11th Prince Albert's Own Hussars Sabretache, 1840-59
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Sabretache: 33cm (12.5in) x 29cm (11.5in)
Embroidered gold lace and bullion wire on cloth ground of cherry, the livery colour of Prince Albert's Saxe-Coburg family. Comprising mirrored VR cypher of Queen Victoria beneath the regimental title ‘Prince Albert’s Own Hussars’ and Guelphic crown of Prince Albert; all above a silver sphinx betwixt battle honour scrolls for ‘Peninsula’, ‘Salamanca’, ’Waterloo’, and ‘Bhurtpore’. The whole enclosed by a border of regimentally specific gold lace. Contained in a recessed mount.
The present sabretache was adopted when the 11th were converted from Light Dragoons in 1840 and were retitled 11th (Prince Albert's Own) Hussars after Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's consort, who became the regiment's colonel. The gold lace is unique to the regiment and is called basket and diamond. In 1840, the regiment also adopted its famous crimson or cherry coloured trousers, making it unique among British regiments and worn since in most orders of dress.
The regiment famously saw action during this period in the Crimean War as part of the Light Cavalry Brigade under the command of Major-General the Earl of Cardigan. The regiment was in the second line of cavalry on the left flank during the Charge of the Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava. The brigade drove through the Russian artillery before smashing straight into the Russian cavalry and pushing them back; it was unable to consolidate its position, however, having insufficient forces and had to withdraw to its starting position, coming under further attack as it did so. The regiment lost three officers and fifty-five men in the debacle