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#51 Wardog

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 12:43 AM

I've been looking a Serbian pictures, and although some pictures showed stiff shoulderboards and high collars, no exact match for them or the uniform. We've had chaps look at this who know their British uniforms, and I think the shoulderboards scrub it for British right off myself.Colonial? i'm doubting it, but that crown is very British looking??? The search goes on. Regards, Paul.

#52 Piorun

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 09:19 AM

Also the full pic of the guy I posted has boards with an insignia on it very similar to the one that started this discussion.
It seems you & I are taking the most interest in helping to resolve this one :lol: !

Andy: Although I enjoy learning about the technical side of things, I find myself motivated by the humanity of the matter. We have a photograph of a soldier and his wife. He lived and breathed and fought and, at some point, died. Who was he? Who were his comrades? This is what tends to drive me - as well as the fact that I was a forensic ethicist to profession and I like to establish as many verifiable facts as possible before defaulting to probability and then possibility. Unfortunately, at this remove from the War, the default positions are often all we can achieve. I'm intrigued by this case and would be delighted if we could pin the high-probability medal ribbon (pardon the pun) to a high-probability or even fact-based British uniform. Hence my looking at the script on the boards again and suggesting that the first letter is possible the "wrong-way round" for Cyrillic and could, instead be an Edward VII cypher. Anyway, let's keep going. Antony

#53 Blackblue

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 10:12 AM

It does look a lot like Colonial Boer War era....but I can't find anything with shoulder boards like that.

Rgds

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#54 Piorun

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 10:37 AM

You're right, Tim. These boards are the stumbling block. They look so un-British at first glance but Andy makes a good argument for them not being Russian either and, despite my beliefs on the Crown as posted earlier, I have to grant that Andy's last post of what he says is a British regiment uniform shows a similar crown over cypher arrangement. Keep looking, mate. Antony

#55 Blackblue

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 11:08 AM

Might this be a man from the Australian 1902 Coronation Contingent? Or maybe another contingent?

Can only find one poor photo of dress uniform....and seems similar?

Rgds

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#56 Blackblue

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 11:18 AM

Ah well......perhaps not.

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#57 Piorun

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 11:29 AM

Exotic, Tim - but out the park B) . Cheers, Antony

#58 brucehubbard

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 10:28 PM

Since I know absolutely nothing about this, I really have nothing to contribute.
However, having read this thread all the way through, I am eager to find out the answer!

Just a stray thought....shoulder boards, Royal cipher, cyrillic.....didn't the Bulgars have a King?

Bruce

P.S. I know nothing about Bulgarian uniforms either!

#59 jay dubaya

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 12:51 AM

The crown looks Commonwealth to me and it would be good to have a higher res image to squint at :whistle: I have no reason for plumping for the 13th Hussars other than the resemblance of the collar badge shown in Churchill/Westlake. Kipling/King show a cap badge in likeness to the collar and I believe that 1900 Dress Regulations describe this badge to be worn on the field service cap, however one must digest Grumpys' words of wisdom :D

Attached File  13th_Hussars_Badge.jpg   16.58KB   1 downloads

so not much to contribute to the intrigue going on in here. Perhaps someone with an interest in period ladies dresses could give some kind of date and regional source for the fashion... just thinking out loud so probably not much help, but it would be nice to have something positive.

Jon

#60 Piorun

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 11:32 AM

That's a good, clear post but I think it rules out 13th Hussars (at least, based on the collar dogs). It's got a Crown but the OP is showing something like an "N" - there's a vertical, anyway - with a bar going over and under and up from left to right.
Regarding the shoulder boards: I'm now inclined to think that they are standard parallel-pattern boards and that the appearance of their being wider at the shoulder than the neck is simply caused by the angle of perspective.
Antony

#61 CarylW

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 02:12 PM

............. Perhaps someone with an interest in period ladies dresses could give some kind of date and regional source for the fashion... just thinking out loud so probably not much help, but it would be nice to have something positive.

Jon


I would say the hairstyle of the lady in the photo is early Edwardian. Early 1900's and the style was known as the "Pompadour" style, as shown
Here
Clothing appears Edwardian - high collar. Slightly military blouse or jacket. Hard to say which region or nation from the ladies clothing

My grandmother wore her hair in the Pompadour style up until the Great War when along with most ladies (but not all) wore a less elaborate style, such as this one
Here

Caryl

#62 FROGSMILE

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 06:05 PM

No unit in the British Army has ever worn shoulder boards of the type, style, dimension, shape, configuration, embellishment and appearance as that shown in the photo. Posters can speculate endlessly about the shape of the crown, but in the final analysis all such speculation is rendered nugatory by the simple fact of the shoulder boards. It would perhaps be useful to move beyond the narrow and almost obsessive focus on the collar badges.

