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tyrese

Help needed to identify army units, please

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tyrese

I would be grateful if anyone can identify any of these army units. I am hoping there will be the Northumberland Fusiliers, KOSB and Rifle Brigade uniforms amongst these photographs. I am assuming they are all WW1 uniforms. These photographs are all relatives of my husband. We have been given them, with no identification on the reverse of any of them. There are 2 groups of what looks like the same army unit, (the 2 larger groups), but in one photograph they have belts etc on and in the other they don't. Is there a reason for this, please? I would be very grateful for any help with any of these photographs. Thank you. Jayden

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Polar Bear

Some good news. You wanted Northumberland Fusiliers... well Photo 7 looks a very good bet. I would say it is them or Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and if you have a family link... (Photos 4, 5 and 6 are all a Fusilier Regiment and I would guess again that they are of the Northumberland variety.)

 

Photo 1 could be a number of regiments.

 

Photo 3 is Army Service Corps

 

9 and possibly 10 - Royal Scots Fusilier? But not certain.

 

The last photo is blurry when enlarged but could indeed be Rifle Brigade.

 

I'm afraid I see no KOSB.

 

P

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)

Photo one Training Reserve 1916-17.

 

Photo two 2nd Boer War Maxim Gun detachment, regiment unknown.

 

Photo three ASC.

 

Photo four Royal Welsh Fusiliers (Hurrah!).  Probably a Reserve, or maybe Garrison battalion (lots of older men).

 

Photo five Northumberland Fusiliers.

 

Photo six Northumberland Fusiliers.

 

Photo seven Royal Artillery (I think).

 

Photo eight Lancashire Fusiliers (definitely) pre 1896.

 

Photo nine 'probably' Highland Light Infantry, but missing cap badge.  Could be KOSB if a piper, who as with all pipers wore a plain blue glengarry.  However, there was also for a short period a policy when a basic blue glengarry was issued to all recruits as a stopgap until the supply of regimental patterns was on a more sustainable footing.

 

Photo ten Royal Horse Artillery (definitely).

 

Photo eleven most difficult of all.  On the face of it should be Rifle Brigade, but they were all-regular and the absence of black buttons for regulars is unlikely.  Perhaps a London Regiment battalion associated with the RB, or something like the Leeds Rifles, or Robin Hood Rifles, all of which TF.  Good conduct badges (cuff stripes) could be issued to TF from 1916 on following the MSA.  As a final thought, there were times when black buttons were not available and GS had to be used in lieu until supplies could be obtained, but for all 4-men to be so dressed seems unusual.

 

 

Edited by FROGSMILE

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CorporalPunishment

I think photos 4, 5, 6 and 7 are all Northumberland Fusiliers. The officer in both group photos appears to be the same man and the man standing in the centre of photo 4 appears to be the same man standing front far right in photo 5. A few of the others look to be in both groups as well.   Pete.

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tyrese

Thank you Pete, Frogsmile and Polar Bear for your really helpful replies. You have given me plenty to work on. 

 

Re Frogsmile identifying photograph 2 as being Second Boer War maxim Gun detachment - my husband has 2 relatives serving in that conflict - one in the Northumberland Fusiliers and the other was in the 25th Regiment out there. He was the one I thought was in the KOSB because they had a 25th Regiment that went to South Africa for the 2nd Boer War and he was born and brought up in Northumberland.

 

Thank you all again.

 

Tyrese. 

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CorporalPunishment

Looking at photos 1 and 6 I am thinking they might possibly be the same man. The narrow face and the strong nose look very similar.  Pete.

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, CorporalPunishment said:

I think photos 4, 5, 6 and 7 are all Northumberland Fusiliers. The officer in both group photos appears to be the same man and the man standing in the centre of photo 4 appears to be the same man standing front far right in photo 5. A few of the others look to be in both groups as well.   Pete.


I agree with you Pete.  It’s much more clear now that I can enlarge them.

 

2 minutes ago, CorporalPunishment said:

Looking at photos 1 and 6 I am thinking they might possibly be the same man. The narrow face and the strong nose look very similar.  Pete.


Agree with that too. 

Edited by FROGSMILE

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CorporalPunishment

I suspect the men in photos 4 and 5 could well have been members of the Chester Conklin Appreciation Society!!!.

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tyrese

Thank you re photographs 1 and 6. Certainly their noses are similar and both have similar heavy eyebrows, not sure if it is the same man, or maybe borthers. 

