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Cpl. Christian Ferdinand Schiess
Alan
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Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 1326
Location: Wales
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I have been directed to a site:
http://undereveryleaf.wordpress.com/page/2/
which has an article about Rorke's Drift and with information about Schiess,
and a photo which I haven't seen before. It looks most unlikely to me.



Can anyone out there, (if there still is anyone), who can pass an opinion on it?

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peterw


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 863
Location: UK
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I know little about uniforms and equipment but there is nothing that looks familiar in the picture to suggest it is Natal Native Contingent, British or Colonial forces.

Peter
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John Young


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 923
Location: Lower Sheering, Essex
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Alan,

That is Alan Richard Hill (later Hill-Walker), who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions at the Battle of Laing's Nek, 1st Boer War, 28th January 1881, whilst serving in the 58th (Rutlandshire) Regiment.

In the photograph Hill is wearing the uniform of a Captain in the 2nd Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment.

John Y.
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peterw


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
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Memo to self: stick to commenting on medals........

Well spotted John. The square-type cap badge threw me.

Peter
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John Young


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
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Peter,

It is not the first time that Alan Hill V.C. has appeared on this forum with regard to C. F. Schiess V.C.

John Y.
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Alan
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Joined: 30 Aug 2005
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While I have your attentions, have you viewed the topic:
http://www.rorkesdriftvc.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=27928#27928 ?

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AMB


Joined: 07 Oct 2005
Posts: 871
Location: Queensland, Australia
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An interesting picture. Clearly shows the individual wearing a Sam Browne belt. I think [I may be wrong] not generally worn outside India prior to the 2nd Boer War.

One wonders when the picture was taken. Thoughts anyone?

AMB
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John Young


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
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AMB,

He served with the 1st Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment as a Major in the Tirah Campaign of 1897-8, so the photograph as a Captain clearly pre-dates that.

Since The London Gazette site was changed searching for dates of promotion has become a nightmare.

I have seen examples of the Sam Browne being worn in South Africa 1879, one officer of the 3rd/60th certainly springs to mind.

John Y.
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Martin Everett


Joined: 01 Sep 2005
Posts: 780
Location: Brecon
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John


Lt - 29 Jan 1881
Capt - 1 Sep 1886
Maj - 22 Sep 1896
Retired 12 Oct 1901

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Martin Everett
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John Young


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
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Location: Lower Sheering, Essex
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Martin,

Thanks for the information!

AMB,

Given that we can bracket the photograph above between 1st September 1886 and 22nd September 1896.

Regards,

John Y.
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AMB


Joined: 07 Oct 2005
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Location: Queensland, Australia
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Martin - great info. Many thanks.

John,

Being able to date the photo [least give a window] does now make the wearing of the two-strapped Sam Browne more logical.

AMB
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John Young


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
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Location: Lower Sheering, Essex
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AMB,

No I don't think does. Officer's kit was very much a personal choice.

I've located the photograph concerned above in Northampton Museum Collection, see:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/northampton_museum/3004148993/

They have given it a tentative date of circa 1890, when he was the Adjutant of the V.B.'s of the Northamptonshire Regiment, which makes the khaki drill jacket even more intriguing. More questions than answers here!

John Y.
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AMB


Joined: 07 Oct 2005
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Location: Queensland, Australia
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Hmm..we have some interesting questions to answer!

Adjt of a VB with a Khaki jkt? Maybe not unknown(?). Maybe a Regular serving with the VB took some 'liberties' with his dress.

Thinking afresh now:

Not sure if the picture shows his rank as a Lt or Capt. Not sure if I can see two bath stars or three on the should boards....

When did he go to India? Maybe this was a picture taken in his India SD, but whilst he was still only a capt [if the pic is as a capt!]? Was he a major on arrival in India or whilst in India? Could he have been a capt whilst preparing to go to India or in the early stages of his time in India, thus explaining the Khaki SD?

Thoughts anyone?

AMB
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John Young


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
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AMB,

You can see two stars which was the rank insignia of a Captain until 1902, the other piece I presume to be a unit designation.

Here's an example of a Captain in Levee Dress of the S.W.B.'s taken in Dublin circa 1888.


Two stars on the shoulder boards, and the cuff insignia of Captain.
John Young Collection.

Close-up of rank insignia:

John Young Collection.

If you look at https://www.flickr.com/photos/northampton_museum/3004984250/in/photostream/ you can see what Hill like as a Major with his I.G.S. up.

John Y.
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AMB


Joined: 07 Oct 2005
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Location: Queensland, Australia
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John,

Ah! Not sure I knew about the rank pre-1902 - thank you!

So, we're back to where and when was the photo taken. India or elsewhere. India would offer the easiest explanation for both tunic and Sam Browne.

AMB
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Cpl. Christian Ferdinand Schiess
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