Is this a RMLI Uniform circa 1901-1913?

For all discussions relating to British military and naval matters of the Edwardian and immediate pre-First World War period, 1901-1914.

Is this a RMLI Uniform circa 1901-1913?

Postby Owen » 18 Dec 2015 21:54

Dear All,

I wonder if anyone can tell me if this is a RMLI uniform circa 1901 - 1903? I have a WW1 DCM to a Serjeant of the RFA (15947 Sjt Charles John Alfred Nelson, of D Battery 160 Bde RFA),who served in the RMLI between 1901 - 1913. This picture appears to be of him and I would be very grateful if anyone could confirm the uniform.

Many thanks in advance, Owen

Image

Image
The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see (Sir Winston Churchill)
User avatar
Owen
New Member
 
Posts: 24
Joined: 10 Nov 2013 01:47
Location: Presently serving in the Middle East

Re: Is this a RMLI Uniform circa 1901-1913?

Postby Owen » 18 Dec 2015 23:04

Apologies for not having searched the site first as just found this thread of RMLI pictures:

http://www.victorianwars.com/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=2279

I see the similarities, but in the picture I posted above there are differences in the button pattern/number of buttons on the tunic and the cuff colour. Still grateful to know what you think?

Thanks again,

Owen
The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see (Sir Winston Churchill)
User avatar
Owen
New Member
 
Posts: 24
Joined: 10 Nov 2013 01:47
Location: Presently serving in the Middle East

Re: Is this a RMLI Uniform circa 1901-1913?

Postby Isandlwana » 19 Dec 2015 02:38

Owen,

The photograph shows a Private in a non-Royal line infantry regiment wearing the five-button serge frock.

The pattern of frock was replaced in 1881, when the 'jam pot' cuffs replaced the trefoil pattern.

The short answer is the soldier in your photograph is not a member of the R.M.L.I.

John Y.
Not theirs to save the day but where they stood, falling, to dye the earth
with brave men's blood for England's sake and duty...
User avatar
Isandlwana
Honorary Academic Advisor
 
Posts: 598
Joined: 20 Oct 2008 19:16

Re: Is this a RMLI Uniform circa 1901-1913?

Postby Owen » 19 Dec 2015 13:23

John, many thanks for taking the time to respond. Whilst confirming it is not RMLI, I think you are also saying that the photo pre dates 1881? In which case, it definitely isn't my man (he was born in 1883). More research down the family line required.

Thanks again,

Owen
The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see (Sir Winston Churchill)
User avatar
Owen
New Member
 
Posts: 24
Joined: 10 Nov 2013 01:47
Location: Presently serving in the Middle East

Re: Is this a RMLI Uniform circa 1901-1913?

Postby Isandlwana » 21 Dec 2015 00:33

Owen,

Given that date of birth I think you can certainly dismiss the photograph as being him!

I would put the photograph anywhere between 1874 and 1881. Unfortunately the photograph is damaged where his regimental badge would appeared on his glengarry cap, which might have assist in identifying his unit. The collar badges are somewhat indistinct which does help matters either.

Regards,

John Y.
Not theirs to save the day but where they stood, falling, to dye the earth
with brave men's blood for England's sake and duty...
User avatar
Isandlwana
Honorary Academic Advisor
 
Posts: 598
Joined: 20 Oct 2008 19:16

Re: Is this a RMLI Uniform circa 1901-1913?

Postby Owen » 21 Dec 2015 01:49

Thanks again John. Place of Birth and Name (written onto the back of the photo) match my man exactly, so will do more research back down his fathers line to see if could be him.

Regards and Merry Christmas,

Owen
The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see (Sir Winston Churchill)
User avatar
Owen
New Member
 
Posts: 24
Joined: 10 Nov 2013 01:47
Location: Presently serving in the Middle East

Re: Is this a RMLI Uniform circa 1901-1913?

Postby RobD » 21 Dec 2015 12:25

Is the writing on the back in ball point ink?
User avatar
RobD
Senior Member
 
Posts: 202
Joined: 26 Nov 2014 15:28
Location: UK and South Africa

Re: Is this a RMLI Uniform circa 1901-1913?

Postby grumpy » 21 Dec 2015 17:43

Worth adding the complication that the cuff lace design was in common use in India on the scarlet frock 5 button until 1914 at least.
grumpy
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 784
Joined: 26 Nov 2009 19:38

Re: Is this a RMLI Uniform circa 1901-1913?

