Uniform Identification please

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Uniform Identification please

Postby Brett Payne » 10 Oct 2011 10:43

I'd appreciate some help with the identification of this uniform, please.

Image

I'd estimate from my analysis of this photographer (Jacob Schmidt of Belper, Derbyshire) and the carte de visite mount, that the studio portrtait was taken in the mid- to late 1880s, say between 1884 and 1888.

Regards and best wishes,

Brett Payne
Tauranga, New Zealand
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Re: Uniform Identification please

Postby Frogsmile » 10 Oct 2011 11:14

Brett Payne wrote:I'd appreciate some help with the identification of this uniform, please.

Image

I'd estimate from my analysis of this photographer (Jacob Schmidt of Belper, Derbyshire) and the carte de visite mount, that the studio portrtait was taken in the mid- to late 1880s, say between 1884 and 1888.

Regards and best wishes,

Brett Payne
Tauranga, New Zealand


I agree with your date assessment Brett. He is wearing the tunic of a man in a volunteer battalion of an infantry regiment, as evinced by the Austrian knots that you can just about see on his sleeves. His wearing of a glengarry cap is also correct for the period before 1897.

The snake buckle belt would also lean towards Rifle Volunteers and I believe that his unit is the 1st Derbyshire Rifle Volunteers, which was a volunteer battalion of the Sherwood Foresters (Derbyshire Regiment). Of its 8 service companies, G Company was at Belper and, before 1880, had been the 13th Derbyshire Rifle Volunteers, an independent company sized unit.

In July 1881 his unit became the 1st Volunteer Battalion of the Sherwood Foresters (Derbyshire Regiment) and this changed again in 1908 to be the 5th (Territorial Force) Battalion of the same regiment.
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Re: Uniform Identification please

Postby Brett Payne » 10 Oct 2011 11:27

That's amazing Frogsmile - you are fast! I'm very grateful for the detailed interpretation that you've provided. I compared it with the uniform in Brawn/Chesterfield portrait which you described as Review Order Dress, probably of the Derbyshire Regiment c. 1899-1901, but found some significant differences, and therefore decided to post it over here.

Am I correct in my understanding then, that the Chesterfield portrait and this one are likely to depict men from the same unit, the 1st Derbyshire Rifle Volunteers, although from different companies and time frames?
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Re: Uniform Identification please

Postby Frogsmile » 10 Oct 2011 11:34

Brett Payne wrote:That's amazing Frogsmile - you are fast! I'm very grateful for the detailed interpretation that you've provided. I compared it with the uniform in Brawn/Chesterfield portrait which you described as Review Order Dress, probably of the Derbyshire Regiment c. 1899-1901, but found some significant differences, and therefore decided to post it over here.

Am I correct in my understanding then, that the Chesterfield portrait and this one are likely to depict men from the same unit, the 1st Derbyshire Rifle Volunteers, although from different companies and time frames?


It is my pleasure to help Brett.

The other photo was the uniform for a later period after the volunteers had adopted the uniform of their parent unit, but with the addition of Austrian knots to indicate their volunteer origin. In this photo the man is still wearing the 'independent' uniform of the Derbyshire Rifle Volunteers. There were two battalions of the DRV.

In answer to your question yes - different companies and different time frames and the 'title' of the unit had changed by the time of the other photo, but it was the 'same' body of men. The period between 1880 and 1908 was one of great change for the Volunteers and can be very confusing.

You must remember that uniforms did not transform instantly that a change in title took place, because of the expense (and affection for established and hitherto 'independent' tradition). I suspect that the change to the Sherwood Foresters uniform 'probably' did not begin to take place until after the 1887 change of title.

