I have a family photo (see below) and I am trying to confirm the identity of the man.

I have a suspicion who it is - the person was born in 1874 in England. So if he was in his 20s to 30s at the time of the photo that would make it late 1890s or more likely early 1900s.

My main problem is that I had no idea that this person served in the army. The uniform strikes me as more WW1 but I am no expert in such matters, not sure if similar uniforms were used pre-WW1.

The photo is firmly stuck in a frame at present and I have not tried to remove it because I do not want to damage it. However the back appears blank.


The question is, approximately what date was the photo taken, and does the uniform give any hints as to date, regiment or rank?

2 Answers 2


Well there appear to be three chevrons on his right sleeve which would indicate a sergeant but there is also something above the chevrons - most likely a crown which would make him a staff sergeant or colour sergeant depending on his regiment.

The buttons might identify the regiment but I'm not sure there's enough detail there to make out any symbol or pattern on them.

As far as date goes it appears to be a reasonable match for first world war era uniforms but I suspect could also be before that though probably not before the turn of the century.

  • TomH, very interesting. I'll see if I can get a better scan of the buttons, this is a photo of a photo since I couldn't get it out the frame easily to scan.
    – AN9
    Commented Dec 10, 2017 at 1:32

The shoulder title will also indicate his regiment. The angle makes it hard to read, and again a close up of that area may aid identification. It appears to be short and straight, so with that and the white lanyard around his shoulder it could point to something mounted eg ASC or RFA. There people with more expertise around on Twitter, so I’ll retweet the tweet that brought me here.

Here we go, a farrier serjeant, probably cavalry rather than my previous suggestions https://twitter.com/taff_gillingham/status/940694156543954945

  • Here we go, a farrier serjeant, probably cavalry rather than my previous suggestions twitter.com/taff_gillingham/status/940694156543954945 Commented Dec 12, 2017 at 21:28
  • Definitely looks like the Royal Horseguards badge from WW1. If he was a farrier, wouldn't he have been more likely to have a full beard? Would he have been known as a Lance Corporal of Horse rather than a serjeant? I know this was/is the case with Life Guards, but it might not have applied to RHG at this time.
    – Nick
    Commented Dec 24, 2017 at 11:25
  • Just compared the style of uniform with my great-uncle's (a known WW1 NCO in The Yorkshire Regiment) and it is a good match.
    – Nick
    Commented Dec 24, 2017 at 11:31

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