|The bad hat aside both men are clearing members of the mounted infantry that played such an important role in British
military operations during the Anglo-Boer War. With a standard issue Foreign Service pattern helmet on his head, the
standing corporal wears a binocular case on his belt and his pockets seem to be filled almost to overflowing, probably with
necessities of life that were hard to come by in the field. His waist belt appears to be of the buff leather Slade-Wallace pattern
and he wears mounted pattern trousers as does the seated private. He wears a leather 1888 pattern bandolier across his chest.
The seated private also wears mounted pattern trousers although his belt has a clasp of the s-hook pattern. As noted before
his hat has degenerated into an almost unrecognizable mass of drooping felt by the weather conditions in the field but that fact
that he chose to wear it may indicate that he considered it something a badge of honor. He appears to be wearing a variation
of Mills pattern ammunition bandolier that has been modified by the addition of leather cover flaps.
Both men are still wearing infantry pattern puttees around their lower legs and neither men appear to be wearing spurs. From
the overall look of these two soldiers "by the book" had certainly gone by the wayside at this point in the war.
One of the more interesting details in this photograph are the additional leather straps that both soldiers have attached to the
upper barrel bands of their rifles. These straps were utilized in the same manner that similar straps seen attached to British
cavalry lances were during the same time period and aided the troopers in handling their rifles while mounted. Photographs of
British and Imperial troops in the field during the Anglo-Boer War show them with these same type straps around their right
arm while the butt of their rifles rests in a leather bucket near their right stirrup.
Davis Bros. - Photographer
Johannesburg, Transvaal, South Africa