23.7.1859 Raised as 1st, 4th, 6th, 12th, 13th, 15th, 19th and 20th Derbyshire Rifle Volunteer Corps.

10.7.1860 Became the 1st Admin Battalion at Derby

24.2.1880 Became the 1st (i.e. battalion) Derbyshire Rifle Volunteers (there was also a 2nd Battalion DRV)

1.7.1881 Became a Volunteer Battalion of The Sherwood Foresters

1.4.1887 Became the 1st Volunteer Battalion The Sherwood Foresters (Derbyshire).

1908 Became the 5th (Territorial Force) Battalion The Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby).

In 1881 the old numbered regiments of the Regular Army were re-organised and most were amalgamated and given territorial titles. The 45th (the Nottinghamshire Sherwood Foresters) Regiment became the 1st battalion of the new regiment, and the 95th (the Derbyshire) Regiment of Foot became the 2nd battalion. The new title was The Sherwood Foresters ( Derbyshire Regiment) which remained until 1902 when it changed to Notts & Derby rather than just Derbyshire. Also included in the new regiment were the militia forming the 3rd and 4th battalions. The Derbyshire Militia (Chatsworth Rifles) formed the 3rd, and the Nottinghamshire or Royal Sherwood Foresters formed the 4th. The HQ was in Derby. The volunteer battalions were: 1st Derby, 2nd Chesterfield, 3rd Nottingham, and 4th Newark.
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Re: Uniform Identification please

Postby Brett Payne » 10 Oct 2011 21:31

Thanks for the clarification. Goodness me that's complicated. I've begun putting together a chart to help myself understand the changes, and remember them for future reference, but I think I'll be needing more information. Can you suggest an online source please?

Regards and best wishes, Brett
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Re: Uniform Identification please

Postby Frogsmile » 11 Oct 2011 00:45

Brett Payne wrote:Thanks for the clarification. Goodness me that's complicated. I've begun putting together a chart to help myself understand the changes, and remember them for future reference, but I think I'll be needing more information. Can you suggest an online source please?

Regards and best wishes, Brett


The table at the bottom of the page at this link gives quite a good basic rundown: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Childers_Reforms
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Re: Uniform Identification please

Postby Brett Payne » 11 Oct 2011 01:19

Thank you again frogsmile. Since my primary interest is in the identification of soldiers from Derbyshire and, to a lesser extent, Nottinghamshire, I'm keen to establish which of the infantry regiments, rifle volunteer corps, militia regiments, volunteer units, etc. ended up where. I've started putting together a chart (PDF) which shows these changes, and hope eventually to add some photographs of soldiers to the chart as examples of their uniforms. If you, or anyone else, for that matter, could help by adding to, correcting and making suggestions as to where I could find further material, I'd appreciate the assistance.

All contributions will be gratefully acknowledged in the final chart.

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Re: Uniform Identification please

Postby Frogsmile » 11 Oct 2011 10:32

Hello Brett,
I will help as much as I can. Here are the Volunteers Details for the Derbyshire Volunteer Rifle Corps as recorded by Ian Beckett in "Riflemen Form", the date is for the formation and thus seniority:

Derbyshire:

1st (Derby) 23.7.59
2nd (Sudbury) 28.2.60
3rd (Chesterfield) 7.1.60
4th (2nd Derby) 31.12.59
5th (Derby Artisan) 18.1.60
6th (High Peak Rifles - also possibly known as Buxton Rifles) 16.2.60
7th (High Peak Rifles) 1.2.60
8th (Dove Valley) 1.2.60
9th (High Peak) 28.2.60
10th (Wirlesworth) 10.3.60
11th (Matlock) 17.3.60
12th (Butterley) 3.4.60
13th (Belper) 14.3.60
14th - not formed
15th (Chaddesdon) 22.8.60
16th (Erewash Valley Rifle Club) 7.9.60 - later disbanded, date unknown
17th (Clay Cross) 26.1.61
18th (Whaley Bridge) 16.3.66
19th (Elvaston) 5.2.70
20th (Trent) 31.7.71
21st (Harbington) 21.7.75
22nd (Staveley) 23.9.74
23rd (Glossop) 2.2.76

Many of these locations would later form a company sized 'drill hall' that together with others formed a single ("administrative") battalion, usually of 8 companies. They then later divided equally into the 1st and 2nd Derbyshire Rifle Volunteers as per the details previously.

