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Old 05-06-23, 08:12 AM
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mooke07 mooke07 is offline
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Default Northumberland Hussars collection

Hi all,

I am pleased to share my narrative regarding the history, uniforms and badges of the Northumberland Hussars. I do not profess to be an expert in any way regarding this regiment and its badges hence corrections and additions to this narrative will help build it out as a reference for others. A number of the badges were from Keith Hook, an authority on the badges of the British yeomanry and I am indebted to Keith for his friendship and encouragement.

I am keen to add to my Noodles collection and would be keen to hear from members with spare items via a PM please.

I have not included individual photographs of the majority of the collar badges, shoulder titles and buttons but can add them upon request.

My best regards, Dean.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE NORTHUMBERLAND (HUSSARS) YEOMANRY

The following short history is mostly drawn from ‘The History of the Northumberland (Hussars) Yeomanry, 1819-1923’ by Howard Pease and the “History of the Northumberland Hussars Yeomanry 1924–1949” by Joan Bright.

The Hussars were affiliated with the 15th/19th King’s Royal Hussars as recently as 1947, when the headquarters of that regiment moved to Newcastle, possibly because of a long-standing, unofficial affiliation with the Northumberland (Hussars), which can certainly be traced back to the 1880s, if not before. From 1872, in common with all Auxiliary forces, the Adjutant and instructors of the Hussars had to be regular army personnel seconded for, perhaps, three years. One such person who was to become extremely influential in later years was Captain John Denton Pinkstone French, later British Expeditionary Force Commander-in-Chief, then Field-Marshal Earl of Ypres, KP, OM, GCB, GCVO, KCMG. Captain French joined the Hussars in 1881, leaving it during the third quarter of 1884 to rejoin the 19th Hussars.

There were two distinctions for which the Northumberland (Hussars) were especially proud. The first was that the regiment was the sole ‘Imperial Service’ Yeomanry regiment before the Great War, with the second distinction being their First Line was the first Territorial Force unit in action.

The origins of the Northumberland Hussars can be traced to December 1819 when the Northumberland and Newcastle Volunteer Corps of Cavalry formed. The name of the regiment was changed to ‘The Northumberland (Hussars) Yeomanry Cavalry’ in 1876.

In the 1880s, there were usually six troops to a Yeomanry regiment, each of which met at least weekly for training purposes. The location of troops varied from time to time, but the following is typical of where they were based:

‘A’, ‘D’, and ‘F’ Troops – Headquarters, at Newcastle
‘B’ Troop – Hexham, with detachments at Bishop Auckland and Corbridge
‘C’ Troop – Morpeth, with detachments at Rothbury and Bedlington. On occasions, Alnwick and Berwick detachments were also mentioned
‘E’ Troop – County Durham, often with detachments in Durham, Sunderland and Darlington and, sometimes, South Shields.

The regiment provided the following mounted infantry for the Boer war:

14th (Northumberland) Company, 5th Battalion in 1900
15th (Northumberland) Company, 5th Battalion in 1900
55th (Northumberland) Company, 14th Battalion in 1900, transferred to 5th Battalion in 1902
100th (Northumberland) Company, 5th Battalion in 1901
101st (Northumberland) Company, 5th Battalion in 1901
105th (Northumberland) Company, 5th Battalion in 1901
110th (Northumberland) Company, 2nd Battalion in 1901.

The mounted infantry experiment was considered a success and the regiment was designated the Northumberland Imperial Yeomanry (Hussars) from 1901 to 1908.

When the Territorial Force was inaugurated in April 1908, the Northumberland (Hussars) Yeomanry Cavalry formed part of the Northumbrian Division, under the command of Sir Robert Baden-Powell. The Northumberland Hussars were attached for training to the Yorkshire Mounted Brigade. It was headquartered at Northumberland Road in Newcastle-on-Tyne with the squadrons being headquartered as follows:

A Squadron: Riding School, Northumberland Rd, Newcastle.
B Squadron: Woodside House, South Shields (and drill stations at Sunderland, Darlington, Spennymoor and West Hartlepool)
C Squadron: Fenwick Grove, Morpeth (Alnwick, Ashington, Rothbury, North Shields and Eglingham)
D Squadron: Causey Hill Farm, Hexham (Stanley, Prudhoe, Allendale and Wark-on-Tyne).

When war was declared in September 1914, the Northumberland Hussars were to be found at their Annual Training Camp at Farnley Park, Otley. The four peacetime squadrons were reduced to three, with ‘A’ Squadron then based at Gosforth Park, ‘B’ Squadron at Castle Eden, and ‘C’ Squadron at Bedlington. On 11 September it moved to Lyndhurst, Hampshire in readiness for embarkation. Major (later, Lieutenant-Colonel) P. Blencowe Cookson, CMG, OBE assumed command, which position he held until 1917.

1/1st Northumberland Hussars

August 1914: mobilised.
September 1914: moved to Lyndhurst (Hampshire) and placed under orders of 7th Division.
6 October 1914: landed at Zeebrugge (Belgium).
April 1915: split up:
– Regimental HQ and A Squadron: remained with division.
– B Squadron: 13 April 1915 placed under orders of 1st Division.
– C Squadron: 12 April 1915 placed under orders of 8th Division.
April/May 1916: reformed and became XIII Corps Cavalry Regiment. Regimental HQ and A Squadron rejoined 13 May, B Sqn 18 April, C Sqn 13 May.
August 1917: left corps, attached to VIII Corps.
November 1917: transferred to III Corps.
8 October 1918: transferred to XII Corps.

