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Please identify this soldier from my photo


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#1 PaddyInWales

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 10:45 PM

Please can anyone identify the soldier on the right in the attached photo?

The National Army Museum have seen the photo, and stated "The dignitary seated left of centre is Arthur, Duke of Connaught". Prince Arthur was Queen Victoria's seventh child, and held various military ranks including field-marshal, dying in 1942 aged 90. I think you will agree he looks about 70 in this photo.

The two soldiers are seated in the centre front row of a posed group photo of 30 people, ten of whom are in uniform. Civilians include Rudyard Kipling, his wife, and their daughter and son-in-law. I am trying to identify the event that these 30 people were attending: it seems to have been taken between 1920-1930, and may well have involved an equine event such as showjumping - another photo in the album (of a relative) is labelled "Summerdown Eastbourne 1920" and shows a uniformed rider (also present in the group photo) about to leap his horse over a fence/water jump. Sadly the group photo is not labelled.

So your help would be much appreciated! I gather the Prince and Kipling were friends, and corresponded regularly. I am trying to identify other persons in the photo to help identify the year/event.

Thanks in anticipation of your help

Paddy

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#2 khaki

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 12:02 AM

Looks to me very much like Horace Smith-Dorrien

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#3 Bardess

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 05:49 AM

Is the Duke wearing a black armband? If so, that may signify a year

#4 PaddyInWales

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 10:12 AM

I'd say you hit it first time! Googled him on Wikipedia and no doubt about it. Thanks Khaki...

I might have to scan the other eight faces and line you up an identiity parade!

Regards

Paddy

Diane, you have very sharp eyes! Thanks for the tip, very useful indeed.

Paddy

#5 PaddyInWales

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 11:08 PM

Here's the next soldier to identify: he's standing briskly to attention behind the Duke of Connaught and General Sir Horace Lockwood Smith-Dorrien: of course he may just be a bodyguard, but please have a look and see if you know that face or uniform!


Thanks


Paddy

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#6 PaddyInWales

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 09:59 AM

It occurs to me you might like to see the original group photo: I've just recently identified William Howard Taft (a US president) wearing the boater, with his daughter Helen by his side, in front of him is Rudyard Kipling en famille.

I'm trying to identify the event/location: current thinking is an RASC-organised horse show ( for who: the Duke? Kipling?) about 1922 in Sussex. Note the chap on the left wearing a white armband: I have a photo out of the same album with a captain leaping a hedge/brook, with a similar white band. Note also about five people wearing dangly circles on their breast pockets: judges? And what is the building: there appears to be a waitress clearing glasses on the verandah.

Paddy

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#7 PaddyInWales

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 01:40 PM

Looks to me very much like Horace Smith-Dorrien

khaki


Khaki, having now spent some hours gazing at online military visages until cross-eyed, I now reckon that, rather than Smith-Dorrien, this may be Field Marshal Douglas Haig. See if you agree, images below. Reasons:
1 Moustache has more of a centre parting
2 Has a walking stick (Haig did since at least 1914)
3 Bars above left pocket have a similar black/white pattern
4 I can just about make out a heavy chain going from button into left breast pocket (for a watch I assume)
5 Uniform/cap a better match (though I realise this could depend on circumstances)

What do you think?

Paddy

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#8 khaki

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 02:31 PM

I stay with Smith-Dorrien for the following reasons, apart from immediate recognition,

Smith-Dorrien has a long narrow face, Haig has a rounder shorter face,
" " has a longer jaw Haig has a squarer jaw
" " distance b/lip to bottom of jaw greater Haig is b/lip to b/jaw noticeably less
" " moustache style vertical overlip Haig brushed to side moustache (style he maintained to his death}

In general Haig's posture even when seated was very erect and martial, maybe due to his cavalry training, the other matter you raised, the "cane" is an affectation frequently seen in photographs of the period regardless of any physical need.

The other officer photograph you provided is not known to me. Other members may be able to identify his collar badges as a possible clue.

regards
khaki

#9 PaddyInWales

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 12:02 AM

You may well be right Khaki! Time will tell... meanwhile, thanks for your valuable input.

Bearing in mind that I had plumped for Haig, I was pleased to find him, as Chancellor of St Andrews, installing Rudyard Kipling as Lord Rector of St Andrews in 1923!

Paddy

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#10 PaddyInWales

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 07:22 AM

I've just come across two web images of Smith-Dorrien which bring me to agreement with you: one is a side view, the other has been trimmed to give a very narrow image, just as wide as his eyes, so I'm still not 100%: can you give me a pointer to any images where his uniform/aspect matches more closely the group photo, rather than the white-capped image that seems to prevail everywhere?

