|This early image posed something of a mystery at first. Based on the tunic this soldier was wearing he was clearly a member of a military unit with Scottish affiliations but the uniform
in its entirety dose not fit with those of any regular British/Scottish unit of the time. On a whole the uniform pictured looks to be that of a Scottish Rifle unit which lead to the Cape
Royal Rifles and Scotch Volunteer Rifles Corps.
Originally raised in 1859 as No. 5 Company, the Cape Royal Rifles, the unit broke away from the parent unit in 1861 as the Scotch Volunteer Rifles Corps. The Corps was stationed at
Table Bay in the wake of the Trent Affair when war between Britain and the U.S. seemed a real possibility. The unit received a bad fitness report in 1864 and was disbanded in 1866.
Possibly due to supply problems the unit's uniforms were described as "mixed". Apparently the only kilted members of the unit where the commanding officer and possibly the two
pipers that were listed on strength. One source shows other ranks wearing tartan trews but this volunteer seems to be wearing trousers of a dark but uniform color. He is armed with
what appears to be a P1853 three-band Enfield Rifle - the unit being disbanded before the Snider-Enfield could have been supplied to it.
Carte de Visite
C. Dickinson - Photographer
Port Elizabeth, Cape Colony, South Africa