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Remembered Today:

Any information on this uniform.


Gaillimh1

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This was in an old photo album, but no one knows he is or when the photo was taken.

The only clue is that a photo with the exact same background has the name Mrs Ann Lewin- Lynch.  She is elderly in the photo so maybe it was around 1880s. She was the daughter of Captain James Lewin of the 30th Regiment and he fought at Waterloo. She married in 1851 and her husband Michael Lynch died in 1891. He was not a soldier but all her family were military men. If some one can give a clue as to the unit or  the era, it may help identifying him.

Thanks.

 

Soldier photo.jpg

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assuming he was not in a scottish regiment, the glengarry cap would date it to before 1896 or thereabouts

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 Thanks but I don't believe he was  in a Scottish regiment.  

Ann Lewin -Lynch had only one brother called Lt. James St George Lewin who joined the 61st Regiment of Foot at Buttervant In Cork and served in India.

He died there in 1849 and was buried in Peshawar Cemetery.

But this photo would be later than that. 

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He is a private soldier from a line infantry regiment with a single good conduct badge (GCB - an inverted stripe on the cuff) indicating 2-years of blemish free service.  Before 1881 these badges were generally worn on the right cuff only, but there was an exception that fusiliers, light infantry, rifles and highlanders would wear stripes (meaning rank stripes) on both arms as a distinction and some regiments interpreted this to mean GCBs too.  In July 1881 reforms ordered that (among many other changes) GCBs were to be worn on the left cuff only so as to be distinct from rank.

 

The soldier wears a full dress tunic of non-standard cut, that is, with a seam running down vertically on each side of the chest.  This is most unusual and suggests that for some reason it has been modified by the unit tailor.  His facings are so pale as to be almost certainly white, which enables us to narrow down the possible regiment as from his style of dress he is either a fusilier, or light infantry in a regiment that had white facings (collar and cuffs) before the significant changes of 1881.  
 

The first of these possibilities that comes to mind is the 43rd (Monmouthshire) Light Infantry, and another the 32nd (Cornwall) Light Infantry, but I will check through the list and report back with any other possibilities tomorrow.  
 

The crossed rifles badge on his left cuff indicates that he has qualified as a marksman which entitles him to one extra penny per diem.  There would be a number on his shoulder strap indicating his regiment, but unfortunately we cannot see it.

 

The particular style of cuffs was introduced in 1868 and replaced in 1870, so that helps us to date the photo.

 

Edited by FROGSMILE
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Thank you so much, that is very helpful, so much information on the uniform. by narrowing down the era I may identify him and gather more details.

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8 hours ago, Gaillimh1 said:

Thank you so much, that is very helpful, so much information on the uniform. by narrowing down the era I may identify him and gather more details.


Unfortunately there’s just the three clues of a cuff style that only lasted 2-years, white facings, and the GCBs on both arms rather than one.  This latter was a stroke of good luck, though, as I’ve been able to confirm that it narrows things down to just three light infantry regiments (there were no fusiliers with white facings before the 1881 changes).  As well as the 32nd and 43rd, there was the 106th.  A further piece of luck is that all three regiments had just one battalion.  Examination of where these battalions were stationed between 1868 and 1870 (cuffs refer) might perhaps link with your forebears circumstances.  These were as follows:

 

32nd LI - South Africa

43rd LI - Aldershot (1868) Jersey (1869)

106th LI - in India until 1873 


This suggests that the most likely regiment is the 43rd, although we should remember that small depot companies of these regiments generally remained in Britain, usually in garrisons adjacent to ports, and so a few of their men might be seen.  Nevertheless it does make the 43rd, who incidentally were considered an elite unit, a strong likelihood. 
 

All-in-all the features in your photo have been a stroke of luck, as ironically, buttons, waist belt clasp, cap badge, and shoulder strap were all regimentally distinct.  We cannot see any of them and yet by the few clues that there are it’s been possible to make a likely ID.  The enclosed photo shows the possible badge that is out of sight in your image.

