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Two halves of a fascinating military postcard....

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Two halves of a fascinating military postcard....

Postby Ivan Watson » Thu Oct 27, 2016 8:09 am

Hello all,

I inherited my grandmother's postcard collection several years ago. One particular postcard features a large group of soldiers in an informal pose and it has always fascinated me. Unfortunately, the original card was long ago cut into two for some reason, so I have included both halves for reference. Nothing is written on the back of the card.

My questions are:

1. Does anyone see any clues in this image that could help identify the particular regiment or location? Perhaps someone recognizes the regimental badges worn on several of the men's caps?
2. Some of my grandmother's uncles on both her mother and father's side served in the First World War and I believe that this image dates from that period. Do you agree that this is the correct era?
3. Do you think the scene is domestic (i.e. training in England) or foreign (perhaps somewhere behind the front lines in France or another country)?
4. Do any of the objects pictured have any significance? For example, the bicycle, pots used by several of the soldiers, etc.?

My grandmother's family comes from the counties of Hampshire and Devon. Her immediate ancestors lived in Aveton Gifford, Froyle, Romsey, Bournemouth, etc. The family names of relevance are Ellis and Butler.

Any assistance is much appreciated!

Kind regards,

Ivan

MysterySoldiers_righthalf.jpg
Mystery Soldiers - right half of postcard
MysterySoldiers_righthalf.jpg (1.88 MiB) Viewed 2884 times


MysterySoldiers_lefthalf.jpg
Mystery Soldiers - left half of postcard
MysterySoldiers_lefthalf.jpg (1.66 MiB) Viewed 2884 times
Ivan Watson
 
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Re: Two halves of a fascinating military postcard....

Postby g w aldous » Thu Oct 27, 2016 8:21 am

HI. WW1 era yes . Unit is the army cyclist corps. Probably in Britain because of the chap in civilian clothes on right of top photo.
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Re: Two halves of a fascinating military postcard....

Postby AdrianB38 » Thu Oct 27, 2016 11:07 am

Agreed - Army Cyclist Corps of WW1 - see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Army_Cyclist_Corps. NB - I love the recruiting poster in that Wikipedia article - it says "Bad Teeth No Bar"!!

Being the ACC, the chances are very strong that's it's a photo taken in the UK as the ACC remained in the UK for home defence purposes. There were cyclists abroad, but they were cyclist battalions of infantry regiment, not the ACC, which therefore did not cover all cyclists in the Army. The Wikipedia article implies that small drafts of ACC men might have been used abroad, but not full units.

Great photo, by the way, complete with guys making gestures. One interesting point is a sergeant in the left half, near the tear, who is wearing a fore-and-aft cap, rather than the peaked cap. I confess I've always called this fore-and-aft a forage cap, as distinct from the peaked cap, but apparently the peaked cap is strictly a forage cap. More detail is on http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?/topic/212669-forage-cap/ where the fore-and-aft is referred to as a field service cap (FSC). Apparently the FSC was phased out for regulars in 1902, but it took some time to be replaced in the Territorials (or equivalents) - it also continued in use in India etc, for some time. So Sergeant FSC is either a long-term Territorial or an long-service regular with overseas experience - either way he's probably kept hold of it because he liked it! Re caps - I learn something every day.
Adrian
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Re: Two halves of a fascinating military postcard....

Postby Ivan Watson » Fri Oct 28, 2016 5:16 pm

Thank you very much Adrian and GW! Your comments are extremely helpful and have opened up some intriguing avenues of research for me. Cheers, Ivan
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Re: Two halves of a fascinating military postcard....

Postby jeffward » Sun Oct 30, 2016 6:34 pm

Hello, while I agree this is a cyclist battalion I don't think it the Army Cyclist Corps.That badge has crossed rifles behind the wheel.The badges in the photo don't have this. Taking into account the Hampshire background of the family it my belief its the cap badge of the 9th Cyclist Battalion of the Hampshire regiment.This badge has bicycle wheel with the Hampshire rose at its centre with the battalion scroll underneath. The photo was probably taken somewhere in Hampshire. Jeff Ward.
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Re: Two halves of a fascinating military postcard....

Postby AdrianB38 » Sun Oct 30, 2016 8:39 pm

By Jove, I think he's got it.... Or... Sometimes the reasons the photo looks a bit off, is that it's not what you think it is. I got carried away by the bike wheel, as it were. This time I've double checked my book of badges and the only other one that looks seriously close, is one for a London Divisional Cyclist Company but thanks to the quality of the original, I can convince myself that it's not that.

So - it does indeed look like the Hampshire's 9th (Cyclist) Battalion's badge. The 9th, as part of the Territorial Force, split into 3 as part of its expansion. Depending on date it could be the 1/9th, 2/9th or 3/9th - see http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/the-british-infantry-regiments-of-1914-1918/hampshire-regiment/.
Adrian
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Re: Two halves of a fascinating military postcard....

Postby Ivan Watson » Mon Oct 31, 2016 5:28 pm

Great detective work! Thanks everyone. I am going to follow up on the 9th Hampshire lead and see what I can discover....Cheers, Ivan
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