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Remembered Today:

Please can anybody help me identify a uniform ?


Cathy S
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I know this is a very poor photo, but I hope someone can help. Is it possible to date it and identify the regiment ? I know it is either the Durham Light Infantry 1900-1911 or South Lancashire Regiment 1914-1919.

Thank you in advance

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Unfortunately, due to the poor quality of the photo a precise identification is difficult, but the chap does have a strung horn collar badge. Accordingly, I would go with the DLI if there is a choice from the two regiments. It is certainly pre 1914.

Sepoy

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Thank you for your responses.

The man is William Ratcliffe V.C M.M

If this is pre-1914 then it will most certainly be the Durham Light Infantry.

He was in the South Lancashire Regiment Cathy and known as 'the Dockers VC'. http://www.lancashireinfantrymuseum.org.uk/private-william-ratcliffe-vc-mm-the-dockers-vc/

The regimental collar badge was a stylised PoW feathers with a brass title scroll set under, although the man in your photo does appear to have a DLI bugle collar badge.

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Doesn't help much (you can't create detail that isn't there) but sometimes doing this can give a bit better impression of the individual and, in this case, the collar brasses.

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Chris

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Thank you. Yes he was in the South Lancashire Regiment, but he also spent about twelve years with the Durham Light Infantry. He enlisted in 1900 when he was 16.

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Great to get such prompt replies. I've been convinced that it's The Durham Light Infantry.

It's interesting that like so many he entered the regulars (DLI) via the Militia (South Lancashire), but then rejoined the South Lancs in 1914. It seems significant that he did not attempt to rejoin the regiment with which he completed 9-years of pre-war regular service. I expect that only his family might know the reasoning behind that.

The tunic that he wears in your photo is the 1902 pattern full dress tunic and the white facings would have been correct for both regiments so it is the collar badge that is the clincher for its provenance.

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I have done quite a lot of research on William Ratcliffe and put most of it on www.echoesofliverpool.com. However, I don't anything about uniforms , so it was great to get so much help. Thank you for all your comments.

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I think the headdress also implies pre-war service, but I can't be positive on that.

Ron

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I have done quite a lot of research on William Ratcliffe and put most of it on www.echoesofliverpool.com. However, I don't anything about uniforms , so it was great to get so much help. Thank you for all your comments.

The 3rd Battalion of the South Lancs, that he first joined, was a Militia battalion. The Militia battalions were the way in which many young men from the working classes, rural and urban, 'tried out' the Army to see if they would like the life.

I think the headdress also implies pre-war service, but I can't be positive on that.

Ron

Yes. it is a Field Service Cap. Introduced for other ranks in 1897 (officers had been wearing it already) and phased out from around 1902, when it was replaced by the Brodrick cap.

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