|A veteran sergeant of what appears to be either "E" or "F" company of the 1st (Duke of Cornwall's) Rifle Volunteer
Corps which were based in Truro, Cornwall.
This sergeant saw active service in Egypt prior to serving with the Volunteers as evidenced by the medals on his
chest. The first medal partially obscured by his cross belt would be the Egypt Medal. The second and most notable is
the Distinguished Conduct Medal. After this comes the Khedive's Star and finally a Long Service & Good Conduct
Medal or volunteer service medal.
The following information has been kindly provided by Mr. Graham Stewart:
The gentleman is in fact 'the acting sergeant major' of the 1st D.C.R.V.. The reason for this is I noted his rank, which
denotes four chevrons, above which is a crown and he's also carrying a Rifle pattern sword, which denotes the rank
and privilege of a 'Warrant Officer Class 1'. Under normal circumstances a Sgt Major in the regulars would wear his
four inverted chevrons(i.e. point up), with the crown above on the right cuff of his uniform. However the large
Austrian knot prevented this on Volunteer uniforms and so they were worn point down above the right elbow.
According to Volunteer Regulations the S.M. was appointed by the C.O. of the unit from those Colour Sgt Instructors
serving with the unit on the permanent staff, who were actually regular Colour Sgt's on secondment to the
Further research may shed light at to this sergeant's identity. 134 DCMs were awarded during the Egyptian/Nile
campaigns and narrowing these down to men who may have served in a rifle regiment and continued to serve in the
volunteers after leaving the colours my prove worth while.
Mr Neil Boulton has kindly provided the following information about this man's possible identification:
I've just been looking at the above picture on your site (where incidentally he seems to have 4 stripes rather than the
usual 3 of a sergeant) The unit in question was of course a Volunteer Unit associated with the Duke of Cornwalls
Light Infantry (DCLI)
As you say, 135 DCMs were awarded for the Egypt/Sudan campaigns of the 1880s. Of these, 6 were actually to
soldiers of the DCLI. And of these 6, I can find only one who was also a recipient of an LSGC.
He was 557 Sgt Patrick Riordan of 2/DCLI (Mounted Infantry). Awarded DCM for Mahsama 24.8.82 and Kassassin
He was recommended for the LSGC on 1.10.1894, at which time he was a Col-Sgt at the DCLI depot.
I can also confirm Sgt Riordan on the Egypt medal roll (clasp for Tel-el-Kebir), and the Khedive's Star roll.
I'm not of course saying the photo is Sgt Riordan, but he's certainly the chief candidate. Only man of the DCLI to
have that medal combination. Would need more research to confirm if he served in the volunteers or not after leaving
The above information provided by Mr. Stewart and Mr. Boulton would seem to point to this man actually being 557
Colour Sergeant Patrick Riordan of the D. C. L. I. Naturally this identification is tentative pending further research.
Frederick Argall - Photographer
Truro, Cornwall, England
|Left: Detail of
|As stated above he joined the 46th Foot (later 1st Battalion, The Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry) on 14 July, 1876.
His promotions were as follows:
Private - 14 July, 1876
Lance-Corporal - 1 December, 1878
Corporal - 15 February, 1879
Lance-Sergeant - 7 February, 1881
Sergeant - 1 April, 1881
Colour-Sergeant - 1 December, 1883
Re-engaged - 19 November, 1887
Posted - Sergeant, 3rd Vol. Batt. DCLI - 27 July, 1889
Colour-Sergeant - 6 February, 1892
Posted - Colour-Sergeant, 1st Vol. Batt. DCLI - 22 June, 1892
Discharged - 13 July, 1897