Civil Guard - Artillery - Cavalry - Engineers - Other Service's Buckles
Most Spanish soldiers of all branches of service had unit specific buckles. Several examples are show below including the Civil Guard and Artillery. More will be added as they become available. As with other Spanish buckles, many variations exist.
Civil Guard - Guardia Civil
The Civil Guards were a military police force that served as army guides and carried out anti-insurgent operations in rural areas. Their plates bore the royal crest and the initials "GC" - Guardia Civil. Another variation of this buckle has a border around the edge of the plate.
Artifact courtesy of Stephen Osman
Guardia Civil Veterana de Manila - Philippines
The Veteran Civil Guard was a paramilitary police force made up of loyal native Filipinos that were veterans of the Spanish Army. The "GCV" cypher is applied to a cast brass plate and is probably of local manufacture in the Philippines. A souvenir of Lt. J. J. Walsh, Co. K, 13th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry.
Artillery - Artillería
Most colonial artillerymen wore brass belt plate embossed with the traditional crown over crossed cannon and a cannon ball pyramid.
Another example of the Artillery belt plate in stamped brass.
9th Artillery Regiment - Spain
Some Artillery units wore buckles pierced with the regimental number. Examples are known with red cloth backing behind the number. No Artillery unit with the number "9" served in the overseas colonies so this is shown only as an example from the period.
6th Mountain Artillery Regiment - Permanent Establishment, Philippines
Brass Artillery cartridge box shoulder sling plate. This pattern was issued to both mounted and mountain Artillery units.
Cavalry - Caballería
3rd Cavalry Regiment "Principe" - Sancti Spíritus Division and elements in the Havana Garrison, Cuba
Cavalry cartridge box and carbine shoulder sling plate and tip, both made of nickel.
Stamped brass plate with silvered finish issued to Engineer Troops with the branch insignia of a castle tower and crossed axes.
Current owner and location unknown. Please contact me if you know of this buckle.
Artifact courtesy Minnesota Military Museum
Members of military bands were authorized in the 1886 Uniform Regulations to wear buckles displaying a lyre in place of a unit number or device. This example with applied lyre insignia is from the Philippines and was captured complete with its belt and sword frog by Pvt. William G. Compton, Co. C, 13th. Minnesota Volunteer Infantry.
Naval Infantry detachments served in all the colonies.
All material is Copyright 2006 by William K. Combs. No portion may be used without permission.