Other Ranks 1882

These men of the 3rd Battalion were photographed in Egypt at the start of the campaign in 1882. They seem to have white foreign service helmets, not stained dust coloured as they were in South Africa for the First Boer War. There are no badges on the front of the helmet, and none of the men have a chin strap to hold the helmet on.

The uniforms are rifle green serge frocks and trousers. The red facings are reduced to a row of red piping around the base of the collar, and a line of red braid on the cuff with a single loop. This last item can be seen on most of the jackets except the two seated men holding swords. Because of their swords and pistols they could be taken for officers, but they have no visible rank badges on their shoulders, in fact they do not seem to have shoulder straps as the other men do. Closer inspection of the photo reveals that there is a crown on the sleeve of the centre figure with the large moustache. The other 'officer' looks as if he has four inverted chevrons on his sleeve. It would seem that these two men are the RSM and another WO1.

The rifles carried are Martini Henrys. The 22 inch bayonet can be seen on the man seated on the extreme right. The ammunition is carried in the two black leather pouches attached to the front of the waistbelt. The equipment they wear is either the 1871 type or the newly issued 1882 pattern Valise equipment. The two men standing on the left of the picture do not have the ammunition pouches. The far left young man is a bugler, and the man with the big beard is a pioneer, carrying an axe instead of a rifle. He has a small pouch on his belt. It is not clear what weapon he is armed with.

The straps that cross the chest of each of the men are for the black canvas haversack, slung on the right shoulder, and the slim leather strap on the left shoulder to support the water bottle.

Uniforms | Regimental Details


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by Stephen Luscombe