2/1st Northumberland Hussars

Formed as a Second-Line regiment in October 1914 and moved to Gosforth Park.
May 1915: moved to Scarborough.
April 1916: began to be split up, although A Sqn remained at Scarborough.
– Regimental HQ and B Squadron placed under orders of 62nd (2nd West Riding) Division, initially at Salisbury Plain and later East Anglia. Left division January 1917.
– C Squadron joined 59th (2nd North Midland) Division on 28 March 1916 and went with division to Ireland. Left division January 1917.
February 1917: reformed in Hertfordshire.
19 March 1917: landed at Le Havre.
26 March 1917: became XIX Corps Cavalry Regiment.
28 August 1917: moved to Etaples for training as infantry.
25 September 1917: absorbed into 9th Bn, the Northumberland Fusiliers which then changed title to 9th (Northumberland Hussars Yeomanry) Battalion.

3/1st Northumberland Hussars

Formed as a Third-Line training unit in February 1915. Moved to Gosforth Park and later to Stocksfield-on-Tyne.
Summer 1915: affiliated to 5th Reserve Cavalry Regiment at York.
Early 1917: absorbed into 5th Reserve Cavalry Regiment at Tidworth.

The First Line sailed for Belgium on 5 October 1914, where it acted as Divisional Cavalry for 7th Division. As such, it took part in the First Battle of Ypres, which was such a desperate affair that there were occasions when the regiment acted as dismounted infantry and occupied trenches. During this battle, the Hussars undertook reconnaissance patrols in advance of the infantry. The first casualties were sustained on 17 October 1914. After the battle, the regiment spent a fortnight at Meteren, which time appears to have been a period devoted to prodigious eating and sleeping. Of course, from the beginning of November 1914 the nature of warfare on the Western Front changed to that of trench warfare. To the end of the year, the Hussars appear to have been held in general reserve, as a result of which the regiment was used for all manner of duties, including trench building and maintenance. Apart from regular patrolling and supplying such as bridge guards, training continued and numerous changes of billet were recorded. The regiment was still in the Ypres area at the end of 1914.

A Second Line formation came into being on departure of the First Line, in October 1914. Again, to the end of 1914 the main focus was on training, this at Gosforth Park. Later, the Second Line was used for coastal defence duties before it, too, moved overseas. However, the unit did not survive to the end of the war. Early in the autumn of 1917, as happened to many Yeomanry regiments at that time, the Second Line was disbanded and its personnel were transferred to a local regiment, in the Hussars case to the Northumberland Fusiliers, there to form the nucleus of the 9th (Northumberland Hussars) Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers. They wore Northumberland Fusilier cap badges and shoulder titles with Northumberland Hussars collar badges. Before its disbandment, the Second Line saw service in many parts of the UK and France, and achieved the unique distinction of being the only Second Line Yeomanry unit to be dispatched as a cavalry regiment for service in any theatre of war.

Shortage of material and rifles, and of trained officers and NCOs, was a far more serious problem than a shortage of men. Indeed, at no time was there a shortage of willing volunteers, so much as that the regiment was one of very few Yeomanry regiments able to recruit a Third Line up to full strength. Formation of the Third Line began in January 1915, and it is worth recording that an offer was then made to the War Office to raise a Fourth Line, but this was politely declined.

Great War casualties numbered fifty-two men killed in action or died of wounds received, while a further fifteen died as a result of sickness, disease or natural causes. Twenty-four Northumberland Hussars were taken prisoners of war and two hundred and ninety were wounded.

The Regiment was awarded nine DSOs, thirteen MCs (with one bar), twelve DCMs, forty-two MMs, and seventy-three Mentions in Dispatches. Several officers were mentioned more than once, one of who received four mentions.

Between the wars

Post war, a commission was set up to consider the shape of the Territorial Force (Territorial Army from 1 October 1921). As the 14th most senior regiment in the order of precedence, the Northumberland Hussars was retained as horsed cavalry.

Second World War

In February 1940, the regiment transferred to the Royal Artillery (RA) as the 102nd Light Anti-Aircraft and Anti-Tank Regiment, RA (Northumberland Hussars). Two batteries were equipped with 2 pounder Anti-Tank Guns, the other two were light anti-aircraft (LAA) batteries. Following conversion, the regiment joined the 2nd Armoured Division's 2nd Support Group.

In October 1940, the division set sail for the Middle East, arriving in the new year. Two months later, the 'Hussars' converted to a three-battery anti-tank regiment, with one LAA battery re-equipping with 2-pdrs and the other, 'A' Battery, transferring to 25th LAA Regiment, in which it served as 274 (Northumberland Hussars) LAA Battery until the end of the war. Following the conversion, the regiment was unofficially considered to be a Royal Horse Artillery unit.

In April 1941, the 'Hussars', and other elements from the 2nd Support Group, joined the 1st Armoured Brigade for Operation Lustre, (the move to Greece). At this time, the regiment had a strength of 578 men, 168 vehicles and 48 x 2pdrs.

