Need Help ID arm Badge and Unit

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Need Help ID arm Badge and Unit

Postby glengarry1950 » 18 Jul 2017 23:54

Hi Troops,

I am looking to put a positive identification to the unit of the SNCO from a Corps and the trade badge on his arm. He is seated in the photograph indicating his seniority, this photograph is of the SNCOs of the King's Own Scottish Borderers at the time 25th Regiment of Foot The King's Own Borderers, the period is early 1860s, with forage caps 'Pillbox' pattern being worn, with regimental number in brass on the front, also in the full size photograph there are two colour sergeants with the revised colour sergeant arm badges introduced in 1859.

I was thinking that he could be Military Store Staff Corps, but the arm badge has thrown me off a bit, as it looks like crossed riding whips ? I am also thinking that he has two gold bands round his forage cap ?

Any suggestions gentlemen.

with kind regards
Hiram
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25th Regiment of Foot KOB (KOSB) early 1860s
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Re: Need Help ID arm Badge and Unit

Postby AlexReece » 19 Jul 2017 08:26

Hello

Could be just as simple as Sergeants of best shooting company in each regiment crossed muskets with slings, but I think these had a crown above ? and as for the image of the particular chap, he has moved while the shot was taken giving his PBox a blur effect causing it to look unusual ?

Regards Alex
'And Who Do You Think Is Coming To Wipe Out Your Little Command....The Grenadier Guards'
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Re: Need Help ID arm Badge and Unit

Postby glengarry1950 » 19 Jul 2017 12:11

Hi Alex,

Thanks for your reply, you are right I had not considered that and you are exactly right so he is a SNCO of the 25th and the arm badge is more than likely an Infantry skills award badge, I have Victorian original cross muskets badge and yes it has a crown, looking through Army arm badges the nearest one I can find is the riding whip but it should have a Spur above it?

Thanks any way.

Kind regards
Hiram
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Re: Need Help ID arm Badge and Unit

Postby jf42 » 19 Jul 2017 13:52

As a slight deviation from the original question, it is very interesting to see the Kilmarnock bonnets with dicing, cut down to resemble 'pill-box' caps, very similar to those worn by the officers and NCOs of the 93rd in India circa 1864 that have been discussd on earlier threads.

Are these NCOs of the 1st Battalion in Canada, or of the newly-reconstituted 2nd Battalion before they departed for Ceylon in 1863? I am assuming from the Tunics that they were photographed in a temperate posting. Perhaps that is a mistake.
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Re: Need Help ID arm Badge and Unit

Postby grumpy » 19 Jul 2017 17:15

It is a straightforward marksman skill-at-arms badge, crossed muskets but with rather obtrusive slings.

Crown above, or star above, in wreath or not in wreath were for higher or different musketry achievements.

I can provide chapter and verse if needed.
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Re: Need Help ID arm Badge and Unit

Postby glengarry1950 » 22 Jul 2017 00:07

The original photograph has no markings on the back held in the regiments archives, however, this is more than likely the 2nd battalion in Edinburgh on 25th April 1863 when it received new colours in Queens Park by Lady Juliana Walker, they were handed to Ensigns Leadbetter and Shirley, prior to sailing on HMS Himalaya to Ceylon, stationed their until Jan 1868 then moved on to India.

The 1st Bn went to Gibraltar in January 1858 where it remained until 3rd June 1862 when it proceeded to Malta, whence it sailed to Canada on 8th June 1864, arriving in Quebec on 28th of October of that year, retuning to Scotland in 1867, after service in the Canadian Fenians uprising of 1866. The Bn moved to Ireland in1870 remaining until 1875, where to sailed for India once again.

Therefore, taking into consideration the movement of both battalion and the dress of the SNCOs it is more than likely the 2nd Bn in Edinburgh, the full photograph is of all the Senior Non-Commissioned officer of the Bn, with the colours on display at the back, with the escorts to the colours, two Colour Sgts armed with Enfield P53 short and P56 sword bayonets fixed. There are no officers in the group photograph which makes it very interesting, also three senior NCOs are in civilian suits, giving strength to the believe that, it was taken after the new colours presentation.

On the thyme of headdress, these are not cut down Kilmarnock Bonnets, as the Kilmarnock Bonnet was not issued to the regiment until 1903, replacing the blue cloth spiked Prussian helmet. These are forage caps or commonly known as 'Pork-Pie' hats, officers wore a similar version but with a peak, later on these would extent to Sergeant majors, and the Pork-Pie hat would be replaced by the glengarry for all ranks. PS if you had ever worn a Kilmarnock Bonnet you would understand there is no other alternative than to wear it as it is, cutting the top off, would result in the head sticking out of the open top? They were the worst headdress ever the slightest puff of wind and they were off, even worse with a black cock feather attached.

Thank you Grumpy for confirming the badge, that is exactly my thinking, see the one I have in my collection, with a crown.

Kind regards
Hiram
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Victorian Musketry Badge
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Re: Need Help ID arm Badge and Unit

Postby Frogsmile » 26 Jul 2017 12:33

It's very interesting what you say about the photo of the 25th, Hiram, several of the SNCOs visible in the above image are colour sergeants with the badge of rank that was not phased out until 1868.

The particular musketry badge that you have shown was also the forage cap badge of the school of musketry instructors right through until 1902.

As regards the Kilmarnock bonnet, I don't think that things are quite so clear cut as you suggest. There were various patterns of forage cap that used the nomenclature Kilmarnock Bonnet, ending with the pattern adopted by the officers of the Royal Scots and the King's Own Scottish Bordererers after the 2nd Anglo/Boer War. Forum member JF42 has contributed, with others, to an excellent thread on Scottish regimental bonnets that you might find interesting:

1. viewtopic.php?f=19&t=10006&p=49713&hilit=Kilmarnock#p49713
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