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57th Battalion MGC


impala_ood
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A long shot but here goes...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/43839372@N04/8049046308/

This photo shows a group of men from the MGC. Sorry for the external link but I couldn't work out how to resize it to include it in this post. I know it is a group of men from the Machine Gun Corp because I recognise their cap badges (my knowledge of first world war insignia doesn't go much beyond that!). I think it might be a group of men from the 57th Battalion MGC, as that was the unit my Great Grandfather Cyril Packham ended his war with. He was disembodied in March 1919 and his form Z.21 shows 57th Battalion MGC. Prior to that he served with 2/5th The Buffs between November 1914 and Oct 1917. The photo has been handed down through the family with a couple of individual photos of him in the Buffs. I think I can recognise Cyril in the group photo - middle row (first standing row) fourth from the left but it is hard to be certain. If it is him he certainly looks less fresh faced after four years or so in the army and several months in the field!

I am very much a newcomer to this type of research and I have posted a link to this photo here in the hope that you more experienced 'old hands' might be able to tell me more about the men, their insignia, and who they might have been? Is it feasible that someone out there could identify someone in this photo which might help identify the other subjects or the group as a whole? Cyril's war record was destroyed in the blitz so I can't get any help there. There are 16 privates in this photo, one Second Lieutenant, one older (more senior?) officer of unknown rank (his gloves cover up the rank emblems on his sleeves, can you see anything else in his uniform to identify his rank?), a Company Sergeant Major, a Sergeant, two Corporals and Three Lance Corporals (if I'm reading all the rank insignia correctly). Does a group of men of this size and of these ranks represent any kind of typical unit in the British Army or the MGC at this time, or shed any light on why they might have gathered together for a group photo? What do some of the other insignia mean - for example the seated figures second from left and far right have some kind of emblem above their respective stripes on their upper left and right arms - what is that emblem and what does it mean? Many of the men seem to have square darker colour patches on their upper left and right arm - can you tell anything from that? At least three of the men seem to have arm bands around their upper left arm - again, can you shed any light on what this might be signifying? In one of the individual photos which you can see by scrolling left or right Cyril himself seems to have a signal specialist badge, does this have any bearing on how I should try and interpret the group photo?

In short with an experienced pair of eyes can you see tell me anything about this photo that might help me understand who these men were or what they did? Clutching at straws I know but I'll be very grateful for any help, advice or info that you might be able to share with me that can only increase my knowledge and enjoyment of what is a treasured family heirloom.

Regards

Richard

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This is might a group from the 57th Bn MGC (formed 1 March 1918) or one of its predecessor companies 170/171/172/1973 MG Companies from which it was formed. The 57th Bn was the MGC battalion attached to the 57th (Second West Lancashire) Division that was in France and Flanders from February 1917

I have been looking at the dark shoulder flashes which seem very indistinct but think that I can see the upturned D that was the divisional insignia of the 57th Division on one and possiblyt another (right arm of the man on the front sitting row right hand end / possibly first row standing third man from right)

There are two soldiers with South Lancashire cap badges (I think). There were South Lancs battalions in the division: 2/4 South Lancs and 2/5 South Lancs with 172 Infantry Brigade in June 1917 and after the reorganization in spring 1918, just 2/4th South Lancs with 172 Brigade. These South Lancs soldiers could well be attached to one of the MGC Companies or to the MGC battalion

Some of the men have clearly seen some action; there is a sergeant with what appear to be three wound stripes on his left forearm

An image of the divisional insignia is below

post-1728-0-24835800-1349481263_thumb.jp

Edited by Ian Riley
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<snip>

These South Lancs soldiers could well be attached to one of the MGC Companies or to the MGC battalion

<snip>

Ian is on the ball here, except they weren't attached, they were drafted.

When 2/5 S Lanc was broken up (between 1 and 25 February 1918) the main drafts were to 1/5 and 2/5 S Lanc, No.2 Entrenching Battalion and No.57 Battalion MGC. If I were to guess I would say this depicts one of the four machine gun companies of the battalion in early March 1918.

Great photograph. Thanks, Richard.

Cheers,

Simon

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Ian is on the ball here, except they weren't attached, they were drafted.