After their arrival, the regiment was deployed to hold the Metamorphos Pass in conjunction with the Greek Horse Artillery. On 22 April, they were subjected to dive bombing and tank attacks. Together with their New Zealand allies, the 'Hussars' acted as a rearguard. After a 12-hour battle and a 160-mile march through the night, they reached Athens on 25 April. The next day, they headed off to the nearby Rafina Beach and waited to be evacuated, having by now destroyed their guns and equipment. Most of the unit landed at Suda on the island of Crete. However, some elements were evacuated to Alexandria.

On the island, they were equipped with rifles and tasked to fight as infantry on the Akrotiri Peninsula between Canea and Suda. On 15 May, they again came under air attack; 11 German gliders also landed in the regimental area. By 26 May, the peninsula was under allied control and the gliders had all been destroyed. On 27 May, the allies decided to evacuate Crete; the regiment had to withdraw across the mountains from the town of Suda to the evacuation beaches at Sphakia, a distance of 50 miles. Many troops did get away, but owing to heavy shipping losses, the embarkation was stopped on 31 May and over 200 men from the regiment were left behind and ordered to surrender to the advancing German forces.

Evacuated to Egypt, the regiment began re-equipping and was brought back up to strength with men from the 106th (Lancashire Hussars) Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery, which unit had been suspended due to losses incurred in the fighting on Crete. In addition, the Fourth Rhodesian Anti-Tank Battery, Southern Rhodesia Artillery was incorporated into the regiment as D Battery for the remainder of the North Africa campaign. The 102nd was attached to the 7th Armoured Division for Operation Crusader, in November 1941. By February 1942, the 'Hussars' had moved to the 1st Armoured Division, with whom they participated in the Battle of Gazala. In October 1942, they became part of the 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division, with whom they took part in the Second Battle of El Alamein and fought in Sicily.

In October 1943, the highly experienced 50th Infantry Division set sail for England, arriving at Liverpool on 5 November 1943; the regiment had returned to the UK after an absence of almost three years. The Northumberland Hussars were, by this stage, a very experienced unit with six major battles, including two amphibious landings under their belts. They were an obvious choice to be placed at the forefront of the D-Day landings.

In preparation for the assault, the Northumberland Hussars equipped their 99th and 288th batteries with eight 6pdrs and four M10 Self Propelled Anti-Tank Guns – a normal infantry division Anti-Tank battery had four 6pdrs and eight 17pdrs. In addition, the regiment was reinforced by the 198th and 234th Self Propelled Anti-Tank Batteries (both with 12 M10s), which were detached from XXX Corps's 73rd Anti-Tank Regiment Royal Artillery.

The 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division was to assault Gold Beach with the 69th and 231st Infantry Brigades. The 69th Brigade, supported by the 99th battery, would land at La Rivière and move south toward Crépon and Creully to Saint-Léger, which was on the strategically important Bayeux–Caen road. The 231st Brigade would be supported by the 234th Self Propelled and 288th batteries. The 198th Self Propelled Battery was scheduled to land six hours after the first assault.

Once the leading brigades had secured their objectives, they were to consolidate their position with the help of the 'Hussars' two other batteries. Meanwhile, the follow-up infantry Brigades (the 151st and the independent 56th, which had been attached to the division for the assault) would continue the push inland, supported by the 8th Armoured Brigade and the rest of the anti-tank units.

The 50th Infantry Division was considered to have performed very well in Normandy; out of the three divisions that were veterans of the desert (the others being 7th Armoured Division and 51st (Highland) Infantry Division. It was one of the driving forces behind the British advance but was exhausted by the end of the battle. It later played a minor role in Operation Market Garden, where the 231st Infantry Brigade was detached to help support the advance of the Guards Armoured Division.

In December 1944, when the rest of the division returned to Britain, the Northumberland Hussars remained in Northern Europe as part of the 15th (Lowland) Infantry Division, with which it remained until the end of the war.

Post war

The regiment was disbanded from Regular service in the Royal Artillery and returned to the TA Order of battle in 1946 when it was equipped with Cruiser Tanks as the 50th (Northumbrian) Divisional Reconnaissance Regiment and re-occupied the Army Riding School. The regimental headquarters and 'A' Squadron moved to Debden Gardens in Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne in 1954.

After the formation of the TAVR in 1967, the regiment was reduced to cadre strength at the Barrack Road drill hall in 1969. The unit was then reformed as Headquarters Squadron (The Northumberland Hussars), the Queen's Own Yeomanry at Fenham Barracks, Newcastle upon Tyne and equipped with Ferret and Alvis Saracen Armoured Cars in 1971. The Northumberland Hussars designation was preserved on the formation of 'D' Squadron (The Northumberland Hussars) at Fox Barracks in Cramlington, Northumberland in 1986: the squadron was equipped with Fox armoured reconnaissance vehicles.

In 1999, 'D' Squadron and Headquarters Squadron amalgamated to form 'D' Squadron, (The Northumberland Hussars) at Fenham Barracks and the amalgamated squadron was equipped with CVR(T) Sabre and then FV107 Scimitar Tracked Armoured Reconnaissance vehicles. Then 'D' Squadron changed its name with Army 2020 to form command and support Squadron (The Northumberland Hussars) Queen's Own Yeomanry, equipped with the Land Rover RWMIK in 2014.

Although the Northumberland (Hussars) Yeomanry Cavalry no longer exists, a link with the past survives in the form of ‘D’ Squadron (Northumberland Hussars) of the Queen’s Own Yeomanry, which is based at Fenham Barracks along with the Regimental Headquarters of 15th/19th King’s Royal Hussars.

