Author Topic: Query on uniform for Thomas Harding (moved from 1914-1918 section)  (Read 6220 times)

Black Sapper

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New to this site. Not sure if this guy Thomas Harding, aged 18, could have really been a senior NCO but family claim he was promoted quickly due to his athletic & boxing prowess.
Can anybody confirm that his uniform is that of a senior NCO with the 3rd Volunteer Battalion MC Regt? (We think this refers to the Manchester Regt)?
Apologies for poor quality of images.
Any other info or suggestions would be gratefully appreciated
Apologies but following further family research this photo was probably taken ca. 1888 in Lancashire as Thomas Harding has been found to have been born in Liverpool 28.07.1868 and in 1881 lived with his Mother in Stretford, Lancs. He married in Chorlton in 1886 to Frances Gronowsky.
This might help?
« Last Edit: November 12, 2018, 10:29:11 PM by timberman »


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Re: Query on uniform for Thomas Harding (moved from 1914-1918 section)
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2018, 10:17:00 PM »
 Hi Black Sapper

 Welcome to the forum.
 I can't help with the uniform (someone else may be able to)
 I would say if it was the 3rd Volunteer Battalion of the Manchester
 Regiment this became the 9th Battalion Manchester Regiment.
 As for him being a senior NCO at 18 years it's very possible.
 I had a relative that lied about his age and was a Sgt at 17 years
 although the army thought he was 19 years. This went right through
 his army life as on his paper work it had him as 2 years older than he was.

« Last Edit: November 12, 2018, 10:33:22 PM by timberman »

Black Sapper

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Re: Query on uniform for Thomas Harding (moved from 1914-1918 section)
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2018, 10:56:26 PM »
Thanx. Scribbled note on photo says 'Scarlet Uniform'? Wouldn't this indicate photo is earlier than 1914 because didn't we stop wearing red tunics before WW1?

Offline charlie

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Re: Query on uniform for Thomas Harding (moved from 1914-1918 section)
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2018, 06:17:00 AM »
The collardogs are correct for the Manchester Regt. The 3rd Vol. Bn only existed between 1881 & 1908, it became the 9th (Territorial Force) Bn during the Haldene reforms of that year.


Black Sapper

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Re: Query on uniform for Thomas Harding (moved from 1914-1918 section)
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2018, 11:11:08 PM »
Many thanx  ..... just helped so much in the family research.. Thomas Harding must have served only between 1881  & 1891 as he was only age 13 living with his Mum (Dad was in prison) in Grafton Street, Stretford, Lancs. In 1891 he was aged 21/23, a Woolen Salesman, still living with his Mum in Lancaster Road, Withington, Didsbury, Lancs. He married in 1896 in Chorlton and lived with family in Albion Road, South Manchester - he was a Wool Salesman. I doubt that he served with the 9th and/or served in the Boer War? He definitely did not serve in WW1.
Your help very mcuh appreciated.

Offline Gingerfreak

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Re: Query on uniform for Thomas Harding (moved from 1914-1918 section)
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2022, 03:31:43 PM »
Dear Black Sapper
From One Sapper to another.
Regarding the Volunteers - Originally the Volunteers across the Manchester area, were Rifle Volunteers. I'm researching the Wigan Volunteers and I'l use them as the example. The Wigan Volunteers were originally the 21st Lancashire Rifle Volunteer Corps. (21st LRVC). All of the units were LRVC, the number they were given depended on the date they formed. This included the Manchester Units. They had a LRVC number but they were also given a Manchester Regiment number. In the case of your ancester, he was part of the 40th LRVC (also known as the 3rd Manchester). These units made the decision to emulate Rifle Companies and not Line Infantry units. Thier first set of uniforms were Green not scarlet.
Throughout the 1870 and 1880's several changes were made. In 1881,  the War Office, through the Childers Reforms, changed the designation and types of units. Many of the Rifle Regiments became Line Units and changed thier uniforms to scarlet.  For English and Welsh Line units, the facings were white in colour.  If you carry out a search for Harry payne, you will find a picture of the Manchester men in the uniform described.  Your search can start from 1881. In After the Second Boer War, scarlet uniforms were worn less and Khaki dress more often. The Khaki dress was often called 'Service Dress' (Wigan Orders only).  In today's army the crown above the Stripes denotes the rank of Colour Sergeant/Staff Sergeant. The Crossed swords are for Physical Training, I've not seen anyone being designated as a Sgt -Physical Training, but there are Sgt-Inst. Gymnastics. So from the picture he may have been a Sgt-Instructor at Gymnastics. Regarding age and rank. The rank system in the Volunteers did not follow the rank structure of today. From my research there are a number of men in the 1860's and 1870's who are promoted from the rank of Pte to Sgt. These men have taken a proficiency examination and succesfully passed it. In the late 1870's and 1880's the rank structure becomes more rigid. Men are promoted to LCpl, then Cpl etc. There are a few who jump from LCpl to Sgt, or Pte to LSgt but not many. Promotions were made when positions came available. The battalions had a specific number of men and could not recruit more than thier established number. For example, you ancestor could have started out as a Pte in B Company. He passed his proficienct examination and was eligible to be promoted to the rank of Sgt. Each Company had a specific number of slots for SNCO's. 1 CSgt and Sgts. If the only position available as a Sgt is in E Company. He would be moved to E company as a Sgt. He could also be appointed into a rank and await a slot. LCpl's and LSgt's were appointments, these were unpaid slots. So the unit could have several of these in a company.  The terms of service was the same as the TF in 1908. A Volunteer signed on and agreed to complete four years service. they could leave at anytime provided they gave  14 days notice, handed back thier equipment and paid a fee. They usually handed in thier resignation at the end of the Volunteer Year (31st Oct). Personally if I were researching your ancestor I would identify his 18th birthday and then break his service down into 4 year slots.  If he joined earlier than 18,start at the age of 14.  He may have joined as a Bugler of Drummer as a boy. Boys could join from the age of 14 provided they had permission from a parent or guardian. Hope this helps with your research. - Hurrah For The CRE.

Offline artyhughes

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Re: Query on uniform for Thomas Harding (moved from 1914-1918 section)
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2022, 05:48:28 PM »
The photograph of Thoms Harding depicts him wearing a sash over his legt shoulder in infantry regiments the sash is worn over the right shoulder the exception are the Light Infanty units who wear the sash over the left shoulder,