Author Topic: Uniform identification help needed please  (Read 3239 times)

Offline aghadowey

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Uniform identification help needed please
« on: Wednesday 03 June 09 23:41 BST (UK) »
Attached is a photograph of soldier killed in WWI but would really appreciate any details the experts here can provide.

Known facts:
Private William CALDWELL #19134
born 1878
10th Bn Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers
enlisted Kilrea, Londonderry, Ireland
to France Oct.1915
killed in action 20 Jan.1917
He was in the Ulster Volunteer Force before the War.

The badge on his cap looks like a flag (light background with darker diagonal and horizontal lines crossing in the centre).
Also wondering about rifle he's holding (303?), etc.
Any opinions on style of unifrom, rifle, cap badge, etc?

Away sorting out DNA matches... I may be gone for some time many years!

Offline LJReb123

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Re: Uniform identification help needed please
« Reply #1 on: Thursday 04 June 09 08:42 BST (UK) »
Morning,

the first thing that struck me about this photo was the cap badge- not British military issue. Neither is the belt WW1 pattern. Tunic is British pattern but is worn in a casual way.

The cap badge looks to me like a union flag pin.

The rifle is an Italian 1891 Vetterli  and not a .303 SMLE. Very distinctive trigger guard. Bayonet is visible in it's frog and magazine may be a training calibre.

Phillip Orr's ' The Road to the Somme' contains the following..'The guns that were landed (by the UVF at Larne ) were mainly German...There were also several thousand Vetterli rifles of Italian make which were distributed in Armagh, Fermanagh, Monaghan and Derry. These Italian guns were to gain a certain unpopularity before long, because they were stamped ' annunciata' which was interpreted as meaning 'blessed by the Pope'!'

I would suggest that this is a pre war UVF photograph. Is there a trace of an armband on his right sleeve? (Not an UVF expert).

regards

David

Offline aghadowey

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Re: Uniform identification help needed please
« Reply #2 on: Thursday 04 June 09 09:00 BST (UK) »
Thank you so much for all the information- does confirm our suspicions so I'll pass this on to his family.
Away sorting out DNA matches... I may be gone for some time many years!

Offline scotmum

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Re: Uniform identification help needed please
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 28 July 09 16:27 BST (UK) »
You are probably already aware, but if not, I noticed that an entry on William, albeit no photo, appears in the book

Forgotten Heroes of Kilrea 1914-18


published by Kilrea Local History Group in 2003
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Offline aghadowey

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Re: Uniform identification help needed please
« Reply #4 on: Tuesday 28 July 09 16:32 BST (UK) »
Thanks- the Kilrea book includes quite a few soldiers that don't really have Kilrea connections but William Caldwell was from Garvagh and is on Garvagh War Memorial. There's more information in Garvagh & Aghadowey Heroes by Robert Thompson (2008) including that photograph and family details.
Away sorting out DNA matches... I may be gone for some time many years!