arm badge was produced in two versions with the Thane facing right for the right arm and facing left for the other.

For some reason the right facing version is far more common. One possibility is that the Regiment started to use just one pattern at a later date.

A blue serge jacket (c1912) in Fife Council's collections has the right facing Thane badge on both arms (backed with yellow felt)

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FFIY buttons

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The standard F&FIY button was worn on the everyday uniforms, the fancy silver button (bottom right) could be worn with either mess dress or the full dress (both of these the same as the Fife Light Horse)

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Officers Uniform

Officers Forage Cap

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"The officers' uniform was the same as before, except that they wore drab braid around the collar, and blue cord shoulder knots of the same pattern as the silver ones on the tunic. The cuff was different to that of the mens's tunics, having a slash and button-holes being edged with drab braid. The buttons were white metal.

The patrol jacket was done away with, a blue serge being substituted; and the new pattern staff cap replaced the old forage cap. The F.S. cap for the officers was a plain drab staff cap with badge in front, the new forage cap being scarlet with a blue band and blue rim and quarters, and black leather peak."

For another picture of officers and men in the 1903 uniform see the main Fife and Forfar Imperial Yeomanry Page

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