Sergeant Major, 20th Light Dragoons 1812-1815
From 1685 James II had dragoon regiments, reaching a maximum of fourteen, but after the end of the Seven Years’ War, this number began to decrease, and the Dragoon regiments were replaced by Light Dragoons, of which there were 6 regiments, and then 5, following the break–up of the 5th Irish Dragoons involved in the Irish revolt.
In 1728 General Hawley had suggested the creation of a Light Dragoon regiment which would use the battle tactics traditional to this type of mounted infantry, which were unfamiliar to the existing Dragoons. This suggestion fell on deaf ears, but when the Scottish rebellion in 1745 showed the English that light cavalry was essential, the number of cavalry regiments began to increase, and at the end of the XVIII century there were 32 cavalry regiments, of which the first 5 were Dragoons and all the others were Light Dragoons. The latter were deployed on all active fronts in British Empire expansion in the following century, from Europe to America and Asia.
In 1812 a new uniform for the Light Dragoons replaced the old uniform which had been heavily adorned with braidings. The sergeant major figurine is wearing this new uniform, and belongs to the 20th regiment deployed in the West Indies in 1802, in 1806 in Sicily, in Egypt in 1807, in Spain in 1808-09, and, after a pause in England, returned to active service in Sicily from 1809-1812, in Spain from 1812-13, in Sicily and Italy from 1814-15 and in Ireland up to the end of 1815.
The figurine is wearing:
SHAKO: in black felt with yellow trimmings, yellow metal chinstrap, visor (front and back) in black leather.
JACKET: in blue cloth with the collar, cuffs, edgings and chest lapels and tail flaps in the distinctive colour (orange), fringes on tails and epaulettes in yellow thread, buttons in yellow metal, rank in yellow thread on an orange background.
BELT: in the distinctive colour (orange) with 2 blue trimmings, metal buckles in yellow.
BANDOLEER: white leather.
AMMUNITION POUCH: black leather.
SABRETACHE: black leather.
BELT AND HANGING STRAPS: white leather.
BOOTS: black leather.
SABRE: white metal.
SWORD-KNOT: white leather.
By changing the distinctive colour of the jacket and belt, the metal of the buttons and the colour of the epaulettes and posterior fringes and the shako accessories (always matching yellow or white), all the other light dragoon regiments of the period can be represented.
14th: distinctive colour orange, epaulettes etc. white.
8th: distinctive colour red, epaulettes etc. yellow, shako brown felt, visor brown leather.
16th: distinctive colour red, epaulettes etc. white.
9th: distinctive colour crimson, epaulettes etc. yellow
23rd: distinctive colour crimson, epaulettes etc. white.
11th: distinctive colour pale buff, epaulettes etc. white.
13th: distinctive colour pale buff, epaulettes etc. yellow.
12th: distinctive colour yellow, epaulettes etc. white.
19th: distinctive colour yellow, epaulettes etc. yellow.
17th: distinctive colour white, epaulettes etc. white, shako brown felt, visor brown leather.
21st: distinctive colour black, epaulettes etc. white, shako brown felt, visor brown leather.
24th: distinctive colour light grey, epaulettes etc. yellow, shako brown felt, visor brown leather.
25th: distinctive colour light grey, epaulettes etc. white, shako brown felt, visor brown leather.
22nd 1814: distinctive colour pink, epaulettes etc. white.
22nd 1815: distinctive colour white, epaulettes etc. white, shako brown felt, visor brown leather with white band and cockade, yellow chinstrap and tufts.
Scupltor: Maurizio Bruno
Painter: Maurizio di Matteo