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Staff Belt Plates

Hello All,
 I know this has absolutely nothing to do with the 95th Regiment, but I'm asking this group because there is an incredible store of knowledge here and access to many collections in the UK.  I hope that's okay.

 I am trying to find out what the belt plate looked like for members of the staff.  I am looking at a few pictures from Hamilton-Smith for reference: "Full Dress Uniform of a Field Marshal;" "Staff of the Army" and "An Aid De Camp and Brigade Major of Cavalry."  The badge on the belt of the Field Marshal is clearly a GR with a crown.  I am wondering if the belt plate is the same for the staff.  I am looking for the aide de camp specifically, but would hazard that the plate would be the same for all members of the staff including AdC's, QMG, AG, etc.  Does anyone on this list have any knowledge of existing badges that can be traced to the staff or further pictures which may shed some clues?

Thanks for you help,

Chris McKay
Ben Townsend

Chris, a slightly post-period light here. From the 1822 dress regulations.
"The Aides-de-camp of General Officers."
"Sword belt, and plate- the same as for General Officers"
It further specs, to be worn over the coat in Dress,, under the coat in Full Dress, and outside again in undress.

The Dress of a General Officer (infantry) has the belt plate defined thus,
"Plate- gilt, having the letters, G.R., the crown and a sprig of laurel on each side in silver."

Thank you, Ben, that's an excellent start.

Here is a heavy cavalry plate from the Waterloo-period which is similar to that described.


Ben Townsend

Nice looking plate.
Nothing in the 1768 warrant.
From the 1802 'regs', the following,

(D.—[6 July 1789; 21 July 1792, C.] The Sword to be carried in a White28 Belt
round the Waist, but over the Coat, by General Officers and by Officer on the Staff, on
which there is to be a Clasp accdg. to a Pattern at the Controller’s Office. By all other
Officers (excepting the Rifle Corps) it is to be Carried in a Buff29 Belt of the same
Breadth and Colour as the Men’s with a Silver or Gilt Plate or Buckle accdg. to their
Lace. When on Duty, the Belt is to be worn on the Right Shoulder & over the Coat,
when off Duty to be under the Coat and over the Waistcoat. The Officers of the Rifle
Corps are to carry their Swords in a Black Leather Belt round the Waist on which the
Mounting is to be Silver, the Belt to be of the same Breadth as their Men’s’.) Z.

Note 28 repecting above..  
28 “Buff” originally inserted in D and Z, but crossed out.

The  pattern  won't apply to  waistbelts but  Almack  gives a pattern  for a shoulder belt  plate for staff  officer's  in his book.  (Crowned rayed star  plate with central  garter bearing Staff ?    and I think a GR  or an A?  in the centre...  from memory as away from my reference at the moment)

I'm not sure  if  it was copied  across  to  Parkyn but can scan  the relevant  image from Almack  if required.
Ben Townsend

It didn't make it to Parkyn. p.74 Almack?
CHS does seem to show a consistently shaped rectangular waistbelt plate. PWR hints at a pattern staff waistbelt plate, but fails to describe it. Looking through a collection of General Officer portrait photographs, I'm seeing snake and clasp over and over again.


 Very helpful, thank you.  Regarding these staff plates: are they for Officers on the staff, or the Royal Staff Corps?

 Also, I'm told that CHS did a print of a Full General showing a belt plate, but I haven't seen it.  Does anyone have a copy of that print?


Chris McKay
Ben Townsend

Hi Chris,
Good question. The only information I have on this plate is that contained in the scan I'm afraid.
I haven't seen a CHS General, only the Major General. I'm currently trying to track down CHS's sketchbooks, but have a feeling it could be one of those lengthy trails with multiple deadends.
Cheers, Ben

Slightly later date than  desired but  the Standing  Orders for the Staff Corp 1822 give  a full description  of officers  dress regulations.

Belt:  Black patent leather, 1 inch  wide,  with  plated lions head, snake hook and rings,  by which hang 2 sword slings of similar width with swivels for rings  of scabbard and 3/4" tache slings, with loops and buckles for rings  of tache.
Ben Townsend

The snake belt fastening is what appears in so many portraits of Generals..

Yes, based on a lot of period images many staff officers preferred those as a campaign belt.  It suggests that perhaps many of CHS' staff officers were actually modelled on those at home rather than on campaign as they're shown.


Chris McKay

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