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London Regt battalions full dress uniforms - Caton Woodville plates


MBrockway
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Pals,

 

These three plates by Richard Caton Woodville Jr., appear in His Majesty's Territorial Army (Walter Richards, 1910) but unfortunately the specific London Regiment battalions are not explicitly identified.  Instead the plates are frustratingly captioned as (L-R) City of London Battalions, then County of London Battalions twice.

 

London Regiment 01 City of London battalions 1910 (uniform paintings by Richard Caton Woodville).jpg   London Regiment 02 County of London battalions 1910 (Richard Caton Woodville).jpg  London Regiment 03 County of London battalions 1910 (Richard Caton Woodville).jpg

 

In the main topic over in Books and Book Reviews - His Majesty's Territorial Army - I have split the plates into enlargements of each man and asked for help confirming the battalions.

[Edit:  I've now moved this enlargements onto this topic as this is the better place to capture our conclusions on LR uniforms.]

 

For my own purposes it would help me greatly with photo ID of riflemen in rifles tunics and busbies etc., but I suspect it would be of wider interest also.

 

I think I've got most of them sorted, but could the uniform and London Regt Pals take a look please?

 

Much appreciated!

 

Cheers,

Mark

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Edit: decided to move the content in the Books topic over here to the Uniforms sub-forum where it is more likely to be useful for the future.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

Here are the uniform and facing colours for each battalion from the Army List ...

 

Unit  Tunic Facings
1st London Division
1st (City of) London Brigade    
1 /LR (Royal Fusiliers)  Scarlet Blue
2/LR (Royal Fusiliers)  Scarlet Blue
3/LR (Royal Fusiliers)  Scarlet Blue
4/LR (Royal Fusiliers)  Scarlet Blue
2nd (City of) London Brigade    
5/LR (London Rifle Brigade)  Rifle Green Scarlet
6/LR (City of London Rifles)  Rifle Green Scarlet
7/LR Scarlet Buff
8/LR (Post Office Rifles)  Rifle Green Blue
3rd (County of) London Brigade    
9/LR (Queen Victoria's) Rifle Green Scarlet
10/LR (Paddington Rifles); disbanded 1912  Rifle Green Black
10/LR (Hackney)  Scarlet White
11/LR (Finsbury Rifles)  Rifle Green Scarlet
12/LR (The Rangers)  Rifle Green Scarlet
2nd London Division
4th (County of) London Brigade    
13/LR (Kensington)  Elcho grey Scarlet
14/LR (London Scottish)  Hodden Grey Blue
15/LR (Civil Service Rifles)  Elcho grey Blue
16/LR (Queen's Westminster Rifles)  Elcho grey Scarlet
5th (County of) London Brigade    
17/LR (Poplar and Stepney Rifles)  Rifle Green Black
18/LR (London Irish Rifles) Rifle Green Light green
19/LR (St. Pancras)  Scarlet Green
20/LR (Blackheath and Woolwich)  Scarlet Black
6th (County of) London Brigade    
21/LR (First Surrey Rifles)  Rifle Green Scarlet
22/LR (Queen's)  Scarlet Blue
23/LR Scarlet White
24/LR (Queen's)  Scarlet Blue
Unbrigaded (County of London)     
25th Cyclist Bn., London Regiment.  Elcho grey Scarlet
28/LR (Artists Rifles) Elcho grey White

 

 

 

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

I'll kick off with my thoughts and with luck more expert Pals can fill in the gaps.

 

Since the four Royal Fusiliers units wore the same redcoat and fusilier bearskin, the five City of London battalions are quite straightforward.

 

All images are from copies of the plates on alamy.com.

 

Working from left to right ...

