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trenchtrotter

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Drew-1918

5afc2ee1dd58f_WW1GHQGroupFront.jpg.b0220250fc2893d3d54d16f7a745d540.jpg

"G. H. Q., 3rd Echelon, B.E.F., France


Christmas, 1916

   To my darling little Wifie
      With every loving wish
        From her Willie"

close-up.png.5cb6403ad9b36ad0fe148e0386f99014.png
 

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GWF1967
6 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:

 

An interesting photo, notice how the WOI seated at far right wears both a Sam Browne belt and a superior cloth (officers' quality) version of the Service Dress jacket and trousers.  The WO1 to the left in the same row (also with Sam Browne) has instead a tailored version (collar) of the standard OR's SD jacket and trousers.

 

Many thanks for your observations.

 

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GWF1967

Army Veterinary Corps.  St Albans photographer.

 The Major is named front and back; I still can't read it though!  Any suggestions welcomed.

Scan_20180514 (3).jpg

Scan_20180514 (11).jpg

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Buffnut453
Posted (edited)

Hi Folks,

My dear old Mum is visiting and brought with her a cache of old family photos including a number of unidentified military personnel.  I'm hoping I can narrow down the options if the kind members of this forum can help identify the regiments.  

 

Here's the first one...more to follow in subsequent posts.

 

 

Unknown 1.jpeg

Unknown 1 Cap Badge.jpeg

 

 

Might the cap badge be Royal Engineers?  My family all comes from St.Helens and there was a Territorial Field Company formed at the Cropper's Hill Drill Hall in which a couple of relatives served.

 

 

 

Edited by Buffnut453

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)

Yes, I think this first photo shows the badge of the RE.  The rank is Second Corporal (one stripe), which in the RE was a substantive rank (for pay and pension) and not merely an appointment (probationary position).

Edited by FROGSMILE

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Toby Brayley
Posted (edited)

12th Lancer with "urgent" dispatch!  Appears to be in Simplified S.D.  1915 Postmark on rear. 

 

18 years service and a Boer War Veteran.

12L dispatch.jpg

Edited by Toby Brayley

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Toby Brayley

ASC Men form a Road block. 1915 dated on rear. 

 

1888 Bayonets. Thoughts on the Rifles?  They are rigby nosed capped (hence the 1888) but look a little too short for CLLEs, they are also missing the foresight protector found on most CLLES. At first I thought Martini Enfields but a but a bolt is visible, a trick of the camera perhaps? 

ASC Men.jpg

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Buffnut453
Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:

Yes, I think this first photo shows the badge of the RE.  The rank is Second Corporal (one stripe), which in the RE was a substantive rank (for pay and pension) and not merely an appointment (probationary position).

 

Thanks Frogsmile.  Based on the shape of the ears, the slightly dimpled chin and the general appearance, I think he may be this man, a cousin by marriage, who lived in the house opposite my Grandparents (and Great-Grandparents).  He survived the war as a Cpl in the 1st West Lancs Field Coy.  

 

John William Duncan (Cropped Image).jpeg

Edited by Buffnut453

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Buffnut453

Here's the second of my "unknowns" from the family photo collection.  I'm pretty sure it's another RE from 1st West Lancs Field Coy...but he has a rather splendid 'tache!

 

 

Unknown 2.jpeg

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FROGSMILE
33 minutes ago, Buffnut453 said:

 

Thanks Frogsmile.  Based on the shape of the ears, the slightly dimpled chin and the general appearance, I think he may be this man, a cousin by marriage, who lived in the house opposite my Grandparents (and Great-Grandparents).  He survived the war as a Cpl in the 1st West Lancs Field Coy.  

 

John William Duncan (Cropped Image).jpeg

 

The eyes are very distinctive too and I’m sure it’s the same man.

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, Buffnut453 said:

Here's the second of my "unknowns" from the family photo collection.  I'm pretty sure it's another RE from 1st West Lancs Field Coy...but he has a rather splendid 'tache!

 

 

Unknown 2.jpeg

 

This man is a warrant officer of the RE.  Before 1915 a unit’s Sergeant Major (RSM) wore such a badge, after that date it was company Sergeant Major (CSM) and the RSM wore a coat of arms badge.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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Buffnut453
25 minutes ago, FROGSMILE said:

 

This man is a warrant officer of the RE.  Before 1915 a unit’s Sergeant Major (RSM) wore such a badge, after that date it was s company Sergeant Major (CSM) and the RSM wore a coat of arms badge.

 

Thanks Frogsmile.  I suspected he was some flavour of RSM/CSM.  That should make him easier to name, particularly if he did serve in 1st West Lancs Field Coy.  I'll do some more digging elsewhere and see if anything emerges.

 

Onto the third unknown, which is much harder because there's no cap badge and the image quality isn't great.  The man appears to have some kind of metal name plate on his epaulette and a medal ribbon (DCM perhaps?).  I'm not holding out much hope on this one, but am sharing just in case...

 

 

Unknown 3 Shoulder.jpeg

Unknown 3.jpeg

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themonsstar

The medal ribbon looks like the Queens South African medal ribbon

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Buffnut453

I wondered if it might be the Queen's South Africa Medal but the central stripe was darker than the ones on either side.  I suppose that effect could be caused by filters applied to the lens when the picture was taken....maybe?  

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Buffnut453 said:

 

Thanks Frogsmile.  I suspected he was some flavour of RSM/CSM.  That should make him easier to name, particularly if he did serve in 1st West Lancs Field Coy.  I'll do some more digging elsewhere and see if anything emerges.

 

Onto the third unknown, which is much harder because there's no cap badge and the image quality isn't great.  The man appears to have some kind of metal name plate on his epaulette and a medal ribbon (DCM perhaps?).  I'm not holding out much hope on this one, but am sharing just in case...

