Armed Forces: Uniforms

Defence written question – answered on 3rd July 2012.

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Photo of Patrick Mercer Patrick Mercer Conservative, Newark

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence

(1) which units in the Army are permitted to wear sabretaches in full dress; who manufactures the sabretaches; and what the unit cost is of the manufacture of the sabretaches;

(2) when the wearing of sabretaches was sanctioned by the Army Dress Committee.

Photo of Andrew Robathan Andrew Robathan The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

Sabretaches are no longer an official item of dress and they are not provided at public expense.

The wearing of sabretaches by the British light cavalry started in the late 18th century, but it is clear from the 1911 British Army Dress Regulations that sabretaches were no longer provided at public expense by that time. Neither the War Office Dress Committee, which first met in 1946, nor the Army Dress Committee that succeeded it, have authorised any regiment or corps to wear sabretaches since 1945. However, we are aware that some regiments have, on occasion, worn sabretaches for commemorative parades; this is acceptable providing they are of the correct regimental pattern and historically accurate.

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