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summertimesumms

Can anyone identify this uniform from WW1?

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summertimesumms

Can anyone identify this uniform from WW1? The full body photo is dated on back 1923.

He is my g-grandfather. Birth name: Ransom Tyree Nichols. He disappeared for 25 years, from 1910 (in Colorado) to 1935. When he re-appeared in 1935 he was living in California and married to (Frances Marie Kleiner) with a child. They met in New Mexico (where she lived). He was a gold miner. He had changed his name to Roy Doone. His tombstone says Robert Doone.

I cannot find any military records for him and these photos are our only clue as to where he may have been during those years. He said he lived in England for a few years and was a "Bobbie" (policeman or constable?)

post-111990-0-67486200-1404234233_thumb.

post-111990-0-55007000-1404234234_thumb.

post-111990-0-10513600-1404234235_thumb.

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FROGSMILE

Both photos show a soldier in British Army 1902 pattern khaki wool (serge) service dress (SD), the uniform that was worn throughout WW1.

In the left hand photo a simplified pattern jacket is worn that was issued, pro tem, between Sep 1914 and July 1915, although they could still be seen in the months after that. He has collar badges and a cap badge that unfortunately are not discernible and they and the buttons seem to have been touched up in some way that has made them look like dark blobs. He has tipped his SD cap back on his head, probably to expose his face fully outside the shadow that could sometimes be cast by the angled peak. The collar badges look as if they might be in the shape of a shield, although it is difficult to tell if that is a distortion.

The simplified jacket was issued in great numbers to the men who answered Lord Kitchener's general call for men who were unmarried and of a young age to enlist. Great numbers answered this call and it seems likely that Robert/Roy Doone was one of them. I suspect that he might have declared himself as a Canadian to get through the enlistment process.

The right hand photo appears to show the same man, but more mature and ranked as a Sergeant. He has the standard pattern jacket, with pleated chest pockets and, typically for a veteran, has had hooks and eyes fitted to his collar fold over to give it a more smart appearance, although it is interesting that he had also done this in the other photo. The lanyard (cord extending from shoulder to pocket flap) was issued to secure a clasp knife in the top left pocket but in this case he has merely affixed the end to his button.

The latter photo was probably taken closer to the end of, or after the war, which fits with 1923, by which time he must have been a Regular soldier (having signed on for further service). He is carrying a swagger stick under his arm, which shows that he is dressed in "walking-out-order", which was invariably used when soldiers wished to have a portrait photo taken for loved one's. If you can post a close up image of his cap badge in the right hand photo it might be possible to have a stab at identifying his regiment.

Perhaps a forum member can do a search in find my past (or similar) for Ransom Tyree Nichols and Roy / Robert Doone and see what comes up.

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Blackblue

Looks like the buttons/badges have been coloured in on the left? Might hat badge be 14th Hussars if this is British Army?

Rgds

Tim D

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FROGSMILE

Looks like the buttons/badges have been coloured in on the left? Might hat badge be 14th Hussars if this is British Army?

Rgds

Tim D

There is nothing that I can see to indicate that he is dressed for mounted duty, Tim, and his cap badge is too nondescript to identify it as 14th Hussars. I think he is more likely to be an infantryman.

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Blackblue

I thought the same, but an odd looking cap badge. Looks solid and oval shaped to me.

TD

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FROGSMILE

I thought the same, but an odd looking cap badge. Looks solid and oval shaped to me.

TD

As a stab in the dark I thought perhaps Middlesex Regiment.

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Blackblue

Short shoulder titles.....

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Jerry B

Interesting that he has collar badges in the first pic.

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FROGSMILE

Short shoulder titles.....

Yes Tim, you are right and I had noticed the abbreviated title, which as you have implied rules the Middlesex out; I mentioned them purely as in the oval shape. I do not think that we can do more than make wild guesses based on a vague oval shape, and short shoulder title, unless and until the OP can post a better image of the badge.

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FROGSMILE

Interesting that he has collar badges in the first pic.

Yes Jerry, an unusual feature for that time, although more frequently seen in Kitchener's 'Service' battalions.

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Blackblue

Yes Tim, you are right and I had noticed the abbreviated title, which as you have implied rules the Middlesex out; I mentioned them purely as in the oval shape. I do not think that we can do more than make wild guesses based on a vague oval shape, and short shoulder title, unless and until the OP can post a better image of the badge.