These drill halls were and still are culturally very important, in that they were the military link with the local communities. Whereas Militia were in large central barracks, the Volunteers were in small municipal and rural centres. They later formed the bedrock of the Territorial Force in WW1 and the Territorial Army of today. Sadly many have now gone. Here is a website that is rather belatedly (but better late than never) trying to record them all: http://www.drillhalls.org/
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Re: Uniform Identification please

Postby Frogsmile » 11 Oct 2011 10:40

And here is the Nottinghamshire VRC from the same source:

Nottinghamshire:

1st (Robin Hood Rifles) 15.11.59
2nd (East Retford) 3.3.60
3rd (Newark) 3.3.60
4th (Mansfield or Sherwood Rifles) 9.3.60
5th (Forest) 9.3.60
6th (Collingham) 9.3.60
7th (Worksop) 28.4.60
8th (Southwell) 7.7.60
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Re: Uniform Identification please

Postby Frogsmile » 11 Oct 2011 12:19

The Militia is much more difficult as it was by far the oldest force by Constitution and pre-dated the Regular Army by some considerable time. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Lozleader/militia

Derbyshire:

For Derbyshire the earliest record is for 1539, but for the purposes of your schematic the best start point is 1855 when there was already a 1st Derby Militia and a 2nd or 'Chatsworth Rifles' was also formed. In 1881 these two units became the 5th and 3rd Battalions, respectively, of the new Sherwood Foresters (Derbyshire Regiment). In 1891 the two battalions were amalgamated as the 3rd (Militia) Battalion Sherwood Foresters (Derbyshire Regiment).

Nottinghamshire:

For Nottinghamshire the earliest record is 1135, but the most clear start point for your schematic would be 1775 when the Nottinghamshire Militia was formed, which in 1813 became the Royal Sherwood Foresters, or Nottinghamshire Regiment of Militia. In 1881 it became the 4th (Militia) Battalion of the Sherwood Foresters (Derbyshire Regiment).

Footnote: As mentioned previously, in 1902 the title changed slightly to become the Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire) Regiment.

Source for above - The 'Constitutional Force' by Geo Jackson Hay - published 1908.
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Re: Uniform Identification please

Postby Brett Payne » 12 Oct 2011 03:21

Thank you frogsmile - that, along with other information, has enabled me to make some substantial improvements to the chart (PDF). Any corrections/suggestions/additions noted very welcome!

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Re: Uniform Identification please

Postby Frogsmile » 12 Oct 2011 11:44

Brett Payne wrote:Thank you frogsmile - that, along with other information, has enabled me to make some substantial improvements to the chart (PDF). Any corrections/suggestions/additions noted very welcome!
Regards, Brett


It is looking a lot more complete now Brett. The only thing I would correct at first glance is the regimental titles at top right should be amended from 'Nottingham' to 'Nottinghamshire' (and repeat in each case beneath).
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Re: Uniform Identification please

Postby grumpy » 12 Oct 2011 11:59

I think you should note that, post April 1908, the 3rd battalion was Special Reserve, and the 4th was Extra Reserve. Very different from the Militia and much more useful.
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Re: Uniform Identification please

Postby Brett Payne » 12 Oct 2011 20:20

Thank you frogsmile and grumpy. I've made the changes, and will post them in my next version, after I've managed to find more on the make up of the 5th, 7th and 8th Territorial Battalions, as well as the genesis of the latter two from the Nottinghamshire Volunteer Rifles.
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Re: Uniform Identification please

Postby Frogsmile » 12 Oct 2011 21:15

1860.07.10 1st Administrative Battalion, Derbyshire Rifle Volunteers
formed with HQ at Derby to administer existing corps:

1st Derbyshire Rifle Volunteer Corps, at Derby, raised 23 July 1859
4th Derbyshire Rifle Volunteer Corps, at Derby, raised 1859
5th Derbyshire Rifle Volunteer Corps, at Derby, raised 1860
12th Derbyshire Rifle Volunteer Corps, at Butterley, raised 1860
13th Derbyshire Rifle Volunteer Corps, at Belper, raised 1860
15th Derbyshire Rifle Volunteer Corps, at Derby, raised 1860
16th Derbyshire Rifle Volunteer Corps, at Ilkeston, raised 1860; disbanded 1863
19th Derbyshire Rifle Volunteer Corps, at Derby, raised 1868
20th Derbyshire Rifle Volunteer Corps, at Long Eaton, raised 1871

1880.02.24 1st Derbyshire Rifle Volunteers (two battalions)

1881.07.01 volunteer battalion of The Sherwood Foresters (Derbyshire Regiment)

1887.04 1st Volunteer Battalion, The Sherwood Foresters (Derbyshire Regiment)

1902 1st Volunteer Battalion, The Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment)

1908.04.01 5th Battalion, The Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment) transferred to T.F.
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