Uniform

When the Northumberland and Newcastle Regiment of Yeomanry Cavalry was formed they adopted the contemporary light dragoon uniform with blue jacket, light blue collar and cuffs, plastron and trousers all lace was gold / yellow. The bell topped shako was black. In the 1830s the plastron disappeared, and the overalls became dark blue with light blue stripes. In 1850 the bell topped shako was exchanged for an Albert pattern shako. In about 1856 a tunic was adopted and worn with the previous shako for some years. The tunic was double breasted with light blue collar, cuffs and piping and although the lace became silver / white the shako had gold lace fittings and lines. A dark blue kepi was taken into wear during the mid-sixties and it apparently retained the gold cap lines and fittings. There are indications that a trial busby of unorthodox type was adopted by some officers in the early 1870s, but other ranks appear not to have worn them.

In 1876 the regiment converted to hussars and by 1880 all ranks had been issued with the new uniforms. The conventional six-loop hussar tunic was worn with white square cord and silver ball buttons. The shoulder cords were white. Overalls had double white stripes. The 1857 pattern busby had a scarlet bag with white lace and button as did the busby boss and cap lines. Unusually, the busbies of the officers continued to be decorated with gold lace, bosses and cap lines. The plume was white over red.

In the late 1880s knee boots and pantaloons were introduced and by 1895 the 1857 busby had been replaced by the 1887/8 version. All equipment was white with black pouches and senior NCOs had a silver crown on scarlet backing on the flap. NCOs wore silver chevrons and crowns on a scarlet backing. All trade and SAA badges were originally on scarlet backings but by the mid-1890s, they were on blue backings although trumpeters still retained scarlet. Bandsmen wore lyres on the right sleeve. By 1900 the Northumberland Hussars were considering changing to light blue facings (then described as French Grey).

Stable jackets followed the conventional pattern for other ranks being blue with white piping on the collar and white loops on the cuffs. Silver piping and jacket edging was worn by sergeant-majors and above with special ¾ inch lace being worn by the RSM, RQMS and other senior staff. Pillbox caps were blue with white bands and buttons for ORs and silver Austrian Wave lace for Sergeants and above. The Regimental Serjeant Major and Regimental Quarter Master Serjeant had extra figuring on the crown. In 1898 plain blue five button frocks with breast pockets were issued and generally replaced the stable jackets. The RSM wore a special patrol jacket with six black mohair loops across the front. He appears to have been the only staff member to wear the blue silver edged Torin cap with silver badge on the left side being worn by officers in undress.

Khaki was adopted after the Boer War and worn with a slouch hat that had a French Grey puggaree. The staff pattern peaked cap taken into wear in 1902 also had a French Grey band and piping. Full dress with overalls was worn by the route lining contingent present at King George Vths coronation in 1911. After 1914 the Northumberland Hussars wore the standard khaki service dress with regimental insignia for nearly all occasions. The French Grey puggaree was still worn on the khaki caps - inter-war.

Cap Badges

There is some confusion in the published literature regarding the identity of the castle depicted on the Northumberland Hussars badge. Major Edward’s in his book “Regimental Badges” notes it to be from the Arms of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, whereas Walter Richards in his much earlier book “His Majesty’s Territorial Army” claims it to be Alnwick Castle, the ancestral home of the Dukes of Northumberland. John Gaylor’s “British Army Badges” book sides with it being Alnwick Castle. The castle is in fact the Keep of the Norman Castle of Newcastle on Tyne. Some militaria dealers sites incorrectly refer to it as Alnwick castle.

Officers of the Northumberland and Newcastle Yeomanry Cavalry wore a silvered Yeomanry sabretache (pouch) badge with a "NNYC" cypher prior to 1876. These measure 70x30mm and were attached with short threaded screw posts. A version surmounted with a Victorian crown has also been shown on the Forum. Tunic and shoulder epaulette buttons were in silver with a Victorian crown over the NNYC cypher and date from 1830 to 1855.

The first cap badge worn by Officers of the Northumberland Hussars was in bullion and depicted the Keep of the Norman Castle of Newcastle on Tyne. This badge is likely to have been worn in the later part of the period from 1867 until 1901. A bullion cap badge is shown being worn in a portrait photograph of Lieutenant Colonel Miles Roland C. Backhouse DSO in 1915 in Howard Pease’s regimental history and by a number of Officers in other photographs up until the Great War. Lieutenant Colonel Backhouse and other Officers are also wearing bullion collar badges. An example of this bullion cap badge is shown as the far left-hand side badge (nominally 1a) in row 1 in the accompanying photograph of my collection.

Please note that each row of badges, shoulder titles and button is numbered and I refer to the items in each row from left to right as ‘a’, ‘b’ and ‘c’ etc including gaps left to add additional items.

Frederick Wilkinson in his “Cavalry Badges 1914” shows a white metal pre-1902 badge on rings (loops) (Wilkinson 125) attributed to the Northumberland Hussars bearing Northumberland in a garter strap surmounted by a Victorian crown and depicting the Keep of the Norman Castle of Newcastle upon Tyne within a voided shield. This badge is a Newcastle constabulary badge with photographic evidence of it being worn accordingly. Unusually there are no Queen Victoria Crown cap or collar badges for the Northumberland Hussars only buttons.

