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 Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help!

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Meares




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PostSubject: Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help!   Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help! EmptyMon Nov 22, 2021 8:37 am

Well, my first post as a brand new member. Actually, my first post on any such website ever! Apologies in advance for the mistakes I will almost certainly make, and a huge thank you for the opportunity to join.

I recently started looking into the family tree. I had no idea I would be down a rabbit hole and in Wonderland as fast as I was! What led me here though was researching of one ancestor in particular, my great-great grandfather to be precise; Trooper Charles Henry Meares of the Natal Mounted Police, killed at Isandhlwana. He has left very little trail for me to follow as to his origins, but the tree down to me is now sorted.

Anyway, in rifling through old family photos of the period, I found one photo that bears no name of the mysterious and rather dashing chap sitting in it. He is however a rather distinctive uniform and I was hoping one of you experts might be able to help. Once I know the regiment, I hope to be able to put a name to the face. All I know do know is that the photo was taken in Pietermaritzburg, Natal somewhere around 1870-1900. My amateurish Googlings have led me to some blurry photos online and suspect it may be a Cape Mounted Rifles uniform, given they were stationed in Pietermaritzburg from 1843 to 1870 (then disbanded).

Your expert knowledge would be much appreciated!

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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help!   Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help! EmptyMon Nov 22, 2021 1:24 pm

Meares,

Your photograph is of a Lance-Corporal in a Hussars regiment photographed after 1881, as his two Good Conduct stripes are worn on his left cuff.

I would hazard a guess that he served in one of Hussars regiments which were garrisoned in Natal in the wake of the 1st Anglo-Boer War of 1880-1.  Those were the 7th (The Queen’s Own) Hussars; the 14th (The King’s) Hussars & the 15th (The King’s) Hussars.

The next time after 1881 that a Hussars regiment would be stationed in Natal would be 1890, and that was the 11th (Prince Albert’s Own) Hussars, who wore distinctive red trousers and as I cannot detect a tonal change between his tunic and breeches I have discounted the 11th from the equation.

JY


Last edited by John Young on Mon Nov 22, 2021 5:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help!   Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help! EmptyMon Nov 22, 2021 1:47 pm

Some information on Trooper Charles Henry Meares.
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90th

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PostSubject: Unknown Uniform Zulu War era .   Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help! EmptyMon Nov 22, 2021 2:19 pm


Hi Meares
Here's a little more on your relative , you may already be aware of this but in case you aren't ? . Meares ( Mears) Charles Henry , KIA Isandlwana 22/1/79 , Attested 8/ 11 / 76 . Age 39 , one of two members of the NMP who were married . The other was Charles White . Left wife Susan and 4 Children . Charles had been Shoemaker to the Corps .
90th
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PostSubject: Re: Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help!   Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help! EmptyMon Nov 22, 2021 5:20 pm

Meares
Trpr. Chas. Hy. Meares's number in the NMP was 152.


Last edited by Julian Whybra on Mon Nov 22, 2021 10:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help!   Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help! EmptyMon Nov 22, 2021 6:19 pm

Cracking photo Meares and welcome to the forum.
Heres a little bit about the 14th (Kings) Hussars in SA.
On the 13th February 1881 whilst stationed in Bangalore the 14th (Kings) Hussars received 'orders of readiness'
Between the 18th and 28th they left for active service in the Transvaal landing in Durban between the 14th to the 26th March.
Open arriving they learnt of the death of Major General Sir G. Pomeroy Colley at Majuba.
A,B and C troops (419 men) all moved up towards Pietermaritzburg.
By the 11th April the whole Regiment was concentrated at Estcourt. They then moved onto Ladysmith were they remained  for several months.
On the 15th August they were inspected by Major-General Sir H.E. Wood V.C., K.C.B.
D and H troop under Major Kentish numbering 90 sabres proceeded to Zululand to act as Wood's escort. They returned to Ladysmith on the 12th September.
They embarked at Durban on the 13th November landing back at Bombay on the 30th November 1881.
The left wing under Lt.Col. F.S.Russell embarked at Durban on the 9th December landing back in Bombay on the 31st.

So, Meares, with their journey through Pietermaritzburg it is possible he could have stopped and had his picture taken.

I think he could be 14th John as I think I can see the very edge of the German-silver eagle arm badge above his lance corporal stripe (first introduced onto the uniform in 1867).

