The Missing Years

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The Missing Years

Postby rclpillinger » 22 Apr 2017 20:54

I have for several years wondered if any of my Grandfather's photograph albums covering the years of the Tenth (PWO) Royal Hussars' service in Britain had survived. I knew that he had lost many items of his memorabilia in a house fire when he was moving to Folkestone from Canterbury and his timber-framed house in the later area had burnt down.

I have now discovered that the Horsepower Museum in Winchester holds two photo albums covering this period. One is in a good state of repair but the second I have brought back to Norfolk and placed with a restorer to repair its spine and separate the pages with tissue, and re-glue one or two pages. It seems to cover the latter part of their tour of Ireland, then through Aldershot and Canterbury and onto South Africa from around 1894 until 1900.

Within the 180 or so photographs there are some fascinating pictures of the Regiment in Ireland and the first part of the South Africa War. I have taken photo copies of them all and will soon put them on my website http://www.majorpillinger.com

However there are a few that I think are very interesting and I shall, over the coming days place the here on the VWF. Very few of them are posed which may be quite unusual but makes them all the more interesting.

The first three I think show the "Shiney Tenth" at their best and worst.

Richard
Attachments
Ireland 2 Scruffy.JPG
Ireland 2 Scruffy.JPG (82.01 KiB) Viewed 889 times
Ireland 3 Troops.JPG
Ireland 3 Troops.JPG (114.59 KiB) Viewed 889 times
Ireland 6 Shiner.JPG
Ireland 6 Shiner.JPG (109.65 KiB) Viewed 889 times
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Re: The Missing Years

Postby Mark A. Reid » 23 Apr 2017 21:53

Hello Richard;

What great photographs, thanks so much for sharing with us. As you say, the candid nature of such images is a reminder that these men, 'though long dead, were once laughing young faces like we were. They create a strong link between us and, at least in my case, remind me of past situations. For example, when I first spied the chap standing on the Right in the first photo my immediate thought was " Now where did he put his busby and will the sergeant-major spot it before he finishes his meal? " Seeing the second image made me realise just how inconvenient and anachronistic a sabretache was in an age of machine guns, what WERE they thinking?

Anyway, nought important but thanks once again for taking the time to show us these photographs, must go visit your website now.

Cheers,

Mark
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Re: The Missing Years

Postby jf42 » 23 Apr 2017 22:08

The term 'snapshot' is rather overused today when talking of the past but these candid snaps of scruffy, shiny and sabretached hussars are delightful.

(I think his busby is under his arm)
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Re: The Missing Years

Postby Mark A. Reid » 23 Apr 2017 22:43

Thanks jf42, I too was wondering if it was under his uckster, as my Lowland relatives would say.

In fact, I think the use of the term " snapshot " most appropriate and I dare say that those " Gallant Hussars " would have agreed, particularly after a day on the ranges.

Cheers,

Mark
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Re: The Missing Years

Postby rclpillinger » 24 Apr 2017 20:41

Talking of a day on the ranges, there are a couple of pictures of just that, taken somewhere in Ireland, obviously in somewhat cooler temperatures, this would probably have been about 1894 or so.

The second photograph I find fascinating. There is a single bugler playing outside Mr. Kelly's shop; he has a few listeners, mostly youngsters and an officer and that is all. I wonder if was a punishment, practice, serenading Miss Kelly or just spontaneous. Who knows, but Grandpa was around to capture the scene.
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Ireland 7 Ranges.JPG
Ireland 7 Ranges.JPG (84.37 KiB) Viewed 825 times
Ireland 5A.JPG
Ireland 5A.JPG (100.26 KiB) Viewed 825 times
Ireland 5 Trumpeter.JPG
Ireland 5 Trumpeter.JPG (85.16 KiB) Viewed 825 times
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Re: The Missing Years

Postby Frogsmile » 25 Apr 2017 17:17

rclpillinger wrote:Talking of a day on the ranges, there are a couple of pictures of just that, taken somewhere in Ireland, obviously in somewhat cooler temperatures, this would probably have been about 1894 or so.

The second photograph I find fascinating. There is a single bugler playing outside Mr. Kelly's shop; he has a few listeners, mostly youngsters and an officer and that is all. I wonder if was a punishment, practice, serenading Miss Kelly or just spontaneous. Who knows, but Grandpa was around to capture the scene.