0381D9BB-07C1-4E0C-B673-D6A4A7B834D7.jpeg

Edited by FROGSMILE
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That is fantastic information, I was able to see the crossed rifles on the arm sleeve in the photo once you mentioned them. That is probably a clasp then on his collar. 

I will research those battalions and the time frame would fit with the other picture I have of Ann Lewin- Lynch in the exact same studio background.

Once again thank you so much.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Gaillimh1 said:

That is fantastic information, I was able to see the crossed rifles on the arm sleeve in the photo once you mentioned them. That is probably a clasp then on his collar. 

I will research those battalions and the time frame would fit with the other picture I have of Ann Lewin- Lynch in the exact same studio background.

Once again thank you so much.

 

 


I’m extremely pleased to be able to confirm that I am close to 100% certain that he is a private soldier of the 43rd LI.  I’ve found an image of a corporal from the same regiment and his uniform features are identical, even down to the very unusual seams running vertically down the chest.  Notice the stripes of both rank and GCB worn on both arms.

The corporal has the previous pattern of forage cap often described as ‘pork-pie’ in style on the table in front of him, which was replaced by the glengarry cap seen in your photo.  Initially that same two-piece badge might have been worn, but eventually the one-piece type above replaced it.  The corporal too is a marksman, but wearing the white worsted version of the badge rather than the bullion wire type seen in your photo.  Notice the representation of the slings.

 

NB.  The black object that you thought was a clasp at his collar front is a leather tab that closed off the join to protect the throat from irritation. You can just see the merest hint of it on the corporal below.

 

3DB845C6-F447-405A-89FF-ED1049C1428C.png

43rd-Monmouthshire-Light-Infantry-29-Military-Head-Dress-John.jpg

43rd-Monmouthshire-Light-Infantry-Foot-orig-Victorian-Officers.jpg

Edited by FROGSMILE
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That is amazing, I would never have figured out any of this without your help, it narrows it down so much, the above photo is certainly the same uniform, the family will be so delighted with this. We looked at it so often and puzzled about his identity, so, almost there, thanks to you.

M.

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1 hour ago, Gaillimh1 said:

That is amazing, I would never have figured out any of this without your help, it narrows it down so much, the above photo is certainly the same uniform, the family will be so delighted with this. We looked at it so often and puzzled about his identity, so, almost there, thanks to you.

M.

 

I'm glad to help.  One final piece of information I can offer is that the 43rd had returned from New Zealand after a hard fought campaign fighting the Maoris in June 1866, and after disembarking and consolidating (passage was in more than one ship) moved to barracks in Aldershot, where they remained until moving to Jersey in the Channel Islands in 1869 (there was one infantry battalion on each of the main islands).  I don't know if Aldershot or Jersey chime with your family circumstances, but bear in mind that each commissioned officer was allocated a soldier servant at that time and the officer was fully entitled to take the soldier with him when absent from duty for short periods of leave, or personal business.  They would generally sleep in the servants quarters at the officer's home, and it's not impossible that a loyal and valued soldier servant could be photographed under arrangements made by the officer's family.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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  • 5 months later...
On 30/09/2020 at 21:28, Gaillimh1 said:

This was in an old photo album, but no one knows he is or when the photo was taken.

The only clue is that a photo with the exact same background has the name Mrs Ann Lewin- Lynch.  She is elderly in the photo so maybe it was around 1880s. She was the daughter of Captain James Lewin of the 30th Regiment and he fought at Waterloo. She married in 1851 and her husband Michael Lynch died in 1891. He was not a soldier but all her family were military men. If some one can give a clue as to the unit or  the era, it may help identifying him.

Thanks.

 

Soldier photo.jpg

I was wondering if you happened to have the photo of Ann Lewin-Lynch to hand? I’m the 4th great grandson of Capt. James Lewin and I’m currently researching the Lewin family tree. Ann Lewin had at least one other brother apart from Lieut. James St. George Lewin, namely my 3x great grandfather, Christopher Carrique Lewin. We think he may have also been an army officer at some point, possibly in India but don’t have any evidence for this apart from an oral story handed down the generations.

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