Postby Owen » 21 Dec 2015 19:58

RobD wrote:Is the writing on the back in ball point ink?


Yes, I think it is....the picture is from the family, so I guess it was added very much later.
The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see (Sir Winston Churchill)
User avatar
Owen
New Member
 
Posts: 24
Joined: 10 Nov 2013 01:47
Location: Presently serving in the Middle East

Re: Is this a RMLI Uniform circa 1901-1913?

Postby Owen » 21 Dec 2015 20:37

grumpy wrote:Worth adding the complication that the cuff lace design was in common use in India on the scarlet frock 5 button until 1914 at least.


Thanks Grumpy...all these elements/clues will hopefully help. No evidence that my man was in India - he saw service with RMLI between 1901 and 1913, then joined the RFA in 1914, for the duration of the war. Whilst with RMLI, it appears he was UK shore based apart from two tours on HMS Implacable (in Gibraltar with the ship for the 1911 Census) and HMS Glory.

I have ordered Charles John Alfred Nelson's birth certificate, but Ancestry have the father as Charles Edward Nelson...so remain a bit confused. Let's see.

Owen
The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see (Sir Winston Churchill)
User avatar
Owen
New Member
 
Posts: 24
Joined: 10 Nov 2013 01:47
Location: Presently serving in the Middle East

Re: Is this a RMLI Uniform circa 1901-1913?

Postby grumpy » 21 Dec 2015 21:55

Before anyone points out that the photo was not taken in India [see the back!] the rules for clothing soldiers going Home to India, and India to Home, were complicated by the fact that the sets of uniforms were funded separately but there was a need for thrift.
Thus a soldier Tour-Ex India was expected to wear his India frock at Home, with extra lining added at Home, for warmth. These apparent anomalies do occasionally show up, usually one man in a group photo.

I am not deliberately muddying the waters, just noting aloud that pre-1881 style cuffs are not fully diagnostic of date.
grumpy
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 784
Joined: 26 Nov 2009 19:38

Re: Is this a RMLI Uniform circa 1901-1913?

Postby crimea1854 » 22 Dec 2015 09:59

Perhaps in trying to date the photograph it is worth looking at the actual photographer. On the 1871 and 1881 census' the photographer is at the address in Grantham, but in 1891 the family has moved to Nottingham. What is less conclusive is the photographer Thomas Vipond is missing from the family group, but his wife Eleanor is still shown as 'married' and not widowed.

Martin
crimea1854
Veteran Member
 
Posts: 942
Joined: 05 Jul 2008 08:39

Re: Is this a RMLI Uniform circa 1901-1913?

Postby t100 » 22 Dec 2015 12:12

Hi

The Indian frock referred to by Grumpy had scarlet cuffs matching the body of the garment, so I think that can be discounted.

Other than this, the trefoil knot shown is a pre-1881 feature, as are the 'tabs' on the collar. Due to the use of orthochromatic film, facing colours that appear 'off-white' as shown here are really limited to light-mid blue and buff/cream/fawn ect. I think it's pretty certain this photo is a British regular dating from before facings and cuff decoration were simplified in 1881.

As others have noted, the trefoil continued in use after 1881 for (a) RMLI, (b) Canadian Militia, (c) Channel Islands Militia, (d) the Indian pattern frock (e) a small number of rifle volunteer corps such as the 3rd Lanarkshire (f) certain colonial units such as the Trinidad Light Infantry, Belize Light Infantry, Malay States Guides, etc. However, none of these are compatible with the pale facings shown in the photo.

T
t100
Participating Member
 
Posts: 176
Joined: 05 Oct 2009 20:34

Re: Is this a RMLI Uniform circa 1901-1913?

Postby Owen » 22 Dec 2015 20:00

Many thanks for the information T, I'm grateful to you for taking the time and interest. Seems that Pte Charles John Alfred Nelson RMLI, did serve on board ship in the Far East (China Station) for some years (between 1902 - 1905), including on HMS Amphetrite. But, it's all a bit academic as the picture predates his service by at least 20 years.

Thanks again,

Owen
The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see (Sir Winston Churchill)
User avatar
Owen
New Member
 
Posts: 24
Joined: 10 Nov 2013 01:47
Location: Presently serving in the Middle East


Return to The Edwardian & Immediate Pre-First World War Period 1901-14

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests