trooper wrote:FROGSMILE wrote:I am fairly sure that in dusty archives somewhere in India will lie long forgotten copies of Regimental Standing Orders that often contained the specific details of the Regimental Patterns of dress that you have referred to. What a great project that would be for someone with both time and access. We can but dream !
Even this would not answer all the questions. Many years ago I was assisting Colonel J.B.R. Nicholson who had served in the Indian Army for most of his service life and he told me the following. He was Officer of the Day and was called into the Commanding Officer's office. The C.O, then stated that he thought the N.C.O. s turbans would look much better if the white stripes were replaced by silver and instructed him to go down to the local bazaar and get a sample made up. This was duly done and approved and a quantity was then ordered from the bazaar merchant and paid for out of regimental funds. Nothing would have appeared in regimental orders and the only record would be in the accounts of the regimental funds which would take a small miracle to have survived. When I expressed surprise that such a thing could have occured without official sanction Nicholson told me that Commanding Officers in the Indian Army tended to regard the regiment as their own property, very much akin to the Yeomanry regiments back in Blighty, and, within reason, often tinkered with such small details. What chance does the researcher of today stand? Trooper
Yes that is a good example of the authority wielded by a commanding officer, something I am aware of and have experienced (and participated in myself) on several occasions. Indeed it influenced the dress (without army dress committee authority) of three different cap badges that I can think of. You make a good point and funnily enough this was something I discussed with forum member 'Grumpy' a few years ago. All that said, the Regimental Standing Orders are a useful guide to patterns adopted by the respective unit, even if they are not always faultless.