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Another Uniform Photo

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Another Uniform Photo

Postby eurogordi » Sat Sep 29, 2007 5:16 am

Having been helped to identify my great uncle's uniform from an old photograph, this one is of my wife's great grandfather, William Lilley. He was baptised in 1839 at Hinton Admiral which was then in Hampshire but redrawn boundaries now places the tiny village in Dorset.

We have him in the 1841 census and are currently checking out an index entry for 1851. He then seems to disappear in 1861 and 1871, but reappears in 1881 and 1891 with his wife who he married as a bachelor in 1878. William Lilley and his family were then living at Highcliffe, near Christchurch, where he died in 1896.

My 91 year old father-in-law says his grandfather was a fireman, but this is only a family story because Dad was born 20 years after William Lilley's death. The uniform does look like a fireman, but helmets I have seen in museums usually have some badge or crest.

The date is uncertain, but we've guessed it could have been taken around 1870 when William Lilley was about 30. However, this is also the period he seems to disappear from census records.

Once again, any advice and comments would be very welcome.

Gordon

[image]local://67/FF4FDD6FF9DB45108DC94ADFEEB7864A.jpg[/image]
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RE: Another Uniform Photo

Postby snaphappy » Sat Sep 29, 2007 2:43 pm

Morning Gordon,

Your F-I-L may be correct in saying that William was in the fire service at some stage. The picture certainly appears to be that of a member of that service but which county/city/town might be harder to find out.

From what I can find out the brass helmet with its comb (the bit on top of the helmet which was/is also known as a crown guard or crown protector depending on where the information comes from) and neck guard was introduced by Captain Eyre Massey Shaw when he took over the newly formed Metropolitan Fire Brigade in London in 1866. Massey Shaw introduced a standard uniform for his officers and firefighters and the helmet would appear to have been adopted from military quarters with comb, skull (the main body of the helmet), neck guard and chin guard (the strap) being found in helmets being worn around about that time by different Dragoon Regiments (the French Dragoon Regiment helmet is a striking example). So your date of about 1870 could be correct.

snaphappy
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RE: Another Uniform Photo

Postby eurogordi » Sat Sep 29, 2007 8:50 pm

Thanks once again. You are obviously the expert on military and service uniforms!
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