The first metal cap badges to be worn by the Northumberland Hussars was in silver for Officers (1b) and white metal for Other Ranks (shown separately as a cast WM badge) both with loops. These badges were worn from 1901 to 1905 by Officers and the Regimental Serjeant Major on the staff pattern peaked cap and by all ranks on the Torin cap in Undress. The Other Ranks version of this badge was described by Kipling and King in “Badges of the British Army Volume 1” as “A strap inscribed Northumberland Hussars ensigned with the Imperial Crown. In a voided centre a castle. In white metal. (Fig. 1324 and referred to subsequently as KK1324).” It is a garter strap with the voided Keep of the Norman Castle of Newcastle on Tyne within.

A British Badge Forum post describes the badge worn by the Northumberland Hussars Imperial Yeomanry serving in the Boer war as a silk rosette with a brass Prince of Wales feathers badge surmounting a brass numeral 5. David J. Knight and RJ Smith in their book “The Uniforms of the Imperial Yeomanry 1901-1908” note that Officers wore a scarlet rosette with a silver button in the centre on their slouch hats with the French-Grey embellished khaki service dress adopted from 1902.

For service in the Boer War, in 1905 the Northumberland Hussars were awarded the South Africa 1900-02 battle honour. The Northumberland Hussars cap badge was thus altered with the addition of a horizontal lower scroll bearing South Africa 1900-02. This badge is represented as 1c for Officers in die cast silver with blades now folded, in die cast bronze with copper loops as Officer’s Service Dress (OSD) (1d) and in die cast WM with loops for Other Ranks (1e). The horizontal battle honour scroll on these badges would have been prone to snapping off and it is likely that the design of the badge was subsequently changed to semi-circular honour scroll below the garter strap to circumvent this. This badge is shown as 1f for Officers Full Dress in silver and in bronze with blades (now folded) for Officer’s Service Dress in 1g. These badges were worn from 1905-8.

The transfer of the Northumberland Hussars from the Imperial Yeomanry to the regular army in 1909 resulted in a further change in the cap badge. The badge is described by Kipling and King as “A circlet inscribed Northumberland Hussars surmounted by an Imperial Crown. In the centre the Norman castle from the Arms of Newcastle-on-Tyne. Below the circlet a scroll inscribed South Africa 1900-02. In gilding metal. (Fig. 1431 and referred to subsequently as KK1431)”. This badge was worn until the 1920s and is shown in die cast silver with blades for Officer’s (5a), in die cast silver plate (marked P to rear) with silver loops for NCOs (5c) and in also in die cast silver for Officers with a short slider marked JR GAUNT LONDON LATE JENNENS (5e) circa 1924-26, in die cast bronze with copper loops for Officer’s Service Dress (5g), in die struck white metal with copper loops for Other Ranks (5i), in die struck gilding metal with a long slider for Other Ranks (5k), and also in die struck gilding metal with copper loops for Other Ranks (5l). This pattern badge is also depicted in Frederick Wilkinson’s “Cavalry Badges 1914” as badge 124 on rings (loops). It is my understanding that WM cap and collar badges were worn on Full Dress and GM with Service Dress.

In the late 1920s the Northumberland Hussars cap badge changed with a void appearing between the circlet and the South Africa honour scroll. This badge is shown in Cox’s book as badge 1302 in white metal, bronze and in gilding metal. It is also depicted by Wilkinson as badge 126 in white metal on a slider circa 1950. Gaylor notes that this pattern of the Northumberland Hussars cap badge was initially issued in brass (actually gilding metal) and a white metal version was issued in the 1950s. Kipling and King state that the KC Northumberland Hussars badge had a sealed date of 17th Feb 1951. I believe they were referring to the WM version of the KC Northumberland Hussars cap badge with a slider.

A die cast silver plate version (marked P to rear) with silver loops of the voided KC Northumberland Hussars badge maker marked J R GAUNT LONDON (circa 128 onwards) is shown as badge 9a for Officers Full Dress. Badge 9b is a die cast bronze Officer’s Service Dress example with folded blades and maker marked J&Co for Jennens and Co. A WM die struck version with copper loops for Other Ranks is shown as 9c. A die cast silver and gilt castle example with copper loops is shown as badge 9d with JR GAUNT LONDON tablet. This is the only combination metal Northumberland Hussars badge I have come across and it may be a senior NCO’s badge. A WM Other Ranks example with a brass slider maker marked J R GAUNT LONDON in large font is shown as badge 9e and these were introduced in the 1950s. A genuine GM Other Ranks example with a brass slider maker marked JR GAUNT.LONDON in 11mm font is shown as badge 9f and this maker’s mark dates from the late 1930’s through to WW2. A die struck chromed WM Other Ranks example with a large JR GAUNT LONDON font marked chromed slider is shown as badge 9g. It is believed these were worn from 1953 onwards together with chromed shoulder titles.

On conversion to a Royal Artillery regiment in 1940, "It was decided, after consultation with the new Battery Commanders, that both Batteries would wear the Northumberland Hussars cap badges, buttons, and shoulder titles."

An example of the Northumberland Hussars cap badge with a non-voided surround to the castle keep of Newcastle on KK 1431 in GM worn by a farrier who served in the 1930s has been shown on the Forum.

There is known to exist a HMSS Northumberland Hussars cap badge (KK1431) with the date letter for 1945/46 bearing the JRG&S maker’s mark of Gaunt worn by an Officer of the 102 Anti-Tank Regiment (Royal Artillery) (The Northumberland Hussars) (Territorial Army).

