Which Fusilier Regiment?

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Which Fusilier Regiment?

Postby Fathertime » 08 Oct 2017 06:46

I have a pair of photos of the same officer. He is a Fusilier, possibly Northumberland, but I am looking for confirmation. It appears he also served as an officer in the Egyptian army. He has the DSO, Sudan pair, and QSA pair w/7 clasp QSA. His cuff braid shows him to be a captain, but his shoulder boards seem to show a higher rank? I don't know if every British officer wore spurs in dress uniform, but this officer is, I just cropped them out for this version. Enjoy the photos and thank you for any help, in advance.
regards
Bob
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Re: Which Fusilier Regiment?

Postby Frogsmile » 08 Oct 2017 07:58

He is not a Fusilier, Bob, but Royal Engineers whose officers, like those of the Royal Artillery, wore a grenade collar badge as an historical thread linking their origins together in the board of ordnance, whose emblem was three cannon and balls. The other features that mark him as RE are the shoulder cord knot, the wavy line on pouch belt (and waist clasp), the blue piping on tunic edge, and the cuff decoration marking his rank. He is indeed a captain. The facings are made of velvet cloth with a rich lustre.
Last edited by Frogsmile on 08 Oct 2017 18:15, edited 5 times in total.
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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: Which Fusilier Regiment?

Postby jf42 » 08 Oct 2017 08:21

Greetings, Fathertime. The combination of collar badges, blue facings on collar and cuff, the 'wavy' pouch belt, and waistbelt, all indicate that your man is wearing Full Dress uniform of the Royal Engineers.

Fusiliers did wear grenade collar badges but mostly with additional insignia on the body of the grenade (The Northumberland Fusiliers- who did not have blue facings at that date, had St George and the Dragon). As it is, the other details rule out a fusilier regiment in this case.


(For some more details regarding these and other Full Dress insignia, you might be interested in the excellent new reference material at the Uniformology website:
viewtopic.php?f=19&t=12114
http://www.uniformology.com/INSIGNIA-01.html )

I can't help you with details of rank but others will be along to comment on that as well as providing information regarding British officers serving in the Egyptian Army.
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Re: Which Fusilier Regiment?

Postby crimea1854 » 08 Oct 2017 10:30

This clearly requires more research to confirm I have the right man, but I believe this to be Captain J P Moir DSO. Fortunately there are very few Royal Engineers on the Sudan Medal roll and cross checking their names against the South Africa medal rolls I could find only one man who fitted the rack of medals on the individual in the photographs.

https://archive.org/stream/armylistjanpart131919grea#page/864/

You can download his full service history together with details of his family from the National Archives website WO 25/3917 pdf2 record 252 (free download). This shows that he was on 'Special duty' in Egypt from 5 Sept 1912 until 4 Sept 1922, possibly when the first photograph was taken.

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Re: Which Fusilier Regiment?

Postby Fathertime » 08 Oct 2017 17:15

I looked up Colonel James Phillip Moir in the book, "Soldiers of the Nile" and it said, under Other active service: Nile campaign 1898 with 2nd Fortress Coy RE at the Battles of the Atbara and Omdurman. This should entitle him to 2 clasps on his Khedives Sudan medal and this officer has one. Miralai J.P. Moir was director of Sudan Posts and Telegraphs during his service to the Egyptian army 1912-1922.
regards
Bob
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Re: Which Fusilier Regiment?

Postby Frogsmile » 08 Oct 2017 17:25

Fathertime wrote:I looked up Colonel James Phillip Moir in the book, "Soldiers of the Nile" and it said, under Other active service: Nile campaign 1898 with 2nd Fortress Coy RE at the Battles of the Atbara and Omdurman. This should entitle him to 2 clasps on his Khedives Sudan medal and this officer has one. Miralai J.P. Moir was director of Sudan Posts and Telegraphs during his service to the Egyptian army 1912-1922.
regards
Bob


Bob it might be that he did not receive both clasps at the same time and had only one when the photo was taken.
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Re: Which Fusilier Regiment?

