|Information Regarding the Origins, Scope and Intent of this Website
The seed for soldiersofthequeen.com was sown back in the early 1990's long before the Internet was what is today. In those days simply finding an original
cabinet photograph of carte de visite of a Victorian-era British soldier was an adventure in itself. In other words it was almost impossible for someone living
in California and I considered myself lucky to find one or at the best two a year at local gun and militaria shows. Quite often the available images were not of
the best quality either in content or condition but one took what one could get.
I was at first in something of a quandary as to what form the overall organization of the museum should take. Should
the photographs be organized by regiment and service? Should it be laid out in a chronological format or by photographic
type? In the end I decided to categorize the collection based upon geographic location withing the old British Empire to
which each specific photograph related. While this may not seem the most logical of systems to some it does lend itself
to browsing withing a relatively casual setting. For those looking for specific units or subjects I added a site search
feature on the title page of the website. As time has gone by I have added addition categories which do not fit into the
geographical format - the "Old Soldiers" and "Odd & Unusual" sections are but two examples.
At the same time I decided to forgo including extensive regimental histories or accounts of battles and campaigns. It was
felt that this would simply take up for too much time and space for a subject already dealt with quite well in other
websites and traditional publications. Links to a few such resources can be found on this websites's "links" page.
Location, location, location: In most cases I have used old style place names in the descriptions that accompany each
photograph. By doing so I am making no "statement" political or otherwise but simply keeping things in a proper
historical context. For example a photograph may have been taken c. 1900 in Quetta, India. It will be listed as such and
not as being taken in Quetta, Pakistan simply because the nation of Pakistan did not exist in 1900.
|How it all began: The first four images in the soldiersofthequeen.com collection
Below are the humble beginnings of the soldiersofthequeen.com collection. These four images - a decidedly mixed bag - were all acquired at the old Great
Western Gun Show that was held at the Pomona Fair Grounds in outside Los Angeles, California prior to 1999 when the show was closed for the last time.
Army Hospital Corps Private
Carte de Visite
Royal Artillery Bombardier
|Private John Harvey
The Devonshire Regiment
Carte de Visite
|Overall Organization of this Website
|Research, Methods and Accuracy
A wide variety of sources are used while researching the subjects in the soldiersofthequeen.com collection. These
sources range from a modestly sized collection of books in my library to a number of widely know websites. At times
I use the services of professional researchers in Great Britain who have close access to the Public Records Office
archives in Kew. Recently I have been making steady use of Google Book Search since this service allows free access
to hundreds of long out of print books including many issues of the Army Lists from the 1800's as well as other
regimental histories. These books can be viewed online and in many cases downloaded in full for free in .pdf format.
I have also been making an almost constant use of ancestry.com and footnote.com. The former allows access to
millions of documents including census records, immigration and emigration documents, military records etc. from
dozens of countries while the later allows access to a wide variety of documents of photographs from the National
Archives in Washington, D.C. Both of these sites are accessible via subscription. In addition the London Gazette is an
invaluable aid in tracking the career path of British officers as well as the award of significant honours, These
records dating back to the 1600's are available online. Access to the Gazette is free. Links to these resources are
provided below and on the www.soldiersofthequeen.com links page.
Additional and quite often valuable information has been provided my many visitors to the website. These
contributions are always welcome and gladly accepted. In all such cases the contributor is always credited by name.
I strive to be as accurate as humanly possible with my research but with all such endeavors mistakes do creep in.
The shear scope of the subject matter can be daunting - a person can make a lifelong career in the study of just
regimental badges alone - with the job of identifying badges, medals, uniforms in all of their Victorian variations and
splendor is complex to say the least. When I find mistakes or errors I fix them, When a visitor brings one (or more)
to my attention I fix those and always extend a hearty "Thank you". I have always wanted the website to be the best
it can possibly be and will always work with that goal in mind.
In regards to providing research services: Please understand that I am unable to provide extensive research
services. I will try to answer specific questions as time permits.
in shirt sleeves.
Carte de Visite
As time went by new online avenues for the collector opened up and as my collection began to grow
I began to consider various was of sharing these images with a wider audience. I have found that far
too many collectors become in effect hoarders. Items they collect more or less vanish from the
public eye until some distant time in the future when these same objects re-enter the market place
for any number of reasons - the passing away of the owner, a change of interests, an intolerant
spouse or any combination thereof. This was something that I did not to happen with the
photographs I was collecting.
In March, 2005 I determined that there was no better time than now and I decided to create an
online museum of sorts that would enable my collection to be shared with as many like-minded
individuals as possible and after working out the basics of website building and design (my
background in graphic design has helped a lot) I launched soldiersofthequeen.com.
As time has gone by the original emphasis of uploading as many images as possible has shifted
somewhat with a new importance being placed upon researching the otherwise forgotten lives of the
many "Tommy Atkins" and "Sergeant Whatsisnames" recorded in the photographs. In doing this I
have found one of the two greatest rewards in creating and maintaining this website. The other has
been the completely positive response I have received from the many visitors to the this
"museum". To the best of my knowledge soldiersofthequeen.com is the largest website of it kind
|A Group of Cheshire Regiment Privates Playing Cards
and Drinking Beer
|Capt. Thomas Harold Mortimer Green,
2nd Batt. Notts & Derbyshire Regt.
|Ancestry.com - a subscription based genealogy website with an incredible wealth of original documents, census, military records etc.
|The London Gazette - free archive search of the London Gazette going back to the 1600's. Excellent for tracking British military officer's careers and citations for
awards of valour.