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Uniform Idenfication


Niheyiwe9
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Hoping someone can help me please identify what uniform my Great Grandfather is wearing and if possible, what War he was involved in. My Great Grandfather, George Brown lived in Glasgow, Scotland and was born in 1871. I am speculating he was at least 20 years at the time of this wedding photo was taken, possibaly 1891. Does this make it possible that he was involved in the Boer War? Any help is gratefully aappreciated. I have very little other information about him. My Thanks!288698680_Gr.GrandfatherGeorgeBrown.jpg.ca0815628eb810015c7cc317deabed54.jpg

Great Grandparents, George Brown.jpg

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He is a soldier of the Cameronian’s (Scottish Rifles).  Pre-Boer War, around 1895 I think.  The regimental HQ and training depot was at Hamilton Barracks in Glasgow, a location which was shared with the Highland Light Infantry.

 

I have seen this photo before, have you posted it elsewhere on the internet, perhaps in Rootschat?

 

There was a fashion popular among soldiers of the 1890s to have their glengarry caps tailored to be much smaller than the standard specification and then perch it on the top of the head with the top part of head hair more exposed.  This photo is the most extreme example of the trend that I’ve ever seen.  Another part of the fashion at the same time was to elongate the ribbons trailing from the cap at the rear.

 

The soldier is dressed for walking-out of barracks carrying a swagger stick and has no medals, so he has yet to see any campaign service.

 

At the time the photo was taken the regiment’s cap badge was in blackened brass, before it later changed to white metal. The Douglas tartan trews were adopted in 1891, having previously (since 1881) been in Government No1 pattern tartan (aka Black Watch).  His upper garment is the Cameronian's full dress doublet in a very dark green, almost black when looked at from a distance.
 

 

FB3768E8-DBE5-4CB6-9E6E-DB85DFD3556F.jpeg

 

7AED9E09-19DD-4AEA-A1A4-39F7E2B38637.jpeg

9CBC5005-47D5-44F1-9599-F0C2071E0410.jpeg

Cams SR doublet.jpg

cameronians-regimental-tartan-trews_360_44843615c0840f9151ae8804844b45e7.jpg

Edited by FROGSMILE
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An interesting photographic effect is seen in the original image where the edges of the crossing dark blue stripes within the white bounded squares in the Douglas tartan are rendered almost white in the image.  Those edges are in reality lighter blue.  This effect is not usually picked up in the ordinary photography of the period as in the first photo below.  The second image of a 26th Cameronian piper (source: David Murray "Music of the Scottish Rehiments") shows the full infrastructure of the Douglas tartan; this photo was taken in 1881 just before the amalgamation with the 90th at which point the Douglas tartan was discarded for 10 years as has already been mentioned.

 

1_Cam-SR_1891_England.jpg.8fb5ac619e2fd340cc880ba8f5991833.jpg

507185789_Cameronianpiper1881.jpg.bd688e0118cd5947459670a87cbb65ff.jpg

 

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Can any of the forum’s excellent genealogical detectives flesh out more detail on George Brown’s family?  I appreciate that it’s a very common name.

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On 12/11/2020 at 07:53, Niheyiwe9 said:

My Great Grandfather, George Brown lived in Glasgow, Scotland and was born in 1871. I am speculating he was at least 20 years at the time of this wedding photo was taken, possibaly 1891.

 

Surviving Service records on Genes Reunited, (so should also be on FindMyPast) do not include anyone enlisting in the Cameronians with the name George Brown who was born circa 1871 (+/-) 2 years.

 

There are four surviving records for a George Brown enlisting either in a Militia Battalion or a Regular Army battalion of the Cameronians who were born circa 1877 and all co-incidentally showing a birthplace of Barony, Glasgow, (Service number 9010 Militia, 1894 // 20 Militia 1895 // 299 Militia 1895 // 5387 Regular 23/10/1895) . Only two on a cursory glance appear to relate to the same individual covering his initial service with the militia before resigning and joining the regular Army. There is also a George James Brown (9820 Militia, 1896), born Barony circa 1877. Finally there is also a Gerge Brown born c1879, Barony, Glasow, (4390 Militia, 1902 - a married man) - before that it is a c1866 birth. The 1877 born ones are too young to have married in 1891 and indeed those that joined up in the mid-1890's all appear to be single. Of course not every set of records has survived and if he served continuously through to the Great War they may have all been lost in the subsequent warehouse fire.

 

The Anglo-Boer War Medal Rolls have two G. Brown's with the Cameronians - service number 4094 and 5387. There are no details for them on the Anglo-Boer War website - the two G. Browns serving with the Cameronians that they record relate to the Frontier Wars of 1877-79. There are no matching Great War era Medal Index cards for either 4094 or 5387.

