Uniform Identification please

For all discussions relating to military uniforms, insignia, equipment and medals of the Victorian period.

Re: Uniform Identification please

Postby Frogsmile » 14 Oct 2011 07:56

Brett Payne wrote:This cabinet card, also from the Derby Local Studies Library, is by Richard Keene of Derby and is dated August 1874 on the reverse. This date fits well with the card type and portrait style, so I don't have any reason to doubt its veracity. It's perhaps worth noting this is an early example of the larger cabinet card format. Also on the reverse is a label, posted and inscribed at a later date, identifying the subjects as Lieut. W. Bemrose, Capt. Thirlby and Lieut. Monkhouse of the 1st Derbys. Rifles.

from Wright's Directory of South Derbyshire, 1874
- The Derbyshire Volunteers, First Battalion, 1st Corps - Captain J.F. Thirlby; Lieutenants, W. Bemrose, H. Monkhouse

The identity of Henry Monkhouse (1837-1905), a Derby chemist and druggist, is confirmed by comparison with a CDV portrait of him in civilian clothing by James Brennen (#jbrennen18). John Farmer Thirlby (c1839-1928) was a cashier at Crompton & Co's Bank, Derby and secretary of the Derby Gymnasium Club. William Bemrose (1831-1908) was a well known Derby bookseller, stationer, printer and publisher (Bemrose & Sons, Irongate).

Although the scan is a rather poor one, some digital enlargement and enhancement suggests the number in the badge on the shako is either a 5 or a 6. I presume, therefore, that this is the 5th (Derby Artisan) DRV Corps.

Image

Image

Regards, Brett


Yes I believe this is the 5th (Derby Artisans), the 6th were the (High Peak/Buxton Rifles).
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Re: Uniform Identification please

Postby Frogsmile » 14 Oct 2011 07:59

Brett Payne wrote:Going back to the Rogers CDV of Edwin Pratt, unfortunately I don't currently have access to the original, and the scan which I did at the Derby LSL in 2007 is not a very good one. However, I've done my best to enhance it a little. There appears to be only a single line at the top edge of his right hand cuff lacing, rather than double line or looped edges, but it's not easy to discern for sure.

One thing that confuses me a little. In these images the distal ends of the cuffs i.e. below where the braid starts, appears to be very light coloured in comparison with the rest of the tunic, e.g. perhaps gold, silver or white. This contrasts somewhat with the examples in the images you have posted, and I wonder whether this was a significant difference, date-wise, rank-wise, unit-wise, or whatever? Sadly, due to the vagaries of the photographic emulsions used in the 1860s and 1870s, these light colours usually appear over-exposed in albumen prints. Hence the common photographers' suggestions to prospective clients not to wear such light-coloured clothing when they visited the studio.

Image

Regards, Brett


I have posted a range of images of the cuff lace for you to scrutinise, the original post of designs related to the Frock and so was of simplified (more narrow) form. Hopefully you will now get a better idea of the full dress versions.
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Re: Uniform Identification please

Postby Brett Payne » 14 Oct 2011 08:00

FROGSMILE wrote:This man too is from the 5th (Derby Artisan) Corps (i.e. company) of the DRV and wearing his 'undress' pillbox cap.


Thank you very much for all of these images. Can you tell what rank this soldier in the Roberts CDV is? Does the fact that he carries a rifle instead of a sword mean he is likely to be a private or NCO instead of an officer? How can you tell - is it a difference in the shape of the knot on the cuffs, perhaps?

It is interesting to see the cabinet card of the senior NCO - is a staff sergeant or something like that, perhaps? - by Argall from Truro, which I estimate as being from the very late 1880s or 1890s, because his uniform appears very similar indeed to that of the Roberts CDV.

Regards and best wishes, Brett
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Re: Uniform Identification please

Postby Brett Payne » 14 Oct 2011 08:16

I've just noticed that your photograph of the soldier with the slashed cuffs is by F.W. Seville of Shrewsbury. I've done a study of this photographer and his father William Seville, who was first a silhouettist, and then a daguerreotypist. You'll find some of my research on my blog Photo-Sleuth here, but this is the first photograph from either father or son that I have come across. How exciting! I have to ask if this is yours too?

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Re: Uniform Identification please

Postby Brett Payne » 14 Oct 2011 08:27

FROGSMILE wrote:Sorry Brett, no I do not own the CDV. I will try to find it on the other forum and forward any details that I can find.

Thank you - I appreciate that. Regards, Brett
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Re: Uniform Identification please

Postby Brett Payne » 14 Oct 2011 08:34

This is a carte de visite by J.W. Price of Derby. It is conveniently annotated on the reverse in what appears to be a contemporary hand: "Major Geo. H. Gascoyne, Nov. 1880." From my own research via trade directories and census records, George Gascoyne was major in, and later Colonel and commanding officer of, the 1st Derbyshire Rifles. He was also a silk manufacturer and merchant in Derby, in partnership with his brother Joseph Henry Gascoyne. By the looks of his cap badge, he too was a member of the 5th Derby Artisans. However, his tunic appears substantially different from those I posted earlier, from the 1860s and 1870s.

