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Questions - Military Jacket

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Questions - Military Jacket

Postby gemmalrf » Mon Jan 21, 2019 9:14 am

Hello,

I'm looking for some help with a photo and I hoped someone may be able to share some more knowledge based on what they see!

I thought the jacket in the photo may be ceremonial wear rather than regiment uniform as the material doesn't look like the khaki worn on active duty and the person is holding white gloves. I'd really appreciate it if someone were able to let me know if this is the case, or if the jacket (or the swagger stick) was attached to a specific regiment.

I'd be really keen to find out more about the emblem on the sleeve as well as the sash. I've looked at lots of photos and it seems people wore their sashes on either shoulder. Were there any guidelines as to which shoulder it should be on?

I've been trying to pinpoint when this photo was taken too so if anyone can provide any pointers on that, I would be most grateful. The person in the photo was promoted to lance corporal in August 1914 so he may have had this photo taken just before he was deployed to France in the September. He was on extended medical leave from the army in 1917 for shrapnel in the knee joint for several months and if the photo was taken during this period, it may explain why he is sat down. He returned to service in 1918 before being discharged the following year. He could have had the picture taken to acknowledge the end of his military career in the year(s) following.

Thanks so much for any help!
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Re: Questions - Military Jacket

Postby KayFarndon » Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:47 am

Just a quick reply. I wondered whether the cross on the side of the sleeve denoted a medical connection?
If you know the man's name, then why not apply for his military record and you will then probably get the answer.
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Re: Questions - Military Jacket

Postby gemmalrf » Mon Jan 21, 2019 1:58 pm

Hi Kay,

Thanks for your reply.

I have the service and pension records (he was in the army on and off from 1900 to 1919) and he moved between various regiments and finished his career as a Fitter (Cpl) with the RFA 6th DAC. I've been looking at the uniforms but they don't seem to match which led me to think this might be ceremonial and I just wanted to learn some more about it. He was not involved in the army in any medical capacity; he was a carpenter between army stints and after he was discharged.
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Re: Questions - Military Jacket

Postby AdrianB38 » Mon Jan 21, 2019 7:37 pm

Even if the uniform is ceremonial / parade / full dress (never quite sure what I'm supposed to call it), it still belongs to a regiment. So it would help enormously if you could tell us what units he belonged to - if he was always in the Artillery, we need to know which branch. Also, if you have the full papers, is there any note on the Attestation form of him belonging to militia or something like that before joining the Army proper? (Simplest thing - just tell us where you found the papers and what his name, number and unit are on Ancestry or FindMyPast). If we know what the regiments are, then maybe Mr Google can help us find the full dress in question. But I do wonder if he's not a Regular but in a militia or volunteer unit, as I thought that the cuffs would be white for a Regular.

We don't get to see the cap in this photo - that might help. The insignia on his arm looks intriguing - I've never seen anything like that.

Sent from my MotoG3 using Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine Forum mobile app
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Re: Questions - Military Jacket

Postby gemmalrf » Tue Jan 22, 2019 2:24 am

Hi Adrian,

Thanks for replying!

The soldier is called Ellis Crowther (b.1878); regiment number 9636; Royal Field Artillery. There are pension records, service papers and a medal roll card available for him on Ancestry. There's probably a detail in the records which may stand out to you that I've unfortunately overlooked which could have some bearing on the uniform (and the emblem) worn in the photo.

He isn't wearing a hat in the photo; I think that is a hat is on the table next to him (I've not cropped the photo at the side - that's as much hat as we can see!) The photo doesn't show any footwear and the trousers have no features, i.e. a stripe.

Hope that helps!
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Re: Questions - Military Jacket

Postby MaureenE » Tue Jan 22, 2019 8:24 am

I am no photo expert, but it looks more pre World War 1 to me.

If you have the face available to you, how old does he look? if he was born 1878, he would be 36 in 1914. Does he look younger than 36?

You could try Victorian Wars Forum http://www.victorianwars.com.
There are some people there with a lot of knowledge.

Note sometimes there are delays processing registration to VWF (up to a week I recall in one case).

Cheers
Maureen
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Re: Questions - Military Jacket

Postby Amazinggrace » Tue Jan 22, 2019 9:04 am

Looking at the emblems above the stripe on his arm,they look a bit like from the top-welsh,english and scottish badges.
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Re: Questions - Military Jacket

Postby gemmalrf » Tue Jan 22, 2019 9:07 am

Hi Maureen,

I think it's quite tricky to guess the ages of people - some people look younger than their age, while others look older (I'm in my 30s and was ID'd for an 18 movie recently - not sure how much longer that will last!) I have a picture of the same person from approx. 1900 - 1902 and he looks very baby faced in that one while in this picture he appears more slight and like he has lost weight from his face.

That's why I am trying to go with the jacket in the picture as that is more concrete than my guesswork :-) I've identified some books at my local library that may be helpful and are focused on uniforms so I'll probably head there at some point. If I have no luck, I'll try the website you mentioned.

Thanks
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Re: Questions - Military Jacket

Postby AdrianB38 » Tue Jan 22, 2019 1:44 pm

Thanks Gemma. There are lots of papers for him on Ancestry - in fact they do better than FindMyPast, for once, where I could only see one set.

Trying to summarise the bits relevant to the photo, he signed up on 28 May 1900 for "7 & 5" - 7 years in uniform, 5 in the Reserve. His Attestation papers show no sign of any previous Militia etc. service. He was in 143rd Battery Royal Field Artillery from July 1900 apparently as a Driver (Driver is what he does, but in the absence of any associated rank, it implies he's the equivalent of a private).

Then in Sept 1901(?) he got promotion to Acting Bombardier - equivalent of an acting corporal. Sadly on 16 August 1902, he was "Drunk & Disorderly" and got bounced back to Driver.

In May 1912, after his 12y were up, he signed up for another term in the Reserves, so when war broke out in 1914, he got called up, arriving in France on 11 Sept 1914 (his 1914 Star Medal Index Card is on Ancestry under "E Crowther"). He's now a Fitter - no other rank stated, so equivalent to private.

In March 1915 he's in 24 Brigade Ammunition Column, and goes from there in May 1916 to 6th DAC (Divisional Ammunition Column) - this is part of 6th Division. As you say, June 1917 he was promoted to Fitter Corporal. (Fitter is what he does, Corporal is his rank).
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Re: Questions - Military Jacket

Postby gemmalrf » Tue Jan 22, 2019 2:17 pm

(Did you read the bit about the fuse falling off the table and blowing up?? I think one of the senior officers was keen to get rid of him at that point!)

What doesn't seem to be in his record is that he won a DCM in 1916; it's recorded in an Essex newspaper from the time and was reprinted in my (old) local newspaper two years ago. Looks like he got his act together after his early years of misbehaving :-)

I had thought by re-enlisted (in 1912) that that had meant he left in the years between so interesting to know he had remained in the army.

I'm going to the library tomorrow to review some older books about uniforms and will focus on those regiments recorded in his papers.

Thanks so much for taking the time to review his records and summarising them.
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