When 2/5 S Lanc was broken up (between 1 and 25 February 1918) the main drafts were to 1/5 and 2/5 S Lanc, No.2 Entrenching Battalion and No.57 Battalion MGC. If I were to guess I would say this depicts one of the four machine gun companies of the battalion in early March 1918.

Great photograph. Thanks, Richard.

Cheers,

Simon

Simon,

Thanks for that most interesting snippet. Should that be 'drafted to .... 2/4 South Lancs'? If you are a 57th Division person, please say hello if you spot me at a Tuesday seminar at Birmingham; I am hoping to appear for a few this term.

Richard, I should also have said (but was probably posting too late at night) my thanks for sharing this excellent photo.

Ian

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Simon,

Thanks for that most interesting snippet. Should that be 'drafted to .... 2/4 South Lancs'? If you are a 57th Division person, please say hello if you spot me at a Tuesday seminar at Birmingham; I am hoping to appear for a few this term.

Richard, I should also have said (but was probably posting too late at night) my thanks for sharing this excellent photo.

Ian

Hi Ian,

Yes, typo. The draft went to 2/4 S Lanc. I'm a 'every division engaged in the spring offensives' person. That fact means I don't get out much! and I don't get up to many of the Tuesday seminars but will certainly look out for you.

Cheers,

Simon

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Ian and Simon thank you both for such an informed input. It's great for a beginner like me to be able to tap into such a depth of knowledge.

I've done some digging and made the connection between the South Lancs and the 57th Division but it's a great help to have some confirmation from you that there is documented evidence of troops being drafted from the South Lancs to the 57th MGC.

The senior officer in the front of the group might be of interest. I've made some enquiries with Graham Sacker of the MGC/OCA as to who that officer might be. Two names came up as possibles - Major TNF Wilson and Lt Colonel JFR Hope. Both had a DSO - and the figure in the photo seems to have a DSO ribbon plus one other. I've been trawling the web trying to find a photo of Wilson and Hope to compare it against. Courtesy of some kind people on rootschat/forum I was referred to the Hampshire County Archive where their online catalogue contains the following photo of colonel Hope on horse back. It does seem to have a strong resemblance to the older officer in my photo would you agree?

In the course of your studies/research have you ever come across a photo of Lt Colonel JFR Hope? or TNF Wilson? Hope was ADC to three monarchs apparently, a link to his medal sale can be found here http://www.bosleys.net/b70/medals.html with quite an impressive write up. Wilson also went on to have a long military career and during WW2 was sent to America as some kind of attache. I feel certain there must be other photos of both out there if only I can find one.

I would like to be able to date the photo. It is clearly Winter, no leaves on the trees and two officers wearing gloves. Graham Sacker MGC/OCA suggests that allowing for his MGC training on transfer from the Buffs Cyril is unlikely to have joined the 57th in France any earlier than December, So we seem to be left with a choice of early 1918 (Jan/Feb/Mar period) or Winter of 1918/1919. Mr Sacker suggested this type of group shot is likely to have been taken after the armistice therefore leaning towards late '18 or early '19. When I look at the photo, and has been suggested by another forum member, some of the men do seem to have a 'fresh out of combat' look about them. Does this mean it is likely to be before the armistice? Could it have been taken to mark a notable occasion, perhaps the armistice itself, or another significant moment that involved the 57th in early 1918 or Winter 18/19? I have to accept I'll probably never know, but I find it intriguing all the same.

In any case, you have all added to my knowledge and enjoyment of this family heirloom and I really appreciate that. Next I only need to learn to make my posts more succinct!

Let me know if you have any thoughts or comments re the above

Richard

post-93034-0-97110200-1349544791_thumb.j

post-93034-0-31496900-1349544809_thumb.j

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I will still put my money on early 1918 for this photo. There seems a marked absence of overseas service chevrons/stripes from the right forearms of those in the photo. They are small blue 'upside down' (point uppermost) chevrons awarded for each year of overseas service (except the one for 1914 is red). The rules are published elesewhere in the forum. The order for these was promulgated in January (I think) 1918 but allowing for the military inertia in promulgating this through the chain of command and in designing, procuring, manufacturing, distributing, sorting out entitlements and actually issuing them I would not be surprised if most of those entitled were not wearing them before spring 1918. By the end of 1918 and into 1919 I think they would be pretty common currency and would expect to see a few on the sleeves of at least the senior ranks in this photo.

