Coming up with an appropriate title for Private
David Stewart’s entry was problematic only due
to the rather picturesque choices his service
records offered. Stewart is without a doubt the
earliest enlisting private soldier featured here at
soldiersofthequeen.com having enlisted during
the reign of William IV on 26 September, 1831
at Aberdeen, Scotland.
Stewart was born about 1811 in Forfar, Scotland.
Due to his very early birth date I have not been
able to establish his family connections in that
town. A tailor at the time of his enlistment,
Stewart attested as No. 1118 with 79th (Cameron
Highlanders) Regiment of Foot for a term of
unlimited service. This rather forbidding and
open ended enlistment was somewhat mitigated
by a three pound enlistment bounty.
Stewart remained with the 79th until 21 March,
1838 when he transferred to the 71st (Highland
Light Infantry) Regiment of Foot.
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|Discharge Parchment and Original
Tinned Iron Storage Tube
Private David Stewart
71st Regiment of Foot
29 November, 1852
|West India Regiment
|Captain Lionel A. E. Ollivant
Royal Fusiliers/ China Regiment
Mhow, India c. 1899
The heroic death of Captain Lionel Arthur
Edward Ollivant at Tientsin on 14 July 1900
during the so-called Boxer Rebellion was of
such a nature that one would have thought
the he would have received some official
recognition for his act of gallantry.
Unfortunately due to the rather unusual
circumstances surrounding the event and
aside from some brief mentions in period
press accounts it went otherwise unnoticed.
Born at Bombay, India on 3 December 1872
to Sir Edward Charles Kayll Ollivant,
K.C.I.E. of the Indian Civil Service and the
former Lucy Caroline Shelly. He received
an appropriately gentlemanly education at
Chartherhouse School and Trinity College,
Cambridge. An avid boater while at
Cambridge he took part in the annual Boat
Race between Oxford and Cambridge in
1893 and 1894.
Possibly of the Royal Engineers
India, c. 1870s
Although lacking identification of any kind this
carte de visite none the less offers a outstanding
window or glimpse into the face of one of Her
Majesty's serving soldiers in India sometime
probably in the late 1870s.
Aside from his twisted gold shoulder cords,
polished buttons and gold chin chain, this soldier
wears little to embellish his bright white tropical
uniform. As befitting a man serving in India his
white foreign service helmet bears a white pagri,
which at the time were not authorized for wear
outside of India.
The man's rather well grown mustache and
mutton chop side boards give him the bearing of
an officer but there is nothing else to actually...
|Armourer Staff Sergeant
Thomas Henry Ford, D.C.M.
Royal Army Ordnance Corps
1st Battalion, the Royal Dublin Fusiliers
Although unidentified in any way, with a bit of research and though a
process of elimination I believe this holder of the Distinguished Service
Medal (DCM) was No. 795 Armourer Staff Sergeant Thomas Henry Ford
of the Army Ordnance Corps.
After comparing this image to a list of members of the Ordnance Corps
awarded the DCM during the Anglo-Boer War, the man’s rank, the
number of clasps on his Queen’s South Africa Medal as well as the post
war location of the photograph Thomas Henry Ford seems to be the only
man whose military matches up to all of these various criteria.
Thomas Henry Ford was born at Kamptee, India on 1 February 1875, the
son of Armourer Sergeant William Owen Ford of the 44th Regiment of
Foot and Rebecca Temperance. He had two brothers who would also serve
in the army – Frank in the Essex Regiment and Fred in an undetermined
unit. Two younger brothers – Bert and William – as well as a sister Edith
were still living with their parents.
|Unidentified Officer in Patrol Jacket
wearing India General Service Medal
Bourne & Shepherd
Taken by the redoubtable photographic firm of Bourne & Shepherd, this
carte de visite duplicates another carte by the same firm. Depicting an older
veteran British officer the photograph does not seem to be an example of a
more typical duplicate photograph of the type more commonly seen.
"Types of the British Army" was
something of a generic title applied to
illustrations of various sorts depicting the
diversity of uniforms worn by various British
regiments and services usually during the
Victorian and Edwardian eras. There could
vary from book plates by noted military
artist Richard Simkin to collectible cigarette
cards that came as premiums with tobacco
products. This title seems quite appropriate
for this group photo.
The image captures three non commissioned
officers of the West India Regiment, the
London Scottish Volunteer Rifle Corps and
the Royal Artillery. How all three men came
to be photographed together is not known
but given the Woolwich location (home to
the Royal Military Academy and Royal
Artillery Barracks) perhaps their respective
regiments were taking part in some training
exercises or maneuvers. It is also possible
that these men were somehow related and
this was something of the record of an
impromptu family reunion.
Inscribed by a son to memorialize his late father, this fan-folded set of four
real photo postcards chronicle the life of Commander James Alfred Boxer,
R.N. who had passed away on 29 January, 1924.
From a family with a long association with the Royal Navy, James Alfred
Boxer was born on 8 August 1842 to Captain James Fuller Boxer, R.N. and
Matilda Mary Sturdee at Portsmouth.
James Alfred Boxer entered the Royal Navy as a midshipman on 12 July,
1855 just shy of his twelfth birthday. Details concerning Boxer's service as
a midshipman are sketchy but by in 1861 he was serving aboard the
screw-propelled 91-gun second-rate ship of the line HMS Victor Emmanuel.
He was promoted lieutenant on 8 April 1863.
Early in 1865 he found himself an engineering lieutenant on board the
screw corvette HMS Niger under Captain John C. Byng outward bound for
the North American and West Indian stations.
The American Civil war was in its death throws by this time and the threat
of war between the United States and Great Britain not long past as the
Niger made her way westward. The Niger touched at Havana, Cuba before
making he way to Jamaica where members of her crew may have taken part
in suppressing the so-called Morant Bay Riot in October 1865.
Clearly based on the illustration by noted war
artist Richard Caton Woodville titled A Gentleman
in Khaki, this photograph recreates the drawing
which often accompanied Rudyard Kipling's
Anglo-Boer War poem The Absent- Minded Beggar.
Woodville's drawing appears to have been rather
faithfully recreated by photographer H. J. Smith
with a the wounded and bandaged British soldier
defiantly chambering another round into his
Lee-Enfield rifle in the face of the unseen Boers.
Was Smith's model an actor or real soldier? I
suspect the former because the man's tunic appears
to be a Norfolk style jacket instead of a proper
khaki service type.