Monday, 8 December 2014

Dating a picture - Sergeant-Majors and Sergeants of the 10th Hussars

In compiling records for The Register often extra information comes to light about the lives and families of those who served, incidents in the war and tonight I have been able to date this photograph of the Sergeant-Majors and Sergeants of the 10th Hussars:



There are 44 men in the photograph which was obviously taken in England prior to the regiment's departure in November 1899.

This splendid photograph is published in an excellent source for pictures, The Transvaal in War and Peace, Neville Edwards, Virtue 1900 (page 202).


In researching the men to include in The Register, surprisingly only 23 men did serve in the war. The remainder either left the Army or remained in England. No initials are shown, so to ensure I identified the correct man it was necessary to use the service papers on FindmyPast. As FindmyPast have both Victorian and WW1 era service papers it is quicker than using Ancestry which just has WW1 era service papers.

I found one man, Sgt-Major Brownlow left the Army in mid-September 1899, the closest date I could get to the regiment's departure. Therefore picture was taken in no later than early September 1899.

Of the men who did serve I found some interesting pieces of information that all go into The Register to provide a fascinating archive. Not surprisingly most earned a Long Service and Good Conduct medal, some served in the Sudan at the battles of El Teb Tamaaai.

Sgt 3076 JH Palmer (right) is shown in the official casualty rolls as being wounded 31 March 1900 at Irene. His service papers reveal that his was severely wounded at the important action of Sanna's Pos (or Koornspruit). Medals to casualties at this action command a high premium, this information would double the value of his medal.

Sgt 2908 RB Cox volunteered at the age of 14 for the Norfolk Regiment from the Military Asylum, Norfolk. He transferred to the 10th Hussars, serving for 26 years reaching the rank of WOII. In 1916 he was commissioned into the Army Service Corps.

To determine the correct "Sgt Ward" from the two who served in the war, I found a set of papers for each. Sgt 3400 J Ward did not get promoted to the rank of Sergeant until 1902, so he would not have been included in this picture in 1899. After the war he attended the Delhi Durbar in 1911 and remained in India during WW1 so just earned a British War Medal instead of the usual Star and Victory medals. "Sgt Ward " is 2695 WG Ward who rose to the rank of Squadron Sergeant-Major by the end of the war.

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