Imperial Yeomanry Photograph

Last week, once again Huddersfield second hand market proved that you don’t need deep pockets to find attractive additions to the collection, when this delightful photographic card showed up for just a pound. My thanks go to Toby Brayley, Robert Barnes and Martin Brayley for their input in identifying the interesting features of this photograph. Dating from the Edwardian period, this intriguing image has a soldier and his ‘girl’ in a typical studio portrait:SKMBT_C36416041913050_0001 - Copy (9)The woman in the photograph is wearing typical Edwardian dress, with a long and fairly staid dress and a large flowered hat:SKMBT_C36416041913050_0001 - Copy (6)The soldier is wearing service dress, dating the photograph to after 1902, the shoulder straps seem to be removable:SKMBT_C36416041913050_0001 - Copy (5)This feature was deleted in 1904 so it would appear that regardless of the date of the photograph, his jacket must be a very early example. On his head he wears a slouch hat with what appears to be a large feather:SKMBT_C36416041913050_0001 - CopyThis suggests he is a member of the Imperial Yeomanry, who saw service in the Boer War, as indicated by the medal ribbon on his chest that looks like the Queen’s South African Medal:SKMBT_C36416041913050_0001 - Copy (2)Note below the medal ribbon the chain running from his button holes to the breast pocket- this presumably is attached to either a watch or a whistle. In his hands he carries a walking cane with a head made of what appears to be two spritzer rounds:SKMBT_C36416041913050_0001 - Copy (4)He has a single long service and good conduct chevron on his lower sleeve:SKMBT_C36416041913050_0001 - Copy (3)As ever with the service dress uniform it is worn with black ankle boots and puttees:SKMBT_C36416041913050_0001 - Copy (8)The photograph is mounted on heavy card, with a photographer’s name on the bottom:SKMBT_C36416041913050_0001 - Copy (7)This indicates the photograph was taken in Oldham, and it is possible the man is a member of A Squadron, Duke of Lancaster’s Own Imperial Yeomanry who were based in the town and the unit participated in the Boer War, before being transferred to the Territorial Army in the 1908 army reforms. If anyone can shed further light on this then please, as ever, get in contact.

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