Please can anyone confirm whether the photo shows a uniform of a Corporal in the R.H.A.(Royal Horse Artillery) of the British Army in about the 1870s? An ancestor of mine was in the R.H.A in the 1870s stationed in India. I am attempting to identify if the photo is of my ancestor.

In 1876 he may have been a Corporal in RHA the Exeter Barracks . He died age 25 in Campbellpore Bengal, India in 1880 of heat stroke.

(Royal Horse Artillery )

  • Please provide anything you know about the picture, such as year of birth, any known military service, etc. Dec 23, 2020 at 18:45
  • 1
    @Karl64 please move all the information into the question.
    – MCW
    Dec 23, 2020 at 19:52

2 Answers 2


He's definitely a soldier from a British infantry regiment and the collar badges show he is a Fusilier. Lancashire and Northumberland were still wearing a white collar and cuffs at that period (going by the the cap, circa 1897), which leaves the Royal Regiments with dark blue collars and cuffs. The exact style of collar badge suggests the Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment). He is dressed for walking out of barracks. If you can indicate a location from a photographic studio I can corroborate the regiment further.

Collar badges as per Churchill’s book, uniforms as per Simkin prints and others, although he made a lot of mistakes. Most of it’s from my own study during 40 years in the Army and 50 years collecting and researching.
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  • 4
    This would be improved by including some supporting sources for this unit information.
    – Steve Bird
    Sep 19, 2021 at 16:22
  • Hellis & Sons seem to have been a large London firm, so this fits. Sep 19, 2021 at 18:15
  • Thanks Andrew, that’s helpful and confirms matters. For some years the RF regimental depot and HQ was at Hounslow, but before WW1 it changed to the Tower of London.
    – Frogsmile
    Sep 20, 2021 at 18:39
  • @Frogsmile - good answer, good edits, I just merged the two answers for clarity. Thank you for this contribution. And upvote.
    – MCW
    Sep 21, 2021 at 21:22

There is a materially different aspect that I need to add that seems to warrant a separate answer. If the moderators disagree please feel free to add this to my original answer.

The image is quite faded and so I missed a key aspect at first. On both cuffs appear to be decorative Austrian knots and these were a feature of Volunteer Battalions (VB) for infantry regiments of the British Army. Originally part of a stand alone Rifle Volunteer Movement formed from citizenry during an invasion scare of 1859, during wide ranging reforms instituted by the government ministers Cardwell and Childers, the rifle volunteers were allocated as auxiliary units to the regular infantry. Although this involved many of the auxiliaries to completely change the style of their uniforms, they retained the Austrian cuff knots as a mark of their auxiliary status. This indicates that the man in the photo is from a VB of the Royal Fusiliers and bases in London where he was required to attend weekly and weekend training sessions at so-called drill halls, near to his home.

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