About Me

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No Fixed Abode, Home Counties, United Kingdom
I’m a 56-year-old Aspergic CAD-Monkey. Sardonic, cynical and with the political leanings of a social reformer, I’m also a toy and model figure collector, particularly interested in the history of plastics and plastic toys. Other interests are history, current affairs, modern art, and architecture, gardening and natural history. I love plain chocolate, fireworks and trees but I don’t hug them, I do hug kittens. I hate ignorance, when it can be avoided, so I hate the 'educational' establishment and pity the millions they’ve failed with teaching-to-test and rote 'learning' and I hate the short-sighted stupidity of the entire ruling/industrial elite, with their planet destroying fascism and added “buy-one-get-one-free”. I also have no time for fools and little time for the false crap we're all supposed to pretend we haven't noticed, or the games we're supposed to play. I will 'bite the hand that feeds' to remind it why it feeds.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

U is for Uniform Info!

The title of a favorite page in the old Military Modelling magazine (which I believe has recently announced it's demise?), but absolutely fitting to this post.

I have found among my mothers possessions all sorts of things she never mentioned, one of which was this, which I initially assumed was Great Aunt Nina's (my mother's GA, I'm not sure what her relation to me is, great aunt once removed, great-great aunt?), better known as Helena Hall, an artist/designer who worked with Eric and Gordon Gill and others of that late Arts & Craft/ early Modernist movement in Sussex, but it's not really her style (I have a lot of her work from my Mother's late cousin Betty (of odd jobs in occupied Vietnam!)), so I suspect it's actually the work of John Henry Sheren Hall, one of my Grandfather's brothers.

He was a known naive artist (also of Suffolk) but these are quite different from his pastels and watercolours, so, because I'm not sure, and know nothing else about it, I'm just putting them up here for the figure modellers and painters, as they are clearly studies from the 1900-30's (some clues suggest pre-WWI and no later that 1922 - the amalgamation of the two Life Guard's regiments?) of uniforms, mostly colonial-ceremonial, but one or two fit WWI era regular barrack/parade-dress.

There are other things in the sketch book, none signed, which we will look at another day, and the book itself is tiny, an imperial size closest to modern A6 or A7 (or 'policeman's notebook') which made it easy to crop them all at the A4 setting, and is a 36 leaf George Rowney 'Cartridge Ring Bound' (No.7268) undated, but it might help date them.

The sketches are all pen & ink with some having added colour, probably watercolour, or thinned gouache? I hope you enjoy; I think they are rather lovely.

12th Lancers

7th Dragoon Guards (left), 60th (Royal American) Regiment of Foot (right)?
60th was AKA the Kings Royal Rifle Corps (KRRC)

Generic Line Infantry officer

Gordon Highlanders (left), 17th lancers (right)

8th Hussars (left), Gordon Highlanders (right)

Generic Infantry of the line private (left) - a popular pose at the time?
42nd Highlanders 'The Black Watch' (right)
I would say these two are better sketches - anatomically - than the rest and may be taken from statues, cigarette cards or something similar?

2nd Life Guards (left) - stable dress? 13th Hussars (right)
The 13th amalgamated with the 18th 'Royal' Hussars after WWI

Field Artillery (left), unknown Guardsman and mascot (right)
The artilleryman's uniform suggests either pre-WWI or Mesopotamian campaign?
Again these are superior draftsmanship and may be static studies against the from-life sketches of the majority, his legs and shoulders are distinctive in the majority of the drawings, here they look more 'professional'?

Horse Guards (left), 1st life Guards (right)

16th Lancers

2nd Life Guards

Unknown . . . infantry mess-dress?


17th Lancers (left), Royal Canadian Dragoons (right)

Typical - most interesting sketch . . . no notes!
Got to be ANZAC?
Or Southern African units/native 'horse'/militias?

Coldstream Guards (left), RHA (right)
These two are still with us pretty-much unchanged.


Mark, Man of TIN said...

Interesting uniform sketches, a bit like the Vanished Armies uniform sketchbook Hello Hugh - I have a loose family connection to Ditchling (relatives in the surrounding countryside area) so I have long known about the village and its arts and crafts connection.

Your Ditchling connection of Helena Hall if you have ephemera, sketchbooks etc is one that might be interesting to the https://www.ditchlingmuseumartcraft.org.uk

Andy B said...

I have a suspicion that some of the sketches are copies of old prints (by...name something like Simkin?). Still very nice.

Hugh Walter said...

Cheers Mark, I will have to do something with it all, I've found an A4 pile of Grandad's stuff about 2-meters tall, which will have to go to the British Library, IWM or Nat. Maritime Museum! His visitors book from Delhi has every major officer in the allied armies of the far east in '46/47, the last independent Maharaja's and Mountbatten of Burma! Every name I can make out, has his own Wikipedia page!

Andy - certainly the four I've highlighted (and possibly the last three pages?) seem both better executions and slightly familiar, the Boar War chap is a much used pose. The artist's own style is slightly twisted shoulders and slightly bowed legs, I feel?


Hugh Walter said...

Andy - might be Harry Payne (1858–1927) or from Rafael Tuck prints?


Jan Ferris said...

A grand look into the past. Thanks for posting!

Hugh Walter said...

Cheers Jan; Thanks for passing!