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Pte Scotch VRC.png

Based on the date, location, and uniform pictured in this carte de visite. it appears to depict a private of the Cape Colony volunteer unit the Scotch Volunteer Rifle Corps.



Originally raised in 1859 as No. 5 Company, the Cape Royal Rifles, the unit's Scottish element broke away from the parent unit in 1861 as the Scotch Volunteer Rifles Corps.


The Corps was stationed at Table Bay in the wake of the Trent Affair when war between Britain and the U.S. seemed a real possibility. The unit received a bad fitness report in 1864 and was disbanded in 1866.


Possibly due to supply problems the unit's uniforms were described as "mixed". Apparently, the only kilted members of the unit were the commanding officer and possibly the two pipers that were listed on strength. One source shows other ranks wearing tartan trews but this volunteer seems to be wearing trousers of a dark but uniform color. He is armed with what appears to be a P1853 three-band Enfield Rifle - the unit being disbanded before the Snider-Enfield could have been supplied to it.

Carte de Visite
C. Dickinson - Photographer
Port Elizabeth, Cape Colony, Southern Africa
c. 1865

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