Officer, The West Somerset Yeomanry, 1854
The West Somerset Yeomanry was formed in 1794 and after many mergers was disbanded 1988
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The first troop to be raised was the Bridgwater Troop in 1794, which, with others, became the West Somerset Regiment of Yeomanry Cavalry in 1798. It was disbanded in 1829 but, like so many others, quickly re-established in 1831. Its last appearance in aid of the civil power was at Taunton in 1840 when it had to suppress rioting in connection with a political election. The regiment fought in the second Boer War in South Africa and in both world wars. As the British Army reduced in the post war years the regiment was merged on several occasions before its lineage being finally terminated in November 1988.
This officer is wearing a dress similar to that worn by regular light dragoons at that time. The jacket is fairly practical and comfortable, but the chaco although getting smaller is still heavy and cumbersome, with its cap lines ending in heavy flounders.
Sources: Water-colour drawing by Henry Martens.
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