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(Kate B. Collection)

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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help!   Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help! EmptyMon Nov 22, 2021 9:11 pm

Kate,

I think that’s just wishful thinking on your part, to me that’s the raised chevron of a Lance-Corporal going upwards and backwards on his sleeve.

Meares,

If you have the original photograph on the reverse some of the photographer’s awards might well be dated. Normally those appear on the ‘Gold Medal’ awards. I’ll check some of my own collection to see if they reveal anything.

JY
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help!   Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help! EmptyMon Nov 22, 2021 10:10 pm

Meares
Correct me if I'm wrong but you have no idea whether the chap in the photo is actually Charles Meares do you? He might be someone entirely different.
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help!   Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help! EmptyMon Nov 22, 2021 10:40 pm

Julian,

The earliest date that the photograph could have been taken is 1881.

JY
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Meares




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PostSubject: Re: Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help!   Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help! EmptyMon Nov 22, 2021 11:09 pm

Good grief! Thank you all so much for your expert assistance!

Some comments by way of catching up:

Julian, correct. This person is definitely NOT Charles Henry Meares. CH Meares was with the NMP and killed 22 Jan 1879. This is not in dispute. We have no photo of him sadly. This dashing chap however is a mystery Lance-Corporal Hussar in our box of Meares family photographs, passed down the line to me from Charles Henry's widow Susan. Someone in the family back then kept his photograph, and it's the only one with no name. I taken on the challenge of trying to find that out. Thank you too for the information on CH Meares. His number adds another piece to my jigsaw on him.

Kate and John, thank you. Your knowledge is amazing and your assistance is enormously appreciated. Now I know where to dig! John, there is unfortunately no date on either the front or back of the photograph. I will scan it again on the weekend and see if I can get a clearer resolution above his stripe. By the way, is his round hat on the pillar of any significance, or was the type and style  common across the Hussars?

90th, thank you. You have provided two new pieces of information for me on CH Meares. This is enormously appreciated, particularly in the context of the fact we have such little information on him. His attestation date is brand new information to me, as well as the shoemaker to the corps piece. We knew from Baptism records of his children (earliest 1869) that he was a boot maker (and later a Hotel Keeper), but not that he was so for his corps. He is literally the central figure in my family's history in Natal, and we think the first Meares to come over from the UK so information on him is, for us, is not only scarce but enormously valuable.

Admin, thank you. I did manage to find that, but literally only a few days ago. I think it's an extract from H.P. Holts book. I have a copy of his original death notice, and it records him leaving "Saddlery (illegible) About £10". No doubt the gratuity was of much needed use to the family at such a time. Poignantly his 4th child was born on the 23rd Jan, the day after Isandlwhana.

Once again a huge thanks to all.
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John Young

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PostSubject: Re: Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help!   Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help! EmptyMon Nov 22, 2021 11:48 pm

Meares,

Only too happy to be of help.

Another method of dating the photograph is by the address of George Taylor Ferneyhough’s studio, again this would normally appear on the reverse of photograph.

For the period 1877-81 his studio was at No. 12 Longmarket Street. After which he moved to Church Street, Pietermaritzburg, by the 1890’s his studio was at No. 85 Church Street.

The ‘pillbox’ forage cap was common amongst British and Colonial mounted troops, and some supporting corps of the period.

JY
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Meares




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PostSubject: Re: Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help!   Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help! EmptyTue Nov 23, 2021 1:44 am

Off topic so I do apologise, but Admin you posted the above extract from H.P. Holts book, that included details of compensation for equipment for those Natal Mounted Police killed. I had been struggling to make out one word (see photo attached) on the death notice of Tpr. CH Meares. The book mentions "Troopers Kit £10" and the death notice somewhat tragically reports his possessions as being "Saddlery (illegible word appearing to start with a K or R) About £10". This did seem somewhat of a coincidence but rather than leap to conclusions, it occurred to me that this could have appeared on many records, and therefore this may be a word or abbreviation familiar to you?

Perhaps one of you can identify this, as presumably it's part of his kit. I include the whole page and a close up of the piece in question.

