Volunteer Cyclist

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Volunteer Cyclist

Postby theironduke1 » 06 Mar 2017 22:40

This is an image of a volunteer in (I assume) a cyclist company in about 1900. He appears to have blue facings and the subject, I'm told, lived in Lambeth. I cannot make out the collar badges but they appear to be stars. He could be 3rd West Surreys but I cannot be sure. Anyone have any idea?
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Re: Volunteer Cyclist

Postby Frogsmile » 07 Mar 2017 00:14

I think it's possibly a rare photo of a member of the cyclist company (formed 1901) of the 4th (Volunteer) Battalion Queen's West Surrey Regiment, based at Southwark, near to Westminster Bridge Road, where the photo was taken. In 1908 the battalion was re titled as the 24th (County of London) Battalion, the London Regiment: http://web.archive.org/web/200711241230 ... f/L24Q.htm

Interestingly the 4th (Volunteer) Battalion East Surrey Regiment, also at Southwark, had a cyclist company too (formed a year earlier in 1900). It must have been highly unusual for a single Borough to be associated with both the regiments of Surrey and to furnish a cyclist company for both!
Last edited by Frogsmile on 07 Mar 2017 01:32, edited 1 time in total.
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Relic of many a siege and sack, it points a moral and adorns the back.
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Re: Volunteer Cyclist

Postby jf42 » 07 Mar 2017 01:25

He he appears to have interesting patch pockets on his frock, with what look like inserts -?gussets- to enable them to expand. Quite advanced for the day.
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Re: Volunteer Cyclist

Postby Frogsmile » 08 Mar 2017 16:50

jf42 wrote:He he appears to have interesting patch pockets on his frock, with what look like inserts -?gussets- to enable them to expand. Quite advanced for the day.


They are unusual JF, and reminiscent of similar lower pockets being developed for the new, officer's pattern drab service dress of around the same period.
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Re: Volunteer Cyclist

Postby grumpy » 08 Mar 2017 23:05

Is he a drummer or bugler? I think that I can see lace on the outside and inside sleeve, and a trace of a badge upper right. Or is it a clumsy attempt at enhancement?
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Re: Volunteer Cyclist

Postby Frogsmile » 08 Mar 2017 23:17

grumpy wrote:Is he a drummer or bugler? I think that I can see lace on the outside and inside sleeve, and a trace of a badge upper right. Or is it a clumsy attempt at enhancement?


Not a drummer, or bugler Grumpy (the lace is plain white), but he does have a badge on his right upper arm. Even through a glass I can't make out what it is though.
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Re: Volunteer Cyclist

Postby theironduke1 » 10 Mar 2017 19:06

Thank you all for your responses. This gentleman was known as William F. Spears and he appeared to have had a varied and illustrious career. From 1914-1920 he served in the Royal Army Medical Corps, The Highland Light Infantry and the Royal Field Artillery (The last two as a Driver) and he ended up in the Royal Marines and was much be-medalled. His great grandson lives in Australia. Here are a few more pictures of him.
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WilliamFSpears-021A.jpg
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William Frederick Spears- WorldWar1a.jpg
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