The bullion KC example shown as badge 7e is likely to be a post-WW2 example.

KK states that the Queen’s Crown (QC) WM cap badge was sealed on 19th September 1956, however, it never progressed past the point of sealing. Hence the existing KC badge was worn until replaced by the QC anodised aluminium (AA) badge, sealed on 13th March 1962.

Peter Taylor in “Collecting Anodised Cap Badges” shows an anodised KC Northumberland Hussars cap badge as badge 44 in all silver and QC version as badge 45 again in all silver.

The QMGF2 noted on 11th May 1966 that the Northumberland Hussars stock of badges in GM/WM were to be used up (before the AA badge was issued as a replacement) and position reviewed in 12 months.

Noting the above the following badges may not be genuine examples and I am puzzled that there are QC metal collar badges that appear genuine and so the QC Northumberland Hussars badge story requires further research.

Badge 11a is a die cast silver QC example with silver loops and non-voided bottom scroll. This badge has an unusual strap which reverts to the first cap badge worn by the Northumberland Hussars from 1901. A die cast WM version with copper loops and a voided scroll is shown as badge 11b. A similar badge but die struck is shown as badge 11c. The badge shown as 11d is as per badge 11b but with the loops replaced with an unmarked brass slider.

Chris Marsh in his treatise on AA badges (“Anodised Aluminium: The 'No Bull' Cap Badge of the British Army”) notes that the only known genuine examples of the QC Northumberland Hussars cap badge in anodised aluminium have a slider marked H W TIMINGS LTD B’HAM and have a voided scroll as per 11e.

Thanks to the research of Luke Halls on the Forum, Martin Marsh reproductions of the Northumberland Hussars cap badges are a QC example in white metal (#911) and a KC example in brass (#1174), both with voided lower scrolls.

Collar Badges

From studying period photographs of the Northumberland Hussars, collar badges do not appear to have been worn until 1901. From then, all ranks of the Northumberland Hussars wore a facing pair of collar badges depicting the Norman castle of Newcastle with the tower facing the collar opening. An Officer’s Mess Dress pair of bullion collars as shown as badges 2a & 2b. The first metal collar badges were in silver for Officers and WM for other ranks 2d & 2e (noting these are incorrectly paired with respect the towers are facing outwards). These were worn 1901-05. The granting of the South Africa 1900-02 battle honour in 1905 led to new collar badges bearing the honour scroll being introduced as per 2f & 2g (correct orientation). The collar badge shown as badge 2c is a stunning example in gilt with copper loops. It may be one from a pair of collar badges worn by a Commanding Officers in the period 1901-05.

Row 6 shows a number of collar badges from 1914 to the 1920s in the same style as the cap badges of this and subsequent periods. They are smaller in size than the cap badges and are non-voided between the circlet and the South Africa 1900-02 scroll. An often overlooked and yet distinguishing feature of Imperial and later Queen’s Crown collar badges of the Northumberland Hussars is the cross motif at the bottom of the circlet has arms of the same length on collar badges whereas the horizontal arms are longer than the vertical arms on cap badges.

Badge 6a is one from a pair of Officer’s silver collar badges with silver loops. A pair of Other Ranks collar badges in WM with copper loops are shown as badges 6c & 6d for Full Dress. The collar badge shown as badge 6e is another Other Ranks example in WM but with non-voided crown and is a manufacturers variation. Badges 6g & 6h, and 6i & 6j are worn GM and mint condition GM pairs worn by Other Ranks with Service Dress.

Row 10 represents collar badges worn from the 1920’s to the late 1960s. Badge 10a is GM example worn by Other Ranks with the void between the circlet and honour scroll and is of the same size as a cap badge. Smaller more conventional sized collar badges of this period are represented by badge 10b in WM without the void and this collar badge was as per those worn from 1905 onwards. Badges 10c & 10d are chromed WM examples worn from 1953 along with chromed cap badges and shoulder titles.

Row 12 shows a QC collar badge (12d) in silver plate with is non-voided between the circlet and the South Africa honour. Badges 12f & 12g are QC collar badges in WM and 12j & 12k are in anodised aluminium.

NCO Arm Badges

From 1890 an arm badge of a castle had been approved for the Northumberland Hussars which for senior NCOs (Corporal and above) and permanent staff was of silver wire on a French Grey backing. Staff Sergeants wore a full-size castle badge of a different design above their chevrons on their right arm or a smaller collar-sized castle badge on the lower right sleeve, both on a French Grey backing. Examples of post-1905 versions of the NCOs arm badge with the South Africa 1900-02 battle honour scroll are shown in row 4 of my collection. The first is a solid cast WM NCO’s arm badge (4a) which was worn 1905-14. They were made in die struck WM (4b) from 1914-53. Chromed die struck arm badges (4e) were adopted in 1953. The white metal NCO arm badge is shown as badge 1303 in Cox’s book. The badge is the Keep of the Norman castle of Newcastle on Tyne above a South Africa 1900-02 scroll. The high tower is to the right of the badge.

Northumberland Hussars NCO arm badges can also be found in bullion and in khaki. A large Bullion example was worn on Full Dress (4c) with a smaller collar badge size for No 2 and Mess dress (4f). Sean Michael Cronin on the Forum purchased his large bullion example from the Serjeants mess of the Northumberland Hussars in the late 1980s and he noted that they had in stock an additional version in white cotton on khaki.

