7 Mar 2015

The Charge of the Light Brigade - or Red Trousers and Blue Jacket

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!
"Charge for the guns!" he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred

The first verse of the 1854 narrative poem by Lord Tennyson sends shivers down my spine; what glory and what despear to face riding into the Valley of Death.
Lord Cardigan commanded the light brigade which partly consisted of his former regiment; the 11th Hussars.

The Charge of the Light Brigade during the Battle of Balaclava, Oct. 25th 1854.
According to Lord Tennyson's lyrics the Valley of Death was 2,8 kilometers long (half a league) 

The 11th Hussars had become "Prince Albert's Own" in 1840 when Queen Victoria married her Albert (of Saxe-Coburg & Gotha) and part of their new uniform were the - among the British regiments unique - Crimson (red) trousers. I am given to understand that the Crimson colour refers back to the livery colours of the Saxe-Coburg & Gotha family.
The Crimson trousers has stayed with the 11th Hussars ever since.
In October 1969 the 11th Hussars were amalgamated with the 10th Royal Hussars to form the Royal Hussar Regiment (Prince of Wales' Own)

Today I embrace the old tradition of pairing red trousers with a blue blazer.
Whether this tradition started as an inspiration from the appearance of the magnificent 11th Hussars or not I do not know, but I believe that my take of the ensemble is a good choice; the Crimson hue looks grand paired with the navy blue in my opinion. The brick red or pink trousers often seen with a blue blazer is not quite so agreeable to me.
As the persistent spectator of this blog would know I have indeed a soft spot for military attire.

My choice of footwear for the ensemble is a somewhat formal black captoe Oxford shoe made on a traditional British round toe last.
I have not yet quite decided on what hat and gloves to wear with this, but I am inclined to propose a pair of grey unlined kid leather gloves and a black Bowler at this time of year - a straw boater and no gloves might seem more appropriate during Summer.

My Crimson trousers were made by Military Outfitters and Tailors Rogers, John Jones Ltd. at 16 Clifford Street; off Savile Row. Tailored for 2nd Lieutenant Malyon in 1968 - when the regiment still was the 11th Hussars.

Crimson trousers, my 1932 Cambridge Sports Jacket, a navy/crimson striped Shantung silk tie from Drakes of London, a double-cuffed blue/white horizontal striped shirt from Stenström's and a pair of black captoe Oxford shoes.

Rogers, John Jones Ltd, 16 Clifford Street, off Savile Row, London

High waisted - just like I prefer

A pair of black captoe Oxfords made on a traditional round toe last by Cheaney & Sons, Northampton.
Notice the lovely detail of the cuffs made for high wrist - the trousers fall without break both front and back 

Much attention is paid to details and craftsmanship

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