Help identifing uniform

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Re: Help identifing uniform

Postby Frogsmile » 13 Feb 2012 18:57

GrantRCanada wrote:Astute observation, and interesting information, Ed! I too was unaware how late tintype photography was in use. (Indeed, my daughter mentioned just the other day that the tintype has recently experienced a considerable "fad" revival!)

Another important point - touched on again by Frogsmile above - the chap in the photograph appears to be no more than 16 to 22 years of age (to my eye at least, although I narrowed that to 18 to 20 in my earlier post.) In view of the fact that the trefoil cuff ornament was not adopted in Canada until 1876, the man born in 1840 could have been no younger than 36 if he was enrolled in the Militia while this pattern was on issue.

For comparison, here is a photograph of the previous (Pattern 1870) Canadian Militia tunic -

Image

I would ask for observations on how this compares with the standard issue tunic in the British Army at that time. From Frogsmile's indication of when the trefoil cuff ornamentation appeared on British tunics, it occurs to me that the Canadian Militia may well have been "running a Pattern behind", as it were - perhaps so a niggardly Dominion Government could save money by acquiring obsolete stocks!


Hello Grant, this is the 1868 Pattern tunic. You must remember that technically the Canadian Militia were a part of the British Army at that time, following the same dress and clothing regulations and observing the same administrative orders, albeit that it might have taken longer (as you have mentioned) for the changes and orders to take effect and that there were, from time-to-time, 'special' provisions (including especially winter/tropical clothing) for Canada and other Dominions/Colonies/Territories/Commonwealths. It was (and still is) the only way to minimize (if not avoid) confusion in nomenclature. As such, the first trefoil loop tunic is the 1870 pattern (that you confirm was adopted in Canada in 1876 and then retained) and the so-called 'patch tunic', is the 1873 pattern. Only India had its own, entirely separate, regulatory regime.
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Re: Help identifing uniform

Postby GrantRCanada » 13 Feb 2012 20:56

FROGSMILE wrote:...... You must remember that technically the Canadian Militia were a part of the British Army at that time, following the same dress and clothing regulations and observing the same administrative orders ........

Hmmmm ..... my own understanding is quite the opposite, at least from 1867, when Canada became the first self-governing Dominion in what ultimately became the British Commonwealth. This would be a good topic in its own right - no doubt in the "Canada" Forum - so as not to derail Ardythe's quest ......

For example, I am of the view that the ".... 'special' provisions (including especially winter/tropical clothing) for Canada and other Dominions/Colonies/Territories/Commonwealths" of the British Dress and Clothing Regulations applied only to units of the British Army which might still be posted in those places. Notwithstanding Canada's responsibility for its own defence, such deployments certainly continued here ..... although after 1870 that possibility was largely limited to Halifax in Nova Scotia and Esquimalt in British Columbia.

FROGSMILE wrote: ...... Only India had its own, entirely separate, regulatory regime.

On the contrary, Canada had its own separate Regulations governing the Militia .....

Image

Mind you, Canada's Regulations could well serve more to complicate this discussion because of such vague, sweeping generalizations as this:

Image
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Re: Help identifing uniform

Postby Frogsmile » 13 Feb 2012 22:19

GrantRCanada wrote:
FROGSMILE wrote:...... You must remember that technically the Canadian Militia were a part of the British Army at that time, following the same dress and clothing regulations and observing the same administrative orders ........

Hmmmm ..... my own understanding is quite the opposite, at least from 1867, when Canada became the first self-governing Dominion in what ultimately became the British Commonwealth. This would be a good topic in its own right - no doubt in the "Canada" Forum - so as not to derail Ardythe's quest ......

For example, I am of the view that the ".... 'special' provisions (including especially winter/tropical clothing) for Canada and other Dominions/Colonies/Territories/Commonwealths" of the British Dress and Clothing Regulations applied only to units of the British Army which might still be posted in those places. Notwithstanding Canada's responsibility for its own defence, such deployments certainly continued here ..... although after 1870 that possibility was largely limited to Halifax in Nova Scotia and Esquimalt in British Columbia.

FROGSMILE wrote: ...... Only India had its own, entirely separate, regulatory regime.

On the contrary, Canada had its own separate Regulations governing the Militia .....

Mind you, Canada's Regulations could well serve more to complicate this discussion because of such vague, sweeping generalizations as this:




This is an interesting area and ripe for misunderstanding.

I do not/did not doubt that the Canadian Militia had their own regulations, so indeed did the Militia (and even more so the 'Rifle Volunteers') in Britain and other associated territories. I am also aware of the agreement that Canada made to be self-governing and largely responsible for its own defence (at least for an initial attack - there had long been a regularly updated 'contingency plan' to reinforce from Britain and the West Indies). Nevertheless, along with all the other emerging Nations under the British crown at that time, their forces were a de facto part of the British Army/Forces. Formal separation did not come about until the 20th Century.

