Author Topic: Unidentified uniform or costume - help please photographer was S. Edwin  (Read 4749 times)

Offline jtbroderick

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Re: Unidentified uniform or costume - help please photographer was S. Edwin
« Reply #99 on: Wednesday 28 February 18 18:21 GMT (UK) »

Now that I have looked into the composition of Paymaster's uniforms more thoroughly I have a
comment on the above quote

Yes, an eventual Paymaster did sign up at the Assistant Clerk level via a competitive examination
held half yearly at Greenwich.  The successful candidate was then appointed as an Assistant Clerk
at a shore based establishment (e.g. Victory, the Portsmouth Accounting base) or a sea going ship
where he learned his craft "on the job".  After 1 year's service he was considered eligible to take
the exam for the rating of Clerk and after 3 year's service was eligible for examination for the rating
of assistant paymaster.  Assistant Clerk and Clerk were the equivalent of Naval Cadet and Midshipman. 


Hello, I wrote the email referred to in post #94, after John915 asked if I would take a look.

The uniforms of Royal Navy Clerks and Assistant Clerks are well documented. As subordinate officers, like midshipmen and cadets, they wore the same crown, anchor and laurel wreath cap badge as commissioned and warrant officers, though of slightly reduced size. The 1891 officer's uniform regulations, which were in effect with little change through WW1, can be seen here:

https://archive.org/details/royal_navy_uniform_regulation_1891

All officers of the paymaster branch wore white distinction cloth around the cuff beginning in Dec. 1863:
https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015025957526;view=1up;seq=404

Clerks and Assistant Clerks, who did not have gold rank stripes, wore a quarter-inch line of white around the cuff:
https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015025957526;view=1up;seq=749

Illustrated in the uniform regulations of 1879:
https://books.google.com/books?id=fV0BAAAAQAAJ&pg=PT49#v=onepage&q&f=false

And 1891:
https://archive.org/stream/royal_navy_uniform_regulation_1891#page/n63/mode/2up

Though Clerks and Assistant Clerks were re-titled Paymaster Midshipmen and Paymaster Cadets in 1918, and Midshipmen (S) and Cadets (S) in 1944, their narrow white cuff stripe remained until 1955.

Quote
Of the many photos I have looked at depicting Paymaster uniforms not one had collar tabs.
Assistant Clerks and Clerks had no rings until they achieved Assistant Paymaster (under 4 years)
when they wore 1 stripe, the equivalent of Sub-Lieutenant.  So looking at our photo we would not
expect to see either of those things.  The jacket is correct, 'fore & aft' dress with 8 gilt buttons
in 2's the buttons having a raised centre with a smooth rim.

I don't think this would apply to the period of the photo, but eight buttons "in twos" refers to the vertical spacing on the single-breasted full dress or undress tailcoat, or on the double-breasted frock coat, before 1891. So the buttons of the paymaster branch would be grouped so:

O
O

O
O

O
O

O
O



Surgeons were in three groups of three and engineers in two groups of four.

Quote
It is possible that the uniform in the photo depicts a Navel Cadet on the bottom rung of the ladder
of promotion to Paymaster.  I am open minded as to the possibilities.  With the intricate nature
of RN regulations and the many changes to those regulations who can say with any conviction what RN uniforms were worn in the Victorian era.

There is plenty of photographic evidence that shows that uniforms were largely worn in accordance with regulations. The crown in the uniform photo appears to be the Edwardian "Tudor" type, with rounded top, rather than the Victorian crown which generally had a flatter top, depressed in the center.

As for RN officers wearing just a crown as a cap badge, that was the case in an earlier period, 1846 to 1856. The plain crown was worn in conjunction with gold lace around the cap band. In 1856 the gold band was deleted and the badge was changed to the crown, anchor and laurel still worn, in evolved design, to this day. To compare (under Memoranda):

1846:
"[...]officers may wear in undress, in lieu of the round hat, a blue cloth cap, with a gold lace band of the width of the lace on their dress coats, and a gold crown, according to pattern, and of the same size in all ranks, in front above the band; Officers who have no lace on their coats, to
have a band of gold lace, one inch wide, round their caps."
https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015025976476;view=1up;seq=311
http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/72781.html

1856: "The Military Branch to be distinguished by the embroidery on the peak, which is to be of oak leaves, and a device placed in front of the cap, consisting of a crown embroidered in gold
and silver and a silver anchor, surrounded by gold laurel wreaths.

"The Civil Branches by plain embroidery and the same device embroidered in gold."
https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015025957526;view=1up;seq=749

Justin

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Offline aus*jen

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Re: Unidentified uniform or costume - help please photographer was S. Edwin
« Reply #100 on: Wednesday 28 February 18 21:06 GMT (UK) »
Ah. yes the email, but that has been removed so it can no longer be referenced by readers of this thread.

Thankyou for your very detailed notes on RN uniform regulations in the Victorian era.
These predate the posted photo which you have noted, but provide good historical background.

Regarding the crown, the interpretation is in the eye of the observer.  Is it a Tudor crown introduced after 1901? That would depend on when the photo was taken - pre 1901 or post 1901,
the image is indistinct.  It could conceivably be the Naval crown in use in the late 1890's, it has
a similar profile at the base which is actually the only section that can be seen in the image.



Jen.
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Offline aus*jen

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Re: Unidentified uniform or costume - help please photographer was S. Edwin
« Reply #101 on: Wednesday 28 February 18 23:36 GMT (UK) »
I have retired this thread, it has morphed into a lengthy debate on RN uniforms, not my original
intention when I posted nearly 5 weeks ago.  The RC Armed Forces Board is a more appropriate
forum for the extended posts and links that have been placed recently on this thread.

The goal was to identify the subject in the photo posted and with the help of many posters I have eliminated all possible contenders except one, the future Paymaster Commander.


Uniform enthusiasts, please feel free to chat amongst yourselves ;D ;D
Boland   NSW, Australia
Gibbs   S.Aust. & Queensland
Jennings NSW, Australia
Page  Coventry UK, Queensland Aust.
Sellars (Sellard) Gloucestershire
Kirby  Lechlade, Gloucestershire
Hampshire  Stepney, Middlesex & Hampshire
Goddard,  Isle of Wight
Cushen, Isle of Wight
Keys,  Tyrone Ireland & NSW Australia

Offline aus*jen

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Re: Unidentified uniform or costume - help please photographer was S. Edwin
« Reply #102 on: Friday 02 March 18 06:43 GMT (UK) »
According to an obituary for the uniformed man found today he served on HMY Victoria and Albert,
perhaps this uniform relates to that service.  This is a comment only, not the start of another
lengthy uniform debate.
Boland   NSW, Australia
Gibbs   S.Aust. & Queensland
Jennings NSW, Australia
Page  Coventry UK, Queensland Aust.
Sellars (Sellard) Gloucestershire
Kirby  Lechlade, Gloucestershire
Hampshire  Stepney, Middlesex & Hampshire
Goddard,  Isle of Wight
Cushen, Isle of Wight
Keys,  Tyrone Ireland & NSW Australia