There is certainly a similarity between the thrusting foxhunter in the top hat (to distinguish him from the horse) and the chap in the motorcycle gauntlets though I would NOT be so certain as to convict him on this sort of photographic evidence of (say) looting the local saddlery store during a riot. EDIT: I think I have missed the 'bleeding obvious' - I think your officer with the gautlets is wearing a hunting stock round his neck, not in white but in some tactical shade with lighter coloured ends secured with a pin to simulate a standard tie. This man is probably a keen foxhunter

Have you looked at the 57th MG Battalion War Diary with the National Archive. I don't think it is on line. This link quick click takes you to the catalogue page

WO 95/2974/4 icon-info-trans.gif57 Battalion Machine Gun Corps

1918 Mar. - 1919 May

Edited by Ian Riley
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Ian, your comments re a hunting stock and him looking like a fox hunter are really interesting - I didn't mention it before but JFR Hope wrote a book called "History of Fox Hunting in Hampshire". More anecdotal evidence but I'm feeling more and more certain it is him. Observations re lack of 'overseas stripes' also very interesting.

The MGC/OCA have a copy of the 57th Bn war diary and have very kindly agreed to send me a copy on disc for a very reasonable fee to cover cost. I'm really excited to start reading it so I can better understand their war.

By the way - does the history of the 57th division or 57th Bn MGC make any mention of them encountering gas in 1918? My Mum and Uncle both remember that Grandad Cyril had a cough, and this was always explained in the family as "because he had been gassed in the war". Can't have been in the Buffs because he didn't serve overseas with them, and he only got to France late 1917/early 1918 with the MGC. Of course I might be able to answer this better myself when I've read the diary, but if anyone does know....

Away from this post I've had a couple of suggestions that the corporal on the right hand side has the crossed pincer and hammer of an armourer above his corporal stripes and I have to say that now I have looked it up for myself it does seem to be correct.

Richard

PS - just checked out your link to the hunting stock - I think you've hit that particular nail on the head!

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There are two threads running on this photo now, but this seems to be the one with most info on GFR Hope, so I'll post here.

Here's some key biog detail from the other thread posted by Battiscombe repeated here for convenience:

JFR Hope seems to have been made adjutant of the 11th Bn KRRC in Sept 1914 - having been mobilised and promoted in Sept.they went to France 21/22 July 1915 - and that appears on his medal card. In the 1918 KRRC Chronicle he is listed as t/LtCol DSO, having a 'mention in despatches'. could be him as a unit commander with DSO and KSA - I would still go with early 1918. he had been commanding 11th KRRC in May 1917... and had moved on by 1918 . other later Army Lists for 1917 1918 may help ..

... and ...

after looking at the image i would suggest early 1918 if that fits. It would seem a little strange that none are wearing any overseas chevrons if it had been taken in later 1918... as these were quite widely worn. Very tired looking men . JFR Hope seems to have been commissioned October 1902 I think so could have a KSA medal. No photos of him in any of the KRRC chronicles I have for prewar years though (1904-1909)

Filling in some of the gaps, I can add that Hope is listed as "Major and Adjutant" in the 11/KRRC Nominal Roll of officers embarking with the battalion on 21 July 1915.

In 1916, as a Major, he was wounded by a shell in Ypres Town on 20 March 1916 and returned to duty from hospital on 28 April 1916.

In the interim, the battalion's commanding officer, Lt.Col. WHL Allgood, had left the battalion to take command of 45 Brigade. Capt. FLV Swaine, 1/Grenadier Guards, took over temporarily, but Major Hope assumed command on his return on 28 April.

Major JAR (sic) Hope is listed as Mentioned in Dispatches 30 Apr 1916. This is almost certainly a typo for our man, but a cross-check with LG should quickly resolve that.

On 25 June 1916, Major Hope was wounded with shell shock, apparently in Ypres Town again, but I still need to confirm that. However he remained in command of the battalion until 07 July 1916 when once again Capt. FLV Swaine took over.

Hope was CO once more from 03 August to 26 August 1916.