 

Tyrese

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FROGSMILE
1 hour ago, CorporalPunishment said:

I suspect the men in photos 4 and 5 could well have been members of the Chester Conklin Appreciation Society!!!.


There’s certainly some good old boys there.  Many in the seated front row have got a couple of medals, and one man far right has a 3-row title suggesting perhaps a third line or reserve TF battalion. 

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CorporalPunishment
44 minutes ago, FROGSMILE said:


There’s certainly some good old boys there.  Many in the seated front row have got a couple of medals, and one man far right has a 3-row title suggesting perhaps a third line or reserve TF battalion. 

Definitely a few wearing the 2nd Boer War medals. Most of them look over 50 but if push came to shove I have no doubt they would have done the business.  Pete.

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tyrese

Thank you again for your help, especially with the group ones. I definitely think that my husband's Great-Grandfather, John Anderson, must be amongst those men, he might be the last man far right on the middle row, but can't see any Sergeant stripes. He served with the 5th Northumberland Fusiliers in the 2nd Boer War and was awarded the Queen's South Africa 1899-1901 medals, Cape Colony, Orange Free State and Transvaal clasps; King's SA clasps 1901-1902. Then during WW1 he was a Sergeant in No. 151 Protection Company Royal Defence Corps from 1916. So I think this is a photograph of that RDC Company. He was born in 1873 so would have been between 41 and 45 during that time, so would fit in with the age group portrayed in the photograph. And yes, they do look like the Keystone Cops. 

 

Pete, you said that "a few were wearing 2nd Boer War medals" - are those the ones on their shoulder straps? And Frogsmile, you said that "one man far right has a 3 row title..." What is a 3-row title and which row is the man on, please? 

Fiona

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, tyrese said:

Thank you again for your help, especially with the group ones. I definitely think that my husband's Great-Grandfather, John Anderson, must be amongst those men, he might be the last man far right on the middle row, but can't see any Sergeant stripes. He served with the 5th Northumberland Fusiliers in the 2nd Boer War and was awarded the Queen's South Africa 1899-1901 medals, Cape Colony, Orange Free State and Transvaal clasps; King's SA clasps 1901-1902. Then during WW1 he was a Sergeant in No. 151 Protection Company Royal Defence Corps from 1916. So I think this is a photograph of that RDC Company. He was born in 1873 so would have been between 41 and 45 during that time, so would fit in with the age group portrayed in the photograph. And yes, they do look like the Keystone Cops. 

 

Pete, you said that "a few were wearing 2nd Boer War medals" - are those the ones on their shoulder straps? And Frogsmile, you said that "one man far right has a 3 row title..." What is a 3-row title and which row is the man on, please? 

Fiona


A Royal Defence Corps company makes complete sense Fiona and I think you’ve cracked it.  The RDC were formed from the pre-war National Reserve organisation, which comprised older veterans, both, regulars and auxiliaries from the volunteer force, or (after 1908) territorial force.

 

The man who seems to have a three row title is in photo 4 and seated at far right.  The regulars had pre-war used 2-row titles in the NF, but the Territorials had a letter ‘T’ and battalion number at the top, making it a third row. 
 

The regular NF had adopted a one piece title just before the war started and that can be seen on one of the individual photos.

 

The photos show examples.

 

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Edited by FROGSMILE

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tyrese

Thank you and for the explanatory photographs- you learn something new every day, very interesting. I think photograph 7 is my husband's Great-Grandfather, because I can now see the similarities with the group photographs and with a family one we have of John Anderson. 

Fiona

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, tyrese said:

Thank you and for the explanatory photographs- you learn something new every day, very interesting. I think photograph 7 is my husband's Great-Grandfather, because I can now see the similarities with the group photographs and with a family one we have of John Anderson. 

Fiona


Yes it’s interesting that you have photos of RDC relatives.  The 'Dad’s Army' equivalents of WW1 were, unlike WW2 divided into two organisations; the RDC formed in 1917, whose men all had at least some previous military experience, and the Volunteer Training Corps (VTC) who were for the most part armed citizens defending their homes with rather the same spirit as the old Volunteer Force (VF) that had been formed following the scare of potential French invasion in 1859, and that evolved to become the Territorial Force (TF) in 1908.  Ironically the wheel turned full circle and early in 1918 the VTC units were at last adopted (ergo fully ‘funded’) by the War Office and once more formed Volunteer Battalions of the locally associated, regular regiments. The RDC remained independent and gradually faded once more into obscurity after the war ended.

