|I have seen several similarly marked photographs and they all seem to have been taken by former soldiers who upon
taking up employment as a photographer after discharged mentioned their former regiment out of a sense of nostalgia or
simply as a marketing tool, perhaps to attract as customers members of the military. The very few references that I have
found that mention Stock as a photographer all mention him as an itinerant photographer which seems to fit well enough
with a serving British soldier. Also his choice of listing his name and regiment as opposed to an address as most
photographer’s did also seems to fit with a man who might have had to move – even half a world away – at a moment’s
notice and with very little warning.
In this instance this photographer appears to be one and the same as No. 339 Sergeant Edwin Stock of the
57th Regiment of Foot.
Aside from his somewhat unusual hobby Edwin Stock seemed to be a typical noncommissioned officer during his years
with the colours. The son of cabinet maker John Stock and his wife Ann, Edwin Stock was born about 1842 at Gravesend,
Kent. He attested with the 57th Regiment on 17 may, 1859.
Promoted Corporal on 2 May, 1861, the single black mark on his record was dated 8 August, 1861 when he was tired and
reduced to Private for absence and drunkenness. He was appointed Corporal once more on 7 June, 1864 and then
Sergeant on 31 March 1867. All of his service time lost as the result of his conviction was restored via Horse Guards
Circular No. 63 dated August 1867.
Stock re-engaged at Manchester on 25 March, 1868 to complete his full 21 years with the colours. Stock was discharged
at Dublin, Ireland on 11 May, 1880 after 21 years, 17 day with the 57th Foot. His discharge papers state that he was
entitled to the Long Service & Good Conduct Medal as well as the 1877-79 South Africa Medal. The South Africa Medal
Roll states that Stock was entitled without clasps which would indicate that he never crossed into Zululand during that
War and probably was posted along the lines of communication in Natal or held a staff posting that kept his out of the
fighting when the 57th was engaged at Ginghilovo. Interestingly the South Africa Medal Roll lists Stock as Colour
Sergeant – a rank not specified in his service records. Not mentioned in his service/discharge papers but confirmed by the
appropriate medal roll, Stock was also entitled to the New Zealand Medal for service in the Maori Wars between 1861
Edwin Stock’s overseas service included one year in India, 6 ½ years in New Zealand, five years, two months in Ceylon
and ten months in South Africa during the Anglo-Zulu War.
I have found no evidence that Stock practiced his photography during his time overseas although it is hard to imagine that
given the unique opportunities presented by foreign postings that he did not.
After discharge Stock settled down to domestic life primarily in Kent where he ran a pub. He married Miss Zellah
Freeman at York on 6 July, 1886 and the couple had at least eight children. The eldest son Hubert Reginald Stock served
as a 2nd Lieutenant with the 1st Battalion, the Buffs and was mentioned in The Bond of Sacrifice, Volume 1 as being
killed in action on 25 October, 1914.
Carte de Visite
Sergeant Edwin Stock - Photographer