Help identifying an old photo

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Fromelles
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Can anyone tell me anything about this photo?

It was taken by 'I. Schofield - Mersea Road, Colchester' so he's British (?)

I picked it up locally here in Australia and other than the horse not being real I don't know anything more. To me it looks early 1900 but this period isn't my specialty. So, it's over to the experts, any info on period, pattern of saddlery, possible Unit identity etc. etc. will be very much appreciated.
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Cheers,

Dan


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John M
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This is a very clear photograph of the 1885 pattern bridle. A nice picture. Also clearly shows hussar pattern stirrups and horseshoe case with attached sword frog. Would appear to be an 1890 pattern saddle...looks like a spoon to the cantle. The stirrup appears to have a slot...possibly for attaching a lance bucket. Though the lance attachment strap usually passes through a staple brazed..?...to the side.
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browerpatch
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That ain't a photo of a live horse.
Frank
Fromelles
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Thanks John,

Do you think that 'slot' could in fact be the shadow of the staple?

Is there any idea of what type of unit the trooper (?) may belong to? Could he be Mounted Infantry or Cavalry, does the uniform help to narrow down the field?

Lastly, dating the photo, when's the latest you'd expect this photo to have been taken?

Again, you help is much appreciated.

Dan
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John M
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I think you are right Dan, and that is in fact a staple. Unfortunately, the horse being neither live nor dead...!...but a studio prop, a lancer's stirrup gives no clue as to the identity of the rider or his unit.
But I assume the saddlery used by the photographer is that in use by the military at the time of the photograph. Equipment was phased out when superceded by a new pattern. The pattern of bridle shown was officially replaced by the 1902 pattern but could have remained in use for a few years?. The hussar stirrup was still in use during the Boer War, though the type of stirrup now in use was also in use at this time.
I hope someone can comment re the uniform.
John D Morgan
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Tom Muller
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Guys,

I can't comment on the umiform, but for a trained trooper the way he holds the reins is a bit funny I'd say.

Tom
Larry Emrick
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Gentlemen:
A quick browse reveals an Issac Schofield on Mersea Road Colchester at about the correct period which I would guess to be about the end of the 1800s, so perhaps he was the studio photographer. There is also a reference to a photo of a soldier whose name seems to have been Wolfenden, taken in S. Africa during the Boer War, but I could not open it.
As to the saddle, John, could it be earlier? I ask because the spoon looks to be wooden and more upright than an an 1890.
I agree that he is not holding the reins as a trained trooper should.
As to the uniform the tunic has elements of a Canadian pattern of the period but I am not aware of the Stetson in Canadian service having a pugaree as does this one. Since the photo was found in Australia I am wondering if it is not a studio shot of an Australian taken while in England during the Boer war.
Perhaps our Australian members can shed some light on the tunic and headgear.
Larry
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John M
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Yes, I agree with you Larry re the spoon to the cantle, and the saddle is probably therefore a wood arch UP1856.
John D Morgan
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Gentleman,

I do know that Australia did use the wooden arch UP 1856 as well as other types, including the US McClellan saddles and home made stuffed stock saddles with low knee pads during the boer war.

I can't find a lot of documented proof. Although I have seen photographs in the Australian War Memorial of US McCLellans in use by Australians and I know of a UP1856 saddle that supposedly was used in the Boer war by Australia.

I can't find any evidence when a UP saddle or uniform was introduced acorss the board but I suspect this may have happened around Federation.

I've also used the book by Dr Jean Bou, "Light Horse: A history of Australia's mounted arm", Port Melbourne, Cambridge University Press (2009) as an excellent reference. Jean has debunked a few myths as well as putting up sound arguments.

Jean explains the system Australia used and why they used it during the Boer war. He explains the differences of cavalry, mounted infantry and mounted rifles. Australia also had a state system for defence that relied on each state to look after their own affairs, prior to Federation in 1901. This meant each state had different uniforms and saddlery. Because of the huge losses of horse flesh in the Boer War, different CO's trialled different saddlery as no one system at the early stages of the war were in place.

Jean loosely refers to some of the saddlery but one needs to dig deeper. Certainly the reasons behind the different types of saddlery and uniforms is there. Incidentally the myth debunking is very good. The photograph is a good example but is it necessarily Australian? Did Yeomanry adopt a felt hat?

Also the rosettes on bits are a giveaway. There is a Queensland bit on the UP section of this forum from Redland Bay Museum from this era. Ther appears nothing on this bit to provide clues.

cheers

Gerard
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"A horse, A horse, My kingdon for a horse," from Richard 111 by W Shakespeare 1592.
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