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  #1  
Old 22-06-12, 04:54 AM
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Default Victorian Soldiers (possibly members of the Victorian Rifles) - circa 1870s or 1880s

Victorian Soldiers (possibly members of the Victorian Rifles) - circa 1870s or 1880s.

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  #2  
Old 22-06-12, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by slick_mick View Post
Victorian Soldiers (possibly members of the Victorian Rifles) - circa 1870s or 1880s.

Mick,

Nice find.

I think the photo dates to the 1860's and is of the Victorian Volunteer Rifle Corps when both NSW and Victorian volunteers wore grey. See Monty Wedd Australian Military Uniforms 1800 -1912. Grey jackets with red piping around the collar and down the front of the jacket. Black cords across the chest, cuffs, trouser stripe and band around the kepi.

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Chris
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  #3  
Old 22-06-12, 05:59 AM
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Thanks mate - sounds about right.

I'll check out the book when I get home (posted this from work).

Mick
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  #4  
Old 26-06-12, 01:49 PM
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G'day Mick & Chris

I have a copy of George Wards book Victorian Land Forces 1853 - 1883, which shows the exact same uniform and rifles being worn by the Williamstown Rifle Co C 1861, the loops on the froging are the same, they wear the same type of cap with a bugle badge. They also carry the Lancaster .577 smooth oval bore 2 band sappers and miners rifle. These were on issue to Vic vol forces, I have a rifle and bayonet with Vic markings. They also wear a plain brown leather belt with a snake clasp ( which I also have with sword slings & a sword to go with it !) The trousers also have a broad (red ?) stripe as in your photo.

Mick I will add a couple of scans to what I going to email.

All for now.

Regards

Phil.
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Old 27-06-12, 04:00 AM
Donny B. Donny B. is offline
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Another lovely photo, Mick. Well done, once again. They must have looked pretty fancy out on parades in that gear.

The rifles certainly do look like Lancaster rifles, probably reduced bore type, that were widely issued to Victorian Forces after purchase in 186, though I do believe that some Ordnance type were used earlier than that. In any case, the chape and lockets of the bayonet scabbards visible have the distinctive look of the Lancaster bayonet scabbard.

There is another quite nice photo of soldiers in the same uniform in the "Early Muzzle Loaders in the Victorian Volunteer Forces" article in the Articles section at this site: http://mhhv.org.au/?P=745 (I still have trouble attaching web addresses in the flash way some of you other blokes do.)

Lancer 17, what are the markings on your Lancaster bayonet that identify it as a Victorian issue bayonet? Is it numbered to the gun?

Donny B.
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  #6  
Old 27-06-12, 04:17 AM
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The early (Pre WW1) uniforms worn were a damn sight more impressive than what is worn today!

At least the Brits continue to have brilliant uniforms to this day - the Australian Army (and government) should take notice!

Mick
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Old 27-06-12, 07:42 AM
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I can do nought but agree with you, Mick.

Donny B.
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  #8  
Old 13-07-12, 12:55 PM
Lancer 17 Lancer 17 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donny B. View Post
Another lovely photo, Mick. Well done, once again. They must have looked pretty fancy out on parades in that gear.

The rifles certainly do look like Lancaster rifles, probably reduced bore type, that were widely issued to Victorian Forces after purchase in 186, though I do believe that some Ordnance type were used earlier than that. In any case, the chape and lockets of the bayonet scabbards visible have the distinctive look of the Lancaster bayonet scabbard.

There is another quite nice photo of soldiers in the same uniform in the "Early Muzzle Loaders in the Victorian Volunteer Forces" article in the Articles section at this site: http://mhhv.org.au/?P=745 (I still have trouble attaching web addresses in the flash way some of you other blokes do.)

Lancer 17, what are the markings on your Lancaster bayonet that identify it as a Victorian issue bayonet? Is it numbered to the gun?

Hi Donny

Now you have made me go and unlock the gun cupboard !!

George Ward does not list rifles for the Williamstown Rifle Volunteeers, however he also shows the Carlton Rifle Co wearing the same uniform. He lists their rifles as

1863, 176 Lancaster Rifles.
1865, 177 Lancaster rifles.
1870, 95 Lancaster reduced bore (.568) rifles & 65 Lancaster large bore (.577) rifles.
1874, 102 Lancaster reduced bore & 81 large bore.
From 1879 only Martini Henry rifles are listed.

The Lancaster rifle is a 2 band rifle, the barrel extends 4 1/2 inches / 115 mm beyond the end cap and the bayonet lug is on the right side of the barrel as per the photo above. Lancaster rifles were on general issue to the Victorian Volunteers from about 1863 until the introduction of Martini Henrys in 1879. Both large bore and small bore rifles were on isue, however Georges book shows that there were more large than small bore rifles issued.

Donny B.

The top of the but plate on my rifle is marked G62 / 818 / V V. I have had the rifle from the 1970's.

The bayonet is marked on the pommel just below the slot with 1662 and AC in small letters.

I hope that this helps. I also have a Martini Henry marked VMR.

Putting photos up defeats me but I am sending some to Slick Mick ( he's a good man) and maybe he would put some up for us. Please Mick !

Regards

Phil.

Last edited by Lancer 17; 13-07-12 at 01:23 PM.
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Old 13-07-12, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slick_mick View Post
The early (Pre WW1) uniforms worn were a damn sight more impressive than what is worn today!

At least the Brits continue to have brilliant uniforms to this day - the Australian Army (and government) should take notice!

Mick
When I was in the RAAF the uniform looked so crappy we were often mistaken for rail or bus workers, now at least they have gone back to the WW2 era style and colour of uniform, which does look much better.

Cheers
Jim
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