With a stern and craggy visage, this long-serving soldier appears to have been the epitome of an "Old Sweat". The term hearkens back to the era when men signed up for 21-year
enlistments. This man in all likelihood began his military career long after the implementation of "short service" in 1870. Instead he probably extended his enlistment multiple times in
order to achieve the 21 years with the colours required for a pension.
On the cuff of his 1881 pattern tunic he wears five good conduct stripes denoting at least 23 years of exemplary service in the ranks. Above the good conduct stripes he wears a crossed
rifles and star badge for best shot in the company. On his chest he wears a single medal which may be the Long Service & Good Conduct Medal (LS&GC). By the time this photograph
was taken the LS&GC Medal was awarded for 18 years exemplary service.
His collar badges appear to be those of the East Lancashire Regiment - the Rose of Lancaster with a scroll below. The East Lancashire's 2nd battalion which saw no active service in the
field between the 2nd Anglo-Afghan War of 1878-80 and the beginning of the Great War in 1914. This would explain his lack of campaign medals in spite of his long service.