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Rabaul, New Britain

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Rabaul, New Britain

Postby bewhit » Sat Aug 08, 2015 11:07 am

Can anybody identify any of the men in this photo? I believe that the tall chap satnding on the far left maybe my great grandfather, name of Timmons. On the back of the photo is written in my grandmother's writing "Rabaul New Britain".
I consulted a military historian who informed me that it appears to be a group of MPs wearing a mixture of uniforms dating between 1890s and 1912. They may be men of the Tropical Force which garrisoned in Rabaul between 1903- 1912.
Grateful for any info.
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Re: Rabaul, New Britain

Postby Sylcec » Sat Aug 08, 2015 12:39 pm

The hats are rather reminiscent of the sort worn by Australian soldiers.
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Re: Rabaul, New Britain

Postby AdrianB38 » Sat Aug 08, 2015 5:13 pm

Though I found out very recently that the British Army also used slouch hats. (Salonika, WW1 and Russian lookalikes who turned out to be - err, Russians. Not relevant here but it shows the oddities that arise).

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Re: Rabaul, New Britain

Postby Jethro Tull » Sat Aug 08, 2015 5:53 pm

The picture reminds me very much of images from the Boer War. I'm trying to see if I can work out the medal ribbons or collar tabs, do you have any higher resolution images or close ups at all?

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Re: Rabaul, New Britain

Postby Jethro Tull » Sat Aug 08, 2015 7:06 pm

I've been poking around online using sylecs suggestion of the australian hats, the Australian naval and military expeditionary force took Rabaul from the Germans during ww1 and there are plenty of photos online of chaps in very similar attire to your photo.

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Re: Rabaul, New Britain

Postby bewhit » Sun Aug 09, 2015 9:21 am

Thank you all for your input.
The photo is 100 years old and not in good condition so I can't get better resolution, however here is a picture of the relevant chap standing alone. Maybe easier to see.
Thanks!
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Re: Rabaul, New Britain

Postby Mick Loney » Sun Aug 09, 2015 12:27 pm

For what it's worth, my father was in the Gloucester regiment in WW2, and he too wore a slouch hat, so their use persisted well into WW2.

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Re: Rabaul, New Britain

Postby Jethro Tull » Sun Aug 09, 2015 4:26 pm

Hi bewhit,
I am struggling unfortunately to work out what the badge is. Whereabouts was he born or living?

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Re: Rabaul, New Britain

Postby bewhit » Mon Aug 10, 2015 9:31 am

Hi Jethro, he was born in Liverpool, UK, but I believe he emigrated to Auckland New Zealand in 1909. This is where I lose track of him.
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Re: Rabaul, New Britain

Postby Jethro Tull » Mon Aug 10, 2015 11:14 am

I don't have many books about Australian or New Zealand uniforms etc, the collar insignia could well be the rising sun badge used by the Australians and would possibly fit with him heading out that way before ww1. Might be worth searching for more info in that direction.

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