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frankdowns

Uniform ID Samuel Downs

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frankdowns

1193557564_GrandadSamuelDowns.jpg.ae271577652d2620002756ff0013cc2d.jpgHello,

Can anyone help me identify the uniform in this photo. My grandfather who was born in 1884 is shown wearing it. He served in the 1st World War

Thanks

Frank Downs

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alf mcm

Frank,

  He looks like a Driver, Royal Artillery in pre-war uniform, although I may be corrected on this. If your grandfather was born in Lancashire, then this may be his service record;-

  https://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?_phsrc=bmY39875&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&indiv=1&dbid=1114&gsfn=SAMUEL&gsln=DOWNS&gsfn_x=1&gsln_x=1&cp=11&qh=01cf9184f7e7c9ddc073da94a80eda4f&new=1&rank=1&uidh=9y4&redir=false&gss=angs-d&pcat=39&fh=0&h=226062&recoff=&ml_rpos=1&queryId=d3b9594f3898967b1ebf1f39bad7c863

  If this is not him, please let us know where he was born, names of parents, if married etc.

 

Regards,

 

Alf McM

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)

I agree with Alf, he’s a Driver, Royal Field Artillery pre-war.  He has a good conduct badge (inverted stripe) on his sleeve indicating 2-years of blemish free service.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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mancpal

Sorry, no answers from me, only a further question !

I am very gradually learning about uniforms and on this occasion my interests lie below the knee. I can make out the spurs and the foot of his boots look fine to me. Its his calves that cause me concern. 

A). He is wearing boots to which he hasn't yet grown to fill (he'd be known as spindle shanks in Northern parlance). A sort of flared welly so to speak

B). He has some form of shin guards (leather?) over his standard issue boots.

If B is the answer I don't recall seeing them before which makes me wonder when they were utilised and were they used beyond the Artillery ? 

I think he may have a trade badge above his GC chevron, looks like it might be in the form of crossed items (marksman?)

Simon

 

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, mancpal said:

Sorry, no answers from me, only a further question !

I am very gradually learning about uniforms and on this occasion my interests lie below the knee. I can make out the spurs and the foot of his boots look fine to me. Its his calves that cause me concern. 

A). He is wearing boots to which he hasn't yet grown to fill (he'd be known as spindle shanks in Northern parlance). A sort of flared welly so to speak

B). He has some form of shin guards (leather?) over his standard issue boots.

If B is the answer I don't recall seeing them before which makes me wonder when they were utilised and were they used beyond the Artillery ? 

I think he may have a trade badge above his GC chevron, looks like it might be in the form of crossed items (marksman?)

Simon

 


You’ve raised a key point Simon and confirmed my original thoughts because your comment has made me examine his outfit more carefully.  The leg wear is either Hessian boots or a boot extension designed to have the appearance of such boots, which were worn by Royal Horse Artillery and Royal Field Artillery pre-war.  RHA was my original thought and it’s now corroborated because he also has RHA ball buttons fastening his blue serge, undress frock.  The badge above his good conduct badge could he crossed rifles but I think in this case it’s more likely to be a gunnery prize badge comprising some arrangement of crossed gun barrels.
 

DD2360E7-1272-4286-A488-A07820E3C604.jpeg

A4787F15-5916-4730-9392-DDDA178DC675.jpeg

Edited by FROGSMILE

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mancpal

Thanks Frogsmile,

As I've mentioned I'm a real novice with uniforms but your mention of Hessian surprises me, I expected leather or was that level of luxury reserved for officers? What process would be used to waterproof them or were they intended purely as shin guards rather than weatherproofing?

The top of them appears to be profiled (reminds me of trench art shell cartridges) so I wondered if this pattern might assist in dating them?

I am however relieved that he hasn't got 'sparrow ankles' after all

 

Simon

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

Thanks Frogsmile,

As I've mentioned I'm a real novice with uniforms but your mention of Hessian surprises me, I expected leather or was that level of luxury reserved for officers? What process would be used to waterproof them or were they intended purely as shin guards rather than weatherproofing?

The top of them appears to be profiled (reminds me of trench art shell cartridges) so I wondered if this pattern might assist in dating them?

I am however relieved that he hasn't got 'sparrow ankles' after all

 

Simon


Hessian boots were merely a style of boots that went right back to the 18th C.  Originally the tops were notched, trimmed with lace and fitted with tassels, but the type issued to British light cavalry and RHA had by the turn of the 20th C retained just the notch.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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mancpal

Thanks for the information which explains a lot.

 

Simon

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frankdowns
13 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:


Hessian boots were merely a style of boots that went right back to the 18th C.  Originally the tops were notched, trimmed with lace and fitted with tassels, but the type issued to British light cavalry and RHA had by the turn of the 20th C retained just the notch.

Thanks to everyone who took the time replied to my query about my grandfather, Samuel Downs's uniform. It was really helpful, and enlightening.

Much appreciated.

Frank Downs

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)
44 minutes ago, frankdowns said:

Thanks to everyone who took the time replied to my query about my grandfather, Samuel Downs's uniform. It was really helpful, and enlightening.

Much appreciated.

Frank Downs


Glad to help Frank.  I enclose images of some gunnery prize badges of the type we can just see the hint of above your GF’s good conduct badge (stripe).

 

 

C12435B7-67CC-4223-9573-99095053F61E.jpeg

Edited by FROGSMILE

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