#63 Cossack Wolf

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 06:49 PM

I apologise for the (quote) 'narrow and almost obsessive focus on the collar badges' - I think the point was that someone here asserted that the crowns were Imperial Russian & the shoulder boards too. I was stating the fact that the crowns were not & that people on the British Badge Forum felt that they are British or Commonwealth collars might be of help. Also the original poster stated that the photographer is in Brixton which should be a clue I would have thought? There was also the thought that the ribbon was a Russian one but another poster suggested a British one - it is definitely not an Imperial Russian one & as I said before. Also as I previously posted, they didn't wear the ribbons in this manner until very late WWI into the Civil War, ironically copying the BEF. Having been around Imperial Russian militaria all my life I assumed I might have a good knowledge about the crowns & ribbons & the boards not being Imperial Russian in shape or style but I am clearly mistaken. The British soldier photo I posted that was given to me by someone which showed 'similar' collars & also the boards are a solid type which I thought might help. I think by me trying to help here has just caused a problem with some, probably it may have been better if the original poster was left to believe that they are Russians which I think unfair! The point about working on the collars was that they were more obvious in the photo than the boards & to insist they are Russian was something I hoped to help move away from.
Maybe it is being assumed I have total ignorance of the British military? 5 generations of my family serving the British armed Forces might slightly contradict that!

I leave you to 'focus' on the boards as I am clearly not welcome here!

Regards to Paul & Antony & the others who are hoping to find an answer without being disgruntled about being proven incorrect!

#64 tocemma

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 07:01 PM

Actually there were several different patterns of shoulder boards and straps kicking about at the time this photo was taken. Some were rigid and stiffened with buckram. Have a look at this post early shoulder straps It seems that several patterns were tried with early SD. I would not rule out these continental style shoulder boards, note that the examples I show in my linked post have the German style loop fastening seen on our mystery man! They also have a decidedly Teutonic shape with pointed ends. My examples are pointed but it would appear our man's boards are radiused at the button end in more usual British style.

Note also in my link the large 7th Hussars yellow embroidered shoulder title, which allegedly doesn't exist. These shoulder straps came from the Hobson's factory in Tooley Street, London when it closed down. I've had them since they first appeared on the market in the 80s. Some of the patterns at that 1900-1905 period are a bit murky. Personally I wouldn't rule anything out. Nor would I rule out the unofficial use of cap badges as collar badges, there are many examples of this in different units.

Certainly looks like a QSA ribbon to me. And just out of interest, and through the wonders of Photoshop, a manipulated view of the 13th Hussars collar badge in roughly the same orientation. Unfortunately there is too much 'noise' on the original image to give an id of our man's collar badges, but I have to say I though 13th Hussars seemed possible to me too. Certainly the cap badge illustrated, the 'Z' badge, could easily have found use in such a way.

Attached File  Screen shot 2011-03-10 at 18.15.39.jpg   46.77KB   3 downloads

Any chance of a larger scan? 600 dpi or more?

Tocemma

#65 Pavster1980

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 07:07 PM

Just to chuck a spanner further in to the works, has anybody considered the Active Citizen Force drab uniform from South Africa? Non in existence but there are some photo's.HERE
But there is no close up




Rich

#66 Blackblue

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 07:42 PM

Well said guys....this is a public forum and you are most welcome Cossack. You input here is highly valued. Instead of obsessively focusing on the shoulder boards all I see are a couple of contrary opinions to someone... which actually seem to be supported by evidence.

Rgds

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#67 Piorun

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 09:34 PM

No unit in the British Army has ever worn shoulder boards of the type, style, dimension, shape, configuration, embellishment and appearance as that shown in the photo. Posters can speculate endlessly about the shape of the crown, but in the final analysis all such speculation is rendered nugatory by the simple fact of the shoulder boards. It would perhaps be useful to move beyond the narrow and almost obsessive focus on the collar badges.

With great respect, there's been more than "speculation" about the shape of the Crown. There have been intelligent and reasoned efforts to present a forensic interpretation of that which we're all looking at but which only some of us may be seeing. Furthermore, we have already moved beyond Army and have considered the police. It is only common sense that, if we identify the collar badges, we may identify the service. We have now also moved on to the woman's dress and to the shoulder boards themselves - all the time keeping that medal ribbon in the back of our minds. I have considered posting about the moustache but will hold that until I receive further advice about that on which we should focus next. This post may sound rather more abrupt than my usual style but I've put a great deal of thought into this and only post what I feel might help others to think laterally or vertically - or just think - for the benefit of the OP. Cheers, Antony

#68 Pavster1980

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 09:48 PM

The South Africa was just a thought :whistle:



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#69 Pavster1980

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 10:00 PM

Ignore the shoulder boards and the Collar Badges, look at the Tunic, is it similar?


Rich

P.S. Similar Moustache? :P

#70 FROGSMILE

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 11:03 PM

Actually there were several different patterns of shoulder boards and straps kicking about at the time this photo was taken. Some were rigid and stiffened with buckram. Have a look at this post early shoulder straps It seems that several patterns were tried with early SD. I would not rule out these continental style shoulder boards, note that the examples I show in my linked post have the German style loop fastening seen on our mystery man! They also have a decidedly Teutonic shape with pointed ends. My examples are pointed but it would appear our man's boards are radiused at the button end in more usual British style.

