Ottoman Uniforms
Ottoman Uniforms


Post-1885 Army of Egypt Cavalry

Right - Post-1885, Egyptian Cavalry Trooper:

  • In 1888, there were eight troops of cavalry (with a strength of 71 officers and men each). 
  • In 1891 the eight squadrons had been reorganised into five squadrons of cavalry (with a strength of 100 men each).
  • In 1896, an additional four squadrons of cavalry were added.
  • In 1897 another squadron had been raised from the reserves (giving the cavalry ten squadrons).
  • In addition, to these line cavalry, the Khedive had his own bodyguard squadron of lancers.

No shabracks appear to have been used by the Egypt Army cavalry. Instead, the cavalry used the 'Egyptian Army Cavalry Saddle'.

The Dress-Uniform Cartridge Boxes were identical to Ottoman imperial army versions.

After 1900, the Tri-Pointed Chainmail Epaulettes were used [1] [2] [3].

In the 1890s, the first or lead-squadron received lances. The lance pendants appear in three patterns (from various sources):

  • Red over white.
  • Red over Black.
  • Red over Green (However, appears the same as the 13th Bengal Lancers' pendants, who persuaded, Egyptian infantry after the Battle of Tel El Kebir, 1882 War).
  • Ottoman Flag version, displaying a white star and crescent on a red pendant. Right - Based on a painting illustrating Egyptian lancers at the Battle of Omdurman (National Army Museum, UK).


[1] Ebay has had sales of later/modern period British cavalry chainmail epaulettes, with Egyptian Army khedive crowns rank insignia added.

[2] For the campaign, which led to the battle of Omdurman (1898), the 21st Lancers (British Army), had Indian Army tri-pointed chainmail epaulettes added to their field khaki uniforms. Writing after the Indian Mutiny, Sir Dighton Probyn, V.C. noted that officers of the 2nd Punjab Cavalry had sewn lengths of bridle curb chain across their shoulders.  This makeshift arrangement ultimately evolved into sections of chain mail, hooked over the shoulders, in place of cloth epaulettes. Officially termed Shoulder Chains, they were of epaulette width and, mimicking the tunic lace of old, were of “bastion” form (ie tri-pointed).  In 1898 sealed patterns of both blue and red Frock coats were authorised for cavalry, appearing in the 1900 Dress Regulations and these all had shoulder chains. 

[3] General Staff, Handbook of the Egyptian Army, 1912, London. This states "Distinguishing marks – The squadrons are known by numbers, and the numeral is worn on the shoulder chains." (S.122. Cavalry in Egypt).

Post-1885 Camel Corps

In 1885 the Egyptian army had a total of three companies of Camel Corps.

  • In 1891 there were six companies of Camel Corps (at 152 men each). The Camel Corps had originally been all Egyptian, but now included two companies of Sudanese.
  • In 1897 the Camel Corps was increased to eight companies (four Egyptian and four Sudanese).

After 1898, likely used a blue flash on their fez puggaree, as well as a tall blue plume 'hackie' [1].


[1] General Staff, Handbook of the Egyptian Army, 1912, London. S.124. Camel Corps – The uniform of the Camel Corps is a soft moghrabi tarbush with green tassel; a khaki twill jibba with green plastron, cuffs and shoulders; khaki twill Arab pantaloons, cut very loose; drab serge putties, and Arab sandals made of hide.

Post-1885 Army of Egypt Artillery

The Egyptian artillery wore a dark blue tunic, with red collar, with small brass grenade, and red piping. The red epaulettes, displayed an Arab "T" and the number of battery, with Ottoman numerals. They wore dark blue trousers with red piping.

Right - Only the Egyptian artillery used a button based on British types, where as the rest of the army used Ottoman insignia.

1912 Egyptian Government Departments Insignia

Above - The 1912 Egyptian government departments headgear insignia.

Right - Frequently seen by collectors are various 'star and crescent' buttons with English, French, or Arabic script. These turn up in WW1 Australian and New Zealand collection lots, from the Gallipoli Campaign. This button is actually from Egypt. In this case a pre-WW1 Tramways government department tunic button (1883-1914). The Tramways button is commonly seen. In WW1, the tramways of Cairo was the main transport service used by ANZAC soldiers connecting Mena camp to the city, as well as popular destinations such as the pyramids.

Right - A pre-WW1 Egyptian Quarantaine government department tunic button (1883-1914).

Right - A pre-WW1 Egyptian Post government department tunic button (1883-1914).

Right - GAFFAR EL MENOUFIEH [Monufia Governorate in Egypt]. A pre-WW1 Egyptian government department tunic button (1883-1914).

Right - PRISONS:  A pre-WW1 Egyptian government department tunic button (1883-1914).  This is a British made button from molded blackened horn.

Unidentified Pre-WW1 Egyptian Government Department & Societies Tunic Buttons (1883-1914)

Right - An unidentified pre-WW1 Egyptian government department tunic button (1883-1914)This button is understood to be for the:

Madrasah al-Zira’iyyah ve al-Sina’iyyah

School of Agriculture Craft, Art, and Industry


Right - An unidentified pre-WW1 Egyptian government department tunic button (1883-1914). This button is understood to be for:

Jam’iyyetu al-‘urvatu’ l-vuska (vuthqa)

Society of the Faith of Islam

Right - An unidentified pre-WW1 Egyptian government department tunic and pocket buttons (1883-1914). This button is understood to be for:


Shari’a Government

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