 

5/LR (London Rifle Brigade)                 6/LR (City of London Rifles)            One of 1 to 4 LR (Royal Fusiliers)

London Regiment 01a City battalions 1910 - 5-LR (LRB) (Richard Caton Woodville) alamy version.jpg      London Regiment 01b City battalions 1910 - 6-LR (London Rifles) (Richard Caton Woodville) alamy version.jpg    London Regiment 01c City battalions 1910 -  1to4 LR (Royal Fusiliers) (Richard Caton Woodville) alamy version.jpg

 

8/LR (Post Office Rifles)             7/LR - the "Shiny Seventh"

London Regiment 01d City battalions 1910 - 8-LR (Post Office Rifles) (Richard Caton Woodville) alamy version.jpg        London Regiment 01e City battalions 1910 - 7-LR (Shiny Seventh) (Richard Caton Woodville) alamy version.jpg

 

_________________________________________________________________________________

The next plate is not so easy ...

 

Starting this time in the centre, this chap is clear - the white facings and the grecian head collar dogs give us ...

 

28/LR (Artists Rifles)

 

580ea0518b5ba-LondonRegiment02bCountybattalions1910-28-LR(ArtiistsRifles)(RichardCatonWoodville)alamyversion.jpg

 

 

Now we have established 13/LR (Kensington Rifles) wore the home service helmet, the chap on the right can only be ...


16/LR (Queen's Westminster Rifles)

 

medium.580ea0468417c_LondonRegiment02cCo

 

Returning to the left hand chap, khaki SD with blackened buttons and a curved TF shoulder title don't really help us much.

 

The QWR's were in 2nd Division where the Artists' Rifles were also attached unbrigaded as divisional army troops.  We could perhaps hazard a guess that this unit is also 2nd Div.

 

19th, 20th, 22nd, 23rd and 24th Londons were all redcoats, so would not have worn blackened rifles buttons.

 

In 2nd Div that leaves 17/LR (Poplar and Stepney Rifles) and 21/LR (First Surrey Rifles), but if we widened our net to 1st Div, we would need to include 9/LR (QVR's), 11/LR (Finsbury Rifles) and 12/LR (The Rangers) who were all brigaded together in 3rd Bde and all of whom wore blackened buttons.  If he's not one of those last three, then 3rd Bde are not represented in the plates at all, which might seem odd.

 

I'm not sure we'll resolve this chap to be honest :blush:

 

580ea05096ef2-LondonRegiment02aCountybattalions1910-(RichardCatonWoodville)alamyversion.jpg

 

_________________________________________________________________________________

For the third plate, working from left to right ...

 

15/LR (Civil Service Rifles) ... compare to a L/Cpl in a 1st/15th LR (CSR) 1914 group photo

 

medium.580ea0480877c_LondonRegiment03aCo

medium.580ea0475d2d1_LondonRegiment03aCo

 

Not so sure of the next one, but on the basis of what look like green cuffs and shamrock collar dogs, I think ...

 

18/LR (London Irish Rifles)

 

medium.580ea048d7b9d_LondonRegiment03bCo

 

Next is unmistakeable!

14/LR (London Scottish)

 

medium.580ea049b55bf_LondonRegiment03cCo

 

I'm very unsure :wacko: of this last one.  Rifle Green tunic, but looking more like a patrol jacket than a rifles tunic, and no sign of the KRRC-style scarlet cuffs or plume that one would expect for the QVR, The Rangers or the Finsbury Rifles.  There's also an unusual shape to the rifle busby, looks more rounded, rather like an artillery busby without a bag, though I have seen this shape used in Canadian rifle units. 

 

My best guess therefore is ...

 

17/LR (Poplar and Stepney Rifles)

 

medium.580ea04a8f4f7_LondonRegiment03dCo

 

I did wonder about possibly 10/LR (Paddington Rifles) (disbanded 1912 - but these plates date from 1910), but they were in the 1st London Division and the other three units in this plate are all from 2nd London Division.

 

I also considered 21/LR (First Surrey Rifles).  They were in 2nd Div and wore rifle green, but with scarlet facings.  They were affiliated to the East Surreys though, so I do not have as much info on them as I do on the KRRC and RB affiliated units.  Their adjutant at the outbreak of the war was Captain Henry KENNEDY, 1/KRRC, who became their CO just before they went out to the Front, so strong links to the 60th despite the formal affiliation to the East Surreys.

