|The photograph is somewhat odd in the sheer number of medals that this soldier wears. Under close magnification they
all appear to predate World War One although some are rather obscure detail wise. The man himself fits the bill feature
wise of a world weary non-commissioned officer but I have wondering if it might be possible that he was simply dressed
up in a costume for some theatrical performance or a back lot shot taken during the filming of an early silent film. The
possibility of this being a case of so-called "stolen valour" has also crossed my mind.
The first medal appears to be the Victoria Cross but as Mr. Iain Stewart pointed out has a rather odd looking suspender
(this apparent distorted suspender may be the effect of visible blurring in the photo). The next two medals appear the be
the pair issued to some veterans of the 2nd Anglo-Afghan War. This would make the second the Afghanistan Medal
(with at least four clasps) and the Kabul to Kandahar Star. Three additional campaign medals follow. A previous owner of
the photo had identified these on the reverse side of the photo in pencil as the "Zulu War" medal, the "Burmese"medal
and the "Chinese (Boxer)" medal. The medal after the Star could very well be the 1877-79 South Africa Medal and the
next one could be the India General Service Medal with three clasps (the IGSM was awarded for service in Burma and
no specific medal was ever created for actions in Burma) and the second to the last medal does look like a single clasp
1900 China War Medal. The last medal only adds to the oddness. It looks to be a Long Service & Good Conduct Medal
but with the post 1916 ribbon that had white striped edges.
The two obvious problems is see are: His possession of the Afghan War group and the Anglo-Zulu War medal - not a
highly likely (though not impossible) combination. His possession of a post-1916 LS&GC Medal which would place the
beginning of his service sometime around 1900 which would negate him having been in the service early enough - by
some twenty years - to have earned the Afghan and Zulu War medals.
|He wears a total of seven medals with the Victoria Cross prominent at the center of his chest. His collar badges are of a
star shaped pattern which could be of a number of regiments. An enlarged detail of the medals is shown below:
Real Photo Postcard
Unknown Location, possibly England