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Victorian uniform photo help

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I bought this photo of a L/Cpl a while back but have no idea if he's in the Rifles, Yeomanry or whatever. There's a white band around his lower right sleeve and he appears to be holding a soft cap in his hand.

The photographer had his studios in Cambridge and Chatteris.

Any help to dating this photo and identifying the unit would be great.



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Beautiful photo and going off the fact that its a Cambridge photographer, I think we may be looking at one of the University Corps as two peculiarities have caught my eye. For instance on the cross belt he isn't wearing the Volunteer Rifles combined lionshead boss and whistle & chain. Where the whistle and chain should be located he's wearing a shield with 'pickers', which is normally associated with cavalry units and I believe the 'pickers' were to help unclog breeches on cavalry carbines.

Secondly the white band around his left cuff is most unusual and todate I can find no reference in Volunteer Regulations to determine its use, but it may be 'proficiency' orientated as later five pointed stars were adopted and worn on the same cuff above the uniform cuff braid.


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Hello Graham, Saint all others in this thread!

Allow me to quote from Light Horse and Mounted Rifle Volunteers 1860-1901

by W.Y. Carman:

"Badges for efficiency... A certificate for ?efficiency? could be issued after a year?s

service and later a badge for efficiency was worn (Vol. Regs. 1878, paras 619-620).

This was a ring, half an inch wide, worn round the sleeve of the right arm above the

cuff, passing under any lace or embroidery belonging to the uniform. This ring could

be either silver, cloth or braid... Men who returned as efficient five times were per-

mitted a star (of silver, silk or worsted), to be worn above the ring. A silver star was

granted when the ring was silver lace. This star had five points and a circular device

in the centre. For every five years that the volunteer was efficient, another star was


It also seems like a new efficiency badge was introduced in 1881, but that the ring and

star combination survived for some time.


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Many thanks for your input, which has cleared up that problem. The stars themselves continued to be worn right up until the Great War by members of the Territorial Force, as can be seen in the attached photo of a 1909 pattern tunic from my own collection. The TF were of course the old Volunteer Force reorganised by Haldane in 1908.


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