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  #16  
Old 14-02-20, 11:42 PM
grumpy grumpy is offline
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Of course there is no obligatory positioning, and we do not see the right flank of the group. I thought he had to be the bugle major.

The identification of the well-fed fellow with First Class frogging and four chevrons as a sergeant musketry instructor is a new one to me.

The unit was identified as Regular, but VF Permanent staff might be a possibility. The apparent absence of crossed rifles would be appropriate if the man had not the necessary certificate.
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  #17  
Old 15-02-20, 12:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpy View Post
Of course there is no obligatory positioning, and we do not see the right flank of the group. I thought he had to be the bugle major.

The identification of the well-fed fellow with First Class frogging and four chevrons as a sergeant musketry instructor is a new one to me.

The unit was identified as Regular, but VF Permanent staff might be a possibility. The apparent absence of crossed rifles would be appropriate if the man had not the necessary certificate.
I don’t think that they are absent at all, it’s just that the quality of the photo makes them more difficult to see. There was no other appointment in the 60th and RB that wore the 4 stripes, in that particular way, at that particular time, than the sergeant instructor. It was a tradition of rifle regiments, regular and auxiliary. The latter continued, whereas regulars came more in line with the rest of the line in the period after 1869.
NB. A really important point is that the sergeant instructors 4-bar stripes were single width, whereas sergeants and colour sergeants 3-bars were double width.

The shako insignia is classic 60th/RB in style and there are far too many medals on display for it to be a VF unit I think.
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  #18  
Old 15-02-20, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Toby Purcell View Post
I don’t think that they are absent at all, it’s just that the quality of the photo makes them more difficult to see. There was no other appointment in the 60th and RB that wore the 4 stripes, in that particular way, at that particular time, than the sergeant instructor. It was a tradition of rifle regiments, regular and auxiliary. The latter continued, whereas regulars came more in line with the rest of the line in the period after 1869.
NB. A really important point is that the sergeant instructors 4-bar stripes were single width, whereas sergeants and colour sergeants 3-bars were double width.

The shako insignia is classic 60th/RB in style and there are far too many medals on display for it to be a VF unit I think.
I am sure that the general readership has lost interest, but I do try to understand rank and badging, and Dawnay [which I think you have] does not give the wealth of detail offered. Please can you point me to the reference that has 4 bar chevrons single width, and can you confirm that what I see as a blob resembling a crown is meant to be muskets, and that musketry instructors were dressed as First Class with frogging.
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  #19  
Old 17-02-20, 09:51 PM
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I am sure that the general readership has lost interest, but I do try to understand rank and badging, and Dawnay [which I think you have] does not give the wealth of detail offered. Please can you point me to the reference that has 4 bar chevrons single width, and can you confirm that what I see as a blob resembling a crown is meant to be muskets, and that musketry instructors were dressed as First Class with frogging.
As you seem to be issuing some kind of challenge, I feel obliged to reply. Yes, I do have Dawnay and, whilst it remains the most complete published work on NCO and WO ranking, it is very dated now and new information has been revealed, although not always published, simply through the plethora of 'family photographs' and images from obscure collections that have been posted online in the last decade (not least from emigrants abroad). As well as reading relevant books, I have particularly focused my own attention on the latter. However, I'm not a published writer and do this for my own interest. Individuals are entitled to decide for themselves whether there is any usefulness in what I say in forums such as this one.

To answer your queries, which I choose to do in reverse order. It's important to add a caveat at the outset that prior to 1871, the clothing of regiments, including their staff sergeants, was the responsibility of commanding officers, for which they received an annual allowance. Although basic uniform details were laid down by the Crown through the offices of Horse Guards and provided as 'sealed patterns' (specimens) direct to units, the precise details of small regimental idiosyncrasies were left to regiments and carried out by Sergeant (Master) Tailors on those unit establishments that included such an appointment. The basic garments were demanded in set sizes from the Director of Stores, who passed them to the Clothing Department that was then supplied by various piece-workers in small workshops across Britain and Ireland. In 1871 the responsibility for clothing was passed to the Royal Army Clothing Establishment, at Pimlico, and allowances for commanding officers were discontinued. This marked a centralised control of Army clothing for the first time, but the unit Sergeant Tailors continued to permit some degree of autonomy, within set bounds, including the full dress clothing of cavalry, artillery and infantry staff sergeants, as I shall endeavour to explain below.

