c.1885 - Sergeant | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

c.1885 - Sergeant

Primary tabs

c.1885 - Sergeant

Subject: Sergeant. I've enlarged the distinctive items of his uniform, and welcome any additional information about what they signify.
Photographer: Wing Chong
Format: cabinet card
Date: c.1885. The back of the card gives the photographer's address as "No. 74, Queen's Road, Upstairs. Opposite the Central Market." Wing Chong was there in 1885 (see https://gwulo.com/node/31857)

Photo courtesy of The Pottinger Hong Kong hotel.

Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Thursday, January 1, 1885


Thanks to everyone who replied to my question asking for help identifying these soldiers.

Jim suggested the Devonshire Regiment, and Guy suggested the Suffolk Regiment. Both have castles in the centre of their badges, but the pictures of the Devonshire and Suffolk badges I found online show castles with three towers, not the two towers in this photo.

[Update from Peter Hall: "David the Victorian Suffolk Regiment badge had two towers, later changed to three towers with a King's Crown." Obviously my Google image searches aren't the best way to find the answer!]

Here's a closer look at the badge in this photo, and a badge from another photo in the set:


Ian suggested the Northamptonshire Regiment, but again my online search turned up badges with three towers.

Then a second suggestion for Northamptonshire arrived from Peter Hall, accompanied by this photo:

Northamptonshire Badge.JPG

That looks like a match to me! Maybe the design changed to the three-tower version later?

This 1902 military list says the 2nd Battalion of the Northamptonshire Regiment was in Hong Kong from 1885 til 1888, matching the date we estimated from the photographer's address, so the Northamptonshire Regiment it is!

The next question is to ask what do the two crossed stripes on his sleeve mean?

Regards, David

Probably a Marksman's patch (crossed rifles), similar to this one?


Thanks to bunce for identifying this, and to James Fell for the confirmation:

This is a marksman's badge consisting of two crossed rifles and is worn on the lower left sleeve by other ranks as depicted. It is not worn by officers.