 

 

_________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

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Here is a photograph from my collection which shows members of the 16th (County of London) Battalion (Queen’s Westminster Rifles) on parade outside Westminster Abbey during 1909. It confirms the right hand uniform in your centre plate.

 

Sepoy

Untitled-90.jpg

Edited by Sepoy
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Thanks Sepoy - excellent photo.

 

Would it be better if I moved all my enlargements in the Books topic over here into Uniforms?  That might make better sense for future reference.

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13 minutes ago, MBrockway said:

Thanks Sepoy - excellent photo.

 

Would it be better if I moved all my enlargements in the Books topic over here into Uniforms?  That might make better sense for future reference.

I bit the bullet and went ahead with the move!

 

Uniform discussions far better here in Uniforms than in Books & Book Reviews and I'll cross-link to there anyway.

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Sepoy,

Your excellent photo also casts light on the regimental buttons question.  It looks to me like your QWR's in SD tunics have both blackened and non-blackened buttons.

 

On 11/02/2010 at 02:45, MBrockway said:

David,

I've been working on this too as the buttons are one of the ways you can differentiate London Regiment men from KRRC and RB men when the cap badge is unclear.

So far I have ...

<snip>

16th Londons, (Queen's Westminster Rifles) Shield, portcullis, chains & crown

<snip>

I'm still trying to determine which of the above were always blackened, sometimes blackened, or never blackened!

I also have pictures of some of the above wearing what look like the standard rifles strung hunting horn blackened button, so the regimental variant was not always worn.

<snip>

Mark

 

On 11/02/2010 at 13:01, wainfleet said:

Mark

The 16th London, QWR, wore their own buttons in both black and white metal. I can say this as I've had in my possession over the years two khaki jackets to other ranks of this unit, one patched to the 30th Div as reconstituted in 1918, so 2/16 Bn, and one with no 30th Div sign, so probably 1/16 Bn. Both had the "active service" look, ie. not in immaculate demob / home wear condition.

Regards,

W.

 

Detailed pics of the QWR buttons here.  I've not posted them again as I didn't want to divert this topic too far away from tunics and busbies!  :P

 

Mark

 

 

 

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Mark  The photo in my query "Volunteer Rifle regiment pre-Great War" that you kindly replied to and identified (family information supports this) as 17th Middlesex (North Middlesex) Rifle Volunteers (title as at pre-1908) bears a striking resemblance to the plate of the 17th Poplar and Stepney that you show above.  Could the plate be the Middx or perhaps the uniforms were, apart from a shoulder title, the same?

 

Gnrgnr

 

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On 01/11/2016 at 01:37, MaxD said:

Mark  The photo in my query "Volunteer Rifle regiment pre-Great War" that you kindly replied to and identified (family information supports this) as 17th Middlesex (North Middlesex) Rifle Volunteers (title as at pre-1908) bears a striking resemblance to the plate of the 17th Poplar and Stepney that you show above.  Could the plate be the Middx or perhaps the uniforms were, apart from a shoulder title, the same?

 

Gnrgnr

 

Hold your horses Max!

 

Firstly, sorry if I was not clear, but I did not identify uniform in said photo as 17th Middlesex VRC - that was Mike.  I just gave the 17th Middlesex VRC genealogy/geography as it might help you corroborate Mike's tentative identification, of which I very carefully avoided any strong endorsement.

 

I am certainly NOT confident on the identification.  There is too little of the ST visible for me to confidently identify the unit.  It might not even be a London unit - many VRC units nationwide wore rifles tunics, some with additional breast pockets.  If you've since uncovered a Camden connection for your man, then that strengthens the case, but please don't cite me as ID-ing the unit!

 

Secondly, you may be getting the numberings of the VRC units and the London Regiment battalions confused.

