This carte de visite is inscribed on its reverse side: "Taken at Meean Meer the 27 of March 1896."Although this soldier
took the time to tell us the
where and when of this photograph he unfortunately neglected to tell us the who part. Even
though we will never know his identity there are several interesting features in the image worth noting.

The tropical helmet sitting of the studio chair appears to be an early
"air pipe" type variety that would later evolve into the
more ubiquitous
foreign service helmet which was introduced in the 1870s. While resembling the later helmet this 1869
vintage helmet h
as one large forward facing vent on the helmet-top dome as opposed to the multiple smaller ones seen on
later versions.

The soldier's loose fitting five button frock is also being worn in a rather unusual manner. He seem to have flattened out his
standing collar so that it appears very much like lapels allowing his non-regulation neck tie to be displayed for the camera.
His tunic cuffs bear one Good Conduct stripe and a crossed rifle marksman badge.

I believe that this soldier was a member of the 85th Regiment of Foot since that unit was the only one I could find
mentioned as having been stationed at Meean Meer in mid-1869.

Carte de Visite
Unknown Photographer
Meean Meer, India
27 March
1869
Left: The inscription on the
photograph's reverse side.