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        OLD COUNTY LIGHT INFANTRY

        INFORMATION ON THE OLD COUNTY LIGHT INFANTRY REGIMENTS

        THE DUKE OF CORNWALL'S LIGHT INFANTRY STABLE BELTS

        General opinion, backed up by photographs of 1 DCLI in the West Indies, certainly indicates that the Regiment did NOT have a stable belt before its amalgamation with the Somerset Light Infantry in 1959. This is further confirmed by the fact that, although we possess examples of virtually every item of regimental dress in our museum collection, we have never had a DCLI stable belt.

        It should be realised that the Light Infantry regiments were the first to inculcate a corporate Light Infantry image. This is exemplified by their adoption of a standard Light Infantry No 1 Dress as far back as 1950. When the Cornwalls and Somersets amalgamated, the new Regiment immediately adopted the Light Infantry cap badge (as opposed to a newly designed SCLI cap badge), and a plain dark green stable belt (which was eventually to become the standard Light Infantry stable belt).

        The Light Infantry stable belt was originally made according to two patterns. The first pattern had flat webbing which quickly creased and looked remarkably scruffy; the second pattern was made of much more robust, ribbed webbing. This is the type still worn today. Both types had two black leather straps, chromed buckles and chromed adjustment slide. Originally Light Infantry stable belts were buckled on the left hip. In 1992 the Colonel of the Regiment decreed that our stable belts should be buckled centrally (I don't know why, as this negated the origin of these belts, worn in stables where the soldier deliberately slide the buckle to one side so that it did not chafe his stomach when he bent down.)

        With thanks to Major W.H. White, Regimental Museum, The Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry

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