 

The 17th Middlesex (North Middlesex) VRC became in 1908 the 19th Battalion, London Regiment (St Pancras).  They were formerly the 3rd VB of the Middlesex Regiment - who were redcoats rather than rifles.  As per 1909 Army List, 19/LR went into redcoats with green facings.

 

The 17th Battalion, London Regiment (Poplar & Stepney Rifles) battalion had their pre-1908 origins in the merged 2nd Tower Hamlets VRC and the 15th Middlesex (The Customs & Docks) VRC formerly the 10th and the 2nd VBs respectively of the Rifle Brigade.

 

Many of the London Regiment rifles battalions wore rifles tunics, some of which also appear to have had breast pockets.  Even more so their many antecedent VRC/RVC units.

 

You mention your rifle volunteer serjeant is wearing a side cap.  Any chance you could post a de-cropped version of the picture with that visible?  Also the cuffs?  This may give us useful extra identification.

 

Meanwhile, here's Max's cropped picture from the other topic with my tentative 19/LR alongside.  What do we all think?  Volunteer star.  Rifles buttons for sure, but the ST is at the wrong angle to read confidently.  Rifle dress tunics do not usually have breast pockets, and IIRC, patrol jacket pockets had scalloped flaps?  This tunic is a very good match for the mystery Caton Woodville plate above though.

 

Clearly neither 17/LR nor 19/LR post 1908 as no 3-decker curved TF shoulder titles ... and anyway 19/LR  went into scarlet tunics post-1908 according to the 1909 Army List.  With the vagaries of orthochromatic film, it is nearly impossible to tell if the lace trim on the collar is red, black, rifle green or any other colour :unsure:

 

Lastly side cap (in the full image apparently) rather than rifle busby.

rifle regiment.jpglarge.580ea04a8f4f7_LondonRegiment03dCou

 

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Mark

My apologies first for what was a sloppy post.  I acknowledge that it was indeed Mike who, on the other thread, kindly suggested the 17th North Middx (I’ll shorten the titles) and that you were clear that you would venture no opinion as to the specific regiment.

14 hours ago, MBrockway said:

Secondly, you may be getting the numberings of the VRC units and the London Regiment battalions confused.

I did not mention the post 1908 numbering in either of the threads so I don’t  follow what you said here – I am clear that the post 1908 title was 19th Londons.

That said, I hope you would agree that different degrees of proof are required for different purposes.  Your interest is clearly that of the purist and expert, commendably so or how else would amateurs like myself get an appropriate steer.  Your requirement for proof is at a higher level than mine in this particular case.  It may amuse you to know that the photo was fondly believed by my contact to be that of a family member who was discharged from the regular army in 1909 following 18 years service in the Royal Artillery!  To disprove this I could simply have provided a photo of an artilleryman of the period – chalk and cheese.  I decided to go the extra mile and, noting that it was clearly a VRC uniform and the insignia on the shoulder seemed clearly to depict a 17, asked for help in order to get closer to the specific regiment.  The presumed subject of the photo was born in St Pancras in 1896, married, had his children and worked all within no more than 15 minutes walk of High Street Camden,  in 1901 they were just one street away.  His age, the location and the (admittedly) supposition that a man with five children might well have enjoyed the additional small income from being a Volunteer, leads me to add all this together and , simply for the purpose of distinguishing between the RA family member and this man, accept that it was highly likely that he was in the 17th North Middlesex.  In saying this, and to allay the fears you expressed, while I shall gratefully acknowledge the help received, I shall of course not specifically cite you as the authority for my view.

You asked to see the whole photo.  I can't seem to shrink it enough for the system to accept it so I'll need to do it in two slices  With the earlier crop I feel all the possible distinguishing markings are to be seen, I do note that the pockets have no central button.  Here's the top, I'll do another post with the remainder of his left side.  I also note that in uploading to this site, the photo loses some clarity.