Postby Fathertime » 08 Oct 2017 17:50

Yes, I agree. I have a GSM to a man who had it for 50 years, and never had the 2nd clasp attached. This must be a very common occurence. Thank you for getting me out of the Fusilier box with the insignia. Even in the U.S. Army this symbol doesn't just represent a link to an archaic weapon, but indicates the soldier wearing it helps create, or support the fire of battle. I will try to forward copies of the photos to the Royal Engineer museum, which I believe has been recently remodeled.
Cheers
Bob
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Re: Which Fusilier Regiment?

Postby Frogsmile » 08 Oct 2017 18:13

Fathertime wrote:Yes, I agree. I have a GSM to a man who had it for 50 years, and never had the 2nd clasp attached. This must be a very common occurence. Thank you for getting me out of the Fusilier box with the insignia. Even in the U.S. Army this symbol doesn't just represent a link to an archaic weapon, but indicates the soldier wearing it helps create, or support the fire of battle. I will try to forward copies of the photos to the Royal Engineer museum, which I believe has been recently remodeled.
Cheers
Bob


It will be very generous of you (and I am sure appreciated) to send copies of the prints to the Corps of Royal Engineers museum, Bob.

You are right about the grenade symbol having battlefield significance in its connection with the old Board of Ordnance. Fusiliers wear the symbol because of their origins/initial purpose as specially equipped troops guarding the artillery train and grenadiers in memory of their original role hurling hand grenades supplied by that same board.
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Re: Which Fusilier Regiment?

Postby Mark A. Reid » 08 Oct 2017 18:35

Hello Bob et al;

What a speedy and informative outcome, well done to everyone concerned. I blush to think that it was probably me who put you on to the Northumberland Fusiliers trail, Bob, but I can still plead jet-lag and the late hour. In my defence I did mention it seemed to be an RE cross-belt but my brain failed to make the next, logical deduction.

To compensate in some small way, I can add that Moir's rank insignia in the Egyptian Army ( EA ) photograph is that of a Kaimakam ( Lieutenant Colonel ) so it was probably taken shortly after his appointment. He assumed the appointment of Director of Posts & Telegraphs from another RE officer, Miralai ( Colonel ) E.V. Turner and Moir would have probably been promoted within so many months in the position, once he had passed a probationary period, as the appointment was for a full colonel.

Clasps for the 1896 Khedive's Sudan Medal would have been readily available, particularly to a high-ranking officer, in this period so I wonder if Moir was actually entitled to both the ATBARA and KHARTOUM clasps?

Thanks for sharing such great images.

Cheers,

Mark
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Re: Which Fusilier Regiment?

Postby Frogsmile » 08 Oct 2017 18:48

It’s understandable to think ‘fusilier’ at first glance when looking at a scarlet tunic and plain grenade, Mark. Both Lancashire and Royal Welsh, Fusiliers had a plain bullion collar grenade for some years initially.
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Re: Which Fusilier Regiment?

Postby crimea1854 » 08 Oct 2017 19:02

The medal roll and the Army List only has one clasp, that being 'Atbara', so for my money his only clasp to this medal.

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Re: Which Fusilier Regiment?

Postby ED, in Los Angeles » 08 Oct 2017 22:22

The 2nd Co. Royal engineers were at Omdurman and they received the Khartoum clasp. The window for receiving the clasp was the 24 hour period of September 2, '98 only. A 24 hour time window. Our man was late for the party. No clasp.
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Re: Which Fusilier Regiment?

Postby crimea1854 » 08 Oct 2017 22:37

For the sake of completeness he received the British War Medal as his only WW1 medal, the theatre being the Sudan.

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Re: Which Fusilier Regiment?

Postby RobD » 08 Oct 2017 22:43

Hmm... "The medal roll and the Army List only has one clasp, that being 'Atbara', so for my money his only clasp to this medal."
Yes, and only entitled to 6 clasps on his QSA and yet he has seven...
Either this is not Moir but another soldier, or Moir has embellished his service record - something I have come across before!
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Re: Which Fusilier Regiment?

Postby crimea1854 » 09 Oct 2017 13:29

Rob

The QSA medal roll clearly shows entitlement to 7 clasps as confirmed in the War Service described in the Army List - see the link in my original post.

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