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John Young


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 982
Location: Lower Sheering, Essex
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Fashions and hairstyles change but some faces stay the same.

Here are the officers of the 1st/24th photographed in Gibraltar.

This photograph was taken after March 1872 when, as Martin points out above, Cavaye had joined the battalion, but prior to March 1873 as R. R. Corcor is in the photograph very much alive.


Officers 1st/24th, Gibraltar, 1872.

I recall David Jackson telling me he thought officer seated inbetween Glyn and Dunbar was the last of the Sikh War officers serving with the regiment.

Scorer,

On your point about the sullen faces, a thought occurred me maybe it was an anniversary. Glyn was promoted to Lt.-Colonel on 13th February 1867, yet he appears in the first photograph still as a Major, maybe, just maybe it was taken exactly a month earlier on 13th January 1867...

John Y.
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The Scorer


Joined: 27 Nov 2006
Posts: 324
Location: Newport
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John Young wrote:
On your point about the sullen faces, a thought occurred me maybe it was an anniversary. Glyn was promoted to Lt.-Colonel on 13th February 1867, yet he appears in the first photograph still as a Major, maybe, just maybe it was taken exactly a month earlier on 13th January 1867...John Y.


Good point, but it doesn't look as if they're celebrating, though, does it?

Smile
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Peter Ewart


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 1797
Location: Near Canterbury, Kent, England.
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Scorer

The reason why so many Victorian photographs (particularly of this fairly early period, the 1860s or '70s) look so stilted or posed, and the subjects so stern-looking, is the long exposure time required to take the picture.

The subjects had to hold their pose and expression for a very long time - which is why portrait photographers used a clamp to grip the neck of the subject from behind when taking a picture in their studio. Keeping absolutely still for such a length of time (I forget how many seconds during that period but can look it up) as well as holding their facial expression, was essential to avoid blurring the photo. This is why one sometimes sees one individual blurred in a group - he/she couldn't wait any longer before twitching or moving! With an individual portrait it didn't matter (so much) as it could be taken again, but a large group often contains a blurred figure or two, as they'd be all day if they waited for everyone to be perfect.

If you look at John's later group picture (terrific photo, John) you'll see they all look just as grim - every face set tight, after spending ages arranging the configuration of the group & the "studied nonchalance" effect with all facing different ways as usual. In fact, the poses they have all adopted in the Malta snap are very informal, as usual - lounging and slouching deliberately casually in their chairs and the odd pipe drooping from beneath a moustache.

The portraits Alan has displayed here were all taken from studio photos - little cartes de visites of the 1870s. All fairly stern looking as usual. When exposure times became quicker or individuals acquired their own cameras (1890s onwards) they had been grimacing so habitually they never thought to smile for another generation or so! In fact, when you think of it, the average professional studio portrait of any individual did not really contain a smile until well after the last war.

Photographic portraiture was gradually taking over from painted portraits - for those who could afford such - and for centuries a fixed expression rather than a smile had been customary.

Peter
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The Scorer


Joined: 27 Nov 2006
Posts: 324
Location: Newport
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Ah, I wasn't aware of that - thanks for the explanation.

I can't say that I'd have been very pleased to be the subject of the "neck clamp", though - it sounds very painful!

Shocked Smile
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SphinxRiddle


Joined: 05 May 2013
Posts: 5
Location: UK
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As a newcomer to this forum I find this a fascinating thread - some tantalising likenesses but of course as others have said for various reasons it's extremely difficult to be sure of identification.

A lot of those present at Isandhlwana can presumably be eliminated from the Gibraltar photo because at that time they were either too young, known to have been with the second battalion, or not listed on passenger records, but I have a few thoughts to share and would be interested to know what others think:

- In the Gibraltar photo, the middle officer of the five sitting/lying at the front - Mostyn?

- The officer third from right at the back - Melvill?

- If Cavaye is in the photo newly arrived from Sandhurst, could he be the one next to him in civilian clothes, second from right at the back?

- I have a feeling Wardell ought to be present but can't seem to place him - unless the bewhiskered man in the bowler type hat at the back?

- John, you mentioned Corcor - please can you or anyone else enlighten me as to which officer in the Gibraltar photo this was and what fate befell him?

Adam
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Martin Everett


Joined: 01 Sep 2005
Posts: 784
Location: Brecon
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Bowler hatted officer is White

Reginald Rye Corcor - then the Adjutant 1/24th - died at Gibraltar on 3rd March 1873 of pneumonia. Thought to be one of those lying on the ground - left-hand man.

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Martin Everett
Brecon, Powys
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SphinxRiddle


Joined: 05 May 2013
Posts: 5
Location: UK
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Thanks Martin.
It must have been a hard life for all ranks, and I wonder at the turnover of 1/24 officers in the years leading up to 1879 - perhaps some chose to leave but I suspect illnesses or injuries might have shortened the careers of a few.
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John Young


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 982
Location: Lower Sheering, Essex
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SphinxRiddle,

Sorry for a tardy reply here, but it appears there's a problem between my e-mail and the site subscribed link.

Cavaye is there in the back row leaning against the pillar in front of the shuttered window on the left side. At the end of the same row is F. P. Porteous, on Porteous' left is G. V. Wardell.

Melvill & Mostyn I agree with.

I think the officer in front of Dunbar might be Anstey.

Martin,

I thought Corcor was the chap standing on far right of the group, the one you mention looks like a young Browne to me, but it is only a hunch.

John Y.
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Martin Everett


Joined: 01 Sep 2005
Posts: 784
Location: Brecon
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John

I was working from a copy of the photograph which I thought had been annotated by you - but then you are more experienced at putting names to faces.

The 1/24th officer who has escaped me is Sub-Lt Richard Grenville Deane - commissioned 10 March 1875 accidentally downed in Cape Town 31 January 1877. Thought to be buried in Claremont - but I have failed to find his grave.

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Martin Everett
Brecon, Powys
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SphinxRiddle


Joined: 05 May 2013
Posts: 5
Location: UK
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John,

Thanks for clarifying, that's a revelation! I wasn't sure many more of the Isandhlwana contingent were present, but now you point out Cavaye, Porteous and Wardell I can see the characteristic features. I had thought the officer in front of Dunbar might be Anstey too, but have read that Anstey graduated from Sandhurst in 1873 ... so was thinking that if Anstey couldn't have arrived earlier than Jan 1873, and Corcor's presence dates the photograph as pre-March 1873, it's unlikely Anstey would have graduated and arrived in Gibraltar within the first 2 months of the year (though I could be wrong - there's definitely a likeness!).

Adam
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Officers of the 1st/24th Regt. possibly taken on Malta 1867
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