Going back to the Red Velvet Victorian Photo Album that I posted a while back, I think I finally made a wee little bit of headway on the identity of two of the photos. I decided to see if there were any military enthusiasts out on the web that dealt with the British army around about 1890. I was running under the assumption that the album was put together between about 1885 and 1900, based on some of the other photos that I can identify. Wouldn’t you know it, there’s a niche for everyone on the internet, and I ended up finding a site on Victorian Wars. My original posting and the replies are here in case you wanted to see. I was able to locate the service record for Harry Battin and it matched up perfectly with two of my photos which appear to be the same man! The folks in the forum and their knowledge is invaluable – they’ve helped me figure out these two and another photo and provided SO much information about the Army during that time. They’re really something special!
Harry Battin enlisted with the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry on 1 October 1892. Harry is Jessie Battin’s brother, Jessie being my 2nd Great Grandmother. He lists his next of kin as his oldes brother, Alfred Battin. He was born in Lawhitton, Cornwall on 10 Oct 1871. On his record, it lists that he served in two campaigns, the North West Frontier of India 1897-98 and Tirah 1897-98. He was transferred to the reserve on 10 July 1903, and discharged on 30 September 1904. In 1905, he married Sarah Ann Maunder and had three children as of the 1911 census – Ivy, William Henry, and Alfred John. In the 1911 England Census, he lists his occupation as, “Horse man on Farm,” and is living back in Lawhitton. He died in 1951, but I don’t have much information on his death. The last name is spelled either Battin or Batten. On his service record, it’s Battin and on the 1911 census, it’s Batten.
This one was probably taken between 1892 and 1894. His service record lists him as home (meaning anywhere in the UK) during 1 Oct 1892 through 31 Jan 1894. I haven’t been able to find much on the photographer stamped on the back of the photo, but it’s on my to-do list.
This photo was probably taken later, as the folks on the forum suggested. He’s posing with his foreign service white helmet which would mean that the photo was probably taken in India. Taking that to his service record, he was in India from 1 Feb 1894 to 21 December 1900. It’s a broader time span, but he had enough time to get his Good Conduct Badge (the stripe on his left sleeve, near the cuff). There are no good identifying marks on the back to help me figure out who took the photo and when – the numbers are likely identifiers by the photographer to figure out who the photo belonged to (index numbers of some sort?).
Anyway, that’s my latest big discovery on the album identification process. Again, I wanted to express my thanks to the VictorianWars.com forum members for being SO helpful!