Help identifying a photo

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Help identifying a photo

Postby susancammas » 13 Nov 2016 10:57

Good morning

I believe the man standing on the left of the attached photo is one of my great grandfathers.
Two of them were in the RHA in India and GB.

I don't know which one is in the photo.
Can anyone see if there are any clues in the photo as to when and where it could have been taken or even possibly which battery? I realise there's not much to go on, but I live in hope!

Many thanks
Susan
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One of my  GGFs.jpg
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Re: Help identifying a photo

Postby jf42 » 13 Nov 2016 14:47

Artillery is not my area of interest Susan but the photograph was clearly taken at home, rathe than in India. You didn't mention a time frame for your forbear but, allowing for uniform details which I will leave to others, I think from the general style of the photo, details such as facial hair, etc., I think a mean date of circa 1890 would be fair.

The undress uniforms unfortunately appear to offer little detail as to the unit to which the men belonged. I shall leave the artillery experts to comment on that.
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Re: Help identifying a photo

Postby jf42 » 13 Nov 2016 14:48

Artillery is not my area of interest Susan but the photograph was clearly taken at home, rathe than in India. You didn't mention a time frame for your forbear but, allowing for uniform details which I will leave to others, I think from the general style of the photo, details such as facial hair, etc., I think a mean date of circa 1890 would be a fair guide

The undress uniforms unfortunately appear to offer little detail as to the unit to which the men belonged. I shall leave the artillery experts to comment on that.
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Re: Help identifying a photo

Postby Frogsmile » 13 Nov 2016 15:38

Susan the men in the group are all members of the Royal Horse Artillery and wearing undress 'stable jackets' (a waist length upper garment with 13 buttons, that in the infantry was called a 'shell jacket'). Their spurs and pantaloons are clear to see and the undress head dress is the pill box cap with its golden yellow band. Several of the men are Bombardiers and marked out by the single stripe on their right upper arm and one, standing, with rank badge also on his cap.
If you look at the enclosed image the Bombardier on the right is dressed the same as your photo and you can see the badge of rank on right arm as well as on the cap, the latter used by ranks up to full corporal (i.e. one, or two chevrons). On the right lower arm is a good conduct badge that can also be seen in your photo. More senior men had a gold lace band on their cap in lieu of the yellow.
Unfortunately there is nothing in the image that would indicate the unit, although the table and brickwork backdrop suggests an artillery barracks in Britain.
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Last edited by Frogsmile on 13 Nov 2016 17:44, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Help identifying a photo

Postby Mark A. Reid » 13 Nov 2016 16:29

Hello All;

Again, definitely not an Artillery expert, but would not the presence of the Good Conduct chevron on the wearer's RIGHT arm suggest a date before 1881?

Humbly,

Mark
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Re: Help identifying a photo

Postby Frogsmile » 13 Nov 2016 16:32

Mark A. Reid wrote:Hello All;

Again, definitely not an Artillery expert, but would not the presence of the Good Conduct chevron on the wearer's RIGHT arm suggest a date before 1881?

Humbly,

Mark


Yes Mark, the order to change was given in 1881, but it took some time for the new practice to be actually promulgated and there are many photos for the 1880s period still showing the good conduct badge on the right arm, many of them artillery.
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Re: Help identifying a photo

Postby Mark A. Reid » 13 Nov 2016 16:34

Thanks Frogsmile, I learn something new every day.

Cheers,

Mark
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Re: Help identifying a photo

Postby Frogsmile » 13 Nov 2016 16:40

Mark A. Reid wrote:Thanks Frogsmile, I learn something new every day.

Cheers,

Mark


I can understand why you were puzzled Mark, but it has to be borne in mind that lines of communication were slow at that time and until the widespread use of the telegraph orders had to pass by ship, train and bullock cart, leading to very different periods of take up depending upon where the units were based and how well developed their lines of communication were.
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Re: Help identifying a photo

Postby grumpy » 15 Nov 2016 00:27

If the photo was at Home, as has been said above, I doubt if it was much later than 1882 or so.

The good conduct badges HAD to be moved sharpish, to avoid 4- badge men being mistaken for QM sergeants, which would not have gone down well with such senior soldiers.
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Re: Help identifying a photo

Postby Frogsmile » 15 Nov 2016 11:12

grumpy wrote:If the photo was at Home, as has been said above, I doubt if it was much later than 1882 or so.

The good conduct badges HAD to be moved sharpish, to avoid 4- badge men being mistaken for QM sergeants, which would not have gone down well with such senior soldiers.


Yes, there is no doubt that the badge had to be moved quickly once the order was received, as you say. My point was and is that it took some time for orders to get to such places as India and the Far East and that as a result there are photos after 1881 still showing GC badges on the 'old' arm.
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Re: Help identifying a photo

Postby susancammas » 20 Nov 2016 10:29

Many thanks to you all for your interesting remarks.

Susan
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