 

I only have access to partial transcripts of the Scottish Census - more would be available on Scotlandspeople https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/?verified=true

 

A search of the transcripts for a George Brown born 1871 (=/- 2 years) with a Glasgow connection brings up 23 matches on the 1891 Census of Scotland - if he served in the Boer War then very likely he won't turn up on the 1901 Census, where incidentally there are 20 matches. And I know from personal researching experience that "Glasgow" in family lore terms can actually cover a lot of places that may best can be described as "near" Glasgow.

 

3 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:

Can any of the forum’s excellent genealogical detectives flesh out more detail on George Brown’s family?  I appreciate that it’s a very common name.

 

Unless one of those turns up, hopefully @Niheyiwe9 has more details on the family that might make it clearer as to what other lines of enquiry might be fruitful.

 

Cheers,

Peter

 

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3 minutes ago, PRC said:

 

Surviving Service records on Genes Reunited, (so should also be on FindMyPast) do not include anyone enlisting in the Cameronians with the name George Brown who was born circa 1871 (+/-) 2 years.

 

There are four surviving records for a George Brown enlisting either in a Militia Battalion or a Regular Army battalion of the Cameronians who were born circa 1877 and all co-incidentally showing a birthplace of Barony, Glasgow, (Service number 9010 Militia, 1894 // 20 Militia 1895 // 299 Militia 1895 // 5387 Regular 23/10/1895) . Only two on a cursory glance appear to relate to the same individual covering his initial service with the militia before resigning and joining the regular Army. There is also a George James Brown (9820 Militia, 1896), born Barony circa 1877. Finally there is also a Gerge Brown born c1879, Barony, Glasow, (4390 Militia, 1902 - a married man) - before that it is a c1866 birth. The 1877 born ones are too young to have married in 1891 and indeed those that joined up in the mid-1890's all appear to be single. Of course not every set of records has survived and if he served continuously through to the Great War they may have all been lost in the subsequent warehouse fire.

 

The Anglo-Boer War Medal Rolls have two G. Brown's with the Cameronians - service number 4094 and 5387. There are no details for them on the Anglo-Boer War website - the two G. Browns serving with the Cameronians that they record relate to the Frontier Wars of 1877-79. There are no matching Great War era Medal Index cards for either 4094 or 5387.

 

I only have access to partial transcripts of the Scottish Census - more would be available on Scotlandspeople https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/?verified=true

 

A search of the transcripts for a George Brown born 1871 (=/- 2 years) with a Glasgow connection brings up 23 matches on the 1891 Census of Scotland - if he served in the Boer War then very likely he won't turn up on the 1901 Census, where incidentally there are 20 matches. And I know from personal researching experience that "Glasgow" in family lore terms can actually cover a lot of places that may best can be described as "near" Glasgow.

 

 

Unless one of those turns up, hopefully @Niheyiwe9 has more details on the family that might make it clearer as to what other lines of enquiry might be fruitful.

 

Cheers,

Peter

 


Brilliant work Peter.  I imagined that with a name like that it would be a tough ask.  We’ll just have to see if the OP can provide a bit more information.

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On 12/11/2020 at 02:12, FROGSMILE said:

He is a soldier of the Cameronian’s (Scottish Rifles).  Pre-Boer War, around 1895 I think.  The regimental HQ and training depot was at Hamilton Barracks in Glasgow, a location which was shared with the Highland Light Infantry.

 

I have seen this photo before, have you posted it elsewhere on the internet, perhaps in Rootschat?

 

There was a fashion popular among soldiers of the 1890s to have their glengarry caps tailored to be much smaller than the standard specification and then perch it on the top of the head with the top part of head hair more exposed.  This photo is the most extreme example of the trend that I’ve ever seen.  Another part of the fashion at the same time was to elongate the ribbons trailing from the cap at the rear.

 

The soldier is dressed for walking-out of barracks carrying a swagger stick and has no medals, so he has yet to see any campaign service.

 

At the time the photo was taken the regiment’s cap badge was in blackened brass, before it later changed to white metal. The Douglas tartan trews were adopted in 1891, having previously (since 1881) been in Government No1 pattern tartan (aka Black Watch).  His upper garment is the Cameronian's full dress doublet in a very dark green, almost black when looked at from a distance.
 

