An Interesting Photo

British Officer GroupClick on the photo for hi-res.

This photograph was sent to me by a fellow contributor that is clearly a mixture of young and old (and rather portly) British “officers.” Interesting to note the “pips” on the soldier seated far right and the brass buttons on most. Also note the variations in the tunics of these British soldiers, and the fact that Sam Browne belt’s do not sport holsters nor sword frogs.

What isn’t so clear is when or where this photograph was taken. Obviously we can narrow it down to the latter decades of the 19th century based on the uniforms, equipment and notably the helmets – the “where” is the other mystery. The terrain appears generally flat without much foliage, but is this South Africa, the Sudan, India or elsewhere?

We have mulled over it but without coming to any conclusions. So any comments will be appreciated. It is a fine photograph but we ask for help and insight! This photograph is certainly one worth a good debate.



2 thoughts on “An Interesting Photo

  1. Warren Cummins

    Hi, if you note the picture of the officer seated in the front row, he is wearing a wrist watch…a pocket watch with a leather holster of sorts. When did this practice commence? That would definitely narrow the timeline. Note the officer wearing the Tilson cap rather that a pith helmet. This would also help narrow the time line. Two of the officers have a SA ribbon, which may date this to about 1901-1904. The portly chap on the back right has different cut pocket flaps which is possibly a change of kit.

    It could be located on the Canadian Prairies as well. The NWMP did wear these uniforms when on SA service and prior….They also wore Tilson caps. Most pictures of the NWMP show flat brimmed stetsons but they did have the khaki helmets and some of the officers here are wearing spurs…bottom right.


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