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Remembered Today:

Unknown Group photo


nemesis
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A friend of mine owns a very large photo dated 1916.taken in Salisbury  Does anyone recognise the regiment / corps in the photo

thanks for looking

28267FAC-3C49-435E-878E-59BF5F6CD944.jpeg

Edited by nemesis
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Probably taken at a Salisbury Plain camp, rather in the city of Salisbury, though I'm wondering if that's an urban building at top right. Is there a photographer's name?
 

I suspect that the cap-badge experts would appreciate an enlarged photo of a badge.

 

I have a list of British infantry battalions based in Wiltshire during the war and can check any suggestions against this.

 

Moonraker

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Are they in front of a church? Stately home? 

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Looks like a church tower or spire behind them, to me, although I don't think it's Salisbury Cathedral.

 

What are the railings some of them are leaning on all about?  Almost like a racecourse.

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The definition of the cap badges isnt too clear but in this picture the man with the moustache whos  hat is leaning slightly forward might help to determine the bages. It is similar in looks to the guards MG corps. Some soldiers are wearing a small badge on their left breast pocket if that helps

As IPT says ,the dog might be the clue

2362E7D3-0EE3-4984-9FF6-94DEF063C212.jpeg

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As far as I know, the 14th Welsh Battalion (Swansea Pals) weren't based on Salisbury Plain - the nearest they got was Winchester (though some units from camps around Winchester did travel to the Plain to use its rifle ranges - probably not an occasion for a group photograph).

 

My eyes aren't great, but in the original photograph the badges look oval, whereas in the crop some look round. The officers' badges appear dull, whereas the men's are shiny.

 

The man second left front appears to be wearing an ornate belt buckle, and the central figure (an officer) has a very unshapely hat.

 

Would anything be gained by posting images of the left- and right-hand sides of the photo? This might provide additional clues, not least about the building on the extreme right of the image in Post 1.

 

There  was a horse racing-course outside Salisbury, but I'v e no references to it being used for military purposes.

 

Moonraker

Edited by Moonraker
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No knowledge to add, I'm afraid, but that badge worn by one or two on the left pocket flap is almost skull-and-crossbones in form - someone must recognise it, surely. As for the cap badge, it almost looks similar in design to e.g. ASC. I think there might be a crown and there might be too many points for the Guards MGC. Not at all sure though. 

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Looking at the officers cap badge Royal Sussex might be a possibility 

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I see what you mean about the officer's badge, it does look like the Roussillon plume - but as far as I know (though I can't claim to be familiar with battalion variations) Royal Sussex badges included a scroll beneath the badge, and I can't make one out here.

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Another possibility could be Devonshire based on the officers badges 

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The man with the moustache standing in the centre in post 7 looks to have a Grenadiers cap badge?

Edited by PhilB
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The dog's jacket has an insignia on it. But cannot make it out - blurs too much on enlargement

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I'm going with ASC, the SSM's shoulder title is looks like a 3 letter title and the officers cap badges you can make out the star shape of the ASC.

 

Chris

 

AZFS3787844013_15.jpg?w=547&h=547&quality=85&scale=canvas

Edited by Dragoon
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Is it possible that the men at the back are standing in and on two AEC Y Type lorries (or at least the framework for the tilts)?

 

I guess this would support the view that they are ASC?

AEC Y Type.jpg

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I can't find any relevant references to the Royal Sussex Regiment being in the Salisbury area in 1916, and the only Devonshire Regiment battalion noted that year was the 14th (a Labour battalion) at Porton, helping construct the "experimental station" there.

 

I quite like the ASC theory: 348 (MT) company formed in March 1915 at Wilton (three miles from Salisbury)  from 80 company, taking over 30 lorries (National Archives: WO 95/5460). At first they transported gravel and sand from pits near Romsey to Lark Hill; later the company received 25 Napier lorries for the construction of Yatesbury airfield. Other duties included constructing artillery ranges near Lavington and Tilshead (started October 1915), moving goods from Amesbury station to the ranges (for which it had 3 caterpillar tractors) and transporting ammunition to gun positions. Between November 1915 and March 1916 "never less than 9 lorries were employed each day", sometimes every lorry at Lark Hill, plus 20 loaned from 650 (MT) coy, were involved in moving huge volumes of material from Lavington station and "the camp siding at Lark Hill".

 

Formed at Bulford in 1915, 650(MT) (32nd Local Auxiliary (MT) Company (Road Board) spent the second half of the war at Wilton, with detachments working from  time to time for the Road Board at Lark Hill. They spent the summer of 1916 under canvas in Wilton Park.

 

Possibly the building behind the men and the structure on the extreme right were in Wilton Park - which is not be confused with the Government-owned establishment in Sussex . The Park is close to Wilton House, now a "stately home" open to the public.

 

Moonraker

 

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1 hour ago, CountryJohn said:

Is it possible that the men at the back are standing in and on two AEC Y Type lorries (or at least the framework for the tilts)?

 

I guess this would support the view that they are ASC?

 

That looks like a great bit of IDing to me, nice work!

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The more I look at the photo the soldiers look like ASC. 

The end result was that my friend gave me the photo. It was her mothers and my friend is not miltary minded and has no use for it. Its over one meter long .

photo attached.

F6EB2CDC-1390-42B2-ACE6-4D535845B4D7.jpeg

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Swansea Battalion CO before embarkation for Le Havre in Dec 1915 was HW Benson, a white-haired (and moustached) 'dug out', essentially. Can't see him...and in 1916 they were at the Front.

 

Bernard

Edited by Bernard_Lewis
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The writing says  on the bottom left as you look at it “British colonia photo co 36-38 Castle Street Salisbury Wiltshire “ and on the right “ No 66 1916

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7 hours ago, CountryJohn said:

I think that the further six lorries that we can now see would certainly indicate ASC, no?

Yes. But a local expert on the Great War in the locality tells me: " I can’t place it at Wilton House nor at the Cathedral.  The ‘tower’ behind the men is unfamiliar."

 

It would be  a very long shot, but it's a pity that we can't source photos of officers of 348 and 650 MT companies in 1916 so that comparisons could be made.

 

The British Colonial Photo Co is new to me, though I've come across most of the local postcard photographers.

 

Presumably/perhaps  the photo we're discussing was taken with one of those cameras that panned from left to right, as was used for group photos of 800 pupils at my old school. Not all/many photographers would have such a camera.

 

I can't recall such a large group photo of a Wiltshire-based unit. Most of those that I've seen are of officers and NCOs, though I do have one of  100+ members of an artillery unit outside what is now Salisbury Guildhall taken by the Central Royal or Royal Central Studio.

 

Moonraker

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