I bought a minature painting in a wooden / gilt frame. The portrait is signed Lila Sampson. Inside the frame was another miniature painting of a man in uniform. I am trying to find out more about both paintings. I would like to know if anyone could help to idenitfy the regiment of the soldier or any information about either painting. Lila Sampson was born in Derbyshire SAMPSON Lila fl. 1904-1922 She was a Portrait painter who lived in Tibshelf, Derbyshire and exhibited many works ar the Nottingham Castle Museum and also showed at the RA. [minature 01][1]

Here is the minature that was dislpayed in the frame, the painting of the soldier was found when I opened the frame.

enter image description here

  • Thus far all I have found is that two miniatures were exhibited at the RA and it was reported about in the Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal - Friday 09 May 1913. Still it's a good clue, and hopefully should allow me to possibly track down more information. I'm not sure if there is any regimental information able to be garnered from the from the picture itself though. Is there a photo of the other miniature?
    – Anaryl
    Mar 12, 2017 at 14:10
  • Thank you for your time and information, this is very interesting, I will try to add a photograph of the other minature. The painting of the soldier was found inside the frame, ( it wasn't displayed ). Mar 15, 2017 at 16:22
  • I have pasted in the image of the other minature, lower down in the thread, as I couldnt insert it into a 'reply' box. Mar 15, 2017 at 16:32

2 Answers 2


The regiment is identified by the collar badge. This soldier was a member of the Devonshire Regiment

enter image description here

The Devonshire Regiment was a line infantry regiment of the British Army which served under various titles and served in many wars and conflicts from 1685 to 1958, such as the Second Boer War, the First World War and the Second World War.

  • Thank you, how interesting to find out more information. When I found the soldier's image inside the frame, ( hidden under the female portrait pasted in to a box below) I wanted to find out more about him. Thank you so much for your time and input. Mar 15, 2017 at 16:34

I could say also that the soldier obvious has the rank of ____ due to my deep knowledge of British army rank insignia.

That would be a lie.

But cheating by looking at the Wikipedia article on British army rank insignia I deduce that he was probably a lieutenant in the period 1800 to 1902 or second lieutenant after 1902. The golden thread "things" on his shoulders each have two metallic appearing objects. The ones closest to his neck don't matter since they are part of all rank insignia. The ones farthest from his neck are probably "Bath stars".

In the period 1880 to 1902 a lieutenant's rank insignia was one Bath star, and after 1902 a second lieutenants' rank insignia is one Bath star.


Since Lila Sampson is said to have flourished as a portrait painter from 1904 to 1922, this is probably a second lieutenant from 1904-1922.

I believe that in this period there would be about one or two second lieutenants per company in this period, eight companies per battalion, and usually two battalions per regiment, and thus about 16 or 32 second lieutenants per regiment. They might serve for a couple of years before being promoted, so in the 18 years of Lila Sampson's career there might have been 144 or 288 second lieutenants in the Devonshire regiment.

During World War One the Devonshire Regiment expanded to a total of 29 battalions. I don't know how many of the hundreds of new second lieutenants during the war would have had red full dress uniforms like the one in the portrait.

  • Based on the above, some browsing through the photos on this site may yield an answer.
    – MCW
    Mar 12, 2017 at 18:48
  • Thank you I have looked through some of the photographs, so far I havent found him, but I will keep looking. It is so very moving, to look at so many soldiers faces. Mar 15, 2017 at 16:54

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