Sabretache Badges

Sean Michael Cronin also posted a picture of the undress sabretache device as a two-part badge with the Keep of the Norman Castle of Newcastle on Tyne without a lower South Africa 1900-02 scroll (the high tower is to the left as distinct from on the right on NCO arm badges and cap badges and buttons) above a separate scroll bearing “For King and Country”. He also has in his collection the manufacturing mold of this sabretache badge. This two-part badge is a pre-1905 device before the South Africa honour had been awarded.

A post-1905 sabretache cypher badge is shown as badge 4d. This is a gilding metal badge with the Imperial crown surmounting a GR reversed GR cypher above a Northumberland Hussars scroll with three screw posts to the rear.

Shoulder Titles

Ray Westlake in his book “Collecting Metal Shoulder Titles” notes the following shoulder titles as being worn by the Northumberland Hussars. The first shoulder titles worn were NHIY (not illustrated in Westlake) as part of the Imperial Yeomanry from 1901 until 1908. These titles are represented by badges 3c-f. The shoulder title at 3c is of a different manufacture and finish than the more commonly encountered Other Ranks brass pair at 3d & 3e and may be an Officer’s item. The larger shoulder title at 3f is likely to have been worn on the slouch hat. There is another size variant of this shoulder title noted by Longdog in the thread below.

The NHIY titles were replaced with T / Y / NORTHUMBERLAND (Westlake badge 251) from 1908 and were worn until 1916. These titles are illustrated by the pair shown at 7a & 7b. There is a sans serif pattern Y NORTHUMBERLAND shoulder title which was worn post-1916 as kindly detailed in the thread below by Longdog. This Territorial shoulder title was followed by Y / NORTHUMBERLAND.H (not illustrated in Westlake) which was worn before 1940 and is represented by 7h & 7i.

The Northumberland Hussars also wore smaller NHY titles (again not illustrated in Westlake) in brass (8a) and WM (8f) and these may be Officers examples possibly from the inter-war period.

By 1940 the Northumberland Hussars were wearing NH shoulder titles in brass and in WM for Other Ranks (Westlake 252). The brass pair at 7c & 7d are unmarked and the pair at 7f & 7g are marked J.R.GAUNTLONDON. A WM example is shown as 11b.

Westlake (253) describes a smaller NH shoulder title in silver as an Officers example. The pair shown as 13c & 13d are of silver plate and are Officer’s shoulder titles. The example at 13f is also an Officer’s shoulder title in silver plate but from a different manufacturer or die. The smaller NH shoulder titles shown as 8b & 8c are also believed to be Officer’s patterns from different manufacturers or manufacturing dies. They are in darkened metal and not tarnished silver. The brass shoulder title at 8e may be a small pattern Other Ranks shoulder title or an Officer’s pattern in an ‘incorrect’ metal. There are additional size variations of the NH shoulder title which are manufacturers variations.

The NH title was changed to chrome in 1953 as per the Other Ranks pair at 11a & 11f.

The shoulder title shown as 13i is an anodised aluminium example worn from the late 1960s onwards.

The Imperial War Museum holds within its online collection the following item:

Rectangular khaki cloth shoulder title with left side cut at an angle, black thread border around the edge and two fabric loops on the rear. Y NORTHUMBERLAND.H. embroidered in black lettering on the front face.

These cloth shoulder titles are thought to have been worn late in the Second World War.

There are NORTHUMBERLAND shoulder titles in white metal that are sometimes incorrectly attributed to the Northumberland Hussars. These are Canadian militia shoulder titles worn by the Northumberland Regiment prior to 1936.

Buttons

Howard Ripley in “Buttons of the British Army 1855-1970” shows a KC medium sized Northumberland Hussars button in silver as button 356.

The Queen Victoria crown NHIY buttons are illustrated as a large brass Other Rank’s button (25mm, 3a) and a pair of medium silver Officer’s buttons (19mm, 3h upper and lower, brass backed) manufactured by S.B. ltd England and MAKE BEST LONDON respectively all with fixed shanks. An additional maker of NHIY silver buttons has been identified as HAWKES & Co SAVILLE ROW.

The KC NH silver Officer’s buttons shown as 5b (25mm, upper and 19mm, lower) are by GAUNT LONDON and JENNENS & Co LONDON respectively both with fixed shanks and are brass backed. A larger 27mm KC Officer’s example is shown as button 5d upper in silver by HOBSON & SON LONDON and a medium 19mm KC Other Rank’s example (5d, lower) in WM by BUTTONS LIMITED BIRMINGHAM with fixed and floating shanks respectively and are brass backed. The KC silver Officer’s buttons shown as 5j and 5l (upper and lower) are additional large and medium examples by J.R. GAUNT & SON LONDON with fixed shanks and are brass backed. Officer’s Service Dress KC buttons in bronze are shown as large (25mm, 5f upper) and medium (19mm, 5f lower) by J.R.GAUNT & SON LONDON and JENNENS & Co LONDON with fixed shanks and are brass backed. Other Ranks KC buttons in brass are shown as large (25mm, 5h upper) and medium (19mm, 5h lower) both by J.R.GAUNT & SON LONDON with fixed shanks and are brass backed. The small 10mm silver button above 6c & 6d is an Officer’s peaked cap chin strap button. Anodised KC Northumberland Hussar medium buttons have also been identified.

