The Bedfordshire Regiment in the Great War
Here is a selection of photographs from before the Great War, with the first one being a lovely shot of the 1st battalion's Regimental silverware, circa late 1800's.
The first four are from the later 1800's and are here courtesy of Sherry Jennings. Unfortunately they cannot definitely be linked to her relatives. On the reverse they bear the incription "Grandad's Regiment", although her Grandad was not known to have served in the army, so he may have picked them up during his job as a removals man. Nevertheless, they are fantastic, with each telling its own story.
From 1890 to 1902, the 1st battalion were in India, therefore, given the silverware photograph is of the 1st battalion's, it is reasonable to assume this is from that period. There is also a grave photo of a Major Frere who died in Bengal in 1890, which confirms these thoughts. These two are of the lads relaxing, cleaning up and generally doing what they did in camp. Evidence from the equipment confirms the Indian connection and era too, with the liklihood being these were taken between 1895 and 1897.
This one of mounted infantry could easily be from the South African wars (1899-1902), given that the Regiment deployed as such during the period. The 2nd battalion and elements of the Bedfordshire Militia and Volunteers were deployed but the 1st battalion were stationed in India until 1902, at which time they went to the Far East. Given the layout of the camp behind them, it also seems to support India rather than South Africa, although I am open to any sugegstions that could prove or disprove these theories!
The nearest grave in the photograph below is of a son of Major Frere, Royal Scot Fusiliers, who died in 1890. According to the 1890 Army List Frere was with the 2nd Bn in Rowshera, Bengal, which tells us that most of not all of the first four were taken in India.
Roger Welling was kind enough to not only get in touch but also to share this great photograph with me and allow it's inclusion on the site. These 'hard' looking bunch are the 1st Battalion in 1893 when they were stationed in Kuldana which was one of the hill stations that guarded the Indian Northwest Frontier at the time. His Grandfather was William Welling, who is the third man down from the tent peg in the middle of the photo.
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