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Victorian era howitzer sections photo

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Hello Everyone,

Here is a photo of two howitzer sections of the late Victorian era, 1901-1902.

With the help of several knowledgeable collectors who are not members of the GMIC I have completed the research and offer the findings here.

This is most likely an artillery training school photo. The frock worn by the seated officer is as per DR 1900, the o/r's frocks are as per issue of the late Victorian era though two have scalloped flaps, all have stand collars. These variations were typical, as were some issues of the field service cap with a single button. From the shoulder badges there is no doubt that these are Royal Artillery.

The soldier reclining in the front right of the section has an "L" patch on his sleeve indicating that he is a gun layer. The two privates in the rear are holding sight/sliding level deflection tools while the oval cases on their pre-1903 belts hold Clinometers. A clinometer was used to measure inclines as well as determining the height of objects. The buckle on the '03 belt has rounded edges, these are squared and typical of RA stationed in India. The two seated corporals wear the shoulder belts to accomodate the sight, level/deflection tool which would be entrusted to them as opposed to the privates. The seated corporal to the officer's left also has a compass case to the left of his belt buckle.

The "flags" on either side of the group are aiming posts. These would be issued in pairs of the same colour. Right Howitzer sections having Red and left Howitzer sectoins having Blue. The coloured side would face the guns except, when owing to light conditions, the section commander orders "white sides" to the guns.

The two figures on the ground each appear to be holding the breech lock for the 5.4 inch B.L. Howitzer, hence this photos is most likely of the right and left Howitzer section of the later Victorian period and possibly taken in India, or soon after their return to England.



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