Interesting Boer War Cameronians Officer's Patrol Frock

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Re: Interesting Boer War Cameronians Officer's Patrol Frock

Postby VictorianEra » 05 Jan 2017 17:06

I will certainly look into the forensics ID help, because if we could find out the name of the Officer, that would be so much help in determining rank, awards and possibly battles, or other general research. If this is not the long service, good conduct medal, order of the bath, (not ruling those out yet) are there any other medal ribbon bars with a similar crimson-purple colour? The ribbon bar us certainly a mystery, and other than an order, is there anything else that would take precedence before British War medals?
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Re: Interesting Boer War Cameronians Officer's Patrol Frock

Postby Frogsmile » 06 Jan 2017 13:16

VictorianEra wrote:I will certainly look into the forensics ID help, because if we could find out the name of the Officer, that would be so much help in determining rank, awards and possibly battles, or other general research. If this is not the long service, good conduct medal, order of the bath, (not ruling those out yet) are there any other medal ribbon bars with a similar crimson-purple colour? The ribbon bar us certainly a mystery, and other than an order, is there anything else that would take precedence before British War medals?


The other award that had a crimson ribbon (the colour long associated with the British Army and Royal House) was the Meritorious Service Medal, instituted in 1845 and with an all crimson ribbon from then until 1916, when like the LSGC mentioned previously, white edges AND (for MSM) a central stripe in the same colour were added to prevent any confusion with the VC when ribbons only were worn. The MSM was instituted to recognise meritorious service by non-commissioned officers. Recipients were also granted an annuity, the amount of which was based on rank.

In general the VC, as with all gallantry medals, always preceded service/campaign medals, as did 'orders', such as the CB.

Assuming the ribbons are original and not added retrospectively, or in incorrect sequence by an untutored hand, then the VC, or CB, are the only possible crimson ribbons to go in front of the SA medal. However, both, VC and CB usually had a miniature metal symbol added to the top of the medal ribbon to make clear the status and prestigious nature of the decoration.
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Relic of many a fight and siege and sack, it points a moral and adorns the back.
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Re: Interesting Boer War Cameronians Officer's Patrol Frock

Postby VictorianEra » 06 Jan 2017 16:56

This very interesting ribbon is certainly a mystery. I will do two things when the patrol frock arrives. Take close up pictures of the ribbon in good lighting, and try to see if anything is odd with the ribbon bar. Perhaps close-ups may assist. I will also try to look into forensics for the name tag, because the name could be the key to solving this all.
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Re: Interesting Boer War Cameronians Officer's Patrol Frock

Postby VictorianEra » 13 Jan 2017 01:50

The Scottish Rifles patrol frock has not arrived yet, though just today I came across a Victorian ribbon bar that could provide some help in identifying this frock's ribbon bar. The said ribbon bar was on some frock or greatcoat that belonged a well known Canadian Officer, Colonel Sir Sam Steele. Colonel Steele was a recipient of the Companion of the Order of the Bath. As you can see it is mounted before all other medals he received. It looks very similar to the one on the Scottish Rifles frock. Of course, I will take good pictures of the ribbon bar when it arrives in the mail shortly. The slight difference in colour from the pictures could just be the lighting, but I'm not sure. I would like to know what my fellow forum members think about this connection? Could the ribbon bar on the Scottish Rifles frock be the Order of the Bath, or something else? I added close up of my Scottish Rifles ribbon bar again for easy comparison.
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Re: Interesting Boer War Cameronians Officer's Patrol Frock

Postby Frogsmile » 13 Jan 2017 02:03

I understand your enthusiasm, but this question has already been answered at length when the CB was discussed earlier in the thread. Fading over many years will often alter a ribbon's shading. The key matter is the forensic examination of the tailor's label with a view to obtaining the name of the owner.
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Re: Interesting Boer War Cameronians Officer's Patrol Frock

Postby VictorianEra » 13 Jan 2017 02:13

Yes, we have been discussing the Order of the Bath previously, and I am enthusiastic, as with all of my posts. I understand that the label likely is the key to all of this - but as the Sam Steele and Scottish Rifle crimson ribbons mounted at the front are very similar, and there were no VCs won by anyone in the Cameronians in the Boer War, and the "latest" VC before ww1 won by a Cameronian soldier/officer would be 1879 in the Zulu War, I just wanted to provide more evidence as to possibly connect this to the Order of the Bath. If the label cannot be read by forensics, or I cannot find a reliable forensics lab here in Vancouver, or if it is to pricy, this ribbon will be all we will have to go on.
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Re: Interesting Boer War Cameronians Officer's Patrol Frock

Postby Frogsmile » 13 Jan 2017 02:20

You have repeated what we already know regarding the VC. And much as I would like to help you I don't understand what further evidence you think might be gained from looking at the ribbons that are over a hundred years old and that we already know were all crimson. The use of the similar ribbons and the confusion they caused is well known and the reason why white edges and lines were added subsequently.
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Re: Interesting Boer War Cameronians Officer's Patrol Frock

