Jump to content

Sheffield Boer War

Recommended Posts

I remember this being part of a wall in Western Park next to the main War Memorial. Anybody any ides when and whybit wss re postioned?

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/09/2013 at 01:08, History dude said:

Untouched up version of the above earlier photo I posted.



The main reason that I'm reposting it is that I can't identify the cap badges on the soldiers. It looks to me a bit like the RAF wings, though of course it's not connected with them. The middle bit is a shield, the top a bauble? Does anyone know what regiment they are from?


A clue might be in the vast load of horses in the background. The badge however does not seem to belong to horse artillery. Which has a cannon in the middle of the badge.

Forget aviation, these  men all appear to be  from the  British Royal Regiment of Artillery - without any doubt, whatsoever. That’s the easy bit.                                          The unusual array of uniforms and equipment IS  a bit of a puzzler, however.
Also, the warm weather ‘American Western’ - looking, ‘slouch hat’  is quite well represented as  is the very short-lived, very unpopular  and hence, dateable, ‘Broderick Cap’ ( the peakless ones which looks like a sailors caps). One soldier, sitting in the front row and seemingly playing the clown, even wears (sideways) an 1879 Pattern Home Service - Full Dress ‘Blue Cloth’ helmet ( topped with a metal spike and ball - so of the Royal Artillery pattern)...though I can’t suggest why he would be in possession of that Full Dress helmet in ‘field circumstances’. Another man at the opposite end of that row is wearing a ‘Foreign Service’ sun protection version of that helmet. To add to the conundrum, the soldier at the very back (centre) APPEARS to be wearing a very casually presented, almost, the classic, ‘Gor blimey’ soft version of the khaki service dress cap - more typical of WW1!                                                                                                             So almost 40 years of BrItish Army headwear brought together  in a single, casual photo!
When?    Well the ‘heavy’ presence of the Broderick cap actually dates the photo between 1902 when it was adopted and 1905 when that ridiculous piece of uniform was finally, dumped. The prevalence of the slouch hat - a strong characteristic of the war on the Veldt of South Africa. Ditto the light khaki coloured sun helmet though by the time if this picture,  Id guess those postings were behind these men.
The blue, Full Dress version adding little to the story other than to confirm the light- hearted nature of the occasion. The rakish but I think still identifiable, soft peaked cap  in the rear ‘rank’ suggests a year closer to WW1 rather than the Boer War although the ‘slouches’ are most certainly a legacy of the South African campaigns of the turn of the Century ......so maybe ‘ treasured, still useful, old kit of these men’.                                   I’d hazard a guess, a photo of about 1904/05.

Where?   It’s clearly a temporary, probably tented, outdoor camp. Note the ‘ open’ horse lines at the rear. I’d guess a makeshift ‘gun park’ wouldn’t be far away either.  The proliferation of ‘ European - looking’ trees in the background, seems NOT to be typical of Africa though knowing that Country, I confess that  I’m not so confident in that particular assessment, as to dismiss the possibility....

In summary, I’d guess that you have a ‘snap -shot’ quite probably  to send ‘ome, of relaxed, Royal Artillery soldiers, engaged in ‘Tom-foolery’ ....probably Regular but possibly ‘Volunteers’ ( pre- 1908 TA).                                                                          Albeit, as is so often the case on these sites, somewhat belatedly, I hope this contribution helps (someone).
As another contributor observed, a nice, very interesting, photo.



Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...