Thursday 9 January 2014

Photograph of the Rhodesian Platoon of the KRRC at Sheerness - 1914

Courtesy of Denise Taylor 

English: A formative shot of men of the original Rhodesian Platoon of the King's Royal Rifle Corps (during the course of World War I, there were several such platoons). Taken in November 1914 at the KRRC training depot at Sheerness, Kent, before the platoon went to the Western Front. In the centre of the second row from the front sit the 16th Marquess of Winchester and the platoon's commanding officer, Captain John Banks Brady. The majority of the men pictured were killed in action, with most of the others severely wounded.

Date November 1914

Source National Archives of Zimbabwe. Scanned from McLaughlin, Peter (1980). Ragtime Soldiers: The Rhodesian experience in the First World War; source of image in question given therein as National Archives of Zimbabwe.

Author Not recorded. Probably British Army photographer. This image also appears in Rhodesia and the War, 1914–1917: A Comprehensive Illustrated Record of Rhodesia's Part in the Great War, published by Art Printing Works in Salisbury in 1918, again without record of its photographer. Judging from the character of this formative shot, the fact that it was taken during wartime just before the unit was deployed to the Western Front, the fact that it was taken at a British Army training base, and the fact that its informal sponsor, the Marquess of Winchester, is present in the centre of the photograph, I consider it likely that the picture was taken in an official capacity.

Thank you to Denise for this information My late Uncle John (Jack) Norris served with one of these Platoon but sadly was KIA in  Loos, France on May 17, 1916 and aged 22. His headstone can be viewed at the end of the article at

Thanks are also recorded to all the sites detailed above for the use of their material.

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(Please visit our previous posts and archives

Ref. Rhodesia



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