Postby VictorianEra » 13 Jan 2017 02:36

I merely wanted to show a comparison between the two ribbon bars. But I also know looking at the ribbon bar of Colonel Steele and comparing it to the Scottish Rifles frock doesn't confirm, or really help with anything. The similarities between the CB, VC, and others are quite confusing as we also already covered. The "mystery" of this ribbon bar lay in the name tag, and if we could get the name out of a forensics test, that would be great. If we cannot, then we have at least narrowed down the options of what this ribbon bar could be. My main interest is the frock itself, and I would have gotten it in an instant ribbon bar or not, but this is surely an interesting find with the ribbon bar attached. In my mind, I just thought that it would be more likely to be the Order of the Bath, as I have already stated that, the "latest" Cameronians VC winner was 1879, and this is Boer War period. I'll look at forensics options when it arrives, though, and we'll see.
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Re: Interesting Boer War Cameronians Officer's Patrol Frock

Postby RobD » 13 Jan 2017 10:09

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- It seems to me that the CB ribbon is wider than the ribbons of ordinary campaign medals. This is seen in one of the B&W pics Frog smile posted, in the strip of medal ribbons Victorianera posted, and in this pic I found on the interweb.
Are the ribbons on the jacket different widths?
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Re: Interesting Boer War Cameronians Officer's Patrol Frock

Postby Frogsmile » 13 Jan 2017 15:41

Going by the photo of the frock the first ribbon, the crimson one does look wider Rob, but until the frock arrives and can be examined there doesn't seem much more that can be said about it without repeating the same things, over and over again, ad nauseam. I think there is a good chance that it is a CB ribbon, but the clincher will be a proper examination of the tailor's label, as it might well reveal the wearer's name.
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Re: Interesting Boer War Cameronians Officer's Patrol Frock

Postby VictorianEra » 21 Jan 2017 00:36

Hello everyone. This Scottish Rifles Frock has arrived and as always I have taken pictures. It was just as pictured, however I was surprised when it appeared more black than rife green, which I can understand was probably the bright lighting of the seller's picture that brought out the frock's rifle green, the other examples posted by Frogsmile of this officer frock appeared black in the pictures as well. The "Order of the Bath" Ribbon is approx 3.8 cm from left to right touching the QSA medal ribbon, and as we already discussed the ribbon is longer than the QSA medal ribbon. The label is clearly unreadable, but you can see evidence of writing of the name on the label. I will look into forensics options, but if I cannot find a local forensics lab that will examine an old uniform label, or if the forensics lab cannot read the label, then this is all the information we will have to go on, and aside from the approximate length of the ribbon, we already knew everything prior to this arriving, so if the forensics doesn't work out, I assume this will be the closest we will get to identifying the ribbon. I don't know if the length will help or not in helping to identify the ribbon on this lovely frock. Anyway, here are the images.
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Re: Interesting Boer War Cameronians Officer's Patrol Frock

Postby Frogsmile » 21 Jan 2017 13:14

Glad you received it safely, it is certainly a nice frock.

Looking at your photo close ups the crimson ribbon seems to me to be the CB by virtue of its width, which makes the recipient most likely to be at least a Colonel, or perhaps unusually, a Lieutenant Colonel as the former of the two ranks wore scarlet once reaching that level and at any special regimental event where rifle green was appropriate, more likely to wear a full dress doublet. The absence of WW1 ribbons also suggests that he was either, too old or perhaps unfit to serve in that conflict. If you can obtain a copy of say the 1918 Army List and check the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) section for all officers with just the post nominals CB, that will help narrow things down. You might also contact the regimental museum and seek guidance as we know that it must have been a 2nd Battalion officer between 1900 and 1902.
Looking at your label I know from my own experience that a forensics lab will be able to read it.
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Re: Interesting Boer War Cameronians Officer's Patrol Frock

Postby VictorianEra » 21 Jan 2017 17:01

Thank you as always for your detailed comments and help, Frogsmile. Do you know where can I obtain a copy of the 1918 army lists, by any chance? If not, I will look it up and try to obtain a copy. I am going to take a bit of time today and search and maybe call some local forensics labs, to see if any of them are willing to read an old label, and at what price. 2nd Battalion CB Officer 1900-1902 seems to me like it would narrow it down quite well, I look forward to trying to research this, and even possibly finding his possible name, I don't imagine there were too many CB 2nd Battalion Scottish Rifles Officers in the Anglo Boer War . I will try to make this into a display, and add trews and a Cameronian pattern (not sure if it's a Rifle Regiment pattern in general or Cameronians only) black Sam Browne to it in the future. Thanks again.

-Jamie
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Re: Interesting Boer War Cameronians Officer's Patrol Frock

Postby Frogsmile » 21 Jan 2017 17:15

Glad to help Jamie. Bear in mind that the CB could well have been awarded years after the South Africa medal, possibly when the officer concerned was with the other (1st) battalion, attached to another regiment entirely, or even on the staff in an HQ - all are possible. I cannot advise re Army Lists, although some members have copies and you can also search online.
Examining the label is not expensive for forensics, it will be more a matter of how busy they are. Perhaps the RCMP, with their military historical connection would be able to advise.
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Re: Interesting Boer War Cameronians Officer's Patrol Frock

Postby VictorianEra » 21 Jan 2017 17:24

Ah, I see it may not be as straightforward as "2nd Battalion CB Officer, Scottish Rifles." I will take to your suggestion, Frogsmile, and look to the Mounties for assistance. I will post updates if any further developments occur in finding this Officer's name, and/or if I update the display (trews, sam browne, etc). Thanks a lot, everyone, I am learning a lot.

-Jamie
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