Helped needed with photo identification: Charlie Barne

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Helped needed with photo identification: Charlie Barne

Postby JaneyH » 03 Jan 2016 17:31

This is my first post on this forum, although I've spent a good few hours reading various articles. I'm trying to trace the military service of my ancestor, Charlie Barne, who served in the Army at some point from the mid-1880s to late 1890s. Shown below is the one photograph that I have of him.

Charlie Barne_lowres.jpg
Charlie Barne_lowres.jpg (130.51 KiB) Viewed 861 times


The other information that I have from my family history research is as follows:
Charles John Barne was born 19 March 1869 in Exeter, Devon. [Surname sometimes recorded as "Barnes" not "Barne".]
1871 Census: living in Tiverton, Devon (aged 2).
1881 Census: living in Swimbridge, Devon (aged 12, scholar)

In my great-grandmother's memoirs, written in 1963 when she was aged 88, she writes: "when I was about nine [which would have been 1884] we went to Bampton to live ... Char [Charlie, by this time aged 15] came to Bampton and got work, enlisted and went to India." I've been unable to find him in either the 1891 or 1901 Censuses. In October 1902 he marries, in Portsmouth in England. In the 1911 Census he is living in London with his wife; they had no children. The only other nugget I have is that our family has a red and blue Queen Victoria chocolate tin; I understand these were given to all soldiers serving in the Boer War one Christmas. The story handed down from my grandmother says Charlie served in the Boer War. From this timeline he could have joined the Army anything from around 1885 and served possibly until late 1901 or even into 1902.

So ... my first priority is to identify the uniform. Once I have this I should have a better chance of narrowing down my search and hopefully locating some records. I have access to both Ancestry and Findmypast, so by all means point me to these. I could also potentially make a visit to TNA at Kew if I knew what to look at. Any suggestions warmly appreciated!
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Re: Helped needed with photo identification: Charlie Barne

Postby Stuart_Bates » 03 Jan 2016 23:37

Since you do have access to FindMyPast try this http://search.findmypast.co.uk/record/l ... d&enc=true

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Re: Helped needed with photo identification: Charlie Barne

Postby Maureene » 04 Jan 2016 11:28

If in fact he served in the Boer War, I think he would be entitled to a medal. You should find eligibility details in this link from northeastmedals.co.uk
http://www.northeastmedals.co.uk/britis ... _medal.htm

The medal rolls from the National Archives are on Ancestry in a dataset called UK, Military Campaign Medal and Award Rolls, 1793-1949, based on the National Archives records WO 100 .
http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=1686
If there is a record for him, it should give the regiment.

You could try the military records on findmypast, (Select Search at the top of the Home page, then Military records). I had a quick search, but didn't find anything (but it was a quick look), and also I didn't look at the WW1 records, either service records, or WW1 medal records, although he may have served in some capacity given his military background, although perhaps too old for active service.

However, If he served in WW1, or was even in the Militia prior to the war, this could explain why there is no service record on findmypast.

Ancestry also has WW1 Medal Index Cards, and also WW1 Medal Rolls. However, even if he was in the Army during WW1, he wouldn't be entitled to medal if he remained in the UK all the time.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_War_Medal Wikipedia British War Medal - the most common medal.

Cheers
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Re: Helped needed with photo identification: Charlie Barne

Postby JaneyH » 04 Jan 2016 14:24

Stuart: Many thanks for the link to the entry in the 1939 Register. Unfortunately, I don't think this is the correct person since my ancestor was Charles John Barne, whereas this entry has the middle initial 'A'. Also, I have him in London in the 1911 Census and I believe he stayed in London rather than returning to Devon. (My grandmother used to visit him in London as a young girl.)

Maureen: I've looked at the medal rolls on Ancestry (and also the military record sets on Findmypast). While there are plenty of entries for a 'Charles Barne' or 'C Barne' that could be the right person, none obviously jump out at me. I had hoped that identifying the uniform might give a regiment, and from there I could narrow down the potential medal/service records. I will look at WW1 medal rolls/index cards just to check he didn't re-enlist, but being aged 45 in 1914 makes me think this unlikely.
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Re: Helped needed with photo identification: Charlie Barne

Postby tabony » 05 Jan 2016 23:50

JaneyH, I believe your man is wearing the uniform of the Royal Horse Artillery. Pre 1902 as the height of the collar was increased at that time. Basically this is the uniform still worn by the King's Troop RHA.

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Re: Helped needed with photo identification: Charlie Barne

Postby JaneyH » 07 Jan 2016 14:44

Many thanks, Martin - the uniform does look very much like the contemporary photo you included.