 Gnrgnr

rifle3.jpg

Remainder of the photo

rifle4.jpg

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Gnrgnr,

With all that additional family background firmly rooted in Camden, Mike's ID of 17th Middlesex (North Middlesex) VRC now seems very safe!  Good result.

 

 ... and definitely no gunner!

 

Re the battalion numbering confusion - I misunderstood & thought you were suggesting the plate of (possibly) 17th Londons was the same unit as your 17th Middlesex VRC, when of course the 17th Middlesex VRC became the 19th Londons (and went into scarlet).

 

From your last post, clearly you never thought they were the same unit - my apologies!

 

The cuff detail on your volunteer serjeant is also very close to that in our unidentified battalion in the plate.  I wonder if the 15th Middlesex (The Customs & Docks) VRC wore the same style tunic and that carried forward into the 17th Londons with them?

 

Cheers,

Mark

 

 

Edited by MBrockway
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Gnrgnr,

I've taken the liberty of loading the extra info and pics into the topic covering your serjeant.

Cheers,

Mark

 

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Mark - again thanks, good doing business with you!  In your first post on this topic you said it would be helpful to have photos.  As I said earlier, the pic seems to lose some clarity in uploading.  If you would like the full photo for your own purposes, then message me with your email address.

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Hello Mark and everyone, 

 

I have seen the following postcards on various different auction sites from time to time. I think they are of relatively recent origin. They don't really add much to what you have already deduced, but thought you might like to see them if you haven't already. Hope that is OK. 

 

Chris

 

"1st London Rgt"

s-l500.jpg

 

"7th Lond."

post card soldier images enhanced  (2).jpg

 

7th London.jpg

From my own collection

 

Edited by Drew-1918
To add better quality scan
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"12th Lond"

post card soldier images (2).jpg

 

12th London.jpg

From my own collection

 

Edited by Drew-1918
To add better quality scan
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"15th Lond"

post card soldier images (3).jpg

 

15th London.jpg

 

"16th Lond Officer"

16th Off.jpg

From my own collection

Edited by Drew-1918
To add better quality scan
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"18th Lond"

post card soldier images b  enhanced (2).jpg

 

18th London.jpg

 

"23rd Lond"

post card soldier images b  enhanced (3).jpg

 

23rd London.jpg

 

"28th Lond"

post card soldier images b  enhanced (4).jpg

 

28th London.jpg

From my own collection

Edited by Drew-1918
To add better quality scan
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And here is one from my own collection of a few 5th Londons I thought you might like. 

G.Buckingham1.jpg

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Drew - a fantastic addition: much appreciated!

Mark

 

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2 hours ago, Drew-1918 said:

And here is one from my own collection of a few 5th Londons I thought you might like. 

G.Buckingham1.jpg

 

an EIGHT button tunic! or is it a frock? I think he is RA though.

 

I cannot recall seeing one such previously.

Edited by Muerrisch
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Straying off the full dress uniforms, I felt I ought to clarify some of the affiliations mentioned on Drew's excellent postcards.

 

Between 1908 and 1916, the London Regt battalions had no formal affiliations to regular regiments.1  In August 1916 these were restored under AO 250, generally in line with the historic pre-1908 traditions, but with a few tweaks: the KRRC lost 13/LR (Kensingtons) to the Middlesex Regt, while the RB lost the 14/LR (London Scottish) to the Gordon Highlanders.  In Oct 1916 there were some further changes under AO 325:  the KRRC lost 5/LR (LRB) to the Rifle Brigade and 7/LR to the Middlesex Regt, while the RB lost the 18/LR (London irish Rifles) to the Royal Irish Rifles.  See below.

 

1[Edit 26 Dec 2016: Martin G has drawn my attention to the 1913 Monthly Army List, which clearly states the 1st-4th Bns. London Regiment were affiliated to the Royal Fusiliers, suggesting these links survived the 1908 creation of the London Regiment.  See Post #60 below for details]

 

7/LR (the "Shiny Seventh") - re-affiliated back to the KRRC in Aug 1916, but this was changed in Oct 1916 to the Middlesex Regt - see AO 325 below.

