|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 what appears to be a binocular case on his belt and his pockets seems 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 general
service Slade-Wallace patten and he wears mounted pattern trousers as does the seated private.
The private also wears mounted pattern trousers although his belt is 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. Both men wear variations of the mounted
pattern ammunition bandoleer.
One of the more interesting details in this photograph are the additional leather straps that both soldiers have attached to the
upper portion of their rifles. My assumption is that 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. This supposition was confirmed by Mr. Grant Rombough who provided several photographs of British and Imperial
troops in the field during the Anglo-Boar War with these same type straps around their right arm while the butt of their rifles
rested in a leather bucket near their right stirrup.
Davis Bros. - Photographer
Johannesburg, South Africa