|Carte de Visites
J.W. Chapman - Photographer
Nasirabad, Rajasthan, India
|These two carte de visites were an interesting research
project due to the rather unorthodox way in which they were
inscribed. Each image is apparently inscribed from the
pictured soldier to another member of the regiment but both
inscriptions are in the same unnamed hand. It all sounds
rather confusing and it took a bit of time to figure out what
was going on.
Both images are inscribed to Drummer William H. White of
the 1/Worcestershire Regiment from fellow members of the
same battalion, the first from Drummer J. Chapman (right)
and the second from lance Corporal John Hammerton (left).
Drummer White had seemingly been gifted the photographs
by Chapman and Hammerton but then placed the
inscriptions on the back himself but in third person format.
The fact that Drummer White added two short notations
regarding Chapman and Hammerton helped to sort out who
the writer of the inscription actually was.
With the who-was-who figured out research turned up
service records for only one of the soldiers involved - Lance
Corporal John Hammerton. Nothing relating to Drummer
Chapman has been found although this was expected since
the inscription on his photograph mentions Chapman as
deceased, most likely while still in service. Additionally no
records have been found relating to the two photographs
original owner – Drummer William H. White.
|Above: Drummer J. Chapman of the 1st Battalion, the Worcestershire Regiment in the photograph that once belonged to Drummer William H. White
also of the 1st Battalion, the Worcestershire Regiment. No additional information regarding Chapman has been found since he apparently died while
in service (see inscription below). Chapman's drummers trade badge can be seen on his upper right sleeve and he wears a single good conduct stripe
on his lower right cuff. His foreign service helmet rest on the studio table and his walking out stick can be seen on the studio chair.
|Above: The reverse side of Drummer Chapman's photograph showing William White's third person inscription identifying Chapman as the subject,
giving date and location of the photograph as well as stating that Chapman was deceased. Drummer White dated this photograph 21 May, 1882.
|Above: Drummer John Hammerton of the 1st Battalion, the Worcestershire Regiment in the photograph that once belonged to Drummer William H.
White also of the 1st Battalion, the Worcestershire Regiment. He wears his drummer's trade badge on his upper right sleeve and had been awarded
two good conduct stripes when this photograph was taken. As with the photograph of Drummer Chapman above, Hammerton's foreign service helmet
rest on the studio table and his walking out stick can be seen on the studio chair.
|Above: The reverse side of Drummer Hammerton's photograph showing William White's third person inscription identifying Hammerton as the
subject, giving date and location of the photograph - Nasirabad, March 1883. Hammerton had already been appointed lance corporal and the
promoted sergeant when Drummer White inscribed the photograph.
|Of the three men only No. 644 Lance Corporal Drummer John Hammerton’s service records have been found. The first page of his attestation papers
is missing so his place of birth is not known although his birthdate of about 1858 could be approximated based on his stated age at the time of discharge.
He attested with the 1 battalion of the 29th Regiment of Foot on 29 August 1871. He shipped out to India on 29 January 1879 and spent four years, 306
days in India before returning home on 1 December, 1883. Hammerton remained with the regiment in home serve for another 14 years, 159 before
claiming his discharge after having given three months’ notice, leaving the colours on 8 May 1898. He serves a total of 26 years, 253 days in the
Hammerton attested as a boy on 29 August 1871 when he was about 13 years old. Appointed drummer on 1 December 1873 and retained this
appointment until 6 September 1884 when he reverted to private. Promoted corporal a short time later on 15 October 1884 and then promoted sergeant
two months after that on 15 December 1884. His rapid promotion slowed to a more normal rate being promoted colour sergeant on 15 December 1889.
Had he not been promoted to sergeant he would have been entitled to 5 Good Conduct badges but was awarded the Long Service & Good Conduct
Medal for his long years of exemplary service. Interestingly his service papers never showing holding the appointment of lance corporal. On 21 July
1924 Hammerton was granted an annuity of £10 “as a reward for his long and highly meritorious service…”
Hammerton’s service records show him being brought onto the married establishment on 5 February 1884 with his wife’s name being Fanny. His papers
also give the names of two daughters; Emily (b. 12 December 1885) and Edith (b. 12 April 1888). John Joseph Hammerton passed away at Hipswell,
Yorkshire on 2 December 1938 and the age of 81 and was buried in the churchyard of St John the Evangelist Church in Hipswell.