 

FB3768E8-DBE5-4CB6-9E6E-DB85DFD3556F.jpeg

 

7AED9E09-19DD-4AEA-A1A4-39F7E2B38637.jpeg

9CBC5005-47D5-44F1-9599-F0C2071E0410.jpeg

Cams SR doublet.jpg

cameronians-regimental-tartan-trews_360_44843615c0840f9151ae8804844b45e7.jpg

Thank you so much! This is such great news to hear! Yes I have posted this picture in paisley family history, ancestry.ca and rootschat! I should clarify however that my Gr. Grandfather, George Browne  was born in Ireland and not Scotland! He came to Scotland as a child with his family! Had many “Browne” sibs and many “Brown” siblings in Scotland! His daughter, my Grandmother, so the story goes didn’t meet her father until she was 7 years old...born in 1907! So that would have been in 1914, at a time when he would have been leaving for WWI. That doesn’t make sense to me. My Grandmother came to Canada around 1920 and died in 1962 when I was a child! Unfortunately her family history from Scotland died with her and all that we have are old pics taken in Scotland of men in military uniforms! All I have ever known is that he and his wife (unknown name) died in the later 1940’s. I suspect my Gr. Grandmother had soldiers in her family as well, lots of pics with men in kilts! Thank u so so much for this information! I’m determined to find these people and their children! Unfortunately My Grandmother never made it back to Scotland, her stories and people died into history! 

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10 hours ago, Niheyiwe9 said:

I should clarify however that my Gr. Grandfather, George Browne  was born in Ireland and not Scotland!

 

No surviving papers under Browne born circa 1871 either. However if he served continuously through into the Great War then all of his papers could have been lost in the fire. But that means then if he was already serving in 1891 he'd have done his 21 years for a pension by 1912, and so would have needed permission to stay on. That was in my experience more likely to be granted to a senior NCO than a man who was still a Private.

 

Trying another angle - the scope of the 1911 Census of England & Wales included armed forces units unless they fell within the scope of another equivalent British Empire Census, (basically Scotland and Ireland). It was taken on the 2nd April 1911.

 

Checking the 1911 edition of the Harts Annual Military List, (correct to the 31st December 1910), for the two Regular Army Battalions of the Cameronians, the 1st Battalion was shown at Bloenfontein, (South Africa), while the 2nd Battalion was at Colchester. The 1912 edition, (correct to the 31st December 1911) shows the 1st Battalion at Bloemfontein, but in the process of moving to Glasgow, while the 2nd Battalion were at Malta.

 

So both the 1st and 2nd Battalion should be covered by the 1911 Census of England & Wales and that does tseem o be the case. The 1st Battalion are at Blomfontein, indexed as Cameronians, and the 2nd Battalion at Colchester, indexed as Scottish Rifles. But no match for a George Brown or Browne from Ireland - the nearest is a 36 year old Sergeant James Brown from Kildare, County Kildare, who was recorded with the 1st Battalion. There are Militia papers for him, placing him in Glasgow in 1895.

 

10 hours ago, Niheyiwe9 said:

His daughter, my Grandmother, so the story goes didn’t meet her father until she was 7 years old...born in 1907!

 

10 hours ago, Niheyiwe9 said:

All I have ever known is that he and his wife (unknown name) died in the later 1940’s.

 

Your Grandmothers birth certificate would show both parents names and very likely where they were currently living. Under fathers occupation, if George was still serving, then at a minimum it would show rank and regiment \ corps. It should also give you the mothers' maiden name which might help with tracking down the marriage and of course the wealth of genealogy information that can appear on a marriage certificate.

 

Postings overseas of 7 years or more were not unknown, although usually UK leave was possible. Not all wifes could accompany their husbands. Added to which most memories start about three, so your grandmothers father may not have gone overseas for the entire time. The 2nd Battalion was in Malta still at the outbreak of the war, returning to the UK on the 22nd September 1914 and going out to France at the start of November.

 

Will take a look at the Medal Index Cards and see if anything stands out.

 

Cheers,

Peter

Edited by PRC
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Such an amazing wealth of information! Thank you gents! I have literally tried everything I know to identify "what" uniform George Brown was wearing and was initally focused on trying to identify his head gear, that said, that fell by the wayside because I was unable to see much of anything except the ribbons on the back. Then I focused  on the trousers, but was unable to identify that they are "trews". Lately, I have focused in on his belt buckle, thought perhaps it was a snake. I am in the unique position fo being the family historian and am often called upon by my cousins children asking questions. This past Remembrance Day I was called upon to tell the "stories" of WW1 and my English Grandfather who served at Vimy Ridge 1st Battalion CEF. I was also asked about his father, my other Great Grandfather who served with the 15th Light Foot when he still lived in England and then with the CEF as well in WW1. Unfortunately, I had no stories of my Irish/Scots ancestor to share until now and I am grateful for this information. The young lads asking are my 1st Cousins 1 x removed and 11 and 13 years old. I was honored to share what I could and they were thrilled, but most importantly, they now have some knowledge about being grateful, respectful and beholding. Something younger people lack (IMHO). I was also able to share information about all the Uncles and other ancestors who served from WW2 - Korea, Canadian Peacekeeping and most recently my own son's Tour to Aghanistan. 

