Uniform conundrum, please help

Discussion in 'General' started by Looby3, Jun 11, 2016.

  1. Looby3

    Looby3 Member

    Hi there, calling all experts of uniform!! The attached photo is one I was given of a relative, along with other photos of other siblings of this relative, so we presumed it was my mums uncle as all the others are her aunts and uncles. His name was Francis Gyte, Guardsman in the 1st Battalion Foot, Irish Guards, number 2721522. KIA Anzio Jan 26th 1944 aged 23yrs.
    I have been doing the family history for some time and he looks like the right man (familial likeness) however somebody has recently pointed out that his uniform doesn't seem right, and it has been bugging me too but put it with the 'do later' research. Now it's 'do later' time!
    He looks like he is in a uniform that is earlier than WW2 but his age wouldn't allow for that, age has been corroborated. Nor is there anybody else in the tree this would fit.
    There also seems to be an anomaly on the UK, Army Roll of Honour 1939-1945 which states that he died on 20th Jan not 26th. All other places including his gravestone say 26th so I'm going with that!
    He is a mystery man!!
    Anybody that can she any light on why his uniform seems out of sync with the Irish Guards at the beginning of WW2, I'd be very appreciative.
    Thanks, Looby3

    Attached Files:

  2. redtop

    redtop Well-Known Member

    Cannot help with date,and not knowing circumstance of picture,but his turn out is not one would expect of a Guardsman posing for a photo . :)
  3. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    He looks to be wearing the 1902 Service Dress with the loose jacket rather than even the 1922 revision which tailored things down. Taken in conjunction with the boots lacking toe caps, I'd say that this was a WW1 photo or at the latest just shortly afterwards.

    I'm not sure that his cap badge is the Irish Guards star either. Can you zoom in on it ?
    ceolredmonger and Owen like this.
  4. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Agree with what has been said, that is not an Irish Guardsman from just pre-WW2.
    Wrong uniform, wrong cap badge .
  5. Looby3

    Looby3 Member

    Hi thanks, on a zoom in it does look more like a star (see photo). I was told by a medal expert that the puttees were wrong for WW1, have you any thoughts on them?
    I'm a bit sad if he turns out not to be the man I thought he was, because then he's nameless and everybody who might know is gone now in the family. Thanks for your help.
  6. Looby3

    Looby3 Member

    Thanks for your contribution.
  7. Looby3

    Looby3 Member

    Well I believe it was taken at home which is why there is a more casual stance. But as he seems to be getting more mysterious by the day who knows?!
    Thanks for your reply
  8. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    Attached Files:

  9. Looby3

    Looby3 Member

    Hello Kyle, thanks for this, I'll have a look at these names and see if they fit, his father was called Joseph but he doesn't look much like the photo you have seen here although he is an old man in my photos!! And I'm not quite sure the age would be right. However he must have fought in the First World War so you could have given me a new direction to check!
    Thanks very much for your time. Louise
  10. ceolredmonger

    ceolredmonger Member

    There is a lot which is a 'bit odd' about the photo. The tunic and boots are more 1st WW. The rifle appears to have a leather sling. The belt appears to be a webbing strap and not any of the issue belts (SW, '03, '08, '14, '37). The gloves are an interesting detail which may corroborate a waggon driving or loading role.

    To me, there are four possibilities:
    1/ First World War Kitchener Volunteer when they had insufficient standard uniform and equipment to go around and all manner of oddments were used.
    2/ First World War - someone in an unofficial volunteer organisation prior to them organising/formalising uniforms - He may not then be remembered as being 'in the Army'.
    3/ First World War, third line transport - often wrongly referred to as 'Pioneer Corps' B/C grade troops not fit for front line however performed essential tasks behind the lines freeing up others. Uniforms and equipment often second quality or simply a bit lax.
    4/ Inter-war, Second World War - 'Fancy Dress', Tattoo props or even excercise 'Opposition Forces'. Often old bits of kit were used to represent historical uniform or to represent the enemy (Ruritania?). The drawback here is that the soldier would tend to wear his own contemporary boots (that is often the giveaway). This is the however the only scenario which would fit with a 2WW Guardsman in that slack a uniform!
    Rich Payne likes this.
  11. Looby3

    Looby3 Member

    Hi there, thanks so much for your feedback. He really is a mystery man!! I saw the gloves there and wondered if they were standard issue? I have seen a white belt on other soldiers from the first WW but as you say, he seems so mixed.
    I will keep searching for more clues as to who he might've been.
    Thanks Louise

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