In the Chronicle's Nominal Roll of all officers served with the battalion during 1916, Capt JFK (sic) Hope is listed as invalided back to UK on 22 August 1916. All other references to Hope in 1915 and 1916 have him as a major or more senior, but this is the only entry for any surname Hope in the 1916 Nominal Roll, and whatever his acting rank, he was probably only a substantive captain during 1916, so this is almost certainly another typo our man. Again, some LG digging could probably clarify that.

The Chronicle reports JFR Hope, now a Lt.Col. (acting, presumably), "went to hospital wounded (shell shock)" on 26 August. However this appears to be related to the 25 June incident rather than a new injury.

Hope did not resume command of the battalion for the rest of 1916.

His DSO is listed under 1916, but in the Chronicle there's no detail of any specific action. Ditto for the MiD. A repatriation to Blighty on 22 August would rule out the actions in front of Guillemont on 23 and 24 August 1916. Repelling some enemy raids in the Ypres Salient in late Feb 1916 is a possibility. Nothing specific is mentioned for 30 April for the MiD. March is dismissed with typical KRRC Chronicle understatement as "nothing of great interest occurred for some time". Since Hope was in hospital 20 March to 28 April, the 30 April MiD date is most likely the LG date, with the action occurring some time earlier.

Both MiD and DSO of course, could be for general leadership under fire rather than a specific action of course. I don't have access to the 11/KRRC War Diary at the moment to check for better detail.

I'll look into 1917 for further info as soon as I can, but I'm away from home for the next few days.

Also, sadly no picture found as yet of GFR Hope :-(

Cheers,

Mark

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Mark - tried to PM you but your inbox is full - just a quick thank you for linking the two threads so neatly. I've just put a comment on the other one directing any new posts here. And thank you for the information you provided! I'm feeling increasingly confident that it is Hope, and that the key to getting a better idea of date will centre around confirming it is him, the ribbons he is wearing, and his movements to and from the KRRC/MGC, also taking into account other details for example the apparent lack of overseas service chevrons on anyone in the photo. If you do turn up anything more re Hope I'l be waiting with baited breath.

Got to say I previously had no idea that this pool of knowledge and experience was out there to be tapped into thanks to the wonders of the internet and it's been a really enjoyable and educational process. I certainly feel like I have learnt a lot about WW1 in a few short days thank you to you all.

Best regards

Richard

PS - debate about the armbands is still open - in this photo being worn upper left arm seemingly one colour no indication of any letters or marks. Most commonly made suggestion so far seems to be red runners armband, although the point has been made these were normally worn on the forearm rather than the upper arm? Several people have discounted a signallers armband as they were blue and white - but having read through the classic thread on this subject and elsewhere I think I'm right in saying that company or battalion signallers wore/sometimes wore a solid blue armband, as opposed to the blue and white of a divisional/RE signaller. Anyone with any thoughts?

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The film of the period often renders, IIRC, yellow as almost black, so "too dark" would not be an issue.

Cheers,

GT.

Interested point made by Grovetown on a linked thread, regarding the square shoulder patch. So it could be yellow because yellow can come out as almost black in these photos. Based on Arthur's work on patches in a private message that could link in with the 172 (2/1st South Lancs) Brigade of the 57th Division who had yellow identifying shoulder patches to denote Brigade, shape varying by Battalion.

Arthurs findings/suggestions copied here:

Hello Richard,

Re: Brigade formation colours and unit formation signs.

To try and help you clarify which Brigade your Grandfather was attached to I have checked the unit's out for you. There was one item that I had been looking for and that was a green square! Here I had a slight problem, even though it is not an uncommon one with the I-d Pamphlet as it did not give a green square to the 2nd/5thKing's Liverpool Regt. This is not to say that they didn’t wear one, for there are many gaps in the pamphlet. Neither did the pamphlet give a red diamond formation sign for the 2nd/4th Loyal N. Lancs Regiment! There is a possibility that the colour was faded, or, they actually wore a scarlet diamond!

Going by the colour of the square formation sign being worn in the photograph it would be a fair assumption to say that the colour of it could be either blue, or green as both the colours red and yellow would give a lighter hue to the formation sign! However, beings as the colour blue was not used by any of the Brigades it would then be logical to say that it was green.

