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Re: Un-Identified soldiers 9 years 7 months ago #6268

  • iaindh
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Hi Guys,

but just a theory here; Frank, you mentioned the bandolier being the opposite way around and that he may be left handed: surely the same would apply here to the slouch hat? It was turned up so as not to affect vision when firing, left for right handed, right for left handed.
Also, soldiers at that stage switched regiments as it suited them. When the war finished in Natal, the local Natal units were demobilised. He may have been in SA and joined a colonial unit and later enlisted with a regular British regiment.

regards, Iain

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Re: Un-Identified soldiers 9 years 7 months ago #6281

  • Frank Kelley
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Hello Iain,
Regarding the bandoleer, I think it has been established that the negative may have been the right way round, I was just looking at all the possibilities.
I don't know about the Colonials but in the British Army, shooting from the left shoulder with a Metford or Enfield would be frowned upon, because of the righthand bolt.
If you look at photos of regular infantry on the veldt by 1902, the slouch hat is often not turned up.
That first photo is superb, he looks as though he has just left the parade square!
Regards Frank

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Re: Un-Identified soldiers 9 years 7 months ago #6283

  • iaindh
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Hi Frank,

Oops that will teach me to read through again instead of trusting to memory! :oops:
Yes the bandolier is correct but the hat not.
Were he in a colonial unit, it may well be a Martini Henry .303 he carries, (the soldier on foot that is,) the mounted soldier has a magazine rifle so probably a Lee Metford or its successor, the Lee Enfield. I don't know about all colonial units but the Natal Mounted Rifles were issued with Martini Henry 303's in 1899! :woohoo:
However having said that, it would also be bolt action..........
The turning up of the slouch hat is interesting; as you say some photos show the slouch hat not turned up by some soldiers, but remember the SA sun is vicious and maybe in action it was turned up.

I agree the first photo is superb. When conductor first posted these, my immediate thought was that it was a soldier serving in India that was in one of the regiments rushed to SA with the declaration of war.

regards, Iain

Frank Kelley wrote: Hello Iain,
Regarding the bandoleer, I think it has been established that the negative may have been the right way round, I was just looking at all the possibilities.
I don't know about the Colonials but in the British Army, shooting from the left shoulder with a Metford or Enfield would be frowned upon, because of the righthand bolt.
If you look at photos of regular infantry on the veldt by 1902, the slouch hat is often not turned up.
That first photo is superb, he looks as though he has just left the parade square!
Regards Frank

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Re: Un-Identified soldiers 9 years 7 months ago #6284

  • Frank Kelley
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Hi Iain,
Both these photos appear to show magazine rifles, the Martini Metford, used by TMI and ILH at the begining of the war, was a single shot rifle, I was not aware the Martini Henry was chambered for the .303 round?
I think you could well be right regarding the first photo.
Regards Frank

iaindh wrote: Hi Frank,

Oops that will teach me to read through again instead of trusting to memory! :oops:
Yes the bandolier is correct but the hat not.
Were he in a colonial unit, it may well be a Martini Henry .303 he carries, (the soldier on foot that is,) the mounted soldier has a magazine rifle so probably a Lee Metford or its successor, the Lee Enfield. I don't know about all colonial units but the Natal Mounted Rifles were issued with Martini Henry 303's in 1899! :woohoo:
However having said that, it would also be bolt action..........
The turning up of the slouch hat is interesting; as you say some photos show the slouch hat not turned up by some soldiers, but remember the SA sun is vicious and maybe in action it was turned up.

I agree the first photo is superb. When conductor first posted these, my immediate thought was that it was a soldier serving in India that was in one of the regiments rushed to SA with the declaration of war.

regards, Iain

Frank Kelley wrote: Hello Iain,
Regarding the bandoleer, I think it has been established that the negative may have been the right way round, I was just looking at all the possibilities.
I don't know about the Colonials but in the British Army, shooting from the left shoulder with a Metford or Enfield would be frowned upon, because of the righthand bolt.
If you look at photos of regular infantry on the veldt by 1902, the slouch hat is often not turned up.
That first photo is superb, he looks as though he has just left the parade square!
Regards Frank

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Re: Un-Identified soldiers 9 years 7 months ago #6285

  • iaindh
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Hi Frank,

the Martini Henry was rechambered from .450 for the .303 cartridge; relics from the Zulu wars. Apparently quite a few Colonial units were issued with these; probably surplus from the British Army when they were issued with Lee Metfords and then Enfields!
I cant speak for the TMI but the ILH were sponsored by wealthy businessmen.
I couldn't make out what rifle is in the 2nd photo.

regards, Iain

Frank Kelley wrote: Hi Iain,
Both these photos appear to show magazine rifles, the Martini Metford, used by TMI and ILH at the begining of the war, was a single shot rifle, I was not aware the Martini Henry was chambered for the .303 round?
I think you could well be right regarding the first photo.
Regards Frank

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Re: Un-Identified soldiers 9 years 7 months ago #6288

  • Frank Kelley
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Hi Iain,
So that would be a Martini Metford then?
Regards Frank

iaindh wrote: Hi Frank,

the Martini Henry was rechambered from .450 for the .303 cartridge; relics from the Zulu wars. Apparently quite a few Colonial units were issued with these; probably surplus from the British Army when they were issued with Lee Metfords and then Enfields!
I cant speak for the TMI but the ILH were sponsored by wealthy businessmen.
I couldn't make out what rifle is in the 2nd photo.

regards, Iain

Frank Kelley wrote: Hi Iain,
Both these photos appear to show magazine rifles, the Martini Metford, used by TMI and ILH at the begining of the war, was a single shot rifle, I was not aware the Martini Henry was chambered for the .303 round?
I think you could well be right regarding the first photo.
Regards Frank

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