This late 19th Century cabinet photo depicts what appear to be at least three generations of the same family serving together in an Indian volunteer corps.
The oldest gentleman standing at right wears a medal on his right breast which may be a life-saving medal. The young bugler (or drummer) is armed with an 1857 pattern drummer's short sword which was standard with regular British forces. The corporal at left is armed with a Martini-Henry rifle and wears a volunteer pattern marksman or sharpshooters qualification badge on his left cuff. Under magnification, the seated officer's collar badges seem to conform to those of East Coast Rifle Volunteers (ECRV). The badge consisted of a circular bugle surmounted by a crown with the ECRV cipher in the center.
The East Coast Rifle Volunteers were a volunteer corps based in the northeastern part of the Madras Presidency, the coastal part of what is now Andhra Pradesh. The ECRV was established in 1890 by the amalgamation of the Godavari Rifle Volunteers and the Vizagapatam Rifle Volunteers.
Fred Ahrlé & Company - Photographer
Bombay, Madras & Bangalore, India