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Margaret Roy

Hi

i would be grateful if anyone could please help telling me what uniforms these men are wearing and if it would be during WW1 that this photo was taken

thank you 

margaret 

299BD621-D808-4FDD-AAD8-63D11D84EB78.jpeg

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TullochArd

The tall officer on the left is easily identified as as an Argyll and Sutherland Highlander.  He appears to be wearing khaki spats and has a medal ribbon which has enough white in it to be a contender for the MC.  The other two are more difficult as I cannot make out any cap badges but can see they have no medal ribbons.  They are not Staff officers as they have no gorget patches or armbands.  All three are wearing epaulette rank badges rather than the earlier cuff pattern.  I'd therefore make a guess at the earliest date being late mid/late war......

 

Edited by TullochArd
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FROGSMILE

I agree with TullochArd’s comments and would add that the officer far left seems likely to be from a cavalry regiment as he’s wearing tall riding boots as well as carrying a whip rather than a stick/cane.  
Unfortunately the photo has been scanned poorly and doesn’t seem to have been a high quality print so the detail is very blurred.  I cannot make out if the central figure is wearing boots or puttees.  A 1920s date seems likely given all that can be seen clearly.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
4 hours ago, TullochArd said:

The tall officer on the left

...on the right...

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Margaret Roy

TullochArd and Frogsmile - thank you so much for your feedback. It is a photo of the photo that my cousin in NZ found in her grandmothers photo album. But her grandmother was Scottish and lived in U.K. all her life. I don’t know if my cousin has a scanner but I will ask and see if I can get a clearer scanned copy. So it wouldn’t necessarily be the case that all three men are in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders? It could be different regiments ? Also it might be after WW1 has ended? Any idea of the location? 

4 minutes ago, Dai Bach y Sowldiwr said:

...on the right...

So it’s the man in the kilt who is an Argyll and Sutherland Highlander?

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TullochArd
24 minutes ago, Dai Bach y Sowldiwr said:

...on the right...

 

Of course Dai.  On the left of the group of officers as they are walking and on the right of the photo as we look at it.

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TullochArd
22 minutes ago, Margaret Roy said:

TullochArd and Frogsmile - thank you so much for your feedback. It is a photo of the photo that my cousin in NZ found in her grandmothers photo album. But her grandmother was Scottish and lived in U.K. all her life. I don’t know if my cousin has a scanner but I will ask and see if I can get a clearer scanned copy. So it wouldn’t necessarily be the case that all three men are in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders? It could be different regiments ? Also it might be after WW1 has ended? Any idea of the location? 

So it’s the man in the kilt who is an Argyll and Sutherland Highlander?

 

The officer in the kilt is an A&SH.  The other two are not A&SH and are different Regiments/Corps.  It could well be after the war although if it is after 1920-ish you would perhaps expect to see the occasional BWM/BVM ribbon on their chests? Khaki spats were well out of fashion after this date.

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Margaret Roy

Thanks very much - my cousin has now taken the photo out of the album and it has what looks like “Don 1917” on the back - so I was wondering if the kilted soldier was called Donald. I’ve asked my cousin now if she has a scanner in case I can get a clearer copy - thanks again for all your help 

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TullochArd
1 hour ago, Margaret Roy said:

Thanks very much - my cousin has now taken the photo out of the album and it has what looks like “Don 1917” on the back - so I was wondering if the kilted soldier was called Donald. I’ve asked my cousin now if she has a scanner in case I can get a clearer copy - thanks again for all your help 

 

It is pleasing to see "1917" which supports my rather vague initial thought of "late mid/late war".  Assuming Don is Don the soldier and not, perhaps Don the place, and assuming Don is the A&SH officer and not the other two you have a reasonable start point.   By the "cut of his jib" I suspect the A&SH is a Regular, clearly a more senior officer in 1917 and appears to have the MC.  Officers' Mess photos are in their dozens and often named but I suspect there is a chance he is on one or more of them. You have a bit of a task on your hands there Margaret ...... but I'll bet perseverance will pay off here. I would offer that initially your cousin's grandmother's surname and maiden name might be a good start point ........