I am most grateful for the other sites I can access and research other Browns; my Great Grandfather had 7 brothers, and becasue of information shared on this site,  I just found a half Uncle who died in Flanders in 1915,  Hutchinson Brown. I have had trouble finding his other sibs, however thank you for a lead on James Brown. I have a Great Uncle named James Brown B. 1869. Thank you so much for all the possibilites and for enriching my family's history! I have my hands full with new research. 

 

Regards, Deborah from Canada 

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1 hour ago, PRC said:

 

No surviving papers under Browne born circa 1871 either. However if he served continuously through into the Great War then all of his papers could have been lost in the fire. But that means then if he was already serving in 1891 he'd have done his 21 years for a pension by 1912, and so would have needed permission to stay on. That was in my experience more likely to be granted to a senior NCO than a man who was still a Private.

 

Trying another angle - the scope of the 1911 Census of England & Wales included armed forces units unless they fell within the scope of another equivalent British Empire Census, (basically Scotland and Ireland). It was taken on the 2nd April 1911.

 

Checking the 1911 edition of the Harts Annual Military List, (correct to the 31st December 1910), for the two Regular Army Battalions of the Cameronians, the 1st Battalion was shown at Bloenfontein, (South Africa), while the 2nd Battalion was at Colchester. The 1912 edition, (correct to the 31st December 1911) shows the 1st Battalion at Bloemfontein, but in the process of moving to Glasgow, while the 2nd Battalion were at Malta.

 

So both the 1st and 2nd Battalion should be covered by the 1911 Census of England & Wales and that does to be the case. The 1st Battalion are at Blomfontein, indexed as Cameronians, and the 2nd Battalion at Colchester, indexed as Scottish Rifles. But no match for a George Brown or Browne from Ireland - the nearest is a 36 year old Sergeant James Brown from Kildare, County Kildare, who was recorded with the 1st Battalion. There are Militia papers for him, placing him in Glasgow in 1895.

 

 

 

Your Grandmothers birth certificate would show both parents names and very likely where they were currently living. Under fathers occupation, if George was still serving, then at a minimum it would show rank and regiment \ corps. It should also give you the mothers' maiden name which might help with tracking down the marriage and of course the wealth of genealogy information that can appear on a marriage certificate.

 

Postings overseas of 7 years or more were not unknown, although usually UK leave was possible. Not all wifes could accompany their husbands. Added to which most memories start about three, so your grandmothers father may not have gone overseas for the entire time. The 2nd Battalion was in Malta still at the outbreak of the war, returning to the UK on the 22nd September 1914 and going out to France at the start of November.

 

Will take a look at the Medal Index Cards and see if anything stands out.

 

Cheers,

Peter

Unfortunately, I do no tknow my Great Grandmother's maiden name, her name was lost to us. I have a Great Uncle named James Brown! 

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It would suggest that Serjeant James Brown fits the timeline of the uniform’s appearance very well.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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7 hours ago, Niheyiwe9 said:

Unfortunately, I do no tknow my Great Grandmother's maiden name, her name was lost to us. I have a Great Uncle named James Brown! 

 

If you do not already have it, the ScotlandsPeople site listed above can be used to order a copy of your Grandmothers birth certificate. The site can also be used to search the 1911 Census of Scotland to look for her, aged 3 / 4 depending on when in 1907 she was born. Between the two you are likely to end up with the mothers' first name, and the birth certificate should give you the maiden name as well.

 

I tried looking on the Censuses of England & Wales for a George Brown \ George Browne, born Kildare, (the birthplace for Sergeant James Brown), but drew a blank there.

 

As far as the Medal Index Cards (MiC) for "a" George Brown serving with the Cameronians who were pre-war soldiers are concerned:-

Private 7893 - MiC shows 2nd Scottish Rifles. Enlisted 1903/04. Landed France 9th February 1915. Discharged with Silver War Badge but could not find the Roll transcription on FindMyPast.

Private B 7978  - Prefix means 4th Extra Reserve Battalion, (Paul Nixons' Army Service number website), period of enlistment not known. Received Victory Medal and British War Medal, so Home Service only until at least 1916.