Image

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Re: Uniform Identification please

Postby Brett Payne » 14 Oct 2011 08:59

This cabinet card by W.W. Winter of Derby apparently depicts Thomas Smith Radford (1817-1894), a farmer from Church Broughton. I estimate from a detailed analysis of Winter's card types that this portrait was produced c. 1883-1885, and I suspect that the sitting was at that time too, i.e. it is not a later copy.

The only information that I've managed to dig up thus far about his military connections - and I haven't done an exhaustive search of my resources yet - is the following from The London Gazette of 23 February 1886, p.853:
YEOMANRY CAVALRY. Derbyshire, Lieutenant Thomas Smith Radford resigns his Commission.

Now I'm wondering how the Yeomanry Cavalry fitted together with all the other Derbyshire units, or perhaps it didn't? And what could that medal be?

Image

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Re: Uniform Identification please

Postby Frogsmile » 19 Oct 2011 10:06

Brett Payne wrote:Thank you for the detailed description of Pratt's uniform and the associated images, which help enormously with my understanding of the subject.

Yes, I was planning on posting a larger, more detailed scan of that group portrait - as well as a couple of others - here shortly, although I was hesitant to inundate both you and the forum. I will organise those, because they all seem to relate to this topic.

I have recently seen that scan of the CDV of a soldier of the 6th (High Peak/Buxton Rifles) DRV, ascribed to the studio of William Housley of Bakewell, on another forum. However, because I am not a member I was unable to either post there or contact the poster. Is this CDV in your possession frogsmile? If so, with full colour scans of the entire card and the reverse, I may be able to estimate a more refined date range, and indeed would be keen to include the scan on my web page.

Regards, Brett


I have managed to find the CDV in the other forum concerned, but like you I cannot post there. Member 'Stuart Bates' here might well be able to help though, as I understand that he has access and could perhaps ask the question on your behalf.

As regards the 6th High Peak/Buxton Rifles, it seems that their existence was short and that they were disbanded around 1861. The 3rd Admin Bn, Derbyshire Rifle Volunteers became 2nd Admin Bn, Derbyshire R.V. in 1880 with 10 companies:
H.Q. - Bakewell
'A' Coy - Chesterfield
'B' Coy - Chapel-en-le-Frith
'C' Coy - Ashbourne
'D' Coy - Bakewell
'E' Coy - Wirksworth
'F' Coy - Matlock
'G' Coy - Clay Cross
'H' Coy - Whaley Bridge
'I' Coy - Hartington
'K' Coy - Staveley

The 6th Buxton RVC was last seen in 1861, so the photo must date around 1860/61.

In 1887 the unit was designated as the 2nd Volunteer Battalion, Derbyshire Regt.

In 1889 the H.Q moved to Chesterfield.
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Re: Uniform Identification please

Postby Frogsmile » 19 Oct 2011 10:13

Brett Payne wrote:This cabinet card by W.W. Winter of Derby apparently depicts Thomas Smith Radford (1817-1894), a farmer from Church Broughton. I estimate from a detailed analysis of Winter's card types that this portrait was produced c. 1883-1885, and I suspect that the sitting was at that time too, i.e. it is not a later copy.

The only information that I've managed to dig up thus far about his military connections - and I haven't done an exhaustive search of my resources yet - is the following from The London Gazette of 23 February 1886, p.853:
YEOMANRY CAVALRY. Derbyshire, Lieutenant Thomas Smith Radford resigns his Commission.

Now I'm wondering how the Yeomanry Cavalry fitted together with all the other Derbyshire units, or perhaps it didn't? And what could that medal be?

Image

Regards, Brett


There was no 'direct' association between the Yeomanry and the Volunteers other than that they both later became administered by county associations, but at the time of the sitting I seem to recall that they were under the County's Lord Lieutenant and had once been seen as a mounted police force to be used for dealing with insurrection and even civil labour disputes. The yeomanry tended to be formed from the landed gentry and gentlemen farmers who had the necessary mounts and financial wherewithal to bear the greater cost of more elaborate uniforms and accoutrements. I am afraid I have no idea what the medal might be, but there are medal specialists on the forum here who might be able to help.
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Re: Uniform Identification please

Postby Frogsmile » 19 Oct 2011 10:22

Brett Payne wrote:This is a carte de visite by J.W. Price of Derby. It is conveniently annotated on the reverse in what appears to be a contemporary hand: "Major Geo. H. Gascoyne, Nov. 1880." From my own research via trade directories and census records, George Gascoyne was major in, and later Colonel and commanding officer of, the 1st Derbyshire Rifles. He was also a silk manufacturer and merchant in Derby, in partnership with his brother Joseph Henry Gascoyne. By the looks of his cap badge, he too was a member of the 5th Derby Artisans. However, his tunic appears substantially different from those I posted earlier, from the 1860s and 1870s.

