RHA uniforms

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RHA uniforms

Postby susancammas » 31 Jan 2015 19:40

Hello

I am so happy to have found this forum. I have three ancestors who were in the RHA in the 19th century in India and Egypt and have I become absolutely fascinated with the history of their lives. It is however very difficult to piece together the little snippets of information I have. All three were gunners. I’m going to ask my questions in separate posts to make answering easier.

First of all, I have some photos and in one photo, the uniform is different – could anyone throw some light on this – perhaps it’s a dress uniform ??

I'd be very grateful for any help on this.

Susan
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RHA gunner taken in December 1901  Southampton - different uniform   371 (2).jpg
RHA gunner taken in December 1901 Southampton - different uniform 371 (2).jpg (45.38 KiB) Viewed 990 times
RHA gunner  uniform  March 1900 376 (3).jpg
RHA gunner uniform March 1900 376 (3).jpg (52.37 KiB) Viewed 990 times
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Re: RHA uniforms

Postby Frogsmile » 31 Jan 2015 21:48

Hello Susan,

Both photos show a [edit] Corporal (two stripes) of the Royal Horse Artillery circa 1895-1902.

Photo one shows an undress (working) uniform comprising blue serge frock (also known as a 'jumper') fitted with shoulder chains. These chains were fitted in emulation of the cavalry whom the RHA supported and were intended to protect the shoulders from a downwards cut by a sabre or other sharp sword. The frock had chest pockets, but none in the skirt. Before 1902 this garment would have been worn in the field for active service other than in India, where khaki was worn.

Photo two shows walking-out-dress, which comprised the distinctive full-dress, frogged 'Dolman jacket', worn only by the RHA together with a pill-box forage cap (his 2 chevron rank worn on this in yellow brass), ankle length pantaloons and spurred ankle boots. This was how the Bombardier would have gone out to cut a dash with the ladies, often childrens maids walking their charges in the many parks in and around London and other principal British cities.

For full-dress the latter removed the pillbox cap and replaced it with a fur cap, and removed the pantaloons and replaced them with riding breeches and tall riding boots.

If you carry out a 'search' within the forum using the terms Royal Horse Artillery you can see and read a lot more.
Last edited by Frogsmile on 01 Feb 2015 00:03, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: RHA uniforms

Postby Op-Ack » 31 Jan 2015 23:37

Sorry Frogsmile, at that time two stripes was a corporal in the Artillery, that didn't change to Bombardier until the 1920's. One stripe was a bombardier in this time frame.

Phil
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Re: RHA uniforms

Postby Frogsmile » 01 Feb 2015 00:00

Op-Ack wrote:Sorry Frogsmile, at that time two stripes was a corporal in the Artillery, that didn't change to Bombardier until the 1920's. One stripe was a bombardier in this time frame.

Phil


Yes you are quite right Phil, a slip of the mind late at night I am afraid. I have written about the RA Bombardier (one stripe) and RA Corporal (two stripes) of that period many times in the forum here (as well as the Great War Forum) so you can imagine that I am kicking myself here. I will amend so that all the posts are consistent!
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Re: RHA uniforms

Postby susancammas » 01 Feb 2015 09:22

Good morning Frogsmile and Phil - Thank you for such a quick, full and interesting answer and to Phil for his input too. The dashing young man in the photo is in fact my grandfather - in the photo he is about 20 years old and he rose through the ranks to Captain. I was especially interested in your remark about khahi because among all the photos I have, none shows a khaki uniform.
Perhaps the soldiers didn't think it was sufficiently worthy of a photo!
Susan
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Re: RHA uniforms

Postby Frogsmile » 01 Feb 2015 14:33

susancammas wrote:Good morning Frogsmile and Phil - Thank you for such a quick, full and interesting answer and to Phil for his input too. The dashing young man in the photo is in fact my grandfather - in the photo he is about 20 years old and he rose through the ranks to Captain. I was especially interested in your remark about khahi because among all the photos I have, none shows a khaki uniform.
Perhaps the soldiers didn't think it was sufficiently worthy of a photo!
Susan


At the time of your photos Susan khaki was only worn as the field uniform in India and it's associated Colonies. Soldiers on the Home Establishment (i.e. Britain) were still wearing scarlet and blue, depending upon their regiment. Khaki was not adopted at home until 1902, after the Boer War was over.
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Re: RHA uniforms

Postby susancammas » 30 May 2016 21:18

Better late than never!
Thank you for your last response Frogsmile.

Since my initial enquiry I have found out a lot more about my grandfather's activities (including service in India and Egypt) and in fact have found a photo of him in khaki, but this was taken in about 1920 and in England.

Thanks for your support and patience.
Susan
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