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Timothy

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  1. TERM "CUSTODIAN" I know this point has been touched on earlier in this, and at least one other thread. Can anyone definitively state when the term Custodian was first used, and exactly where it came from? As far as I can make out, it was one of several proprietary names, that are probably not more than 40 years old, including, Custodian, Guardian, Centurion, and possibly others. Somehow, it seems to have turned into the semi official name within the service, and has become retrospectively applied to any police helmet of a similar design, including early British, Australian, New Zealand, Canadian helmets that never had this name applied in real life. Wikipedia even includes Italian helmets and other white (cork/pith) helmets that are actually based on old British and French military designs, that are certainly not derived from the 'custodian'. I don't think much of Wikipedia as a source, but a quick search of the net suggests pretty much any journalist discussing police helmets has been to that page, so it can't be ignored. Any thoughts?
  2. Lucky you mentioned the Belize connection; comparing it with other photos I think he is actually a member of the Belize Light Infantry Volunteers, circa 1900. This was a part-time reservist unit in British Honduras.
  3. The second unidentified belt is Rhodesian Intelligence Corps - no doubt about this one. Looking further it seems the brown and red belt is Guard Force. Tim
  4. Fair enough - this was nothing more than an educated guess based on the colour scheme. Tim
  5. Hello Mervyn I would be interested to know how you know these photos were taken in Bechuanaland. The African soldiers' uniforms look very West African to me
  6. I'm sure Hugh's answer is correct, i.e. basically a very large button hole. This origin is most obvious in the patrol jackets of 4th and 11th Hussars, where the hanging part of the loop only appear on the left-hand side. In this case, it is easy to imagine this being stretched over to button on the opposite side. In the military terminology of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, a 'loop' was the accepted term for the braid surrounding a soldier's buttonhole, which would seem to confirm this interpretation.
  7. Are you sure that the officer's foreign service helmet is khaki rather than rifle green/black. It appears to be exactly the same shade as his left cuff, which certainly is rifle green.
  8. Note that the pattern on the top of the cap appears to be 'cut out' in that shape, rather than composed of braid/cord etc. I don't believe this would be seen on any genuine item.
  9. Ottley Perry's book Rank and Badges (1886 edition) states that at that time there were only two occasions on which a 4-bar chevron was worn above the elbow as shown here: (1) Quartermaster-Sergeants of Foot Guards, and (2) Sergeant-Instructors of Volunteers. All others wearing 4 chevrons wore them below the elbow, point upwards. As I suggested in my earlier post, this probably also applied to the Yeomanry.
  10. It's also called a busby in dress regulations for the army, 1891 and 1900 - I don't think there is a more official authority than this!
  11. Hi By the 1890s, as far as I am aware 4 chevron rank badges were almost always worn inverted on the lower arm in the regular cavalry. According to Clothing Regulations for 1894, the highest rank using the rough riders' spur symbol as part of the badge was 'Squadron Sergeant-Major Rough Rider', which used 3 chevrons, crown and spur (plus regimental arm badge if used). However, I have seen 4-bar chevrons on the upper arm in use by permanent instructors of volunteers, and I wonder therefore whether he may in fact be a member of permanent staff in a yeomanry regiment.
  12. The leather cross-belt with whistle and chain suggests some form of rifle regiment. However, if he was military, you would normally expect a badge in the middle of the cross-belt, so I suspect he is police. The pagri on his helmet certainly suggests an Indian unit, but he could also be a member of one of the Indian-manned units from elsewere in the region. Don't recognise the unusual badge, unfortunately, but it could be related to the five-pointed star in the centre of the Star of India.
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