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Help ID a diplomatic uniform


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All:

I recently bought a WW1 vintage British diplomat's uniform. I've wanted one of these for probably 20 years, and finally got one at a really good price. This one is named to a certain Major Bryan on the tailor's label. I'd like to see if I can find out more about him as it looks like he had one heck of a career...he has five loops on his chest for a medal bar that stretches about 6 or so inches long (maybe about six medals) and then loops on the lower breast for a pinback breast badge of some sort.

Does a register of diplomatic officers (or officers on diplomatic duty) exist? Or would there be a way to figure out who Major Bryan was?

Any help is greatly appreciated!

Dave

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From the 1935 British edition of "Who's Who?" (which I'll scan for you anon)

Colonel Sir Herbert BRYAN,

K.B.E. 1925, C.M.G. 1906, D.S.O. 1918

Born 1865. Ranker in the 7th Hussars 1885-1892 (and isn't THAT odd!)

2nd Lt Lincolnshire Rgt 1892 (!), Captain Manchester Regiment 1899

Brevet Major 1900

Served West Africa 1897-98, operations on the Niger (Medal with 2 Clasps), Northern Nigeria 1900 (slightly wounded, despatches, Medal), Chief Staff Officer Gambia Expedition 1901 (despatches, Medal with clasp)

employed Colonial Office 1902-3, Colonial Secretary Gold Coast 1904-14

re-entered army January 1915, commanding 9th Btn Northumberland Fusiliers (despatches 5 times, Brevet Lt. Col., Brevet Colonel, D.S.O., French Medaille d'Honneur avec Glaives)

Colonial Secretary, Jamaica 1914-1925. Retired 1925. County Dirtector of the Wiltshire branch of the British Red Cross.

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WOW!

Well, very, very cool!

THANKS!!!

Now I need to track down pictures of the medals he would have gotten. I'm afraid that I've disposed of all of my British medals books, sadly.

WOW - thanks again Rick!!! :jumping::jumping:

Dave

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I make that EIGHT from his medal bar-- DSO, three pre-Great War African campaign Medals, the WW1 trio, and odd French medal. Two from the neck and British Empire star as retirement present.

Editions of Burke's Peerage or later Who's Whoses should give a clue as to when he died-- when he ceases to appear.

Here is his 1935 entry:

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So I'm guessing that this uniform dates from his pre-1914 days on the Gold Coast as he's referred to as a Major, whereas I think a later uniform would have refered to him as a Colonel or Lt. Colonel. Pretty darn cool!

Dave

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Yup, I'd think so too. He was still a Major in 1914, so he could have had it sent out to Jamaica, been carried there as nominally On The Job 1915-19, and then back again 1919/20 to retirement there in 1925.

It's a BLUE suit, right? The opportunities for wearing that would have been limited seasonally-- didn't the tropical types usually wear WHITE daily outfits with a feathered pith helmet? He may have only worn it on the King's Birthday or such. ? couple of days in any given year, maximum?

It was certainly updated to wear with ALL his awards, since the length of medal bar loops and the British Empire star loops indicate 1925+ wear.

By which point he'd have had his choice of wearing that, or his Colonel's uniform, depending on occasion and who he felt like going as. :ninja:

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He bought the farm in 1950 (don't know the day or month)

He is memorialized in the National Portrait Gallery . . . which is not available on the web

Look here http://www.npg.org.uk/live/search/person.asp?LinkID=mp85861

Very cool! I wonder if a member could snap a picture of his picture???

Here's a picture of the jacket. The condition isn't the best, but the price was right...and now the history is OUTSTANDING...this is a great one for my one "foreign" piece in my collection. I think he looks great on display next to my desk. I wonder how much it would cost to put together a reproduction medal bar for him?

Dave

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I've always thought it amusing that the Corps Diplomatique types should have chosen THAT particular portion of their collective anatomy for... embellishment. :rolleyes::cheeky:

The London Times must surely have his 1950 obituary, for those of you who are NOT hopeless at google-searching.

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It's in the 30 September 1950 edition of the Times, but for some reason I keep getting the 404 "page not working" any time I click on the link to the story. Apparently his funeral was held on 3 October...but no joy on that one either. Anyone with better luck?

Dave

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I've always thought it amusing that the Corps Diplomatique types should have chosen THAT particular portion of their collective anatomy for... embellishment. :rolleyes::cheeky:

The London Times must surely have his 1950 obituary, for those of you who are NOT hopeless at google-searching.

Sir Herbert Bryan Obituary

Edited by Taz
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:cheers: Makes one wonder where that tunic has been for the last 58 years-- and where his medals are!

"Did they wear full sized or miniture medals on this uniform?"

Yup. The whole kit: feathered fore and aft hat, knee breeches, patent leather dancing slippers with big buckles, and a "Court sword" at that left shrubbery-enhanced hip.

Must have been a joy in Jamaica in the early 1920s! :speechless1:

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The whole kit: feathered fore and aft hat, knee breeches, patent leather dancing slippers with big buckles, and a "Court sword" at that left shrubbery-enhanced hip.

Must have been a joy in Jamaica in the early 1920s! :speechless1:

Rick,

I'm not sure what the regulations were, but I have seen photos of diplomats in this same coat as you described, but wearing long dark-colored trousers (probably matching the coat) with a bullion stripe down the side instead of the knee breeches.

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Rick,

I'm not sure what the regulations were, but I have seen photos of diplomats in this same coat as you described, but wearing long dark-colored trousers (probably matching the coat) with a bullion stripe down the side instead of the knee breeches.

I actually have his trousers, and they are full length with about a 2.5 inch wide gold bullion stripe down the side. They just don't photograph well, I'm afraid...

Dave

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