Author Topic: Can anybody identify the uniform in this picture  (Read 372 times)

Offline jimbo09

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Can anybody identify the uniform in this picture
« on: Thursday 23 September 21 23:02 BST (UK) »
Hi all,
I have this picture of this man (and his wife). I think I know who he is, but ...
If I am right he is Captain CJC Sillery, and the picture might be made at the time of his wedding.which was 1861 in Launceston, Tasmania.
At that time he had just recently (1858) transferred as Captain to 1st Bn 12th (East Suffolk) regiment, which was stationed in Aus. Previously, in the Crimea, he had been Captain in 30th foot.
The red coat is common, but the shape of the button fastening may be informative. The white collar with gold braid may be an identifier.

I’d be very glad if anyone could confirm if the uniform belongs to one of these two regiments, at that period.

Otherwise I’ll have to look at some other line of the family. There are other possibilities

Jim
Dowzard, Hurley, Johnston, Cleland, Sillery, Hanbury, Sparrow, Parker, Hall

Offline NSWP

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Re: Can anybody identify the uniform in this picture
« Reply #1 on: Friday 24 September 21 06:10 BST (UK) »
Wow, an old portrait.  A few British Regiments served in Van Diemens Land (Tasmania) load of convicts there.

Anyway, my thoughts are the crown on the collar is the rank badge for a Major, but not sure if it was back then.  Very hard to identify the other badge behind crown, it could be the regimental badge and the buttons tell me nothing.  The 12th Foot served in Tasmania 1854-61, so the portrait could be your man.

Good luck with it !!
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Offline jimbo09

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Re: Can anybody identify the uniform in this picture
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 05 October 21 16:49 BST (UK) »
This is an extract from the picture of the ‘Wreck of the Birkenhead’ by TMM Hemy, from ArtUK website. It shows soldiers of the 12 Suffolk regiment waiting while the women and children are evacuated to the lifeboats ( first use of the order ‘women and children first’).

The date is 1852, close to the potential date of my other picture, the regiment is the same, albeit a different battalion, the uniform of the soldier in the centre is similar, with buttons in the same configuration, white collar, possibly with gold braid.

What do you think...
Could it help confirm my first picture as being 12 Suffolk Regiment?

Jim
Dowzard, Hurley, Johnston, Cleland, Sillery, Hanbury, Sparrow, Parker, Hall


Offline Ians1900

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Re: Can anybody identify the uniform in this picture
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 05 October 21 18:00 BST (UK) »
During the period of 1856-1867 the Rank was denoted using Collar badges and Cuff braiding insignia.

The portrait shows one star, one crown and one line of gold braid.

The man in the portrait is indeed a Captain. Therefore, I would say that it could be the man you say serving in the 12th Regiment of Foot.
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Offline T1

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Re: Can anybody identify the uniform in this picture
« Reply #4 on: Sunday 10 October 21 18:41 BST (UK) »
He's wearing the very short-lived double-breasted tunic, which was introduced in 1855, and replaced by a single-breasted version in 1856. It obviously took a little while for changes in regulation to reach Australia, but highly unlikely the picture is any later than 1857 (and obviously no earlier than 1855).

For 12th foot the cloth of the collar should be yellow, or for 30th foot should be pale yellow, but it appears to be white or buff (the dark yellow around the edge of the collar represents gold lace).  Several regiments had white or buff collars at this time, but it could simply be that the tint used for the pale yellow of the 30th has faded to white.


Offline jimbo09

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Re: Can anybody identify the uniform in this picture
« Reply #5 on: Monday 11 October 21 00:40 BST (UK) »
He's wearing the very short-lived double-breasted tunic, which was introduced in 1855, and replaced by a single-breasted version in 1856. It obviously took a little while for changes in regulation to reach Australia, but highly unlikely the picture is any later than 1857 (and obviously no earlier than 1855).

I had wondered if it was double breasted or not. There appears to be a red sash across the left shoulder, mirroring the visible buttons on the right. Did the buttons on the single breasted version of the late 1850s follow the same line towards the right shoulder?

He didn’t meet his wife to be until after he arrived in Australia (1858), and we are fairly sure that she is the woman portrayed in the other matching miniature, so our date is fairly secure at post 1858, and the marriage was in 1861, which I am speculating was the reason to commission the miniatures.

I also presume that as an officer transferring permanently to another regiment, he would have been expected to get his uniform tailored to the latest requirements at that time (again, 1858), so this makes me a bit confused.

Jim
Dowzard, Hurley, Johnston, Cleland, Sillery, Hanbury, Sparrow, Parker, Hall

Offline Ruskie

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Re: Can anybody identify the uniform in this picture
« Reply #6 on: Monday 11 October 21 06:22 BST (UK) »
What a fabulous thing to have Jimbo! If the portrait of the wife is contemporary with this portrait it might be possible that her clothing can be dated more accurately or more easily, which may help with dating this soldier. Post her picture here if you wish?

Offline T1

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Re: Can anybody identify the uniform in this picture
« Reply #7 on: Monday 11 October 21 06:23 BST (UK) »
Hi Jim

Quote
id the buttons on the single breasted version of the late 1850s follow the same line towards the right shoulder?
No, the opening was down the centre, very similar to the current Guards regiments tunic.  You're right about the sash covering the other row of buttons.

Quote
I also presume that as an officer transferring permanently to another regiment, he would have been expected to get his uniform tailored to the latest requirements at that time (again, 1858)
That's correct, but in any case he would already have been in the 1856 pattern by that date.

It was usually possible to 'wear out' old-pattern tunics inside barracks, but basically officers were required to adopt the current pattern as soon as it was applicable.  The materials used for officers tunics were expensive, they were privately tailored rather than government issue, and most 1855 tunics were probably re-tailored into the 1856 pattern ASAP, rather than kept.

I don't like to say anything's impossible unless it is truly impossible rather than very unlikely, but I'd be very, very surprised if he was still wearing in the 1855 pattern in 1861, five years after it was abolished.

(There are lots of 'old' items you will see used years after abolition, such as swords, badges, informal/undress/working uniforms, but the tunic isn't one of them).

The miniature looks like a tinted photo - the simplest explanation that would tie everything together is they used an old photo for whatever reason.