Note also in my link the large 7th Hussars yellow embroidered shoulder title, which allegedly doesn't exist. These shoulder straps came from the Hobson's factory in Tooley Street, London when it closed down. I've had them since they first appeared on the market in the 80s. Some of the patterns at that 1900-1905 period are a bit murky. Personally I wouldn't rule anything out. Nor would I rule out the unofficial use of cap badges as collar badges, there are many examples of this in different units.

Certainly looks like a QSA ribbon to me. And just out of interest, and through the wonders of Photoshop, a manipulated view of the 13th Hussars collar badge in roughly the same orientation. Unfortunately there is too much 'noise' on the original image to give an id of our man's collar badges, but I have to say I though 13th Hussars seemed possible to me too. Certainly the cap badge illustrated, the 'Z' badge, could easily have found use in such a way.

Attached File  Screen shot 2011-03-10 at 18.15.39.jpg   46.77KB   3 downloads

Any chance of a larger scan? 600 dpi or more?

Tocemma


I don't doubt that different shoulder straps were tinkered with, but that is not my point. NONE were ever adopted, of that I am certain. It is categorically not a British uniform, but by all means wile away hours on speculation and prevaricate about shapes of crowns if it pleases, that is after all what the fun is all about and I would not want to spoil it for you. Most unidentified things I harbour some doubt about, but not this one.

You are indeed welcome Cossack and my observation really was not in any way aimed at you, or any particular individual, but just a general comment and I am genuinely stunned that you have taken umbrage. I have never stated that the shoulder boards were definitely Russian it was just a suggestion and I am not in the least bit "disgruntled" that an expert on Russian uniform has ruled that out.

I have suggested that if not Russian perhaps they are some other Slavic, or Central European country, merely because I have never seen such wide, rigid and distinctly shaped shoulder boards outside armies of that region. I look forward to someone making a positive identification, as I have not a clue as to what unit it definitively is, but as I have said, I am sure about is what it is not i.e. that it is most definitely not British. I welcome anyone to prove me wrong.

#71 Blackblue

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 08:52 AM

Well for what its worth I reckon its a British (and I include Commonwealth and colonies etc.) uniform of some description, whether it be Army, Police or otherwise.

Its a Kings Crown.

TD

#72 Piorun

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 11:06 AM

The South Africa was just a thought :whistle:

Rich

Good one, but the collar and the tunic are different colours - which would appear to rule it out. Cheers, Antony
Edit: re post 69, tunic looks similar and, ceratainly, the moustache would not be out of place on a Hussar.

#73 FROGSMILE

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 03:09 PM

Well for what its worth I reckon its a British (and I include Commonwealth and colonies etc.) uniform of some description, whether it be Army, Police or otherwise.

Its a Kings Crown.

TD


1. There are generally 3 main crowns worn on British/Empire/Commonwealth/Colonies/Dominion regalia and they are:

a. St Edwards Crown as depicted in Victoria's reign.

b. The Imperial (or King's) Crown as used for Edward VII, and Georges V and VI.

c. The St Edwards Crown as depicted in Queen Elizabeth's reign.

Other crowns worn by select units include the 'Guelphic' (Prince Albert's Hanoverian crown), the 'Coronet' (of Princesses' like Alexandra of Denmark), the 'Ducal' (of such as the Dukes of Lancaster and Cornwall) and the 'Naval' (as worn by some units associated with the navy).
N.B. It is arguable that the crown shown in the photo that started this thread has a top line more like a Coronet, or even some of the more unusual representations of the St Edwards Crown of Victorian times (which would perhaps be most appropriate given the likely date the sitting took place).

2. It has been established from the female hairstyle that the late 1890s seems the most likely timescale and it should be remembered that unlike today, monarchies were the norm at that time, with a wide plethora of Royal Houses established across Europe, almost all of which were related to Queen Victoria. Crowns on regalia were common and it is quite feasible that the collar badge shown could be of a Nation other than Great Britain.

3. Turning to British uniforms of that period, the most similar in appearance to the photo is the pattern of Blue Patrol jacket that was adopted for the infantry around 1899 and which comprised a plain blue jacket with patch pockets on chest and hips and a high, Prussian style collar (see illustration). Medium sized (30-ligne) buttons were used and usually a mitred cuff. A key element is that since 1881, British officers badges of rank on this, and most other jackets/tunics, were worn on the shoulder straps. There are no such badges on our man so this begs the question is he either a SNCO (or warrant officer, of which there were very few) or is he a foreigner?

4. Towering over all of the preceding aspects of the man's dress are the configuration and size of the shoulder boards, which appear to have large script that may, or may not be cyrillic or stylised numbers of some kind (we have established that they are not Russian). NO British uniform of that time, or since, has had shoulder boards of that design, which is the principal reason that a subject matter expert such as, e.g. 'Grumpy', has stated categorically that the man is not in a British uniform. I am of like mind.

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#74 FROGSMILE

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 03:47 PM

Coronet

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#75 FROGSMILE

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 03:50 PM

Blue Patrols.

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