All Ranks, WW1

This photo was on Ebay with the information that it depicted an officer, bandmaster and RSM of the 20th Hussars. The officer, seated in the middle, may be the CO which could be Lieutenant-Colonel Cook who commanded the 20th from 1915 to 1918, or Lt-Colonels Little, Sanford or Richardson who commanded in or after 1918. The building in the background shows that they are not in England as there are French or Belgian shutters on the windows. The sign over the door says Medical Inspection Room with the badge of the 20th cleverly designed out of medical equipment. The two men in Sam Browne belts either side of the CO are the RSM, with a badge visible on each sleeve, and probably the band-master. They are warrant officers so have officer-type uniforms. It would be expected that the officer, at least would have the usual WW1 rank badge markings on his cuffs but instead he has them on his shoulders. It is possible that the photo was taken in 1918 or 1919 when changes were made to officers' service dress including the removal of rank badges to the shoulders.

The other ranks are probably bandsmen, or as indicated by the fact that they are posing outside the Medical Room, they may be medical orderlies. It is known that bandsmen were employed as stretcher bearers during the war, and they would have been trained in first aid. Some of the soldiers look very young which supports the view that they are musicians or buglers. They are all in khaki service dress with leather bandoliers. The gor-blimey caps are mostly shapeless as the stiffeners have been removed, although some caps are still shaped as they were intended.

Regimental Details | Uniforms


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by Stephen Luscombe