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Margaret Roy

Thanks very much for that TullochArd - yes exactly any of the three men could be Don - we just thought the kilted soldier as we are all Scottish. Whoever Don is , he must be a friend and not a relative. I’ve done extensive family history research and we have no Donalds in our family and no one in Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. They were all in the Gordon Highlanders. I’ll persevere and see what I can find - once the A&S museum reopens I could ask someone there 

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FROGSMILE

The Scottish garrison of Bridge of Don is another slight possibility as implied by TullochArd, although like him I think it seems less likely.  That the officers are from different units suggests that either they are socialising together through some degree of acquaintance (past or current) or that they are on a training course with students from a variety of units.  The annotated 1917 date is critical as dress changed little in the 1920s and with a return to pre war standards spats started to be worn again in many highland regiments.  As for the absence of WW1 ribbons the Army truncated substantially after 1922 (when defence expenditure was cut) and within a short time the absence of medal ribbons was more common than the presence.

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Michelle Young

Photo appears to be taken in quite grand surroundings, maybe a chateau , jardin publique or similar? Could Donald be the surname? 

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FROGSMILE
43 minutes ago, Michelle Young said:

Photo appears to be taken in quite grand surroundings, maybe a chateau , jardin publique or similar? Could Donald be the surname? 

Yes it reminds me of the Crystal Palace grounds in South London, but are those typical British or French lamp posts in the background?  I forgot to mention that the extra long skirt of the cavalry officer was a fad/fashion started by the British-Indian Cavalry Regiments, but that was emulated by many British-Imperial equivalents garrisoned there before the war.  It originated with the long 'alkalaks' (native style tunics) of their Sowars.

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TullochArd
5 minutes ago, Michelle Young said:

 Could Donald be the surname? 

 

Interesting thought ......... so following up on your suggestion:  

 

The A&SH officer may be Hugh Colligan Donald who was a pre- war Surgeon-Major from the 2nd (Renfrewshire) Volunteer Battalion, Princess Louise's (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders).  In 1914 he was Major SMO A&SH Bde (TF) then Major RMO 1/5 A&SH (TF) and later Lt Col RAMC.  14/15 Star (France April 1915), BWM and BVM ....... he had served in the South African War and had the QSA medal which could be the medal we see.

 

I have failed miserably to find a photo of Hugh Colligan Donald but his brother, Lt. Andrew Patrick Donald RE, died of pleurisy in 1918 and we have a picture of him showing similarities ........ he also served in South Africa War.  

 

 

Andrew Patrick Donald RE.jpg

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Margaret Roy

I’ve just looked at the photo of the back of the soldier photo and see it says “Carte Postale” so that would mean it was taken in France? I’ve attached a copy of the back of the photo.

My cousin’s granny Norah was born in 1905 so I reckon Norah inherited this photo from her parents . They would have all been living in Aberdeen in 1917. However, Norah’s uncle Dr Robert Duthie was a Medical doctor and went to WW1 but I’ve never seen a photo of him as an adult - maybe he is one of the other men? My cousin’s grandfather was Edmund Egbert Smith and he was English but she doesn’t think any of the photos she has were from her Dad’s side of the family. 921473BB-8ADB-48D2-83BA-B1C96896A465.png.0d67b3adbe1308791d4d657d7fafe763.png 

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FROGSMILE
7 minutes ago, Margaret Roy said:

I’ve just looked at the photo of the back of the soldier photo and see it says “Carte Postale” so that would mean it was taken in France? I’ve attached a copy of the back of the photo.

My cousin’s granny Norah was born in 1905 so I reckon Norah inherited this photo from her parents . They would have all been living in Aberdeen in 1917. However, Norah’s uncle Dr Robert Duthie was a Medical doctor and went to WW1 but I’ve never seen a photo of him as an adult - maybe he is one of the other men? My cousin’s grandfather was Edmund Egbert Smith and he was English but she doesn’t think any of the photos she has were from her Dad’s side of the family.  

 

Yes it implies it was taken in France.  Two possible locations come to mind, but only one fits with 1917.  The first would be the GHQ at MONTREUIL-SUR-MER and the other the Palace of Versailles, but I don't know enough about the architecture at either.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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FROGSMILE
59 minutes ago, TullochArd said:

 

Interesting thought ......... so following up on your suggestion:  

 

The A&SH officer may be Hugh Colligan Donald who was a pre- war Surgeon-Major from the 2nd (Renfrewshire) Volunteer Battalion, Princess Louise's (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders).  In 1914 he was Major SMO A&SH Bde (TF) then Major RMO 1/5 A&SH (TF) and later Lt Col RAMC.  14/15 Star (France April 1915), BWM and BVM ....... he had served in the South African War and had the QSA medal which could be the medal we see.