1. Clothing of staff sergeants (that is SNCO appointments on the battalion staff).

It is well established that staff sergeants wore superior uniforms from the outset, that were invariably similar in appearance to those of officers, but not of the same quality. There were initially just four staff sergeants in infantry units: the Sergeant Major of battalion, the Quarter Master Sergeant, the Pay Sergeant and the Armourer Sergeant, but other specialisms were added as time went on. That they wore better quality garments (upper in particular) and rank/appointment badges, is well recorded by Lawson, Carman, Dawnay, Barnes, Barthorp, Westlake, and Walton (amongst others less well known), who have had access to regimental collections. They have explained this in numerous publications, as well as myriad articles in military historical bulletins and journals available by subscription. A less well known book, that I shall return to later, is Arms and Equipment of the British Army [Regulations] 1866 edited by John Walter, which is particularly pertinent to the photo heading this thread, although it is an extract from several volumes, of which Army Equipment, Part V (Infantry) 1865, was just one part. It is the aforementioned authors' 'references', that made clear that when introduced as an appointment in the 1850s, the Musketry Sergeant, although graded as a second class staff sergeant, was to have the privilege of being dressed as (i.e. wear the garments of) the first class staff sergeants. The same detail had applied to the Drum Major, when established previously, and these two appointments continued to wear first class garments until the abolition of full dress in 1914.

Turning specifically to Rifle Regiments, just as with the line, the First Class garments were made in a style similar to that of officers, but with inferior cloth and appointments (lace, etc). For Rifles this comprised a frogged (looped and corded) front, and olivettes rather than buttons (see photos throughout this thread). These were made up by the Sergeant Tailor using cloth and round cord provided from the clothing department, in accordance with qualities (grades) of cloth laid down in 'materiel regulations' (these latter changed title over time, but essentially did the same job in that they laid down criterion (and thus costing) for quality).

a. The 1866 Regulations state: When jackets are furnished in materials, 1s 6d will be allowed for making up each jacket (this was cash paid to the unit tailor). When jackets are made up (i.e. factory made), the necessary and unavoidable cost of fitting the same, not exceeding 4d, will be allowed (this stark differential illustrates the cost of making up staff sergeants garments).

b. The 1894/1914 Regulations, Sections XI/X 'PATTERNS', paras 210/238 (respectively). state: Sealed patterns of garments issued in materials for staff sergeants and band will be supplied if applied for. The patterns will be part of the supply, and, after serving as a guide for the making up of the materials and examination of the garments, will be issued to the men for whom they have been made up (ergo these were to be bespoke tailored). N.B. This is a synopsis as the text had latterly been amended to be more clear.

c. The 1894/1914 Regulations, Sections XI/XII MASTER TAILORS AND MAKING UP AND FITTING CLOTHING, paras 218/240 (respectively). State: An allowance will be granted for making up garments from materials and for sewing on chevrons, badges &c (confirming [some] bespoke tailoring). This was further clarified in 1914 with: Clothing will be supplied made up, except the full dress garments for warrant officers, staff sergeants and band, which will be issued in material to units that have sergeant tailors (thus merely confirming what had been going on for many decades).

2. Sergeants badges of rank and appointment in Infantry of the Line and Rifles.

In 1865 there was an attempt to regularise badges of rank and appointment to be more equitable across the Army and bring some order to what had become a quite confusing array of insignia across the arms and services of the Army as a whole. In addition there were tables that showed the cost of each ranks clothing and equipment that make clear the extra expenditure on garments for staff sergeants whose clothing was of superior quality. By this stage there were six staff sergeants dressed in First Class garments, four were First Class Staff Sergeants and two were Second Class Staff Sergeants but with the privilege to wear First Class clothing. These appointments were: Sergeant Major, School Master, Quarter Master Sergeant, Band Master Sergeant (all First Class Staff ) and Sergeant Instructor of Musketry, and Drum/Bugle/Pipe Major (both Second Class Staff) The following details for sergeants badges were laid down for the infantry, less Foot Guards:

a. Sergeant Major, Quarter Master Sergeant, Sergeant Instructor of Musketry, Drum/Bugle/Pipe Major, Band Master Sergeant, chevrons on tunic composed of four bars of doubled half inch gold lace (point down - black silk in the case of Rifles). The chevron of the sergeant major1 is surmounted by a crown (in ordinary line the only appointment to wear on both arms, whereas for Fusiliers, Rifles, Light Infantry and Highlanders chevrons are on both arms for all NCOs), that of the Sergeant Instructor of Musketry a pair of crossed muskets, and that of the Drum or Bugle Major a drum, or bugle respectively. The Band Master Sergeant has no chevrons, but shoulder knots of gold cord (as does the School Master Sergeant).