170 (2/1st North Lancs) Brigade [Red]

1st/5thKing's Own Regiment…………………Red Square

2nd/4thLoyal N. Lancs Regiment……………Red Diamond! [Pamphlet shows a Scarlet Diamond]

2nd/5thLoyal N. Lancs Regiment……………Red Triangle

4th/5thLoyal N. Lancs Regiment…………….Red Disc

171 (2/1st Liverpool) Brigade [Green]

2nd/5thKing's Liverpool Regt………………….Green Square! [Pamphlet shows a Green Diamond]

2nd/6thKing's Liverpool Regt………………….Green Diamond

2nd/7thKing's Liverpool Regt………………….Green Triangle

2nd/8thKing's Liverpool Regt………………….Green Disc

172 (2/1st South Lancs) Brigade [Yellow]

2nd/9thKing's Liverpool Regt …………….….Yellow Square

2nd/10thKing's Liverpool Regt……………….Yellow Diamond

2nd/4thSouth Lancs Regt……………………....Yellow Triangle

2nd/5thSouth Lancs Regt……………………….Yellow Disc

So by going by the information shown above, I would say that the photograph was of the 171st M/Gun Coy, 171st (2/1st Liverpool) Brigade.

Hope this helps.

Regards

Arthur

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Hi Richard,

FJR Hope did not serve during the Boer War. There was a J.A.Hope who served as a Captain in the KRRC and has a QSA with 4 clasps--not sure if he was a relative?

Robert

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Might be of help - taken from the sale catalogue for the sale of JFR Hope's medals in 2008 Full isting here http://www.bosleys.net/b70/medals.html

578 King’s Royal Rifle Corps Brigadier-General Hope’s CBE, DSO fighting citation group of eight.

A fine group awarded to John Frederic Roundel Hope, ADC to three Sovereigns. Neck Badge of a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (First Type - Military, complete in Garrard & Co case), Distinguished Service Order, 1914/15 Star “Major K.R.Rif.C”, British War Medal, Victory Medal, MID “Brig Gen”, Defence Medal (privately engraved “Brig Gen J.F.R. Hope”, 1935 Jubilee Medal, 1937 Coronation Medal. GC Mounted as worn ... accompanied by an 1883 gold Sovereign and a 1903 gold Half Sovereign. These are contained in an envelope stating “All that was left of my money belt, holding £25 from the war 1914-18”... Also a series of correspondence pertaining to the combination of medals worn on the uniform of King George V. ... a book written by Brigadier-General Hope “A History of Hunting in Hampshire” published 1950. (£2,800 - £3,000)

Hope’s DSO announcement appeared in the London Gazette on 14th November 1916. (Capt. temp Lt. Col) “For conspicuous gallantry in action. He commanded his battalion with great determination during two days of heavy enemy counter-attacks, and it largely due to his personal example that the attacks were repulsed. He carried on after he had been blown from the parapet, nearly buried and much shaken.” He was first commissioned into the King’s Royal Rifle Corps in October 1902. In 1918 he was appointed a Temporary Brigadier-General and in January 1919 was appointed Brevet Lieut. Colonel. During the Great War he was wounded on three occasions and was Mentioned in Despatches three times. CBE 1922. He served as ADC to HM King George V, Edward VIII and George VI. He commanded the Royal Tank Corps Depot 1928 to 1932 and Commanded the 129th (South Wessex) Division TA 1934-1937. During WWII he commanded the 3rd Battalion of the Hampshire Home Guard.

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Hi Richard,

FJR Hope did not serve during the Boer War. There was a J.A.Hope who served as a Captain in the KRRC and has a QSA with 4 clasps--not sure if he was a relative?

Robert

So if it is him in my photo, the ribbon on the right can't be a QSA or KSA. Plus if he didn't go to France till 1915 that rules out it being the 1914 star. He would have qualified for the 1914-1915 star but what's the earliest he could have been awarded that?

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So if it is him in my photo, the ribbon on the right can't be a QSA or KSA. Plus if he didn't go to France till 1915 that rules out it being the 1914 star. He would have qualified for the 1914-1915 star but what's the earliest he could have been awarded that?

He could have qualified for the 1914/15 Star from earliest midnight 22-23/11/14, but of course if he didn't go to France until into 1915? then this is irrelevant.

