VTC Soldier and His Family Photograph

The Volunteer Training Corps was the Great War’s equivalent to the Home Guard seen in World War II and was a home defence organisation manned by volunteers who were unable to joint the regular forces due to age, health or being in a reserved occupation. Photographs of members of the units that made up the VTC are quite scarce, so this family group is a nice addition to my collection:

The gentleman is seen here with his (younger) wife and daughter and he is dressed in the typical uniform of the VTC. Members were not allowed to have the same pattern of dress as the regular army, so were issued with Norfolk style of jackets which were made of different material that was not needed for the army’s uniform. This chap is clearly too old to serve in the regular forces, but does sport a magnificent moustache. He wears the red ‘GR’ brassard which gave rise to the nickname ‘Gorgeous Wrecks’ for the unit. His cap badge is hard to make out, but would have been of a unique pattern for his local unit, often the town’s coat of arms:

His uniform actually mirrors very closely the suggested pattern put forward in the VTC training manual for private soldiers:

The VTC were used for a variety of home defence duties, including meeting soldiers coming home on leave and directing them to recreation facilities on London’s busy railway termini. The unit did see some actual combat in Dublin during the Easter Rising where a unit supported the regular army, suffering a number of casualties in the process.

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