Image

Regards, Brett


He is wearing an officers Patrol Jacket (not worn by other ranks), a garment that was required by an officer in addition to his full dress tunic and often worn both in the field and in barracks. By the mid 1890s it had been superseded (in order to reduce cost) by much simpler Frocks (a loose fitting serge jacket) of various designs that eventually settled on a pattern with both chest and skirt pockets, often pleated and usually with scalloped flaps. For a period a type that derived from the Norfolk Jacket was also popular. Both Patrol Jacket and the later Frock were produced in dark blue, scarlet (less common), rifle green and even white, but the former colour was by far the most common and utilitarian.
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Re: Uniform Identification please

Postby Frogsmile » 19 Oct 2011 10:42

Brett Payne wrote:
FROGSMILE wrote:This man too is from the 5th (Derby Artisan) Corps (i.e. company) of the DRV and wearing his 'undress' pillbox cap.


Thank you very much for all of these images. Can you tell what rank this soldier in the Roberts CDV is? Does the fact that he carries a rifle instead of a sword mean he is likely to be a private or NCO instead of an officer? How can you tell - is it a difference in the shape of the knot on the cuffs, perhaps?

It is interesting to see the cabinet card of the senior NCO - is a staff sergeant or something like that, perhaps? - by Argall from Truro, which I estimate as being from the very late 1880s or 1890s, because his uniform appears very similar indeed to that of the Roberts CDV.

Regards and best wishes, Brett


The man in the Roberts CDV is a Rifleman (i.e. Private). The contrived positioning of the rifle makes me think it is one of the newer Snider conversions, but in general only soldiers below the rank of officer (and staff sergeant) would be photographed with a long arm. The cuff loop is of Trefoil type and also indicates an 'other rank', as the cuff adornment of officers was always more elaborate to make the superior rank abundantly clear.

The uniform of the senior NCO is that of an Instructor of Rifle Volunteers. These men wore 4 stripes and a crown which marked them as 'regulars' attached to the Volunteers. They were generally former Colour Sergeants (then the senior NCO rank below the single warrant officer (sergeant major) and quarter master sergeants within a battalion), whose terms and conditions of service permitted them to complete their last few years of Colour Service with a Volunteer or Militia unit as an instructor. This assisted them in settling back into a more civilian environment and often facilitated a return to their home region.
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Re: Uniform Identification please

Postby Brett Payne » 19 Oct 2011 10:52

An incredible level of detail in your answers to my questions, yet again, frogsmile, for which I'm very grateful, although it's going to take me a while to both absorb it and put into some meaningful form for my own future use. Very interesting, thank you!

Regards, Brett
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Re: Uniform Identification please

Postby Brett Payne » 21 Oct 2011 22:40

With some additional information from various sources, I've uploaded a revised chart showing the various military units from Victorian and Edwardian Derbyshire (PDF). The Derbyshire Yeomanry has not yet been included. Many thanks for the help received. A list of sources will be included in the final version.

Image

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Re: Uniform Identification please

Postby Frogsmile » 21 Oct 2011 22:54

Brett Payne wrote:With some additional information from various sources, I've uploaded a revised chart showing the various military units from Victorian and Edwardian Derbyshire (PDF). The Derbyshire Yeomanry has not yet been included. Many thanks for the help received. A list of sources will be included in the final version.

Image

Regards and best wishes, Brett


Great stuff Brett, it's like a great patchwork quilt gradually coming together. To make it more consistent we need to find the company locations for the Notts sub-units during the 1880s and 1890s.
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Re: Uniform Identification please

Postby Brett Payne » 03 Nov 2011 11:15

Thanks for your kind comments. I'm afraid I haven't had the time recently to ferret out those other Notts company locations, but it's job on the "to do" list. For the moment, here's another cabinet card from my collection which seems to fit the mould of Derbyshire Volunteer Regiments, although perhaps you will correct me on this in due course. The young soldier appears, at least to my rather "unmusical" eye, to be carrying a cornet. The bag across his shoulder makes me think of Lovely Rita, but I'm sure it's not carrying a ready supply of parking tickets. What is it for? Are the inverted chevrons on his cuffs a sign of rank, I wonder?

I don't know much about this photographer, although I think it must be the John Joseph Gascoyne (aka Gascoine) who is recorded with a studio in Mosborough, near Sheffield, between 1908 and 1912. However, from the design of the card mount and the style of the studio setting and backdrop, I would not be surprised if this portrait was taken a few years earlier ... perhaps even in the mid- to late 1890s.

As usual, I'd appreciate any corrections, insights, comments, suggestions, etc., thank you.

Image

Regards and best wishes,

Brett Payne
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