 

12/LR (The Rangers) - affiliated to the KRRC 1916-1947 and only then transferred to the Rifle Brigade.  The Rangers fought all through WW2 as a TF battalion of the 60th and are still represented extensively in the KRRC Association newsletters.

 

15/LR (Civil Service Rifles) - re-affiliated back to the KRRC in Aug 1916, then in 1921 merged with 16/LR (QWR), who were also affiliated to the KRRC, the merged battalion becoming 16/LR (Queen's Westminster & Civil Service Rifles) and affiliated to the KRRC.  As per The Rangers still well represented in the KRRC Association newsletters.

 

18/LR (London Irish Rifles) - re-affiliated back to the RB in Aug 1916, but this was changed in Oct 1916 to the Royal Irish Rifles - see AO 325 below.

 

28/LR (Artists' Rifles) - re-affiliated back to the RB in Aug 1916, but then switched affiliations several times before ending up in the SAS!

 

 

There's a very detailed old topic covering the London Regiment affiliations with inputs from Wienand Drenth, Charles Messenger, Andy Pay int. al. somewhere here on the forum.  IIRC the Army Orders are posted in full.

 

HTH

Mark

 

Army Order 325 - October 1916 (Affiliations of London Regiment btns) - 01.jpg

Edited by MBrockway
Note added refecting Martin's info re RF affiliations in 1913
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2 hours ago, Drew-1918 said:

And here is one from my own collection of a few 5th Londons I thought you might like. 

G.Buckingham1.jpg

 

20 minutes ago, Muerrisch said:

 

an EIGHT button tunic! or is it a frock? I think he is RA though.

 

I cannot recall seeing one such previously.

 

That's what I thought David - two London Rifle Brigade and one gunner.  Presumably also a volunteer/territorial with the Austrian knot on the the cuff?

 

Can you tell us anything about the LRB tunics?  The KRRC full dress rifle tunic did not usually have breast pockets, and these don't seem to be patrol jackets.  It's the same tunic in the mystery plate and appears to also be on Gnrgnr's 17th Middlesex VRC serjeant.

 

Mark

 

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2 hours ago, Muerrisch said:

 

an EIGHT button tunic! or is it a frock? I think he is RA though.

 

I cannot recall seeing one such previously.

David,

Gnrgnr has asked me off the board about the meaning of his volunteer serjeant's left arm badge.

17th Middlesex (North Middlesex) VRC (Pal MaxD) - 04.jpg

From your book, it looks like your 2/23 'Star X rifles' Skill At Arms badge signifying Best Shot in Company, but would this hold true in a Rifle Volunteers unit?

Mark

 

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Glad the pictures were of some interest. 

 

19 hours ago, NigelS said:

Thought this scan of a plate  from The History of the LRB 1859-1919 might be of interest

LRB 1914.jpg

 

NigelS

 

Very nice pictures, Nigel.

 

I was thinking, I am sure I have seen illustrations and photographs of dress uniforms in various different London Regiment battalion histories. The 'Cast Iron Sixth' springs to mind, and a plate of Major Lees in the 9th Londons book. Unfortunately, I do not have mine with me at the moment. 

 

Chris

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17 minutes ago, Drew-1918 said:

Glad the pictures were of some interest. 

 

 

Very nice pictures, Nigel.

 

I was thinking, I am sure I have seen illustrations and photographs of dress uniforms in various different London Regiment battalion histories. The 'Cast Iron Sixth' springs to mind, and a plate of Major Lees in the 9th Londons book. Unfortunately, I do not have mine with me at the moment. 

 

Chris

All pictures of London Regiment full dress uniforms are most welcome.  I started this topic in the hope of developing a useful resource for differentiating KRRC and RB riflemen in full dress from the often near-identical LR battalions.  Assembling definitive and reliable aids to separate them should be a great use to the Forum when we're asked to ID riflemen. :thumbsup:

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