The QSA and KSA have been discounted totally and also the 1914 Star, so perhaps the man in the photo is JFRH wearing the DSO and MC ribbons--have you been in contact with the KRRC museum? They may have a named group including him between 1902 and 1914. Do you have the source of the original group photo which you posted? if so then a closer look at the original may identify the medal ribbons.

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He could have qualified for the 1914/15 Star from earliest midnight 22-23/11/14, but of course if he didn't go to France until into 1915? then this is irrelevant.

The QSA and KSA have been discounted totally and also the 1914 Star, so perhaps the man in the photo is JFRH wearing the DSO and MC ribbons--have you been in contact with the KRRC museum? They may have a named group including him between 1902 and 1914. Do you have the source of the original group photo which you posted? if so then a closer look at the original may identify the medal ribbons.

JFR Hope was awarded the DSO but not the MC, so if it is the MC, the man cannot be Hope.

Cheers,

Mark

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Okay email sent to the Rifles museum - thank you for the suggestion

Just got the magnifying glass out - why didn't I think of that before?! Can clearly make out the crossed pincer and hammer - tick

Square shoulder patches - think I can make out a diagonal line, maybe two crossed diagonal lines on a couple of the men nearest the camera but it's not all clear and I might be mistaken. Could that be crossed machine guns on a coloured square patch?

Ribbons - now we have to bear in mind I'm new to all this but it is clearer through the magnifying glass than on the scanned image uploaded to Flikr - I'm confident the one on the left is the DSO. The one on the right does seem to be three vertical bands of different colours, with the central colour possibly wider or certainly brighter than the other three. Seems like a good match for the 1914-1915 star. I understand the 1914-1915 star was authorised in 1918. So if the officer in this photo is wearing one it would mean the photo has to be Winter of 1918/1919, does that sound right?

Rich

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I would note that in Dec 1918 Army List, JFR Hope is listed under KRRC and still with MGC, and having a DSO, but no MC (although i still do not think that the photographed officer is wearing an MC .. usually easy to identify with its 2 white bands).

This could well be Bn HQ: senior officer, a 2Lt , NCOs and ORs... .. which would explain having some signallers or similar (with armbands?)...a serjeant major and other trade badges

I also note that on shoulders there looks to be something below the MGC badge.. a 1 ?

I agree with other comments made that well-worn and much wounded men without overseas chevrons suggests early 1918 .. so c. March 1918?

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Hello Battiscombe, no it's definitely not the MC ribbon. Think that was a bit of a red herring left over from when I was considering it might be TNF Wilson but quickly discounted because everyone agrees it 'aint the MC.

There is something on the shoulders below the MGC and yes it does look like a 1. Relevance?

Bn HQ - interesting idea. Could that be what the 1 relates to? Also might explain why JFR Hope is in the picture as Battalion CO. If it is him!

Interesting you suggest March 1918. The 57th Battalion was created on 1st March 1918 when the four machine gun companies of the 57th Division were brought together. Could that be the occasion that warranted a group photo at Bn HQ? I'm not a military man but would I be right in thinking that the birth of a battalion is something very significant for the men involved?

I've contacted several archives/museums/contacts to try and find a confirmed photo of JFR Hope. If I get one you'll all be the first to know.

Richard

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Bit of a long shot, but what about a 1909 IGSM, with the green/blue/green colour tones distorted by orthochromatic film into dark/light/dark bands?

See Grumpy's handy simulation of colour distortions here (it's post #128):

http://1914-1918.inv...25#entry1377192

That Topic was all about medal ribbon distortions due to orthochromatic film. We also spilled over into distortions of the tones in tartans.

Some of the effects are startling, counter-intuitive and very surprising!

Being away from my library till later in the week, I'm unable to check to see if Hope's pre-war service included time in India with 3/KRRC or 4/KRRC.

The elephant in the room of course is the lack of any mention of an IGSM in the Bosley catalogue listing :-(

Cheers,

Mark

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<snip>

Seems like a good match for the 1914-1915 star. I understand the 1914-1915 star was authorised in 1918. So if the officer in this photo is wearing one it would mean the photo has to be Winter of 1918/1919, does that sound right?

Rich

I'm with Battiscombe and Ian on this not being a 1914-1915 Star and the date being earlier 1918. As well as lack of overseas chevrons etc already mentioned, it would be very unusual in such a large group of clearly battle hardened men that Hope would be the only soldier eligible to have the Star ribbon up.

