Perhaps they came from different units? The enlarged portion of the pic provided by Mike shows SOMETHING on the chap's slouch hat; I am not entirely up on badges - however, the badge looks like the one with three knots. Perhaps someone with better knowledge of badges might assist. Moreover, the gentleman seated in the front row (second from my left) appears to have a semi-circular shoulder title on the hat across his boot.
Nevertheless, the pic is a fascinating period item. The chaps look worn out and very aware of their achievement.
They are British Army Infantry and the picture would date from beyond the mid war point in time judging by the state of them, although absolutely typical at that stage, they wear a mixture of drill and serge and at least one of them (I would suggest these men all were.) is a member of the wretched "Fighting Fortieth" or "The Excellers" perhaps, rather better known as the Prince of Wales Own Volunteers, who fought a particularly hard campaign in Natal from their arrival in the Colony, notwithstanding, a very good image, their chalk board is very apt, they and their regiment, certainly were "The saviours of Natal"
MGaze wrote: I was given the photo along with some of my grandfathers WW1 memorabilia, on the back it said G.Gaze marked with an X, but there was no X also as he was born in 1893 he is too young to be any of these and he looks nothing like the young chap in the front, I have only one ancestor that I have not been able to trace Frederick Gaze born in Liverpool in 1881, but he does not show up in any records that I can find. Who were these desperado's ?
I am surprised that you have claimed them for the British Army. They must have lost their officers and senior NCO's along the way, and so been allowed to degenerate to resemble Colonial riff-raff. Perhaps the young boy had been adopted as a regimental mascot or enrolled as a boy soldier?