The buttons at 12a, 13a & 13b are QC examples in WM in large, medium and small (cap) sizes by J.R. GAUNT LONDON, PITT & Co. 31 MADDOX St. London W. and unmarked respectively all with fixed shanks and are brass backed.

The buttons at 12l and 13h & 13i are QC examples in AA in large, medium and small (cap) by SMITH & WRIGHT LIMITED B’HAM, unmarked and DOWLER BIRMINGHAM respectively all with fixed shanks and are brass backed.
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Old 05-06-23, 08:21 AM
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Cap Badges Row 1
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Cap badges Row 5
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Cap badges Row 9
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Old 05-06-23, 08:40 AM
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Cap badges Row 11
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Old 05-06-23, 08:42 AM
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Cap badges Row 7
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Old 05-06-23, 08:48 AM
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Some Collar badges Row 2, NCO Arm badges Row 4 and sabretache badge
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Old 05-06-23, 10:26 AM
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Hi Dean
Congratulations on this thread.
Very meticulously put together, and a superb collection of NH badges shown.
And I agree regarding Keith Hook, he's an absolute gent when it comes to help with Yeomanry badges.
Thank you,

Chris
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Old 05-06-23, 10:36 AM
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Many thanks Chris.

I was hoping to fill many of the gaps in the collection before posting but impatient as ever here I am.

The number of threads on the badges of the NH is quite low and the information is quite sparse so it has been a challenge to say the least.

They don't come much finer than Keith.

Cheers Dean
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Old 05-06-23, 12:50 PM
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A splendid display from ND, thanks for sharing.
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Old 05-06-23, 01:43 PM
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Thank you Dean for posting your collection and meticulously researched information. You've certainly filled a lot of gaps in my knowledge and inspired me to resurrect my search again for NH items.

With regard to the OR's QC w/m badges on line 11, can I draw your attention to this thread I started a while back and in particular to post No 2 by Luke.


https://www.britishbadgeforum.com/fo...erland+hussars

What do you think?

LINE 11

I'm afraid after looking at the OR's badges on line 11, I still think Luke is probably correct. To my eye the seeding on 11b and 11d looks quite amateurish and there is a dot between Northumberland and Hussars on all the w/m OR's. In this regard, if the QC Timings anodised example, without a dot between the words, is the only approved die we know for QC a/a, then perhaps it follows that if a w/m had been made it too would have dropped the dot. (For interests sake the QC Gaunt B'Ham 'repro' doesn't have a dot. My theory being the badge die is correct, but not being requisitioned were sold to dealers in the collectors market).

I can't account for the loop to slider conversation except that there is no reason why it couldn't have been bought privately from dealers like Marsh/Morigi and converted by the owner for wear.

Perhaps if you are still in contact with Keith Hook it might be worth asking what he thinks about the QC w/m.

Anyway Dean thank you again for showing your extensive collection and it certainly will be an extremely useful reference.
Mark

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Old 06-06-23, 02:40 AM
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Thanks Drmiggy and Mark for the positive feedback.

Apologies Mark and Luke for completely missing your NH QC thread.

I completely agree that the WM QC badges with dots between the Northumberland and Hussars are copies. I will update my narrative accordingly.

What is your opinion of badge 11a please? No dot and a different pattern.

Best regards Dean
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Old 06-06-23, 07:45 PM
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Hi Dean,

Cracking collection of NH insignia shown and well written narrative, very interesting to read, thanks for sharing.
Keith is a gentleman and a font of knowledge relating to Yeomanry that’s for sure, he’s helped me a number of times with enquiries.
Shoulder titles:
I’ve checked my boards and notes, a few comments to add:
NHIY: Your example noted 3f: I have it noted as a slouch hat badge as well.
NHIY: There’s another size variant of this title.
Y / NORTHUMBERLAND: I have this noted as worn from 1916 with the sans seriph pattern Y NORTHUMBERLAND.H following post war.
NB: Example shown in photo hasn’t had a T removed from above the Y.
NHY: Couple of size variants of this pattern exist, both in gm and wm.
NH: Again, lots of variations exist for this pattern, probable different manufacturer.

Hope this may be of interest and that you nabbed that 15th IY company SHB Geoff recently listed to add to your superb collection.
Cheers,
Pat
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Old 07-06-23, 09:48 AM
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Many thanks Pat for the insights into some of the additional patterns of Northumberland Hussars that are out there. Truly wonderful see even a small section of one of your yeomanry shoulder title boards.

Good to have your confirmation of the potential for the large NHIY shoulder title to be worn on the slouch hat. As we know the wearing of shoulder titles in the slouch hat was not an uncommon practice in the Boer War. I'm hoping of finding photographic evidence of this one day.

Thanks also for dating the Y NORTHUMBERLAND sans serif pattern shoulder title for me and I shall go back and edit my narrative in that regard.

I think that your NORTHUMBERLAND shoulder title in GM in the centre of your first pic is Canadian militia.

I didn't nab that particular title from Geoff alas, all the best, Dean
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Old 07-06-23, 12:26 PM
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Lol, I’d wondered about that “Ol long skinny” Northumberland but forgot to ask Keith when talking about NH previously. Thanks for the heads up, that’s one board to update now. Finally getting set up in our new home and collection out from storage, I’ll send some photos when I rediscover what’s there after a year!
Cheers
Pat
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