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RFA Uniform Dating


James Russell
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Dear uniform knowledgeable community,

Please help me to assign a date. A little dust-up at home surrounds this photo. Would you think 1907 or 1917? Someone has written "1907 July" on the back, but I have reason to believe 1917 might be true - only because this fellow's unit went overseas a couple of months after July 1917. The man in question would be 20 in 1907 and 30 in 1917. Is that a 1903 Pattern bandolier? I suppose that doesn't help with the dating question.

Thanks in advance for any help and description.

PhotoofHughSuttondatedjuly1907-1-3.jpg

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I think the latter date is more likely. Firstly, I think he looks older than 20. Secondly, I can't see a pleat in his breast pocket, which suggests a uniform issued from about 1915 onwards. Bandoliers were worn by mounted men throughout the War so its presence does not help. Have a look at this thread for more on that topic. The first image of the thread shows my Grandfather with three stripes up so has to date from the beginning of 1917 and he is also wearing the non-tailored uniform.

Keith

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Thanks for your thoughts. Now I have another question. Could this chap have possibly had any pre-war service? There is no indication that he has spent any time in service. What if he were in the volunteer reserve, a week-end-warrior, or such before the war - would not that be indicated on his sleeve? Looks like this is his premier time in uniform.

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I hope you do not mind me gate crashing in on your question but I have exactly the same one related to my great Grandfather who also served throughout the war in the RFA as a Gunner.

The attached photograph clearly shows him in a ceremonial uniform.

Is it possible to date it from the uniform?

He looks very young and did serve in the Territorials before the war we believe?

Gunner Alfred Cookson by the way.

Cheers

Mike Tomkinson

Bradford

post-43296-1234627384.jpg

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Thanks for your thoughts. Now I have another question. Could this chap have possibly had any pre-war service? There is no indication that he has spent any time in service. What if he were in the volunteer reserve, a week-end-warrior, or such before the war - would not that be indicated on his sleeve? Looks like this is his premier time in uniform.

The first place to look is for his MIC (medal index card) either in the Documents on Line section of The National Archives or, if you have it, Ancestry, which will give you not only his medal entitlement but his service number or numbers. Regular and Territorial soldiers were numbered in different series so any TA experience should show up there. If you post his full name and any details on here, a Pal may be able to give you more information.

Keith

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Is it possible to date it from the uniform?

Almost certainly.

This is most definitely not my field but I would say the helmet puts the photograph several years before the War. I have a photo-postcard from 1909 showing a RFA honour guard marching with a Gunner's coffin wearing this type. I believe that the wearing of cords was restricted to the RHA.

Keith

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James

The photo is definitely late 1914 or later, because he is wearing a pattern of jacket that only came in then.

Are you certain his unit did not go overseas until 1917? And you do realise that this man is in the Royal Artillery?

Regards,

W.

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James et al

Apologies if I gave the impression he did not go overseas until 1917. He certainly served in France in 1915 and possibly earlier.

He was very definitely in the RFA. He served as part of 49th Division BEF.

As we think he served in the Territorials pre-1914 I was trying to see if we could date the card by the uniform.

Cheers

Mike Tomkinson

Bradford

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Dear fellows,

Thank you for your kind assistance with this subject. I wasn't going to go further with this but perhaps I should just accept you kind assistance and get along with the project. The photo that began this thread is of my grandmother's brother, a man from Preston, Lancs.

Below is information from the MIC for Gunner Hugh Sutton 686066, RFA. The Service Number 686066 is, by reports I've been given here on the forum, a Territorial Force Number issued by the 1/3 - 2/3 West Lancs TF RFA (Preston would be within this recruiting area). Hugh Sutton is not an uncommon name in central Lancashire, but still, this MIC might be my great uncle. He could have served in Italy by joining 175 Brigade RFA in 1917 [if so, then Hugh's unit was in Italy November 1917 to March 1918]. This matches the family lore as we are convinced he served in Italy. We are also fairly convinced he left England late in the war.

Victory Medal (T.F); Roll.: RFA/11 15B; Page: 2896

British Medal: - do –

No other marks or notes appear on the card.

There you are. If you can shed any light I'd be most grateful.

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