|This carte de visite may depict a member of an as yet unidentified local volunteer unit or perhaps a police constable from Graaff Reinet, Cape
Colony, South Africa. As is often the case a lack of clear detail - especially of the man's cap badge prevents positive identification. The badge
appears to include a wreath and crown device.
The dating of the photograph is based upon the period in which the photographer - William Roe - worked in Graaff Reinet from 1878 until
1894. The Graaff Reinet Mounted Rifle Corps and the Graaf Reinet Rifle Volunteers were both disbanded in the 1860's which would preclude
this man from being a member of either unit when this photograph was taken.
Based on the apparent date of the photograph he could not have been a member of the later Anglo-Boer War era unit, the Graaff-Reinet Town
Guard which was raised in 1900 or the Graaff Reinet District Mounted Troops which were set up in 1901.
One possibility would have this man being a member of Graaff Reinet Burghers or possibly the Graaff Reinet Rovers. Both these units saw
service in the field during the various action that ultimately led to the creation of the Cape of Good Hope General Service Medal. These actions
include Transkei (13 September, 1880 to the 15 May, 1881), Basutoland (13 September, 1880 to 27 April, 1881) and Bechuanaland (24
December, 1896 to the 30 July, 1897). The medal was not authorised by Queen Victoria until 4 December 1900 so this man not wearing it at the
time this photograph was seemingly taken makes sense.
Carte de Visite
William Roe - Photographer
Graaff Reinet, Cape Colony, South Africa