Cheers

Paddy




#11 khaki

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 01:57 PM

When making a photographic identification one needs to focus primarily on the facial structure and characteristics, unless there are other physical characteristics that are significant enough to be included, clothing will only become a distraction. Most modern arrest 'mugshots' cover the body below the neck with a sheet. However for our purposes, the uniform can assist with evidence such as badges, medals and ribbons but cannot be relied upon as proof of identity unless used in support of other identification aids .I use the following to assist with military photographs.
(1) facial characteristics (does it match known photographs)
(2) apparent height and build,(can be estimated in relation to other persons or objects)
(3) background (vehicles, buildings etc)
(4) location and age of photograph (photographers name/studio etc
(5) other identified persons (as in your photo) eg.,,personal attendance at events by members of the Royal Family are diaried
(6) uniform details
(7) weapons

The above is in no particular order, but I hope will assist you with your research,

regards

khaki
,

#12 PaddyInWales

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 04:29 PM

When making a photographic identification one needs to focus primarily on the facial structure and characteristics, unless there are other physical characteristics that are significant enough to be included, clothing will only become a distraction. Most modern arrest 'mugshots' cover the body below the neck with a sheet. However for our purposes, the uniform can assist with evidence such as badges, medals and ribbons but cannot be relied upon as proof of identity unless used in support of other identification aids .I use the following to assist with military photographs.
(1) facial characteristics (does it match known photographs)
(2) apparent height and build,(can be estimated in relation to other persons or objects)
(3) background (vehicles, buildings etc)
(4) location and age of photograph (photographers name/studio etc
(5) other identified persons (as in your photo) eg.,,personal attendance at events by members of the Royal Family are diaried
(6) uniform details
(7) weapons

The above is in no particular order, but I hope will assist you with your research,

regards

khaki
,


Thanks Khaki, very helpful as usual!

Do you know whether "personal attendance at events by members of the Royal Family are diaried" is online anywhere? I'd like to see the Duke's diary for June/July 1922 - I had thought of The Times court diary, but Mr Murdoch wants me to subscribe and I'm not too keen :wacko:

Paddy

#13 David Underdown

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 05:33 PM

Your local library (if UK) will probably give you access to the Times Digital Archive. At this time you may even find coverage of army sports meetings, I found a report of an Army of Occupation race day on an improvised racetrack outside Cologne the other day, had D G M Campbell (GOC 21st Div) acting as a steward (he was a previous winner of the Grand National when he was a captain in 9th Lancers)

#14 khaki

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 06:23 PM

Thanks Khaki, very helpful as usual!

Do you know whether "personal attendance at events by members of the Royal Family are diaried" is online anywhere? I'd like to see the Duke's diary for June/July 1922 - I had thought of The Times court diary, but Mr Murdoch wants me to subscribe and I'm not too keen :wacko:

Paddy


I don't know the specific repository for Royal diaries, certainly the newspapers, libraries and universities are good places to start your enquiries. I base my reference to them from having read various articles which reference things such as "The Duke of Somewhere's diary for the 19th of August showed that he was present at etc etc.,

khaki

#15 PaddyInWales

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 06:31 PM

Thanks Khaki and David: will head for the library tomorrow. Yes I am in the UK, at least in the Wales part of it! And Murdoch has gone: perhaps he was following this thread!

Paddy

#16 Verrico2009

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 06:53 PM

I think this one currently on Fleabay is a better match - Smith-Dorrien I'd have to agree with Khaki.

#17 PaddyInWales

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 12:42 PM

Is the Duke wearing a black armband? If so, that may signify a year


Thanks again sharp-eyed Diane! Ive identified the cause of the black armband: we know that the photo was taken between 18th June and 8th July 1922, because those are the arrival/departure dates of US Chief Justice (and ex-president) Taft, who came over to examine GB justuice systems and is present in the group photo wearing a boater (his standard apparel when dealing with horses).

On 22 June 1922 soldier Sir Henry Wilson was shot outside his house in Eaton Square, London, by two IRA men, who were caught and eventually hanged. There was a massive turnout for the funeral, which took place on 27th June 1922. The Duke of Connaught walked alongside the coffin as the military pall-bearers carried it.

So, that thins out the dates even more, to between 22 June (I assume the armband would be worn at once) to 8th July 1922. Nearly solved!