I've also had it suggested elsewhere that the uniform could be a Yeomanry regiment. Last night I had quick search online and found a website called uniformology (!) which included Yeomanry uniforms from the 1895-1900 era. The pattern of braiding for the Royal 1st Devon Yeomanry is a very good match to my photo, although the uniform pictured had white braiding on a red jacket. I'm unsure about how different colours come out in black and white photos, but there doesn't seem to be much contrast between the braiding and jacket in my photo, so perhaps red and white isn't so likely.
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Re: Helped needed with photo identification: Charlie Barne

Postby tabony » 07 Jan 2016 22:04

Yellow shows up darker whereas white shows up as very light. Also the"pillbox " cap that your man is wearing has a dark (I believe red) band that the RHA used, where the 1st Devon Yeomanry had a white band.

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Re: Helped needed with photo identification: Charlie Barne

Postby researchingreg » 10 Jan 2016 23:08

I think the uniform is Royal Horse Artillery.

Please see attached photo of a Royal Horse Artillery Soldier circa 1890 (the uniform is the same except he is an NCO)

Royal Horse rtillery Soldier circa 1890.jpg
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.

If he was in the Boer War there is a medal roll for a Sgt Major Charles Barnes 65460 in the 65th Royal Field Artillery. He could have been promoted by then and changed regiment
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Re: Helped needed with photo identification: Charlie Barne

Postby JaneyH » 23 Jul 2016 12:16

Sorry for the belated reply here - other things have got in the way and I had temporarily forgotten this discussion.

Firstly, thanks for posting the photo of the uniform of the Royal Horse Artillery c.1890. While I have no expertise the similarities are considerable (just comparing detail for detail) so I think I can narrow down my research accordingly.

Second, I've found a discharge record for Charles Barnes with service number of 65460 on FMP. I'm clearly going to be hampered by researching such a common name. However an age at discharge of 36 years 4 months in April 1906 implies a birth year of 1869/70 - which is a good match for 'my' Charlie. I therefore think I need to research this individual further in order to see if there are further matches or that I can rule him out. There's an address for intended residence upon discharge so that's my first lead!
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Re: Helped needed with photo identification: Charlie Barne

Postby JaneyH » 25 Jul 2016 22:05

A quick update here. What I didn't initially realise was that the 1906 discharge record I found yesterday was, in fact, just the first page of several pages of records on FMP relating to Charles Barne(s). Having now looked at these even just briefly it is undoubtedly the correct man - it includes details of his marriage, place/date of death, other family members for next-of-kin and everything ties up.

It'll take me a little while to transcribe all the details and write a proper time-line, but I can immediately see that he served in India and South Africa (Boer War), so this bears out family stories in both cases.
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Re: Helped needed with photo identification: Charlie Barne

Postby JaneyH » 31 Jul 2016 12:22

researchingreg - the medal roll ties up as well! Many thanks indeed for your help; I thought this was too big a haystack to find my proverbial needle, and now I've got the records I had hoped for and more. I'm currently piecing together his service, both in India and in South Africa, and writing it up into a proper time line.
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Re: Helped needed with photo identification: Charlie Barne

Postby researchingreg » 08 Aug 2016 19:47

JaneyH wrote:researchingreg - the medal roll ties up as well! Many thanks indeed for your help; I thought this was too big a haystack to find my proverbial needle, and now I've got the records I had hoped for and more. I'm currently piecing together his service, both in India and in South Africa, and writing it up into a proper time line.


Glad to help. I have not been on the Forum for a while either.
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Re: Helped needed with photo identification: Charlie Barne

Postby Frogsmile » 09 Aug 2016 10:47

researchingreg wrote:I think the uniform is Royal Horse Artillery.

Please see attached photo of a Royal Horse Artillery Soldier circa 1890 (the uniform is the same except he is an NCO)

Royal Horse rtillery Soldier circa 1890.jpg
.

If he was in the Boer War there is a medal roll for a Sgt Major Charles Barnes 65460 in the 65th Royal Field Artillery. He could have been promoted by then and changed regiment


A very nice photo of a 'Bombardier' RHA, with his one stripe badge of rank and a good conduct badge on the right cuff, which latter, some time after a regulation change in July 1881, was changed to the left cuff. His rank was 'substantive' (meaning paid and pension 'earning' in that rank), unlike the Lance Corporals, who also had one stripe, of the line infantry. Interesting to to see the badge of rank on his pill box forage cap, as per the regulations of that time. There was also an 'Acting Bombardier', who dressed similarly, but had no substantive status as he was in effect in a probationary position, just the same as a Lance Corporal.
Last edited by Frogsmile on 26 Dec 2016 16:28, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Helped needed with photo identification: Charlie Barne

Postby grumpy » 11 Aug 2016 16:19

The Good conduct badge move to the left was in 1881 according to regulations. The move, I deduce, was to avoid confusion of a four-badge man with the new badges for QMS.

So QMS 4 on the right, old soldier 4 on the left of the wearer. A QMS [it was a rank] appointed RQMS added an eight point star above.
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