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I am trying to research my grandfather’s WW1 service record. All I have to go on is this photo, which has a Taunton photography studio on the back. I think it might be the Somerset Light Infantry, but the uniform has some differences/oddities and I don’t know what that says about the specifics of rank/battalion etc.

There’s no piping down the front of the tunic and there are flap pockets at his hips. Also the collar and cuffs appear to be the same color or shade as the rest of the tunic. He had a very common name, so any information to narrow down the search would be greatly appreciated!

  • 4
    This question has been flagged as opinion related; I'm skeptical. We have a good record of identifying uniforms from photographs; we have lots of experts on military uniforms and some really excellent skills at photography analysis/searching.
    – MCW
    Commented Jun 3, 2020 at 11:55
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    you say the uniform has some oddities - could you be more specific?
    – MCW
    Commented Jun 3, 2020 at 11:56
  • Cap badge looks like Somerset Light Infantry to me. Banner across the top should read "Jellalabad" (in all caps). Letters "PA" Prince Albert's) between the bugle hangers below the crown fogs it up enough to look solid in the photo.
    – R Leonard
    Commented Jun 3, 2020 at 15:34
  • Thanks guys. I only recently saw the photo for the first time as I live in Australia. The badges taken with the Taunton photographer seemed to match the Somerset light infantry cap badge. The owner of a local militaria shop said it wasn't a dress uniform as it had pockets, no dark blue facings and no piping down the front. He said it looked like a home service undress frock, except that it had piping on the cuffs, collar and shoulder straps (but he's not an expert on British uniforms). I haven't been able to find any uniforms that match these details on the web. Can anyone shed light? Commented Jun 4, 2020 at 0:13

1 Answer 1


The local militaria shop owner is absolutely correct. It’s a 7-button home service undress frock as worn for smart working dress in barracks. The basic garment could have piping added in a variety of ways and some units chose to do so. The basic giveaway is the lower pocket flaps (the pocket was inset within the skirt of the jacket) and the absence of white piping down the front join. The frocks were made from a more coarse woollen material than the fine ‘cloth’ (as it was termed) of full dress and had a looser cut so that in colder weather it could be layered. However, after the 2nd Anglo/Boer War it became increasingly common for some units, especially regimental depots (such as is probably the case here) to encourage frocks to be worn for walking out dress in order to preserve in better condition the full dress tunics used for review order. The collar and cap insignia confirms that the regiment concerned is Prince Albert’s (Somerset) Light Infantry. I hope that helps. (“Frogsmile” Great War Forum)

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