A young officer of the 74th Highlanders [later 2nd Bn HLI] 1868


A good carte de visite by William Lawrence, 5 & 7 Upper Sackville Street, Dublin showing a young officer in the full dress uniform of the 74th Regt of Foot, which became the 2nd Battalion Highland Light Infantry after the 1881 army reforms. He wears full dress uniform with tartan trews and plaid over his scarlet doublet. He holds the basket hilted sword and his dirk is prominently shown. His shako rests beside him. The cdv has been trimmed across the top, not affecting the image and presumably to fit a frame. The verso identifies the officer in contemporary ink Alfred, Jany 1868 when he first joined his regiment. A later collector’s pencil addition of the name Stewart is misleading. The only Stewart in the 74th at this time was HenryLucas St George Stewart but we think the collector has been mistaken in his attribution and that this in fact Alfred William James Gow-Steuart who was commissioned into the regiment 30th October 1867 and is the only Alfred in the regiment at the time. The Dublin photographer fits the regiment’s movements around this time as it was very often where regiments were before embarking for overseas posting. By 1870 the 74th was stationed in Gibraltar attached to the 42nd Black Watch and by 1873 they had moved on to Malta in the same capacity.       dec20/1

We have several other photographs of this officer which have suffered the same confusion. The next photograph – dec20/2 –  to be listed shows Alfred with two borther officers, one of whom could easily be the other Stewart referred to above.

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