 

 

Unknown 3 Shoulder.jpeg

Unknown 3.jpeg

 

I think this man is a Lancashire Fusilier with one piece shoulder title, L.grenade.F

 

As regards the Sergeant Major in the earlier photo, I didn’t notice at first that he has the superior cloth and cut (officer pattern) service dress, which confirms him as the higher level, unit Sergeant Major (Warrant Officer), that after 1915 was designated as a 1st class WO.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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Andrew Upton
9 hours ago, Buffnut453 said:

I wondered if it might be the Queen's South Africa Medal but the central stripe was darker than the ones on either side.  I suppose that effect could be caused by filters applied to the lens when the picture was taken....maybe?  

 

Not a filter, but the film used - orthochromatic film. This renders some dark colours light and some light colours dark. In this case it picks up the blue-black of the narrow stripes and makes them lighter, and turns the red central stripe dark.

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Buffnut453
Posted (edited)

 

On ‎5‎/‎17‎/‎2018 at 11:19, FROGSMILE said:

As regards the Sergeant Major in the earlier photo, I didn’t notice at first that he has the superior cloth and cut (officer pattern) service dress, which confirms him as the higher level, unit Sergeant Major (Warrant Officer), that after 1915 was designated as a 1st class WO.

 

Thanks Frogsmile.  I'm still ploughing through all the photos and came across this one which appears to show the same man together with a RE Staff Sgt and a couple of girls - presumably one is the wife of the Sergeant Major.  Apols for the poor quality - the original is in very tatty condition.  I still haven't found time to research in more detail who they might be.

 

Two Soldiers and their Girls (Low Res).jpeg

 

 

 

Edited by Buffnut453

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Buffnut453
On ‎5‎/‎17‎/‎2018 at 20:28, Andrew Upton said:

 

Not a filter, but the film used - orthochromatic film. This renders some dark colours light and some light colours dark. In this case it picks up the blue-black of the narrow stripes and makes them lighter, and turns the red central stripe dark.

 

Thanks Andrew.  I'd forgotten the who orthochromatic tonal switcheroos that can happen, particularly with yellows and reds.  

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)
On 19/05/2018 at 04:52, Buffnut453 said:

 

 

Thanks Frogsmile.  I'm still ploughing through all the photos and came across this one which appears to show the same man together with a RE Staff Sgt and a couple of girls - presumably one is the wife of the Sergeant Major.  Apols for the poor quality - the original is in very tatty condition.  I still haven't found time to research in more detail who they might be.

 

Two Soldiers and their Girls (Low Res).jpeg

 

 

 

 

I think that they are both RE.  There were many specialist appointments for RE that held Warrant Officer rank.  Notice his leather gaiters rather than puttees.  The sapper seems to be on mounted duty from the bandolier, perhaps from a pontoon section, or signals service.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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Buffnut453

Interesting, Frogsmile.  Another respondent on a different forum suggest he might be from the local TF Sigs Coy.  The snag is that I know of no family connection to that unit and the possible identity proposed, CSM Johnson, lived on the other side of town from my family...so the mystery continues.

 

Of course the possibility remains that he was in the local TF Field Coy. After deploying to France in Jan 1915, the unit was engaged in building pontoons. One of my more distant relatives was wounded while performing such a task in June of that year.

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HarryBrook

I would suggest the name of the Major in post #5578 is "R. Elliott"

Robert Elliott gazetted Veterinary Lieutenant 5th Sept. 1894  https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/26548/page/5147 

He relinquished his commission, as a Major, on 16 March 1917 due to ill-health  https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/29984/supplement/2616

Perhaps the photo is a souvenir of that occasion.

 

Googling "horse hospital st. albans" finds this https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=IRfdDAAAQBAJ&pg=PT116&lpg=PT116&dq=horse+hospital+st.+Albans&source=bl&ots=OUCAn3LQG2&sig=Eca7h7Lk7B4TdSwLQf9mL5yUimE&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi39obryJTbAhXKDcAKHaW3BO0Q6AEIhAEwCQ#v=onepage&q=horse hospital st. Albans&f=false in which there is reference to a Major Elliott, although it does say he was invalided out in 1915.

Robert Elliott was born in Middleton St. George, Durham in about 1874 and appears to have belonged to a family of vets.

 

 

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Buffnut453

One more of my unidentified people from my Mum's photo collection, this time a young lady of a medical persuasion:

 

5b01d0d3e9a78_FemaleCorporal.jpeg.eec6f1daadcdf243a63e62cae9946996.jpeg

 

As with the others, I have no clue who this might be.  I can't match her face to any of our female relatives...so efforts to identify her, or any of my "unidentified", will be a real long-shot.  Irrespective, it's a nice photo (IMHO).

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, Buffnut453 said:

One more of my unidentified people from my Mum's photo collection, this time a young lady of a medical persuasion:

 

5b01d0d3e9a78_FemaleCorporal.jpeg.eec6f1daadcdf243a63e62cae9946996.jpeg

 

As with the others, I have no clue who this might be.  I can't match her face to any of our female relatives...so efforts to identify her, or any of my "unidentified", will be a real long-shot.  Irrespective, it's a nice photo (IMHO).

 

She is dressed in the uniform of a RAMC Corporal, note the Geneva cross above the stripes.

Women dressing in men’s uniform became popular after some female music hall artistes did so with popular acclaim, but it had also been the practice of Royalty pre-war, especially in Europe, leading to publicity in many national newspapers.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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Gardenerbill

Hi Frogsmile, are you suggesting it could be Father, Husband or Brother's uniform? Great photograph though.

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Buffnut453

Perhaps her name is "Bob"?

 

Sorry...couldn't resist!  I'll retreat to my hovel, coat in hand!

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