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Unidentified British Officer

Cabinet Photograph
Pietermaritzburg, Natal
South Africa

August 1900
Aside from a short ink inscription on this photograph's reverse side
that reads
"Taken Aug. 1900" little can be ascertained regarding this
British officer who saw service during the Anglo-Boer War.

No hint as to his rank is easily visible although his shoulder straps
seem to have only one rank insignia on each which given his apparent
age would seem make him a likely candidate for the rank of major.
Additionally no regimental insignia of nay sort can be seen either on
his tunic of helmet. Since the photograph was taken at
Pietermaritzburg, Natal he may have been attached in some manner
to the Natal Field Force but this is just speculation. Given this it must
be admitted that as the above title states he was a most impeccable of
officers from his perfectly tailored uniform to his equally well
groomed mustache.

After closely examining the image to interesting details were noticed.
Like all British officers this man's uniform and accouterments would
have been tailor made form him prior to his departure for South
Africa. When he had his Sam Browne belt fashioned for him the
maker included a number of bullet loops on the shoulder strap. Te
rounds that can be seen filling these loops are probably for his six
shot .455 Mk IV Webbley but interestingly there are only ten loops...  
Ernest Richard Wadham

1st Battalion
Royal Fusiliers (City of London

Cabinet Photograph

c. 1887
Above is one of a pair of photographs that represent what may be
the most unlikely case of actually establishing the full identity of the
subject that you will find here at

I have had these two images for quite some time but have not posted
them until now since I only suspected whom the soldier in question
actually was but lacked the corroborating evidence to positively pin
the photos and the name together.

On their own the two photographs depict a bandsman of an unknown
fusilier regiment, which were taken some time apart. The first image
shows the young soldier in three-quarter wearing his scarlet
bandsman’s full dress tunic. This image is unmarked as to
photographer, location or date but bears an ink inscription on the
reverse side that reads: “To Effie from Ernie.” The second photo
shows the same soldier (seated at left) some years later – he is now a
Lance Corporal – with two other bandsmen from his battalion. This
image was taken in Cairo by M. Venieris and is undated but bears...
Postal Cover from
No. 2866 Private Arthur Haigh
2nd Battalion/the Grenadier Guards

Harrismith, Orange River Colony
South Africa

March 1901
No. 2866 Private Arthur Haigh of
the Grenadier Guards was
something of an inconsistent
soldier to say the least. He was
born about 1872 at Clifton,
Yorkshire to John J. Brown a
tailor and Martha Haigh. He chose
to enlist under the name of Arthur
Haigh and it could be that John
Brown was his stepfather or
perhaps Arthur chose to enlist
under his mother's maiden name
as an alias.
On 26 June 1920 Colonel B. W. Y. Danford,
R.E., Brigadier General Cuthbert Henry
Tyndall Lucas and a Colonel Tyrrell were off
to enjoy what they thought would be a quiet
day of salmon fishing not far from the British
military barracks at Fermoy, Ireland.  
Although accounts differ a bit in the details,
the three British officers were waylaid by
four members of the Irish Republican Army -
Liam Lynch, George Power, Sean Moylan and
Patrick Clanc. Although all three of the
officers were veterans of the recently ended
World War, being out numbered and
surrounded they saw the better part of valour
and surrendered they revolvers they
habitually carried to the Irish Republicans.
An account of the kidnapping and it
immediate aftermath appeared in the 28
June 1920 edition of
The Times:
2nd Lt. Bertram W. Y. Danford
Royal Engineers

Cabinet Photograph
London, England

c. 1894
James Booth Clarkson

Royal Merchant Navy
3rd Battalion, the Royal Fusiliers
Placer County Citrus Colony
Natal Medical Corps
Australian Army Medical Corps

Cabinet Style Photograph

c. 1880s
His is an unusual story to say
the least. While James Booth
Clarkson is a historically obscure
personage today his life is rather
unusual and military point of
view, one that does not quite fit
into the expected categories. He
was medical doctor who resigned...
Drummer John Francis Dunne

A Company
1st Battalion
Royal Dublin Fusiliers

Cabinet Photograph

c. 1880s
When originally purchased, I had no idea
as to the identity of this young soldier, the
image being purchased simply due to its
unique nature and remarkable clarity. I was
contacted by Jenny Bosch - a member of an
Anglo-Boer War group on Facebook - who
kindly informed me of this young man's

John Francis Dunne was born around 1886...