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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Cavalry Caps


Ciaran Byrne

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I have several British cavalry photos and some show men wearing caps with white bands on them. I am guessing that these men are on manouvers and this is some sort of recognition device. Would this be correct ??

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Usually white arm bands means umpires, so perhaps white on caps also means the same, though its normally officers. Who is in your photo?

Arm

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Hi Arm,

These are ordinary ranks and the white bands are worn around their caps. I can't post images at the moment but will try to do so at a later date.

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It means that the troops concerned are acting as the "enemy" for an exercise. It was common practice to use the cleaning cloth for rifles as the material for the band worn around caps.

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It means that the troops concerned are acting as the "enemy" for an exercise. It was common practice to use the cleaning cloth for rifles as the material for the band worn around caps.

Though no expert, my reaction to the query was the same as Andrew's. But I've just had a good day in the Imperial War Museum reading room, where I read the memoirs of one officer who attended a training course at No I Cavalry Depot, Netheravon during WWI; those on the course had to remove their badges of rank, wear white cap bands and were treated as troopers by the RSM. But I would guess that it's more likely that Ciaran's pics show troops on manoeuvres.

Moonraker

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Thats correct. All these troops are out in the field. Some are Yeomanry and some are regular Cavalry of the Line.

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Hi

I may be wrong, but I think officer cadets, and those ex rankers, in training to become officers also wear white on their caps.

Gareth

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Here are "Highland Troops" (according to the caption) on an exercise in my home village of Renhold near Bedford.

Cheers

post-76-1128215072.jpg

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Mate,

I know this maybe wrong for what you are after but in the prewar Light Horse in Australia the White band on hats was to denote the soldier was in the Cavarly.

All Corps had there own colour to iD them in the field.

This colour system was dropped on the forming of the AIF but soldiers continued to wear this banding for some time particularly soldiers that remained behind in aussie under training and also Cavarly instrutors.

Since our forces are based on the the British Army could this also be the same colouring for your prewar units?

Cheers

S.B

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John,

Interesting looking Highland troops or any Scottish troops for that matter.

Joe Sweeney

Yes Joe.

There were a great deal of Scottish troops stationed in Bedford, I assume the photographer just made an un-educated guess for the caption.

Cheers

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The important thing to remember about the white bands is the context in which they are worn. The use of white cap bands could denote Officer Cadets, or if worn by troops on exercise that they were acting the part of enemy forces. Can you post of the scan of the photos in question please, Ciaran? This will help us to answer your query more definitively.

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c6_1_b.JPG

Here is a copy of the image.

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Not officer cadets, but cavalrymen on exercise. I have several photos like this in my collection, with the troops wearing white-coloured bands around their caps to denote their role as the "enemy" for their field training.

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