Indeed, the "Regular Army" that your Canadian Militia Regulations refer to is not the Canadian Army, as it is now (today), but the British Army Regulars, who were the only relevant "Regular Army" at that time, thus implying clearly (to my mind) that the Canadian Militia had a similar relationship to its brethren in Britain. As such, all local regulations were subordinate to and published under the authority of, the crown. Similar regulations existed in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, as well as the West Indies. The comment about silver lace for militia and blue and red facings was similarly made for Militia elsewhere, as well as in Britain.

I am sorry that I did not make my earlier statements more unambiguous.

Both the tunics that you have shown were British Army patterns for infantry and dated 1868 and 1870, according to numerous works based on regulatory material of the time. These are the dates that they were sealed as patterns in Britain and not necessarily the dates when they were issued and adopted elsewhere.

I enclose an images of the 1870 pattern tunic worn by British Regulars, but unfortunately I have not been able to find one of the 1868 tunic, although there is a famous image of a Royal Welsh Fusilier wearing it in an image produced for and issued with a pamphlet on the first pattern of Valise equipment that some forum members might have seen. I also show an India Pattern Frock from the 1890s which unfortunately was identical in 'appearance', apart from the 5 buttons instead of 8 of the 1870 tunic. Although note the additional 'eye' right in the centre of the knot!
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Re: Help identifing uniform

Postby GrantRCanada » 14 Feb 2012 01:29

Very interesting area indeed! I look forward to a possible discussion (elsewhere, I suggest) on whether the Canadian Militia (and perhaps similar forces in other self-governing areas) could indeed be considered "part of the British Army". (Your characterization of that as the de facto situation of course invites an expansion of the debate into what constituted the de jure state of affairs .... and, as a lawyer, I anticipate supporting my position with specific legislative provisions and constitutional law arguments! :wink: )

However, for purposes of the issue arising from Ardythe's original query, I submit that the late date of adoption of the trefoil cuff ornamentation in Canada - coupled with the evident age of the young man in the image .... together with Canada's retention of the Snider and its related accoutrements into the latter half of the 1890s - would seem to confirm that, of the two men of the same name, the image is much more likely to be the son born in 1875 than the father born in 1840 ....

Oh, one other question - am I correct in my understanding that of the two photographs you have just posted, it is a frock in the top image and a tunic in the lower one?
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Re: Help identifing uniform

Postby Frogsmile » 14 Feb 2012 02:29

GrantRCanada wrote:Very interesting area indeed! I look forward to a possible discussion (elsewhere, I suggest) on whether the Canadian Militia (and perhaps similar forces in other self-governing areas) could indeed be considered "part of the British Army". (Your characterization of that as the de facto situation of course invites an expansion of the debate into what constituted the de jure state of affairs .... and, as a lawyer, I anticipate supporting my position with specific legislative provisions and constitutional law arguments! :wink: )

However, for purposes of the issue arising from Ardythe's original query, I submit that the late date of adoption of the trefoil cuff ornamentation in Canada - coupled with the evident age of the young man in the image .... together with Canada's retention of the Snider and its related accoutrements into the latter half of the 1890s - would seem to confirm that, of the two men of the same name, the image is much more likely to be the son born in 1875 than the father born in 1840 ....

Oh, one other question - am I correct in my understanding that of the two photographs you have just posted, it is a frock in the top image and a tunic in the lower one?


I welcome reading your legal findings Grant. I am not a lawyer and am merely repeating what I have read over the years, although I cannot give you an off-the-cuff legal quote of chapter and verse. As you say, perhaps this is something that can be teased out elsewhere.

As a Militia does not constitute a Regular force (even when it is embodied), it has always been a principle in the British usage (where the Militia concept was born) that it is an adjunct and bolster to Regular Forces. This was the case on all the occasions that the Militia in Canada was called out, whose campaigns have I think been covered in this and other forums that I know you frequent. Given that there was no other Regular force, it seems to me axiomatic that all Dominion/Colonial Militias (of which there were many), less India, were a legal part of the British Forces and thus in support of its Regular Army.

I agree that the photo, if as seems confirmed now of Canadian origin, is most likely to be the son born in 1877.

The India pattern frock is indeed the top image and the 1870 tunic the lower image.
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Re: Help identifing uniform

Postby Ardythe » 14 Feb 2012 13:24

Thank you Mark, Grant, Ed and Frogsmile for all your help in solving my mystery. I know it wasn't much
of a challenge for you guys, your knowledge is amazing.
Thanks again~
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