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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Possible Argyll and Southern Highlanders?


sammycat

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Hello

I'm new to this forum and wondered if anyone could shed some light on this photo?

post-8342-1128976062.jpg

The young man 2nd from the right, front row, is James Percival McNicol, 1897-1818, commissioned as an officer into 4th Battalion, Argyll and Southern Highlanders in November 1916, later attached to 10th Battalion. He died of wounds on 20 June 1918 at the age of 20 at the Somme, and is buried in Bagneux British Cemetery.

This photograph recently came to light having been "lost" for a while. On the reverse there is a stamp: "Robert White, 95 Fisher Street, Dennistoun, Glasgow, Photographic Artist" which may give some clues as to where the photo was taken.

It looks to the untrained eye (mine!) like some sort of training session - the sabres and rifles and varied clothing would suggest a mixed group? On 8 July 1916, James completed an application for attendance at an Officer Cadet Unit with a view to obtaining a commission as a temporary officer of the regular army - could this be the Officer Cadet Unit? Or maybe it is nothing to do with the Argylls and pre-dates Percy's war career? What do the stripey tops signify & why is the group all dressed differently? And where is it? A lot of questions...

I'd be very grateful to anyone who can give me any clues as to what the group in the photo represent.

kind regards,

Sammycat

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Sammycat,

It actually looks like a class of "Physical/Bayonet Training Instructors", with those in the front row in the lighter colours being the qualified instructors and the others pupils who are learning to become instructors. If successful they would be awarded the attached certificate.

Graham.

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Sammycat,

Not a training class but a it looks to me to be a group of members, or members to be, of the Army Gymnastics Staff.

These men were instructors in all kinds of things (the rifles bayonets and swords/fencing were part of their mandate) and were authorized to wear (even when a trainee) the unique Red and Black Striped Jersey.

Note that most wear the jersey.

Joe Sweeney

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Graham and Joe

Thanks for your replies. I had no idea he might have been involved in these activities - this has given me something to think about. Thanks for your input and insight.

kind regrads

sammycat

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Sammycat,

As you have got a Glasgow photographer for this photo this could have been taken in the old Maryhill Barracks home to the HLI which was up near Hotspur street.

Looks suitably Victorian and sooty!

Rob

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Hi Rob

I had a look at the Maryhill Barracks following your suggestion - found some pics at :

http://www.mitchelllibrary.org/cgi-bin/vm/...ryhill+Barracks

Although the style of the building looks similar, (the long sill continuous under the windows) the windows that can be seen in these pictures seem to be of longer proportions, although it could well be that the photo was taken in another part of the building - it looks like it covers a fair bit of ground!

Kind Regards

sammycat

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