Just an observation FROGSMILE. I'd agree......he appears to be wearing puttees but even this is unclear. To obtain a better steer I think perhaps the only way will be to remove the photo from the frame and obtain a high quality scan. If it is a 1923 photo (as might be suggested by notation on the rear) he does not appear to be wearing medal ribbons....so perhaps no OS service.

Here is 14th Hussars out of interest. I don't think there is a scroll in the photo and this is a reflection off the hat band. I know men often bent their badges for a better fit.

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Steven Broomfield

For the time, would the 14th Hussars be wearing that? The eagle ("Hawk" in regimental parlance) went out of use in the GW (too Germanic), and wasn't reintroduced until shortly before the second round.

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Blackblue

1922 on amalgamation with 20th Hussars? 1923 could mean something entirely different and photo may be during the war.

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Steven Broomfield

No: I'm pretty sure it didn't come back until the 30's. I could be wrong, but it strikes a bell somewhere.

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Blackblue

As far as I can tell the solid version above was used till 1919, then there may have been a smaller version before amalgamation in 1922. Gaylor appears to have above as the WW1 version.

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jay dubaya

Steven is right, the 14th Hussars dropped that badge in 1915 and the eagle wasn't reintroduced to regiment until 1931. The alternative badge(s) was/were of a completely different design and can be seen over the page in Gaylors book under 'miscellaneous cavalry'

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Blackblue

Ack. Cheers.

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FROGSMILE

Ack. Cheers.

Yes I was just going to say...the solid badge was pre-1915. The badge I enclose was used from 1915 to 1932, when the plain Prussian double head eagle was adopted (and ironically retained throughout WW2).

As you have said, we need a better scan of the OPs photo.

post-599-0-51715200-1404294672_thumb.jpg

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summertimesumms

I'll try to get a better scan next week of the pic where he's younger. I will not be able to get a better scan of the other 2. The cap badge looks like a flower to me in the younger pic.

And I guess that just because he ended up with name Roy Doone, doesn't mean it was the same one he used in the army. I just know he didn't use his real name. He enlisted in Canada. He claimed to have been wounded and sent to England to recover.

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FROGSMILE

Does anyone agree that the collar badges look like shields? If so, and it is a big if, then the Essex Regiment is the most likely unit.

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FROGSMILE

I'll try to get a better scan next week of the pic where he's younger. I will not be able to get a better scan of the other 2. The cap badge looks like a flower to me in the younger pic.

And I guess that just because he ended up with name Roy Doone, doesn't mean it was the same one he used in the army. I just know he didn't use his real name. He enlisted in Canada. He claimed to have been wounded and sent to England to recover.

Just get the best scans that you can for all the badges that you can.

There are several units that featured a rose in their insignia, but not generally in the cap badge.

Quite a number of Americans crossed the border and enlisted in Canada.

It's true that he might have used a different name but it seems likely to me that he would create one alter ego and then stick with it if he wanted to be believed and get the details consistently right.

Most men who were wounded were sent across to Britain to recover, especially from late 1915 onwards.

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summertimesumms

Would he have received a Pension? What about those records?

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Blackblue

Could certainly be a shield. If you look at left collar bottom right it appears there might be points sticking out (like an ASC badge)? The right collar might have a crown?

Have done a search of what is on Ancestry under the three names provided and variations for Brit and Canadian Army (just in case) including Service Papers and Pension Papers. No luck I'm afraid.

Rgds

Tim D

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FROGSMILE

Could certainly be a shield. If you look at left collar bottom right it appears there might be points sticking out (like an ASC badge)? The right collar might have a crown?

Have done a search of what is on Ancestry under the three names provided and variations for Brit and Canadian Army (just in case) including Service Papers and Pension Papers. No luck I'm afraid.

Rgds

Tim D

Thanks Tim,

The Essex Regt had an uncrowned shield with 3 seaxes as their collar badge and a round shaped cap badge, so that was the closest I could find. The AOC had a shield and scroll collar badge and the same design as cap badge too, so that seems less likely.

It's a shame you had no luck with trading the names, but it was worth a try.

One interesting and very unusual feature of his Sgt's uniform is that his jacket has been fitted with mitred (pointed cuffs). That is not a standard arrangement for 1902 Sd as you know, although it was sometimes added by the unit tailor to a warrant officer 1st class jacket.

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Steven Broomfield

Other rank with collar dogs and the subject crossed the border from the US to Canada.

Could we be looking at a Candian here?

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