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Help with uniform identification please

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This topic contains 22 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  elessar2590 3 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 23 total)
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  • #1414971

    ninjilly
    Participant
    1991xp

    Afternoon all,

    A woman at my work has been going through photos as part of a family history project and I wondered if the BoW community could help us track down a uniform. She thinks it might be one of two people so has narrowed it down to either Royal Marines circa 1850s or the London Met Police around the turn of the 1900s. From the sleeve details I going more with the former however it isn’t a time period I know anything about. The photograph was taken in London but there’s no date on it. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

     

    FB_IMG_1563144789084

    #1414972

    torros
    Participant
    12759xp

    Going on instinct I would have said the Royal Marines uniform of the period would have a white belt

    #1414973

    suetoniuspaullinus
    Participant
    11146xp

    Looks like a Zulu War era army uniform to me.

    1850s CrimeanWar style was significantly different.

    Police wouldn’t have been different colours for tunic and trousers would it?

    #1414978

    torros
    Participant
    12759xp

    The stripe on the trouser seems wrong for being police

    #1414979

    oriskany
    Participant
    36072xp

    @ninjilly – based on the two choices given, I’m going to hazard a 70-30 guess on the latter, but only by process of elimination, and this is shaky.

    One, far more photos were being taken in 1900 than 185o.  😀  So statistics are on our side.  😀

     

    For a more detailed look:

    The problem with old photos like this is …

    (a) they’re black and white, so confirmation of COLORS in the uniform is sometimes tough.

    (b) they’re low-res.  What would CINCH this 100% beyond a shadow of a doubt is sharper details in either the belt buckle or especially the small device on his collar.

    That said, the device on his collar looks more oblong than circular.  The Royal Marines have a circular device.

    Here is a confirmed Royal Marine from an archive of records 1842-1925

    Marines or Police 01

    A closer look at the collar badge:

    Marines or Police 02

    Compared to an 1890 photo of a London cop making an arrest.  Check out the device on his collar.  Again, very grainy … but the general shape looks more like the one in your photo.  Also, the jacket seems double lined with buttons, whereas the Marines’ has a single row.

    Marines or Police 03

    So do NOT “take this to court …” but my 2/3 guess is that the gentleman in the photo is the police.

    #1414980

    torros
    Participant
    12759xp

    If someone asked me without giving choices I would have said ACW Union

    #1414981

    damon
    Participant
    4746xp

    The collar badge could be a grenade, indicating Royal Marine Artillery

    Here it is on an officers collar:

    https://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/71705.html

    #1414982

    somegeezer
    Participant
    6083xp

    The Austrian knot and trouser stripe were definitely present in officers’ uniforms in the Anglo Zulu war. I’m not sure how common they were elsewhere, I suspect they were quite common in “redcoat” uniforms of the 19th century though.

    #1414983

    ninjilly
    Participant
    1991xp

    Thanks for the help so far gents, I knew this would be a good place to get some opinions… I also told her that the first ones to comment would be you three 🙂

    @oriskany The collar decoration and the sleeves seem to conflict to me. I had clocked that the collar decoration fitted the police police more but all my searching has their sleeves marked with a red and white striped band rather than the braid decoration. There has also been discussion that the collar could be Royal Fusiliers though there isn’t any known connection. As you say though, the fidelity of the photo isn’t helpful.

    TBH, it could of course be that the uniform isn’t actually his, perhaps something the photographer would have offered.

    #1414985

    somegeezer
    Participant
    6083xp

    The collar badge seems to be quite common. There are a variety of regiments here using that shape

     

    #1415000

    oriskany
    Participant
    36072xp

    Re: fusiliers – yeah here was my other question… are we SURE those are the only two choices (Royal Marine or London Police).  You’re right, neither seem to be a good fit.

    I would be genuinely surprised I that was a Royal Marine uniform is all I’m saying.  Not impossible, but I would be very surprised.

    #1415004

    oriskany
    Participant
    36072xp

    Except … Good spot @damon !  Shit, that MIGHT be it

    #1415005

    ninjilly
    Participant
    1991xp

    Having spoken to her some more if we go with the military gentleman – he was born around 1837 and is listed in one census as a bombardier and in another as being based in the Royal Marines Artillery barracks. Honestly the whole thing has made me realise there’s no way I could start to get into this stuff – it would far too easily become an obsession! It is certainly looking likely that it’s John Owen, her great-great grandfather.

    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by  ninjilly.
    #1415018

    damon
    Participant
    4746xp

    Found another image of RMA circa 1880-1900

    Gives some credence to the census listing as a bombardier in the RMA, although the photo shows promotion to sergeant

    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by  damon.
    #1415019

    robert
    Participant
    11783xp

    Beards and side whiskers had began to fall out of fashion by the turn of the 20th Century, and a moustache would have been more common if facial hair was wore.  On this alone, i’d guess he is more likely to be 1850s than 1900s and that really doesn’t say police uniform to me.

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