Mounted Photograph (Trimmed)
5 1/4 Inches by 7 Inches
(1
3.5 cm x 17.5 cm)
J. Walker - Photographer

S
omerset Strand, Cape Town
C
ape Colony, South Africa
c. 1900s


Taken at some point after the death of Queen Victoria, this gunner of the Royal Garrison Artillery (RGA) rests his hand on a field gun of undetermined type. Dressed for what one might
describe as fatigue duties, he wears a decorated stable belt around his waist. The belt bears a pair of "RGA" shoulder titles and two bursting shell badges. At the belt's center are two
crossed cannons surmounted by a King's crown which could very well representative of a gunnery qualification badge. There may be a company designation beneath the crossed cannons
but the detail is too indistinct to be sure.

One interesting item of this man's kit is the clasp knife tied around his waist by a white cord. These knives, the multi-tool of their day, are most often associated with the Royal Navy.
With black horn scales and three tools - a sheep's foot blade, marlin spike, and shackle wrench - would have found common usage by members of any of the services whose duties
included the handling of ropes.

The RGA had only come into existence a few short years (1899) prior to this photograph being taken. It is possible that this man was a member of No 23 Coy, RGA which was stationed in
Cape Town during the Anglo-Boer War when it took part in the defense of Kimberly.