In the second photo the man is a trumpeter, rather than bugler (the former used in cavalry regiments for dismounted calls only) and I would lay a wager that he is sounding either, fall in, or return to barracks (tattoo). Stood beside him is a SNCO/WO with note book, presumably to take a roll.
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Re: The Missing Years

Postby jf42 » 25 Apr 2017 18:04

Is the white trousering, seen on most of the soldiers if not all, a form of stable/ working dress, perhaps made of canvas, adapted for the dirty business of lying down to fire (Obviously not worn as hot weather dress)?
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Re: The Missing Years

Postby Frogsmile » 25 Apr 2017 19:42

jf42 wrote:Is the white trousering, seen on most of the soldiers if not all, a form of stable/ working dress, perhaps made of canvas, adapted for the dirty business of lying down to fire (Obviously not worn as hot weather dress)?


Yes, the canvas suits were commonly worn over normal uniform on skill at arms courses too.
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Re: The Missing Years

Postby rclpillinger » 25 Apr 2017 21:00

Today's offering is "Horse Lines", again from the Tenth's tour in Ireland between 1892 and 1895. As I have never seen a picture of what I assume to be horse lines in the field I am somewhat enthralled by the picture. The detail that it shows fascinates me, as I had never really considered how regimental horses were tethered in the field. It would appear that a local dignitary and his wife are being given a bit of a tour round the camp. The Tenth spent quite a lot of time under canvas whilst in Ireland, and one of the periods was exceptionally wet.

The second picture is perhaps an inspection. Can anyone suggest who the officer in the hat, presumably carrying out the inspection, might be?
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Ireland 1 Horselines.JPG
Ireland 1 Horselines.JPG (102.33 KiB) Viewed 790 times
Ireland 10.JPG
Ireland 10.JPG (86.17 KiB) Viewed 790 times
Ireland 11.JPG
Ireland 11.JPG (17.37 KiB) Viewed 790 times
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Re: The Missing Years

Postby rclpillinger » 26 Apr 2017 20:45

Frogsmile,

I have just seen your comment about the trumpeter and of course that makes so much sense, and I am sure you are correct. if it was "Fall in" how much time would they have been given to obey such an order? It is also notable that there is no-one waiting in the visible vicinity in anticipation of the recall, which they must have been anticipating at about that time. I know that very few soldiers had watches, but there were lots of public time-pieces visible in such towns surely.

Richard
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Re: The Missing Years

Postby jf42 » 27 Apr 2017 19:47

I imagine the principle in play would be that of "The evening isn't over till the trumpet sounds," which was essentially the purpose of 'tattoo'- if we accept the traditional explanation that 'tap toe was originally the signal for mein host and sutlers to stop serving. No point in hurrying down your drink until ordered.
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Re: The Missing Years

Postby rclpillinger » 27 Apr 2017 21:39

I have two questions about my own photographs.

Referring to the horse picket, there are some horses with rugs on. I suppose each Regiment have different coloured horse rugs, and if so what colour were the Tenth's rugs?

Secondly, someone has asked me if the horses had heel tethers? By the way all the animals are lined neatly I would assume so, but we all know that assumption is the mother of all .....

Richard
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Re: The Missing Years

Postby Frogsmile » 27 Apr 2017 21:41

I think that JF makes a very good point. I guess it is also possible that the reason for the call might be impromptu rather than a matter of routine, but your grandfather was there to capture it on film. Whatever the case the scene is unmistakable to my eyes.
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Re: The Missing Years

Postby Frogsmile » 27 Apr 2017 21:48

rclpillinger wrote:I have two questions about my own photographs.

Referring to the horse picket, there are some horses with rugs on. I suppose each Regiment have different coloured horse rugs, and if so what colour were the Tenth's rugs?

Secondly, someone has asked me if the horses had heel tethers? By the way all the animals are lined neatly I would assume so, but we all know that assumption is the mother of all .....

Richard


Shabraques were coloured regimentally whilst they were still used (until replaced by lambskins I believe), but I think that blankets were general service and of universal colour.

Hobbles were carried as part of each horses kit and the order to fit or not fit them was presumably a command responsibility. Tabony (Martin) can probably give chapter and verse.
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Re: The Missing Years

Postby rclpillinger » 28 Apr 2017 21:05

Referring again to the picture of the horse lines, whose duty was it to peg out the tethering lines. They look very taught, as they would need to be, but it must have been a real art to get right.

Richard
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