Cheers,

Mark

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Great news!

Rifles museum have compared my photo to images in their archive of JFR Hope and confirm.... it is the same man!! I'm really happy to have confirmed it's him. I have ordered a copy of a couple of their pics just to see it with my own eyes and will post one here for you all to see.

Forum member Arthur also gave me the following information from the army lists:

Army List 1903 1st Bn, Malta 2nd Lt. John Frederic Roundell Hope 22 Oct. 02

Army List 1911 2nd Batt , Rawal Pindi. Punjab. Seconded whilst holding an extra regimental appointment in India Lt. Hope, J. F. R. 3 Apr.07. I am sorry to say that I haven't got a clue what happened to an officer when he was seconded! But, then again somebody on the Forum is bound to know!

So Hope was in India in 1907 at least, would that have qualified him for the 1909 IGSM? In which case looks like MBrockway was spot on with his suggestion that it may well be the IGSM ribbon in my photo allowing for the issues around colour on ortho film (I tried getting my head round that link late last night but it made my head hurt!) Which then means the lack of a 1914/15 star, lack of overseas chevrons, tired/weary expressions, all point toward early 1918, add in the mix of ranks/specialisms and very possibly a company HQ.

I am so grateful to you all for your help. A week ago all I knew about his photo was that my Great Grandad was in it, and i recognised the MGC cap badge, and that was it. With your help - and input from the MGC OCA - we have identified all the rank and specialist insignia, identified the senior officer through a careful process of deduction, got a feel for the date, and I have learnt no end about divisions and brigades and battalions and companies etc etc.

If I learn any more from the 57th Bn war diary I'll let you know.

If you do turn up anything else of interest I'll be really pleased to see it posted here.

Thank you to all.

Rich

PS:

The photos of Hope at the rifles museum include:

1909 1Bn KRRC Cairo, in a group of officers,

1909 Subaltern Cup Polo Team

Two on horses of different names

1908 Winners of Junior Polo Championship Cairo

1908 Subaltern Team Cup Cairo

I think we can say our man liked horses!

PPS - Mr Sacker MGC/OCA confirms what looks like a 1 on the shoulders is in fact an I for Infantry as opposed to C for cavalry

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Well if it is an IGSM, then there are only two clasps issued before 1914 - North West Frontier 1908 and Abor 1911-12.

Details of eligibilty are ...

North West Frontier 1908

All troops and all enrolled and attested followers:—

  1. Who formed part of the Bazar Valley Field Force, and proceeded under the orders of the General Officer Commanding that force from Ali Musjid into or towards the Bazar Valley between the 14th February, 1908 and the 1st March, 1908, both dates inclusive. Those who did not proceed beyond Ali Musjid were not entitled to the award.
  2. Who served north of the Adinazai boat bridge between the 19th and 25th April, 1908, both dates inclusive.
  3. Who were at Landi Kotal between the 2nd and 4th May, 1908, both dates inclusive.
  4. Who formed part of the Mohmand Field Force and proceeded under the orders of the General Officer Commanding the force beyond Hafiz Kor between the 12th and 31st May, 1908, both dates inclusive.

Abor 1911-12

To all troops who took part in the Abor Expedition of 1911-12, and served, under the orders of Major General H. Bower, C.B., Commanding the force, at or beyond Kobo between the 6th October, 1911 and the 20th April, 1912, both dates inclusive.

Courtesy of the excellent Northeast Medals website:

http://www.northeast..._1908_award.htm

If Capt. Hope was seconded outside of the KRRC, it's going to be very difficult to track him through KRRC records! We'd have to get hold of the medal rolls as a start.

Certainly Rawalpindi would be appropriate for involvement in NWF actions.

Cheers,

Mark

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Just come back to pick up this interesting thread. My ancient copy (1963 - which is almost nearer to these campaigns than it is to today!) of Major LL Gordon's British Battles and Medals lists no unit involvement for 2nd Bn KRRC in either the 1908 North West Frontier Campaign or in the Abor 1911-12 campaign. Hope does seem rather busy on his polo pony (ponies) in Cairo during 1908/09 according to the photo captions given above.

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