 

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Edited by FROGSMILE

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CorporalPunishment
5 hours ago, tyrese said:

Thank you again for your help, especially with the group ones. I definitely think that my husband's Great-Grandfather, John Anderson, must be amongst those men, he might be the last man far right on the middle row, but can't see any Sergeant stripes. He served with the 5th Northumberland Fusiliers in the 2nd Boer War and was awarded the Queen's South Africa 1899-1901 medals, Cape Colony, Orange Free State and Transvaal clasps; King's SA clasps 1901-1902. Then during WW1 he was a Sergeant in No. 151 Protection Company Royal Defence Corps from 1916. So I think this is a photograph of that RDC Company. He was born in 1873 so would have been between 41 and 45 during that time, so would fit in with the age group portrayed in the photograph. And yes, they do look like the Keystone Cops. 

 

Pete, you said that "a few were wearing 2nd Boer War medals" - are those the ones on their shoulder straps? And Frogsmile, you said that "one man far right has a 3 row title..." What is a 3-row title and which row is the man on, please? 

Fiona

Fiona, I meant to say medal ribbons, not the actual medals, my mistake. The ribbons are worn on the left breast. The medals were the Queen's South Africa Medal and the King's South Africa Medal.  Pete.

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CorporalPunishment
5 hours ago, tyrese said:

Thank you and for the explanatory photographs- you learn something new every day, very interesting. I think photograph 7 is my husband's Great-Grandfather, because I can now see the similarities with the group photographs and with a family one we have of John Anderson. 

Fiona

Fiona, the man in photo 7 has no medal ribbons on display so he is not a 2nd Boer War veteran.  Pete.

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tyrese

That is true that photo 7 has no Boer War medal ribbons, but my husband's relative enlisted in 1890, so possibly, if that is him if it was taken previous to him going to South Africa, but I am glad you pointed it out, I hadn't noticed. In the group RDC photographs, he must be there, or why would we have the 2 group photographs, but can't identify him as any of the ones displaying the Boer ribbons.We have 2 family, out of uniform photographs of him taken in 1906 and 1920, so I will have to get out the magnifying glass for any features. I do know from his attestaion papers when enlisting in the Northumberland Fusiliers, that he has a tattoo on his arm, but that is not much use in identifying him from these photographs. 

 

Thank you all again for your very helpful information.

 

Fiona

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CorporalPunishment
5 hours ago, tyrese said:

That is true that photo 7 has no Boer War medal ribbons, but my husband's relative enlisted in 1890, so possibly, if that is him if it was taken previous to him going to South Africa, but I am glad you pointed it out, I hadn't noticed. In the group RDC photographs, he must be there, or why would we have the 2 group photographs, but can't identify him as any of the ones displaying the Boer ribbons.We have 2 family, out of uniform photographs of him taken in 1906 and 1920, so I will have to get out the magnifying glass for any features. I do know from his attestaion papers when enlisting in the Northumberland Fusiliers, that he has a tattoo on his arm, but that is not much use in identifying him from these photographs. 

 

Thank you all again for your very helpful information.

 

Fiona

Sorry to be a pain Fiona but photo 7 dates from post-1905 to the best of my knowledge.  Pete.

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CorporalPunishment

I think the man in photo 7 is the same man in photo 4, back row, second fom left. It is also the same man in photo 5, centre row, far right. I also notice that the man on his right in both photos looks to be the same man. That man wears the medal ribbons of the 2nd Boer War. I wondered if they might be related as they look very much alike.  Pete.

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tyrese

To Pete,

 

You aren't being a pain. I am very grateful for all your help. Why do you think photo 7 dates from post 1905, please? It won't be my husband's Great-Grandfather if it is post 1905. I thought the same as you re the group photographs but that man doesn't have the Boer medal ribbon. He had 3 brothers so I need to see if any of them went into the military - in particular the Northumberland Fusiliers. Below is a photograph of John Anderson taken in 1920, not long after he left the RDC. He looks a bit like the man in the photographs, but the lack of the Boer War ribbons is stopping me being convinced it is him.

 

Fiona. 

IMG_1209.JPG

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CorporalPunishment
1 hour ago, tyrese said:

To Pete,

 

You aren't being a pain. I am very grateful for all your help. Why do you think photo 7 dates from post 1905, please? It won't be my husband's Great-Grandfather if it is post 1905. I thought the same as you re the group photographs but that man doesn't have the Boer medal ribbon. He had 3 brothers so I need to see if any of them went into the military - in particular the Northumberland Fusiliers. Below is a photograph of John Anderson taken in 1920, not long after he left the RDC. He looks a bit like the man in the photographs, but the lack of the Boer War ribbons is stopping me being convinced it is him.