 

I have failed miserably to find a photo of Hugh Colligan Donald but his brother, Lt. Andrew Patrick Donald RE, died of pleurisy in 1918 and we have a picture of him showing similarities ........ he also served in South Africa War.  

 

 

Andrew Patrick Donald RE.jpg

 

I'm intrigued by the brother's cap and collar insignia.  It appears to be Garrison Staff/Unattached List.  Perhaps he was the Garrison Engineer.

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Margaret Roy

Thanks that’s helpful - I’ve been to Palace of Versailles and there are lots of balustrades there - I’ve not been to GHQ though .  

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TullochArd
2 hours ago, Margaret Roy said:

However, Norah’s uncle Dr Robert Duthie was a Medical doctor and went to WW1 but I’ve never seen a photo of him as an adult - maybe he is one of the other men? 

 

 You might have cracked it.  Don (if it is Hugh Colligan Donald and dressed A&SH prior to his promotion/transfer to RAMC in 1917) was an eminent medical man from an eminent Glasgow (the family would identify as Paisley) medical family and a medical connection with Capt. Robert (James) Duthie (RAMC - BWM/BVM) who arrived in France in 1917 is indeed most plausible.  Looks like, as you say, one of the two other officers may be your Robert Duthie.

 

Edited by TullochArd
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TullochArd
2 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:

I'm intrigued by the brother's cap and collar insignia.  It appears to be Garrison Staff/Unattached List.  Perhaps he was the Garrison Engineer.

 

The Stock Exchange Memorial Book tells us:  "...... From 1914 onwards he made repeated attempts to rejoin, but was again and again rejected, on medical grounds, until finally in 1917 he was accepted for the Royal Defence Corps.  Later transferred to the Royal Engineers ..... "

 

Looks like the photo is maybe from RDC times?

 

Edited by TullochArd
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Margaret Roy

This is the only photo I have of Robert James Duthie . He was born in 1881 so would have been 36 in 1917 - so I don’t think it can be the middle man as he looks older than 36.

7E3A7987-FA23-4AB2-83CE-6D354C65EDED.jpeg

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TullochArd
33 minutes ago, Margaret Roy said:

This is the only photo I have of Robert James Duthie . He was born in 1881 so would have been 36 in 1917 - so I don’t think it can be the middle man as he looks older than 36.

 

...... we're heading into the world of extreme guesswork here Margaret ....... as with the possible location of the OP based on a couple of lampposts and balustrades.  All I'd offer is that the fellow on the left has new kit and is not as physically chummy with the two older blokes on the right (Hugh Donald was born in 1869 and was professionally very, very senior in 1917) ..... therefore seems plausible that the left hand officer might be newbie officer Robert Duthie. 

 

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FROGSMILE
1 hour ago, TullochArd said:

 

The Stock Exchange Memorial Book tells us:  "...... From 1914 onwards he made repeated attempts to rejoin, but was again and again rejected, on medical grounds, until finally in 1917 he was accepted for the Royal Defence Corps.  Later transferred to the Royal Engineers ..... "

 

Looks like the photo is maybe from RDC times?

 

Yes that’s it, the RDC did indeed wear the same badge as Garrison Staff personnel, which rather like the General Service coat of arms badge was used for a number of purposes.

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Margaret Roy

That’s a good point about the man far right being Dr Duthie - wonder if the “Don” is really “Dor or Dcr meaning Doctor? Just need to find a photo of Dr Duthie as an adult to ratify that 

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FROGSMILE
17 hours ago, TullochArd said:

 

Interesting thought ......... so following up on your suggestion:  

 

The A&SH officer may be Hugh Colligan Donald who was a pre- war Surgeon-Major from the 2nd (Renfrewshire) Volunteer Battalion, Princess Louise's (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders).  In 1914 he was Major SMO A&SH Bde (TF) then Major RMO 1/5 A&SH (TF) and later Lt Col RAMC.  14/15 Star (France April 1915), BWM and BVM ....... he had served in the South African War and had the QSA medal which could be the medal we see.

 

I have failed miserably to find a photo of Hugh Colligan Donald but his brother, Lt. Andrew Patrick Donald RE, died of pleurisy in 1918 and we have a picture of him showing similarities ........ he also served in South Africa War.  

 

 

Andrew Patrick Donald RE.jpg

I forgot to say that the RMO would not have worn A&SH regimental uniform as far as I know (I’ve certainly never seen it) and so would have been dressed in RAMC uniform.  The cap badge visible on the glengarry is sufficiently large to be made out as A&SH.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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