Private 8154 - if a Regular Army man then enlisted 1903/1904. Landed in France 3rd May 1915. Went on to serve with the Labour Corps (225191). Discharged 4th June 1918 with Silver War Badge, but badge roll shows enlisted 12th September 1914.

Corporal 8411 George McP. - if a Regular Army man then enlisted 1903/1904. MiC shows 11th Scottish Rifles. Landed France 20th September 1915. Discharged in the spring of 1919, (most likely - went to the Class Z Reserve).

Private 678 - if that was a Regular Army number then enlisted 1883/84. Landed Gallipolli 10th October 1915. Went on to serve with the Labour Corps (548065). Received the Silver War Badge - the Badge Roll shows enlisted 31st May 1915.

 

No George Browne's.

 

So not looking obvious for any veterans of 20 years experience. Of course he could have been home service only and routinely discharged at the end of the war, or discharged before the introuction of the Silver War Badge in 1916 and he didn't apply for one.

 

My recommendation given how common the name is would be to get him thoroughly grounded in his civil records - birth, census, marriage, childrens births & baptisms, etc, which may incidentally reveal more about his military career - before trying to match up military records. Just because at one point he was with the Scottish Rifles doesn't mean he spent his entire Army career with them or that he even started with them.

 

Good luck with your search,

Peter

 

 

 

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A super rundown of potential links in your usual thorough style Peter.  I agree that Niheyiwe9 would be best advised to pursue greater detail on the civilian side of the family before trying to drill down to the military.  I don’t know if she’s already seen it but there’s general information regarding the Brown/Browne families links with Ireland here: https://irelandroots.com/brown.htm

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5 hours ago, PRC said:

 

If you do not already have it, the ScotlandsPeople site listed above can be used to order a copy of your Grandmothers birth certificate. The site can also be used to search the 1911 Census of Scotland to look for her, aged 3 / 4 depending on when in 1907 she was born. Between the two you are likely to end up with the mothers' first name, and the birth certificate should give you the maiden name as well.

 

I tried looking on the Censuses of England & Wales for a George Brown \ George Browne, born Kildare, (the birthplace for Sergeant James Brown), but drew a blank there.

 

As far as the Medal Index Cards (MiC) for "a" George Brown serving with the Cameronians who were pre-war soldiers are concerned:-

Private 7893 - MiC shows 2nd Scottish Rifles. Enlisted 1903/04. Landed France 9th February 1915. Discharged with Silver War Badge but could not find the Roll transcription on FindMyPast.

Private B 7978  - Prefix means 4th Extra Reserve Battalion, (Paul Nixons' Army Service number website), period of enlistment not known. Received Victory Medal and British War Medal, so Home Service only until at least 1916.

Private 8154 - if a Regular Army man then enlisted 1903/1904. Landed in France 3rd May 1915. Went on to serve with the Labour Corps (225191). Discharged 4th June 1918 with Silver War Badge, but badge roll shows enlisted 12th September 1914.

Corporal 8411 George McP. - if a Regular Army man then enlisted 1903/1904. MiC shows 11th Scottish Rifles. Landed France 20th September 1915. Discharged in the spring of 1919, (most likely - went to the Class Z Reserve).

Private 678 - if that was a Regular Army number then enlisted 1883/84. Landed Gallipolli 10th October 1915. Went on to serve with the Labour Corps (548065). Received the Silver War Badge - the Badge Roll shows enlisted 31st May 1915.

 

No George Browne's.

 

So not looking obvious for any veterans of 20 years experience. Of course he could have been home service only and routinely discharged at the end of the war, or discharged before the introuction of the Silver War Badge in 1916 and he didn't apply for one.

 

My recommendation given how common the name is would be to get him thoroughly grounded in his civil records - birth, census, marriage, childrens births & baptisms, etc, which may incidentally reveal more about his military career - before trying to match up military records. Just because at one point he was with the Scottish Rifles doesn't mean he spent his entire Army career with them or that he even started with them.

 

Good luck with your search,

Peter

 

 

 

Thank you for your time and effort Peter! I agree, the Brown surname is so common that it's hard to nail down very many specific details regarding my ancestor, it's rather like trying to find a "needle in the haystack".  And I further agree with what you said about his likely not having a full military career. I do have pictures of George and his wife visiting a War Cenotaph in Dunbar? And it is very possible that Sergent James Brown is an ancestor of mine...he also has a sibling born in Kildare. I guess the one thing I do have for certain is shared DNA with my 2nd and 3rd and 4th Brown Great Grandfathers; David, James and Andrew. 

Thank you again Peter! 

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