 

Fiona. 

IMG_1209.JPG

Fiona, to the best of my knowledge the type of uniform in photo 7 was not introduced until 1902 and the peaked cap was not introduced until 1905. Is it at all possible that the man to his right in both group photos could be your husband's great-grandfather?.  He is wearing the 2nd Boer War medal ribbons and the two men look very much alike.   Pete.

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Graham Stewart
On 11/05/2020 at 11:14, tyrese said:

Thank you again for your help, especially with the group ones. I definitely think that my husband's Great-Grandfather, John Anderson, must be amongst those men, he might be the last man far right on the middle row, but can't see any Sergeant stripes. He served with the 5th Northumberland Fusiliers in the 2nd Boer War and was awarded the Queen's South Africa 1899-1901 medals, Cape Colony, Orange Free State and Transvaal clasps; King's SA clasps 1901-1902. Then during WW1 he was a Sergeant in No. 151 Protection Company Royal Defence Corps from 1916. So I think this is a photograph of that RDC Company. He was born in 1873 so would have been between 41 and 45 during that time, so would fit in with the age group portrayed in the photograph. And yes, they do look like the Keystone Cops. 

 

Pete, you said that "a few were wearing 2nd Boer War medals" - are those the ones on their shoulder straps? And Frogsmile, you said that "one man far right has a 3 row title..." What is a 3-row title and which row is the man on, please? 

Fiona

Hi Fiona - possibly not a great deal to go on here, but I do have two J.Andersons serving in the Northumberlands in the late 1880s - 990 Pte J.Anderson, 1st Battalion, who received his Good Conduct Pay in May 1887 and 2162 Pte J.Anderson, 1st Bn, who won the Recruit Shooting Prize in December 1888. Considering your John was born in 1873, then it is possible that neither of them may have been your husbands reative, due to his age at this time.

Also considering that John was awarded South African medals, I have to ask do they remain in the family and if so are they numbered on the rim as this would certainly help in tracking him down further?

I also have to ask - where did he originate from?

Graham

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tyrese

Hello Pete and Graham,

 

To Pete,

After our previous deliberations, I also wondered if the man on the far left in the first group photograph, might be John Anderson because as you say that man has the Boer Medals. Also, looking at JA's attestation papers, he was 5'5" when he joined up, though as he was only 18 then, and might have grown a bit afterwards. That man doesn't look very tall amongst the other men.  

 

To Graham,

Thank you for looking for our John Anderson. He was John Anderson, born 8th May 1873 in Amble, Northumberland. He enlisted on the 19th August 1890, aged 18 years 2 months into the Northumberland Fusiliers, service number 2815. He served with the 2nd Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers in Gilbraltar, Cairo and South Africa, as well as spells at home. It also says on his attestaion papers that he was already in the 3rd Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers, which I assume was a Territorial Force he could join until he was 18 and became a regular soldier. His army career spanned just over 12 years. His army number in the RDC was 35826/G. His wife-to-be wrote a poem in 1896, 2 years before they married, about their courtship and what surprised me was she wrote that he travelled by boat from Newcastle to Portsmouth to rejoin his regiment after his furlough. I just assumed he would go by road, somehow. He was then posted with them to Gibraltar.

 

His medals - well Graham, that is a story. His elder daughter, my husband's Grandma, had his medals. When she died a relative was sorting out her flat and put a lot of her treasured items in a black bin liner, and then absent mindedly put it outside the back door. Unfortunately that bag got nicked overnight. The family lost a lot of sentimental items that were in that bag. So, no we don't have them which is a shame.

Fiona 

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)

Hello Fiona, looking at your initial post again I’ve noticed that photos 9 and 10 look as if they might be the same man but a couple of decades apart.  There certainly seems a strong resemblance. At first I had thought that photo 9 showed a man of the Lancashire Fusiliers because of the white facings and universal grenade collar badge, which the LF retained throughout their history, but at that time (1890s) and until 1900, the exact same arrangement was worn by the Northumberland Fusiliers.  It now seems quite feasible then that photo 9 shows John Anderson when he first joined the NF in the 3rd (Militia) Battalion, and that photo 10 shows him when he re-enlisted with the Royal Defence Corps, possibly wearing his old glengarry cap from his earlier service with the NF, but without cap badge.

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Edited by FROGSMILE

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