Image of British soldier, probably taken in the late 1800s. Born in 1825, died in 1899.

Could you help me identify his rank and regiment?

enter image description here

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    Any more information you have will increase the chances of an answer. Do you know which country's forces he was in? Army or Navy? Feb 19, 2017 at 23:39
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    The helmet would point to a British Home Service unit, as it was adopted in 1878.
    – JMVanPelt
    Feb 19, 2017 at 23:47
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    As JMVanPelt suggest this seems to be a British uniform. Look at these pictures of officers from the 24th Regiment of Infantry in 1879: See here or here. But I can't find a picture with the uniform jacket and helmet together.
    – gdir
    Feb 20, 2017 at 5:07
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    Are you sure he's British? Spiky helmet, looks German to me. How do you know?
    – Ne Mo
    Feb 20, 2017 at 9:13
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    @Tim: If you know the name of that person, you could also try to search online in the British Army archives.
    – gdir
    Feb 20, 2017 at 15:25

4 Answers 4


The uniform in the picture would seem to be that of an officer of a rifle brigade from the United Kingdom and not of a hussar as posited in another answer. This can be attested by the pouch belt chain lion worn across the chest. This item was worn, as far as I know, only by the officers of the rifle regiments/brigades. Furthermore, the style of embroidery and dull tint of the braid seems to align with the green jacket of the rifle brigade. Source: http://www.victorianstrollers.co.uk/stevesuniforms/riflecorps.html

As to the rank of the man pictured, it is hard to say. His sleeves and collar are relatively plain and thus would suggest he is not a particularly high ranking officer. Also, his only medal seems to denote a short or uneventful career despite his advanced age. Perhaps, he was simply a reserve officer in the London Rifle Brigade or some other reserve unit which didn't see much action before the 20th century.


This looks to be a British Hussars uniform. Here is an example of a Hussar's Uniform:

enter image description here

This image, from 1895 is a young Winston Churchill as a 2nd Lt. 4th Queen's Own Hussars.

Note the braided bands, descending in width, and the wrist braid pattern seems the same. Other details don't match however, so at the moment I'm unable to nail down the exact unit or rank from above. The British cavalry units changed designations several times during the 19th century, using Lancers,Hussars, and Dragoons.

some links:

On a genealogical note, there is an entry concerning a JH Abbot, who was a member of the Kings Own Hussars, but the other info doesn't seem to correspond with your photo.

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    The home service helmet makes me think he's actually from a Rifles regiment, as the helmet does not appear to have been issued to Horse units. That would also rule out Artillery, whose home service helmet had a ball instead of a spike, and troops serving abroad. Officers in Rifle units sometimes wore tunics with braids, as shown here. Patrol jackets for use when not in service, also had braids. I'm no expert on this though.
    – JMVanPelt
    Feb 21, 2017 at 18:17
  • @ JMVanPelt definitely looks like a possibility, I think you should put up as an answer. I do concur on your helmet identification, but I also consider the possibility due to its position on a pedestal that it may hold a special place of honor for this individual, and might not be part of his uniform.
    – justCal
    Feb 21, 2017 at 18:50

By the thickness of the sleeve details, color of the pants and no collar details... Fits almost perfectly with C.S.A. major meds uniform.

I've never seen a pickelhaube like that but there's a site where you can certainly get a more accurate information about that souvenir. http://www.pickelhaubes.com


This is a British rifles uniform, circa 1878 to 1902. It is definitely a British "home service helmet' as someone mentioned, not a german 'pickelhaube'. The braided tunic shown was worn by officers and senior non-commissioned officers (NCOs). He doesn't have an officer's shoulder straps, so he is a senior NCO. His uniform does not match one of the regular army rifles regiments, and I am sure he is a member of a Volunteer Rifle Corps, a part-time unit similar to the US National Guard.

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