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TOPIC: Imperial Light Horse

Re: Imperial Light Horse 4 years 11 months ago #3713

  • Frank Kelley
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Hi Brett,
Yes, it did exist during the war, I do not have one :angry: but I have seen one and also there are a number of photos of certain Officers wearing the FS cap with the embroidered badge.
Here is Captain Mullins VC.
This type of FS cap, made in Great Britain by a number of tailors, was very popular with cavalry officers in the late nineteenth century and many officers of not just the ILH but other units as well went out to South Africa I suppose really because they "enjoyed it" and were not afraid of a bit of gunpowder and saw it as a bit of an adventure, but they would want to be suitably attired.
They were officers after all, they mentained the high standards of the British army in which many had seen service, take the CO, Scott Chisholme for example, 5th Royal Irish Lancers!
If you handle and read the ILH papers of the rank and file, at the PRO/TNA WO126/127 as I have done, you soon see that a very great number of these men went out from Great Britain and you can tell by there addresses that many are gentlemen, "men about the town" types, Churchill charactors! many of them. Some even had held commissions before joining the ranks of the ILH.
I posted on a thread on here started by "elandslaagte" on the QSA with Elandslaagte clasp and have showed the last QSA I bought to the ILH, Tpr Harber, when I checked his address, I could see he was not the "shilling a day type" Tommy!
For this reason you do sometimes see the odd Boer War ILH badge turn up in the UK, though mine have all come from SA, I'll ask around, Brett, and see what I can find, you could pick up good original badges not all that long ago and with the price of medals now, they did seem quite cheap.
Kind Regards Frank


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Re: Imperial Light Horse 4 years 11 months ago #3725

  • Brett Hendey
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Frank

Thanks again for another helpful and interesting response, and for the photograph of Mullins.

Our local militaria shop has an ILH title (Owen no. 2132. In your photo, it is similar to the one in the righthand row, second down). It is priced at about 40gbp at today's exchange rate, and I will have to do a luxuries/necessities balance before I commit myself to purchase it.

Regards
Brett

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Re: Imperial Light Horse 4 years 11 months ago #3735

  • Frank Kelley
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Hi Brett,
£40 does not sound to bad these days, for a little piece of history, my advice would be go for it and at that price I think I'd buy it.
I'll have a look at what other photos I may have of the ILH officers FS caps being worn.
With regards to the photo of Mullins, after Elandslaagte, he was held up in Ladysmith and during the siege was promoted to major, I think whilst in hospital (he had caught enteric), he rode to Mafeking with Mahon's flying column. I think it was in May 1900 he fought a particularly bloody battle with the Potchefstroom Commando and was shot several times, he did survive but was left a cripple.
I do think, however, the famous photo dates from after that, as he wears the VC ribbon, but, before he was made a CMG later in 1901, after that, he then went back to his law practice in the Rand in 1902 and got married, so I do think this to be a wartime photo.
Well before the ILH became part of the Transvaal Volunteers anyway! but, you know Brett, there are many photos of ILH officers, such as Robert Johnson VC, wearing just ILH on the slouch hat.
Hope this helps, very best regards
Frank

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Re: Imperial Light Horse 4 years 11 months ago #3739

  • Brett Hendey
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Frank

The owner of the militaria shop is away for a week, so I have time to consider the purchase of the ILH title. Your opinion is encouraging.

The approximate dating of the Mullins' photo is good to have on record. The dated group photos of the ILH are unhelpful when it comes to badges and other insignia. I have wondered if the ILH ever wore shoulder titles during the war. In his diary, one of the "first 500", Tpr Fred Freshney, describes the ILH uniform, including "a smasher hat turned up at the left side and the initials I.L.H. attached to it". He makes no mention of shoulder titles.

By contrast, I have in my collection sets of titles for Bethune's Mounted Infantry and Thorneycroft's Mounted Infantry that are clearly for hat and shoulders. Also I have a pair of SALH titles that are clearly shoulder titles. The SALH had distinctive headgear badges.

Regards
Brett

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Re: Imperial Light Horse 4 years 11 months ago #3744

  • iaindh
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Hi Brett,


this is a very interesting thread and I'm enjoying it.
The below photo was taken at Ladysmith and the guy at the back right is clearly wearing an ILH slouch hat badge and also ILH titles. You can also go to the website "Flickr" search Imperial Light Horse and it has the same pic but appears to be clearer plus you can explode it.





Hope this helps
regards,

Iain

Brett Hendey wrote: Frank

The approximate dating of the Mullins' photo is good to have on record. The dated group photos of the ILH are unhelpful when it comes to badges and other insignia. I have wondered if the ILH ever wore shoulder titles during the war. In his diary, one of the "first 500", Tpr Fred Freshney, describes the ILH uniform, including "a smasher hat turned up at the left side and the initials I.L.H. attached to it". He makes no mention of shoulder titles.


Regards
Brett

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Re: Imperial Light Horse 4 years 11 months ago #3745

  • Frank Kelley
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Hi Brett,
Yes, I do think the ILH wore shoulder titles, but perhaps not when raised in 1899, more research needs to be done!
We could start a new post on here on the SALH!
I like the SALH, both Jack and Winston Churchill held commissions in it, I have always found the titles to be very hard to find, some officers wore a curved SALH, finshed with a rich fire gilt, made by List Bros Durban and usually marked as such.
I had this conversation many times down the years, but I think it is worth repeating that these badges were there, actually there, on the veldt, during the war, unlike the medals!
Best regards Frank.

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