Carte-de-Visite, studio H.W.Bird & Co. in London
Staff Sergeant Drill Instructor, early 1880s, unknown regiment
|This photograph displays an
intensely watching NCO with some very interesting features.
It is the work of Henry William Bird & Co., who operated their London studio between 1878 and 1885.
|The first to attract our interest are the medals
he is sporting :
- Second Afghan War Campaign Medal, no clasp ;
- Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, meaning he completed 18 years good service.
Four Hussar Regiments were involved in the 2nd
Afghan War (1878-1880) :
It is to be noted that the Afghan War Medal was first displayed in August 1881, which helps to better frame the date when the photograph was taken.
|A second interesting element is the lace that
adorns his pill-box hat ; this lace pattern was associated with the
older Hussar Regiments (those that were Hussars before 1861), and is
known to have been sported by the 7th, 8th, 10th and 13th Hussars.
The 15th Hussars, mentionned above, were known to have a special lace pattern knwon as the "Austrian Wave", as can be seen here.
|Last, we'll take a closer look at the
embroidered Arm Badges worn by our man.
They indicate his rank and trade a "Staff Sergeant Drill Instructor". The Crown is part of the rank badge.
Hussar NCOs would also wear Regimental Arm
Badges ; let's review the regiments we have come across so far :
So from what I know, no obvious regimental
connexion comes through ; he seems to be sporting uniform elements
consistent with the 7th Hussars, but they were not in Afghanistan.