Unknown Band Member

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Unknown Band Member

Postby Tom G » 12 Jan 2016 03:13

Hello,

I was wondering if anyone could help me decode this uniform.

It's my understanding that:

This is an enlisted man.

He was a member of a regimental band due to the wings at the shoulder and the bugler's cord.

Was in the service for a minimum of two years due to the good service stripe on the left cuff.

I am trying to match him with an individual that would have (according to his medal card)

1. Served in WWI in the ASC. He would have been in a horse equipped transport unit then a motorized unit (His registration number lists a T and an M version and I see he is in an ASC Company. Card can be provided upon request)

2. Held the rank of "drummer farrier". (Is that a real rank? I'm familiar with "farrier-sergeant" but the rank field on the card lists both, and the British National Archives interprets it as "Drummer-Farrier").

3. He earned the 1914 star, and the qualifying date is 5 Oct 1914.

I've received the photo from family members who want to know if this person is their great grandfather, medal card they found online. Is this photo a possible match to the service listed? Are there any clues that I've missed?

Thanks!

--Tom
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Re: Unknown Band Member

Postby grumpy » 12 Jan 2016 12:42

In the photo he is a regular soldier, a private appointed as drummer, wearing the 5-button frock and the cuff decoration suggests India c. 1900 although the possible period is at least plus/minus 10 years. A headdress would help!

The cords are usually called "drummers' cords" or "dress cords" and are attached to a bugle on duty ........ line infantry drummers were taught bugle and flute duty.

The shoulder wings are unusual but not unique ........ they were not strictly part of frock order [the drum badge right arm was sufficient] but many units dressed their Corps of Drums and Military band to a higher spec. than regulation, funded from a local swindle or by the officers.

As to the regiment: it might be a Royal one with dark blue cuff and collar ..... I cannot make out the collar badge. If Royal, his cords should be yellow/dark blue/scarlet, if not Royal, should be green, but I cannot make my mind up.

As to his service, yes, a minimum of 2 years service and a possible maximum of 5 or 6 depending on date.

I hand over now to the experts.
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Re: Unknown Band Member

Postby Tom G » 12 Jan 2016 20:25

My first thought was, "If I could go back in time, I'd punch this guy for not having his hat."
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Re: Unknown Band Member

Postby jf42 » 12 Jan 2016 20:50

An' he goes, "Come on, then..."
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Re: Unknown Band Member

Postby Tony Barton » 12 Jan 2016 21:08

He has a white helmet with a spike on the left....look harder.
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Re: Unknown Band Member

Postby grumpy » 12 Jan 2016 23:13

Yes, so there is ........ cannot make out flash or badge though.

Odds on India now.
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Re: Unknown Band Member

Postby jf42 » 12 Jan 2016 23:14

Well I'll be- and it's a Wolseley, with a dark, lozenge-shaped flash.
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Re: Unknown Band Member

Postby Tom G » 13 Jan 2016 00:20

This is creepily invisible. All I can see is the spike and the lozenge. I just thought it was part of the wall banner.

I pointed this out to a friend who was looking at it, (former RN). Now that we notice the hat, we're wondering if it's sitting on his band stand. He mentioned that they tended to be covered in flowers.

I guess whatever you would call it, the lectern, maybe?
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Re: Unknown Band Member

Postby jf42 » 13 Jan 2016 00:53

I'd say it's more likely to be a standard photographer's gallery prop for him to lean on, and park his helmet. I keep thinking I am looking at a base- drummer's leopard skin apron, distorted by damage to the print. He might not be burly enough to be a base drummer, though.
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Re: Unknown Band Member

Postby Tony Barton » 13 Jan 2016 09:05

The bass drummer skin apron : now I can see that too ! Particularly at the bottom, where it has the ruched silk edging in a curve, with at least one " leg" visible . Can't imagine what else it might be . There also appears to be a badge, perhaps a star with a motto beneath, mounted on the diamond-shaped helmet flash .
It is odd that instead of perhaps a pair of drumsticks, he has his swagger cane .
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Re: Unknown Band Member

Postby jf42 » 13 Jan 2016 09:18

The swagger stick is a fairly standard prop for soldiers' photographic portraits in this period. Is there a subset of drummers posing with drumsticks?
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Re: Unknown Band Member

Postby Tony Barton » 13 Jan 2016 09:18

On enlargement , the collar badges are quite clearly the passant lions of the King's Own Royal Regiment , and the badge on the helmet flash is also that passant lion .
So if someone has that regiment's record of postings overseas ?
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Re: Unknown Band Member

Postby jf42 » 13 Jan 2016 09:53

Here is what is recorded on T.F.Mills archived regiments.org. It looks like the 1st Battalion are the most likely candidates.

1st Battalion, The King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment)

1900 England MI det in South Africa
1901 Malta
1903 India: Calcutta
1906 Burma: Shwebo
1908 India: Lebong
1910 Lucknow
1912 Dover

2nd Battalion

1912-1915 India: Lebong
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Re: Unknown Band Member

Postby grumpy » 13 Jan 2016 12:25

Yes, King's it is, and India it is, and nearer to 1910 than 1900 with the evidence of the Wolseley.
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Re: Unknown Band Member

Postby Tom G » 13 Jan 2016 19:21

I am very grateful for the thorough analysis. You folks are the best! Thank you, on behalf of me and this person's great granddaughter.
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