b. Paymaster Sergeants and Orderly Room Clerks who have attained the rank and privileges of Colour Sergeants, have three bars of double gold lace surmounted by a crown.

c. Colour Sergeants have a badge on tunic consisting of one bar of double gold lace surmounted by a device representing a Union flag, embroidered in silk, and crossed swords in silver. On frocks and shell jackets three bars of single gold lace surmounted by a crown to be worn2 (This is a typical example where no mention is made of the different badges worn by Rifles, Foot Guards or Royal Marines Light Infantry, nor of the variations regarding wear on one arm or both arms. Details are left to regiments and Rifles had a special pattern badge as shown earlier, which is of 1833-1877 pattern).

d. Second Class Staff Sergeants (e.g. Pioneer Sergeant, Sergeant Tailor) , or (company) Sergeants, and Lance Sergeants, have three bars of half inch (i.e. single) white worsted lace (for Rifles black worsted lace).

Conclusion. The trouble with Dawnay's work, excellent though it is, is it has no cognisance of things, especially photographic images, discovered since its publication. It also doesn't always make clear that even the Sergeant Major's rank was worn differently on undress than it was on full dress, although the photos concerned, of the same individual, might by coincidence have straddled a change in regulations. He also doesn't comment on the superb photos of the 78th Highlanders when based in Montreal, that make clear that for example, the Colour Sergeants of some companies (probably the old flank companies) wore their Colour badge combination differently. See http://collections.musee-mccord.qc.c...landers&Lang=1 The 1860s were a particular period of change, in 1865 the regulations quoted above came into force, but in 1868 the chevrons of doubled lace were abolished and only single lace was to be used, and in 1869 Sergeant Majors and Quarter Master Sergeants were ordered to move their chevrons, still point down, to below the elbow. As regards the Rifles Staff Sergeant with the four bar chevron on his upper arm, I think he is wearing small crossed rifles with slings above the four bars, as that seems to have been the badge in use at the time, which was smaller than the version for headdress of the School of Musketry, from whence the style of badge had originated, over a decade before. On page 23 of Dawnay he refers to the bugle badge and even the colour badge of the Rifle Brigade being in gold lace at that time, and so perhaps the crossed rifles were too. The badge is clearly not a crown, as he would not be sat on a flank, in such a posture, if he was the Sergeant Major wearing the old badge of four bars and crown. My thought that he is wearing single lace bars is based on a comparison with the stripes of the man next to him, but perhaps my eyes are mistaken, or they might all have single lace, as per the photo of three Rifles staff that I posted earlier. Nevertheless, I feel positive that the Sergeant Major and Quarter Master Sergeant are sat centrally and their badges are visible as below the elbow, so perhaps the photo dates to 1869, or the Rifles had adopted something already that the regulations merely confirmed.

You are a former scientific officer and seem to be demanding concrete 'evidence' for what I am proposing, and for the reasons I've explained above I am not going to do that. I try to use a combination of observation, deduction and likelihood based on the known facts, to interpret what I see. Unfortunately, so many of the photos that created a bank of knowledge have been lost with the demise of the Victorian Wars Forum, and I had not kept them, thinking that they would always be there to access. However, I would suggest that the later photos that I've posted above, showing numerous examples of four bar chevrons for musketry instructors on the upper arms, staff sergeants First Class tunics, and leather cased swords, along with common sense probability off the back of these factors, that my conclusions are fairly sound.
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File Type: jpg images.jpg (5.1 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg William_Napier VC.jpg (33.1 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg NCO's-of-the-58th.jpg (82.7 KB, 20 views)

Last edited by Toby Purcell; 19-02-20 at 11:30 AM.
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  #20  
Old 18-02-20, 07:30 PM
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Dear Toby,

Thank you. There was no challenge and no demand. I do hope that the reply gets wider readership, as it is very thorough and useful.

I had hoped to be convinced that the soldier was the musketry sergeant, that his chevrons were narrow compared with the others, and that the blob was crossed rifles. The best argument for him being the musketry sergeant is that we can agree that he is battalion staff, and not the sergeant-major, not the QMS and not the bugle major.

As a former principal scientific officer I was accustomed to weighing incomplete evidence. I agree with your conclusion that he is the musketry sergeant.

I hope that is sufficient.
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  #21  
Old 18-02-20, 07:54 PM
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Toby,

Thank you very much for this very informative and interesting post

Regards Simon..
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Old 18-02-20, 08:22 PM
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Agree very interesting/informative thread. Thanks Toby and Grumpy.
Andy
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Old 18-02-20, 09:03 PM
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I concur with the appreciative comments from other members. It is amazing that a 150 year old photograph could provoke such a spirited discussion causing so much interesting detail to surface.

