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Military uniform - dating advice please

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Military uniform - dating advice please

Postby Singleton1922 » Mon May 29, 2017 1:06 pm

I have just come across a 'new' photo and thought I knew who this soldier was, however..

I had decided on Charles Greenfield, born 09/12/1891 at Great Coates, Lincolnshire. I'm fairly certain I have the correct ww1 service details for him and this is where I get confused. He joined the 1st north midland (reserve) brigade RFA in January 2015 and was then in France throughout the war. His service number is 800817 and he was 'disembodied on demobilisation' on 16-17-19. His medal card shows he was awarded the Victory and British medals.

I've had to reduce the resolution of the photo to post it but the original shows the word Kent on the badge although I can't read the letters in front of the word. Embossed in the bottom right hand corner is the name of the studio ( C Gently & co, I think, of Bangalore). I'm not sure about the writing on the back (does it say Alfs Charlie?). He was known as Charlie but I've no idea about the Alfs. I wonder if the photo relates to later service. Perhaps he re-enlisted later?

Any thoughts on this would be very welcome, thank you.


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Re: Military uniform - dating advice please

Postby Singleton1922 » Mon May 29, 2017 1:09 pm

ImageUploadedByWDYTYA Forum1496063304.826159.jpg
ImageUploadedByWDYTYA Forum1496063304.826159.jpg (70.5 KiB) Viewed 2554 times


Sorry I forgot to add the photo


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Re: Military uniform - dating advice please

Postby Singleton1922 » Mon May 29, 2017 1:15 pm

ImageUploadedByWDYTYA Forum1496063715.914517.jpg
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Re: Military uniform - dating advice please

Postby trace » Mon May 29, 2017 3:45 pm

Could it be Royal West Kent...???
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Re: Military uniform - dating advice please

Postby Singleton1922 » Mon May 29, 2017 4:33 pm

Thank you, Trace.

Yes I've just googled that regiment and they did serve in India so it's quite likely the correct one. There is also a horse on their emblem which is similar to the one on the hat badge.

I wonder if anyone has any information on date as that might help me to establish the soldier's identity.


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Re: Military uniform - dating advice please

Postby AdrianB38 » Mon May 29, 2017 10:01 pm

Maybe it means "Alf's Charlie", e.g. Charlie the son of Alf..... (though I'm sure there could be other explanations).

The guy in the Indian photo has no insignia to suggest any previous service - in particular, no medal ribbons. The RFA Medal Rolls on Ancestry show that RFA Charles was added to the Medal Roll on 3 September 1920. Add dunno-how-long for the medals to be marked up with his details and sent out to him. So if he did re-enlist, then there's a potential window up to some point in (say) 1921 while he would still be medal-less but after that, I'm sure the medal ribbons would be on the tunic of any serving soldier.

I have no idea if things like overseas stripes continued to be worn after WW1 but again, nothing like that appears.

The biggest drawback in my mind to the photo being RFA Charlie is why on earth would an artilleryman end up in an infantry regiment if he re-enlisted? Particularly the RWK which is surely based a long way from Grimsby.... It just seems really implausible - he would have had deep knowledge of his role in the RFA, so to put him into the infantry wastes that.

The other aspect is that I would have expected that if he had re-enlisted, then all his papers would have been bundled together with that post-war service and therefore would still be with the MoD - yet plainly the earlier papers aren't as they're on FMP. Having said that, that's only a gut feeling of mine and pretty much by definition I have no extensive knowledge of what's actually in post-1920 papers.

Please note that none of this is anything more than gut feeling. I can't know when RFA Charlie got his medal ribbons (no receipt in his papers) nor if he would have worn them if he had re-enlisted. Nor can I say for certain that a re-enlistment would have stayed in the artillery. But......
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Re: Military uniform - dating advice please

Postby MaureenE » Tue May 30, 2017 1:40 am

Perhaps Singleton1922 could post the image on the Great War Forum, http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/ in the category/subcategory The Paraphernalia of War/ Uniforms,Cap Badges and Insignia, where there are some very knowledgable people concerning uniforms.

I believe that even things like pocket shapes changed over time, so perhaps it is possible to date the photo in some way.

I would also include a scan of the photographer's name, as print styles also changed over time.

Perhaps the title could have India in it.

Cheers
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Re: Military uniform - dating advice please

Postby Jethro Tull » Tue May 30, 2017 7:26 am

Hi,
I definitely agree with the ID of regiment, the 2nd battalion served in India and then Mesopotamia. I did find this image of a wolseley helmet online which shows the flash on the left side.
The postcard was printed on K Ltd paper which was produced from 1918-36 so dates it to tail end of ww1 at least.

Dan.
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Re: Military uniform - dating advice please

Postby AdrianB38 » Tue May 30, 2017 9:21 am

Crikey, Dan - dating K Ltd postcards like that! Respect!

Quite seriously though - is that sort of stuff documented anywhere? All I know about postcards is that what could be written on the back changed at some point to include a message, but I'd have to scrabble round to find the dating.

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Re: Military uniform - dating advice please

Postby Jethro Tull » Tue May 30, 2017 10:53 am

Haha!, cheers Adrian!!! Tbh most of my knowledge on postcards etc has been all found online over the years for researching my own family snaps. Lots and lots of bookmarks on my favourites tab!! They do come in handy sometimes!

Dan.

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