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Remembered Today:

Identify soldier's uniform


Sharonmcb

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Looking for ideas of what regiment this chaps uniform might be. Looking at the photo I  think  perhaps it might be pre- WW1 but am really not sure so thought I would post it and see what clues there might be in the photo that a more experienced eye might see that I don't. Thanks in advance

Sharon

image001.jpg

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Significantly pre WW1

 

Cap badge is very close to Highland Light Infantry but not an exact match. Possibly an earlier variant?

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Thanks very much. Just looked them up and you are right. It is close. This gives me a lead as I hadn't noticed the old style bugle on the badge. Seems the Highland Light Infantry originally came from the 71st (Highland)  and 74th and the 71st had a similar badge. There are some other regiments who did also so will need to do a bit more research yet but your reply certainly helps. Much appreciated. 

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Has the look of a Victorian-era Volunteer to me (1860's, 1870's sort of period). Might or might not be HLI: lots of then Volunteer Rifle regiments wore French horn style of badge.

 

Presumably there's no provenance with the picture or any form of photographer's name/address?

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This is quite a tough one and at first, like Steven, I thought it was probably a Rifle Volunteer, but there’s no sign of the RVs distinctive Austrian knot cuff decoration that I would expect to see, nor is there any hint of an efficiency ring, or the lozenge or star badges that were common for those citizen-soldiers.  
 

I think he’s probably from a numbered, English light infantry regiment, perhaps one that was hitherto part of the Honourable East India Company.  The white Lance Corporal’s stripe on both arms is correct for scarlet coated light infantry, and confirms that he’s not from a rifle regiment.  The question is which regiment had light coloured facings, but a piping trim that both, render so oddly because of orthochromatic film. Going by the pattern of shako and badge and the general uniform features, I’d date the photo to between 1861 and 1869.  
 

If he’s a regular, the most likely regiment, it seems to me, is the 106th (Bombay Light Infantry) Regiment, which was one of just two pre-1881 LI regiments that had white facings (the other the 43rd), and that became the 2nd Battalion Durham Light Infantry in 1881.  The officers kepi below is the 1874 pattern, the previous version had the star shaped plate shown in the photo.  The battalion came to England for the very first time in 1874 (having been formed in India in 1840), where it was presented its first colours as a British Army regiment. See woodcut image below.

 

However, despite all the above, it might also show a soldier of a Militia Regiment, that typically led largely separate existences prior to 1881.  
The piping around the collar, the cuff design and the dull coloured buttons are odd and do not sit comfortably with the ID of a regular regiment.  Magnifying the number in the centre of the shako badges bugle will be absolutely key in making a more positive ID, as this was the heyday of the importance of numbers in regimental identify.

 

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Edited by FROGSMILE
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Thanks so much for your replies. I am trying to help a friend with this one. She only has a scanned copy of the original which she got from a relative here in Western Australia who has since passed away. The chap in the photo is unknown but they assume an ancestor. Only ancestor she knows of who was in the military was Thomas Bandy who was in the 98th Staffordshire  Regiment , born 1809, enlisted 1825, promoted to Corporal 1838-1844 but then demoted back to private due to a charge of drunkenness. Discharged 1848 at age of 39 and came to Western Australia in 1850 as an enrolled pensioner guard with the 98th with a ship load of convicts. Of course this could be wishful thinking and could be anyone but would be great if it could be identified as Thomas. My guess at the number on the badge is 87 which doesnt seem to fit with anything I can find on line. Showed my husband and he cant make out a number at all. 

 

Really appreciate you taking the time to look at the photo for us. You have given us quite a few really good clues to follow. It really is a great photo and it would be great if one day if the subject can be identified. Thanks again

Sharon

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