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JSkibiak View Drop Down
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    Posted: 20 Jul 2015 at 22:59

I would be grateful if someone could help me identify the regiment and rank of the officer in the middle of the front row of this photograph of the Diamond Troupe, the concert party of the 29th Division:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8a/The_Diamond_Troupe%2C_Concert_Party_of_the_29th_Division.jpg

Many thanks,

John Skibiak   

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mal Murray Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jul 2015 at 15:55
Hi John,

Is there a date on the photo by any chance?

With the three rings on his sleeve he could be either a Major or a Lt. Col. I cannot see a "Crown" which would have made him a Major or a "Crown and Diamond" which would have made him a Lt. Col.

The Cap and Collar Badges (though blurred) look like RASC BAdges.


Edited by Mal Murray - 22 Jul 2015 at 16:14
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JSkibiak Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jul 2015 at 10:05

Thank you Mal. The photograph was taken at some point during the second half of 1917 or 1918. But your assessment confirms my original suspicion. The commanding officer of the Diamond Troupe, from Sept 1917 to the end of the war) was a Lt. Col. E Trevor Wright (RASC). I had always suspected that the person in the photo was Wright, but had no basis for the connection, other than the fact I knew of his involvement with the troupe (would like to know more about him, but alas Wright is too common a name to track in the archives). As it happens, there also was a Major involved in the initial formation of the troupe – Major John Graham Gillam, author of the Gallipoli Diary (1918). As luck would have it, he too was also in the Army Services Corp, but I have seen his photo online so can discount him. Thanks, John

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JSkibiak Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Aug 2016 at 20:41
My research on the Diamond Troupe continues and I seem to be uncovering new things every day.
It turns out that within weeks of the end of the War, most concert parties had rapidly disbanded. The occasional performer who remained behind often performed with the remnants or “fragments” of other concert troupes. In December 1918, a performance was held in Cologne that combined fragments of concert parties from the 87th, 88th and 89th RAMC Field Ambulances. It was managed by a Capt. Walter James Rice (1876-1941), who was himself of the 87th Field Ambulance, which was assigned to the 29th.
This group photo of the 87th Field Ambulance, which I recently discovered: https://s31.postimg.org/rpg0jgfgb/1918a.jpg shows two officers seated in the middle, and another person in the middle of the front row. I believe the one in the front row is a Sergeant (and probably a Sgt. Cavanagh). But can anyone tell me the ranks of the others? The officer on the left (narrow face, darker moustache) looks like another photo I have of Walter Rice. But are his insignia those of a Captain? And can anyone tell me the ranks of the others in the picture?
Many thanks.
John


Edited by Mal Murray - 03 Aug 2016 at 10:54
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mal Murray Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Aug 2016 at 10:44
John, The officer on the right appears to be a Lt. Col. (no rank markings on his cuffs) his rank marking is on his shoulder.

The majority appear to be Privates.

I can see two Sgts (Cheverons with three stripes) One sitting front centre and the other standing on the left.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mal Murray Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Aug 2016 at 10:53
Regarding the chevrons shown on the lower right arms of some of the soldiers.



Edited by Mal Murray - 03 Aug 2016 at 10:54
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JSkibiak Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Aug 2016 at 11:32
Thanks Mal. What about the man to our left of the centre (the one with a dark moustache)? I see he has on his sleeve two thin chevrons pointing downwards. Could he be a Captain? He has no rank markings on his shoulders (that I can see), but I assumed he was an officer since he, and the man to his left (with the leather strap across his chest) are the only ones wearing ties. John
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mal Murray Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Aug 2016 at 12:08
John, apologies I missed that part of the question.

The officer on the left  appears to have two braids on the cuff of his sleeve which would indicate he was a  Captain.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JSkibiak Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Aug 2016 at 12:36
Excellent, just what I was hoping to hear! Thanks so much! John
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