Thank you both.

Tim
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  #24  
Old 19-02-20, 04:28 AM
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Yes, fascinating thread. Any information to unravel the mystery of insignia of rank and appointment can only be to the education of us all. Thanks Toby and Grumpy.

Keith
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Old 19-02-20, 07:54 AM
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Fascinating debate and great info guys. Whilst not in my area I’ve enjoyed reading. A good natured and civil robust debate - much more in the spirit of the forum I feel than some threads. Thanks you.
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  #26  
Old 19-02-20, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpy View Post
Dear Toby,

Thank you. There was no challenge and no demand. I do hope that the reply gets wider readership, as it is very thorough and useful.

I had hoped to be convinced that the soldier was the musketry sergeant, that his chevrons were narrow compared with the others, and that the blob was crossed rifles. The best argument for him being the musketry sergeant is that we can agree that he is battalion staff, and not the sergeant-major, not the QMS and not the bugle major.

As a former principal scientific officer I was accustomed to weighing incomplete evidence. I agree with your conclusion that he is the musketry sergeant.

I hope that is sufficient.
Having focused on the Colour Sergeant who was originally in question and the First Class Staff in their frogged tunics, it’s been a useful exercise to visually and methodically compare the dimensions of each and every set of chevrons. Having done so now, it’s apparent to me that they appear, relatively clearly to be all of the single width. This leaps out when one compares with the few double width stripes seen in some of the pictures I posted earlier, especially the scarlet clad group in my last post. Double width chevrons virtually fill the upper arm. Musing on that it seems evidence to me, along with the SM and QMS having their rank on the lower sleeve, that the image almost certainly dated to 1869+, unless the unit concerned was already ahead of the regulations as often occurred. What do you think?
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  #27  
Old 19-02-20, 09:21 PM
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Certainly later than earlier than mid 1860s.
I will have another look at the RACD ledger notes and report back: the Rifles are often dealt with as an aside, but double chevrons [total 1 inch], and 3/4 inch chevrons should have been phased out for issue by 1869 except for Foot Guards. So also should placing them on facing colour.

Away for a few days.
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  #28  
Old 19-02-20, 11:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpy View Post
Certainly later than earlier than mid 1860s.
I will have another look at the RACD ledger notes and report back: the Rifles are often dealt with as an aside, but double chevrons [total 1 inch], and 3/4 inch chevrons should have been phased out for issue by 1869 except for Foot Guards. So also should placing them on facing colour.

Away for a few days.
I look forward to when you get home and can expound more on what you mean. The 1865 regulations that are relevant to this matter all referred to double half inch and single half inch lace, so I’m sure unclear as to where your reference to three quarter inch has emerged from.
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Old 20-02-20, 05:06 PM
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I have all I need on the laptop so here goes.

In 2007 I went to Kew to do research om the RACD ledgers, to cover the period c.1900 to c. 1920. One of the ledgers [the arrangement is complicated] began in 1860. Not my cup of tea but I included the period in my 600 [sic] photos.

Unfortunately although I have every photo on external hard drive, the cataloguing is poor and I cannot identify the shots I need.

I do have my notes taken at Kew. They are attached "as is". You will see the ref. to 3/4 inch. Perhaps there was correspondence pleading for 3/4 inch rather than 1/2 inch. Perhaps some units were wearing 3/4 inch.

I will continue to look for the photos because the matter intrigues me.

Hope this helps.

1860 Chevrons cpls frocks To be ½ “ lace not 1”
1863 Assimilation RM uniform items to army pattern
1864 Universal pattern chevrons and badges on blue for Hussars On blue not red
1866 ‘color’ sgts not to come into force before 1868/9 badges also left arm for highland, light and fusilier regts.
1868 Color badges New pattern infantry and rifles
1868 Universal gold chevron not Foot Guards To be intro 1868/9, ½” lace not ¾”
1868? Chevrons worsted To be ½” lace as for sgts
1868 Norfolk pattern tunic chevrons etc Staff sgts, drummers, band. RSM and RQMS are to wear chevrons forearm
1868 Dec LCPL Foot Guards To wear 2 chevrons, as cpls.
NB facing colour for chevrons ceased except for Foot Guards

1869 LCpl cavalry NOT to wear chevrons
1869 Chevrons old pattern double ½” lace [on facing color] Use up for Militia except red/purple faced, these to be converted for Line
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  #30  
Old 23-02-20, 08:24 PM
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Thanks for all the interesting an informative information behind this photograph. As for the unit, it is the King's County Rifles.

Thanks,

Stephen
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