Paddy

#18 khaki

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 11:18 AM

I notice that in the group photo several men are wearing a disc/badge on their left breast, probably an event badge?, they are President Taft, the soldier to the right of the officer at attention and the civilian next to the Padre,

khaki

#19 PaddyInWales

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 12:48 AM

Hello all, thanks for your great help and advice in solving the Mystery of the Group Photo. I now know where and when the photo was taken, and lots of the people in it. I still don't know what the event was for certain: might have to raise a Freedom of Information request to the MOD! See below the results of my (and your) researches so far. -- Paddy

Group photo taken at or near Fritwell Manor, Oxford, home of John Simon(6)

on July 1st or 2nd 1922. Note roundpasses worn by some people suggesting an army equestrian event of some kind,perhaps organised for the Tafts (14 & 15)

1 ?

2 ?Uniformed

3 ?

4 ?Uniformed

5 DonaldSterling Palmer Howard, 3rd Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal.

6 JohnSimon, 1st Viscount Simon, host of this gathering. He was later to become Home Secretary, ForeignSecretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer. He had “an unfortunately chilly manner”:in 1922 he was MP for Spen Valley and deputy leaderof the Liberal Party. Husband of 25.

7 ?

8 ?

9 ?

10 ?

11 ?

12 ?

13 ?Possibly William Ferguson Massey, Prime Minister Of New Zealand 1912 – 1925:made at least five visits to UKduring this time, not yet been able to prove presence in 1922

14 US ChiefJustice William Howard Taft, formerly US President. On three week fact-finding visitto Britain,16th June-8th July 1922

15 Helen(“Nellie”) Taft, wife of 14

16 ?Uniformed

17 ?

18 ?Uniformed

19 BonarLaw?

20 ?

21 ?Uniformed

22 CaptainWilliam Masters, R.A.S.C.

23 ?

24 ?Uniformed

25 Kathleen,Viscountess Simon, hostess of this gathering. Wife of 6

26 PrinceArthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, favourite son of Queen Victoria. Note blackarmband: he is in mourning for the death of his close friend Field Marshal SirHenry Hughes Wilson, shot by IRA gunmen in London, June 22nd 1922.

27 GeneralSir Horace Lockwood Smith-Dorrien, great friend of Lord Kitchener

28 CarrieKipling, wife of 30

29 ElsieKipling, daughter of 30 and 28

30 RudyardKipling

31 CaptainGeorge Louis St Clair Bambridge, Diplomat, of Wimpole Hall, near Cambridge: will marry 29in 1924




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#20 khaki

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 01:35 AM

I almost don't want to say this, as I am just not that confident, anyway here goes, I thought that officer #3 shows a similarity to General Birdwood. I cannot make out his cap badge which doesn't look like a General Officers.

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#21 PaddyInWales

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 11:15 PM

Yes I've had a look around the web and there is a quite strong resemblance. I reproduce his part of the photo below at higher resolution, if that helps.

In fact there are three in the photo: I'm at the moment trying to identify the one at the bottom (#24): someone has suggested that the young lady bottom right (#23) just might be Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyons, is so, who is her companion if he so be? Nice buckle...

Paddy

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#22 khaki

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 01:40 AM

There is not enough definition for a match with officer # 3 (Birdwood) supporting information about his presence on that day would assist.
khaki

#23 PaddyInWales

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 07:03 AM

I almost don't want to say this, as I am just not that confident, anyway here goes, I thought that officer #3 shows a similarity to General Birdwood. I cannot make out his cap badge which doesn't look like a General Officers.

khaki


I should mention that our relative (#22, and group photo comes out of his photo collection) was a Horse Transport man, in both Boer and Great Wars, and in the latter spent much time in Gallipoli, moving all the stuff an army needs for combat/living, worked with Dumbledor in the Mule Transport Corps etc etc. I gather that Birdwood was also out there.

Not that that proves 'owt of course! But just for info...

Paddy



#24 PaddyInWales

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 03:30 PM

Yes I've had a look around the web and there is a quite strong resemblance. I reproduce his part of the photo below at higher resolution, if that helps.

In fact there are three in the photo: I'm at the moment trying to identify the one at the bottom (#24): someone has suggested that the young lady bottom right (#23) just might be Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyons, is so, who is her companion if he so be? Nice buckle...

Paddy


Bit much replying to my own post, but we have a fairly positive ID for front row 2nd from left (numero 24).

We think he is Major Eric Henry Bonham, equerry to the Duke of Connaught, who sits the other side of hostess Viscountess Simon.

Have attached an image here, not in uniform sadly, but it certainly does look like him, though five years older than our group photo.

Paddy

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#25 Ian Riley

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 11:15 PM

Looks to me very much like Horace Smith-Dorrien

khaki


Agreed, definitely looks like 'Orace