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A Private of The Oxfordshire Light Infantry in Lodge Regalia, India Circa 1900


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A nice, interesting photo - thanks to Chris B for sourcing this one-

The man in this photograph wears what appears to be the simple white metal stringed bugle badge of The Oxfordshire LI / Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire LI on his white helmet.

His Khaki Drill tunic has box pleats continuing down the front of it from the pleats of the breast pockets the pocket flaps are scalloped with 3-points (a corner of pocket flap is just visible in the photograph).

His collar insignia consists of a button on either side with a line of thread running from it to the neck opening, a hark back to the days when officers wore a metal gorget suspended at the throat - officers of the regiment continued to wear the button & thread on the collar for many years after this photograph was taken.

The button design is of the General Service pattern bearing the royal coat of arms, rather than a regimental pattern bearing the bugle.

Metal shoulder titles are worn, they appear to be a stringed or ribboned bugle over a curved title.

The long service chevron on his lower left sleeve is fastened by means of hooks & eyes or similar arrangement to facilitate removal when the garment is laundered.

Trousers are dark blue with red welt.

The Lodge regalia that he wears bear the Victorian Crown worked in bullion on either side at the bottom of the collar or sash. On the left side as viewed, above the crown is pinned a decoration or jewel which obscures any detail that may be on the horizontal oval, the jewel is in the form of an 8-pointed star with a round, dark coloured central area which bears a small round central device superimposed on crossed sword & anchor.

The clasp bears “1667”

The right side of the collar as viewed bears the letters “CT” on the lozenge within the horizontal oval.

The rosette from which is suspended the tassle at the base of the collar bears a small circular button type insignia which may be cloth backed but which appears to have a roped border & central device of an anchor in metal.

The photographer is G.W. Lawrie & Co, with studios at Lucknow, Naintal, Bareilly & Ranikhet, in India

The Oxfordshire Light Infantry (retitled The Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry in 1908) was formed by an 1881 amalgamation of The 43rd (Monmouthshire) Regiment of Foot (Light Infantry) and the 52nd (Oxfordshire) Regiment of Foot (Light Infantry).

The 43rd formed the 1st Battalion of the new regiment, The 52nd the 2nd Battalion.

At the time of amalgamation, The 43rd were in Burma, moving to Bangalore in India in 1882, Parkhurst, England in 1887, Kinsale, Ireland in 1893, & after service in other parts of Ireland, to England in 1898. In 1899, with the outbreak of The 2nd Boer War, the battalion went to Southern Africa & remained there until 1902, returning to England that year & moving to India in 1903 where they remained until 1914 when they went to Mesopotamia..

The 52nd were at Oxford, England when they became The 2nd Battalion Oxfordshire Light Infantry, moving to Gibralter in 1884, taking part in the expedition to Egypt in 1885. The battalion moved to India in 1886, seeing service in the Tyrah Expedition on the North West Frontier in 1897 & returning to Chatham, England in 1903. In 1914, they moved to the Western Front.

Edited by leigh kitchen
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Three things:

1. Certainly not English/Scottish/Irish Masonic regalia (IMHO, and I'm curator of a Masonic museum)

2. Collars of this style were common amongst a Temperance order: the Independent Order of Good Templars

3. Could the "1667" be "IOGT"? If so, then I think you probably have your answer.

Hope that helps,

Richard

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A useful booklet for the identification of fraternal items is "riendly and Fraternal Societies: Their Badges and Regalia" by Victoria Solt Dennis (Shire Publications. ISBN 9780747806288), which is sold by Play Available here, amongst others. Slightly cheaper to order it through WHSmith (£7.14) and collect in store but probably not as quick or possibly convenient.

Useful price comparison search engine here: Bookkoob

I have no connection with either of these links, but have received good service and useful information from both! :D

Richard

Edited by wm5806
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Thanks, "IOGT" looks like it fits the bill - the first "6" is slightly different to the 2nd "6" & is could well be an "O" with slight flaw at "2 o'clock", & the "7" may well be a "T".

It looks like I need to buy the book - I only have one photographs & one jewel to investigate but at least I'd have a better groundng in the basics.

Edited by leigh kitchen
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Very nice - I have seen a number of this type of photo for various regiments and wonder if they are all associated with the Army Temperance Association of which I also have a medal somewhere at home. Again nearly all of the photo's I have seen have been taken in India.

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Well ATA was certainly "big" in India.

When I first saw the photo as a low res. image, I thought that the clasp of the decoration was the handle of a cork screw like implement - could'nt be further from the truth.

It could be that although I'm reading the letters withn the lozenge on the collar as "CT" they are "GT" - "Good Templars".

Interesting pleating on the KD jacket, I assume that the chinchain is backed, although it isn't apparent from the photo.

The collar insignia - I was aware of the continuation of the button & thread worn by officers of The Oxf & Bucks LI, but not by OR's - does the wearing of button & thread by this man help date this photo over the period, say, 1880's - 1900's?

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Very nice photo Leigh.

Interesting that the chinchain has no backing.

The 1st Battalion was in Lucknow in 1906-1908 and the 2nd Battalion in Bareilly 1892-1896. Both locations listed on the reverse of the photograph.

Given the QVC I would say 2nd Battalion and by 1906 the Colonial pattern helmet would probably have been replaced by the Wolseley.

Stuart

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The photo does have uniform anomalies, not normally found even for India. Firstly KD jacket with the blue dress trousers, when the KD trousers should have been in evidence. The white dress helmet would never be worn with KD - with blues and review order but certainly not KD - as the khaki foreign service helmet or field service cap would be worn with KD. So you have to ask is this a posed photo taken after a major parade hence him dressed in items of uniform which don't meet dress reg's??

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Thanks, I could'nt work out which of the two battalions it would be.

So this man may well have been off to the North West Frontier with the Tyrah Expedition in 1897.

I don't know how concerned with changing the bullion Victorian Crowns the collar to Imperial Crowns the IOGT may have been though.

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The photo does have uniform anomalies, not normally found even for India. Firstly KD jacket with the blue dress trousers, when the KD trousers should have been in evidence. The white dress helmet would never be worn with KD - with blues and review order but certainly not KD - as the khaki foreign service helmet or field service cap would be worn with KD. So you have to ask is this a posed photo taken after a major parade hence him dressed in items of uniform which don't meet dress reg's??

I was wondering if the combination was a foible of the IOGT members at their lodge meetings, or if the jacket is adapted for the purpose, with that box pleat running the length of the front. A little fanciful, but I even considered the jacket being in red, but the presseing makes it appear KD rather than serge or whatever.

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I was wondering if the combination was a foible of the IOGT members at their lodge meetings, or if the jacket is adapted for the purpose, with that box pleat running the length of the front. A little fanciful, but I even considered the jacket being in red, but the presseing makes it appear KD rather than serge or whatever.

I would say definately KD, as the scarlet Indian pattern jackets are usually to be found with trefoil braiding on the cuff, white piping on the collar etc and coloured facings not unlike home pattern uniforms. This particular KD jacket is different though. Firstly the box pleats to the front as you've mentioned, but also the cuff, as I don't recall seeing a KD jacket with a double button or any buttons on the cuff at all.

Now this is the second jacket I've seen over the last couple of weeks which is of a totally different pattern to what I would expect to see. The other jacket was being worn by a cyclist of a Somerset L.I. Volunteer Battalion. It too had an unusual cuff and was also buttoned. So I'm beginning to wonder if this lad had some 'specialist' trade within the battalion which saw them wearing unusual KD jackets??

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