North Staffordshire Regiment 1908 Part One

One of the advantages and joys of running this blog is that from time to time I get  amazing pictures sent to me. This picture is a prime example of this, sent to my by Dan Jackson (@northumbriana) on Twitter.

It shows  the officers of the 2nd battalion of the North Staffordshire Regiment in India 1908.

(With all pictures please click on them for a large view)

north staffordshire regiment officers 1908

Standing (from left to right); Lt E. M. Steward, Lt R. A Bradley, Lt H. H. Caffyn, Lt H. Etlinger, 2nd Lt A. Punchard, Lt H. V. R. Hodson, Lt C. A. W. Anderson, Lt N. Mosley, 2nd Lt B. S. Stone, 2nd Lt H. C. Bridges Seated; Capt H. H. Hughes-Haltett, Capt G. H. Hume Kelly, Capt J. J. B. Farley, Major W. A. Barnett D.S.O., Lt-Col H. Marwood, Lt & Adt C. H. Lyon, Capt F. E. Johnston, Capt H. C. Tweedie D.S.O., Lt J. H. Ridgway Seated on ground; 2nd Lt A. F. A. Hooper, Lt & Qr-Mr T. E. Lowther

This is one of the best pictures I have seen of British officers from the Victorian period, each face tells a story. As an added bonus it also listed the name and rank of each man, now this was an opportunity I couldn’t miss so I decided to find out what I could about each man.

1911 Census

My first port of call was the 1911 census (1). I found the The North Staffordshire Regiment stationed in Peshawar India. Eleven of the officers were still with the regiment. This now gave me there ages, year of birth and where they were born.



The Great War

My next area of research was the Great war (2), being that the picture was taken only six years before the start of the war it seemed a given that most of them would’ve seen service in the conflict.

A quick look at the history of the 2nd battalion showed that it spent the duration of the war on the North West Frontier in India. It seemed sensible to assume that losses on the Western front and the ambition of some officers would’ve of driven some of these men to transfer to units in the thick of the fighting.

Looking on the Commonwealth War Graves website (3) I found out that six of the men pictured above perished during the War.

Being officers, three of them are included in the De Ruvigny’s Roll of honour (4). This is a detailed biography of over 26,000 soldiers of all ranks who died fighting for their country. The records include more than 7,000 pictures of those men featured.

Regimental Records

A quick search of the National Archives website (5) found the record of Officers sevice book 83. This book from 1907 shows the service record of all officers attached to the 2nd Battalion North Staffordshire Regiment for that year.

This invaluable record has been digitalized so I could search it without leaving the comforts of home. Obviously this record is from five years before the picture was taken so some men are missing or of a different rank.

It gives information on the men’s DOB, Place of Birth, height, languages spoken and qualifications. On page two their service up to 1907 is detailed and any medals and honours awarded.

All of this information adds a personality to the men pictured and a great picture gets an added dimension when you add this to it.

The Men

Steward4 Bradley 3 Caffyn3 Etlinger3 Punchard3 Hodson3 Anderson3 Mosley3 Stone3

Part Two to Follow soon


(1) & (4)


(3) Commonwealth War Graves Commision 

(5) national archives UK

6 thoughts on “North Staffordshire Regiment 1908 Part One

  1. Interesting post. What’s the catalogue reference for that Officers’ service book? I’d imagine that several of the men will have records in WO 339 (unless they served beyond 1922, in which case their record will still be with MoD). These have not been digitised (NB, archivists’ pet hate, not digitalised, which means the treatment of certain heart conditions using digitalis), so a trip to Kew would be required to see them

  2. Lt R A Bradley is or was my Great Grandfather he left the N Staffs soon after this photo was taken and at the start of WW1 as he had a pilots licence (1912) he joined the RFC first on the western front and then in Mesopotamia where he was part of the first air lift of supplies dropped to besieged soldiers . He was promoted to Colonel and ended the war as O/C 31 wing RAF in Baghdad . He also rejoined the RAF at the beginning of WW2 as a Lt in intelligence but had to give up due to ill health , He was then a member of the British board of film censors . I have several wonderful albums of his photographs from his lifetime including India and Tibet and South Africa and Mesopotamia including aerial shots and action shots. Also some from His fathers Gen C E Bradley also N Staffs,

    • Hello Richard , I have a photo of your Great Grandfather on my Great Grandfathers Frank Powell’s wedding photograph, it was taken in India 1906

  3. HVR Hodson died at Colyton, Devon on 3/2/1967, aged 88. Commemorated on his grave there is his son, Major M H Hodson, killed Indonesia, October 1945.

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