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PostSubject: Re: Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help!   Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help! EmptyTue Nov 23, 2021 3:54 am

DEPOT NAB
SOURCE CSO
TYPE LEER
VOLUME_NO 565
SYSTEM 01
REFERENCE 1876/2635
PART 1
DESCRIPTION CHARLES HENRY MEARES, SENDS IN HIS RESIGNATION OF APPOINTMENT AS
CONSTABLE AND MESSENGER TO RESIDENT MAGISTRATE'S COURT, ALEXANDRA
FROM 31ST OCTOBER 1876.
STARTING 1876
ENDING 1876
REMARKS CSO1876/2673, ALEX 1876/45.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help!   Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help! EmptyTue Nov 23, 2021 3:55 am

DEPOT NAB
SOURCE NT
TYPE LEER
VOLUME_NO 29
SYSTEM 01
REFERENCE T539/1880
PART 1
DESCRIPTION COMMANDANT NATAL MOUNTED POLICE: ASKING WHEN THE WIDOWS OF THE TWO
MEN OF THE MOUNTED POLICE (WHITE AND MEARES) ARE LIKELY, TO RECEIVE
THE GRATUITIES OR ANNUITIES AWARDED TO THEM BY THE COMPENSATION
COMMISSION.
STARTING 1880
ENDING 1880
REMARKS CSO1891/1880 MP568/1880.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help!   Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help! EmptyTue Nov 23, 2021 3:56 am

DEPOT NAB
SOURCE NT
TYPE LEER
VOLUME_NO 59
SYSTEM 01
REFERENCE T439A59/1876
PART 1
DESCRIPTION CHARLES H MEARES. ASKS FOR ASSISTANCE TO ENABLE HIM AND HIS FAMILY
TO PROCEED TO THE UMZINTO TO TAKE UP HIS DUTIES AS MESSENGER AND
CONSTABLE.
STARTING 1876
ENDING 1876
REMARKS R1760/1876.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help!   Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help! EmptyTue Nov 23, 2021 3:57 am

DEPOT NAB
SOURCE MSCE
TYPE LEER
VOLUME_NO 0
SYSTEM 01
REFERENCE 5/73
PART 1
DESCRIPTION MEARES, CHARLES HENRY.
STARTING 18790000
ENDING 18800000
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help!   Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help! EmptyTue Nov 23, 2021 3:59 am

DEPOT NAB
SOURCE MSCE
TYPE LEER
VOLUME_NO 0
SYSTEM 01
REFERENCE 28/93
PART 1
DESCRIPTION MEARES, HENRY. (S/S ISABEL JESSIE).
STARTING 19060000
ENDING 19070000
REMARKS H4084/1906.
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PostSubject: Re: Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help!   Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help! EmptyTue Nov 23, 2021 4:02 am

Meares
These are just a few of the possible lines for you to pursue. I cant at present as Im not at home. there are around 50 mentions of the Meares family and what is potentially a marriage into the Devenish family and the adoption of that name: As in Devenish Meares.

Regards
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rai




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PostSubject: Re: Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help!   Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help! EmptyTue Nov 23, 2021 8:08 am

Hello Meares,
Have you found a Henry John Meares b.1847 Dublin D. 1919 Scotland, in your family research.
Rai KLH
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gardner1879

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PostSubject: Re: Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help!   Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help! EmptyTue Nov 23, 2021 10:29 am

No problem Meares pleased to help. If you need any more information about the 14th Hussars in SA
just drop me a PM.
John I thought I could see the silver ghosting of a badge above the stripe but it must be my eyes. I must get along to Halford's to have them  tested. Joker
I still think he is 14th though as his pillbox forage cap has decorative stitching around the centre button and I thought from 1881 that those of the 15th Hussars were plain on the top.

Here is a confirmed 14th Hussar Corporal, Meares to compare with your picture though this is slightly later c1890
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Kate Very Happy
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90th

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PostSubject: Unknown Uniform Zulu War era .   Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help! EmptyTue Nov 23, 2021 1:48 pm

Hi Meares
Glad I could offer some assistance
90th Salute
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help!   Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help! EmptySun Nov 28, 2021 8:50 am

Meares
Your illegible word looks like 'kitbg'. This is not a formal abbreviation for 'kitbag' -I don't think there is one. The k and the i can be compared favourably to the same letter in other words. A similarly-formed t can be found at the end of 'about'. There is one other b formed in the same way but your one has a descender to enable it to join up with the g. Unfortunately there is no other g to compare it with. 'Saddlery Kitbag' is the best I can come up with.
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ciroferrara

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PostSubject: Re: Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help!   Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help! EmptyMon Nov 29, 2021 7:11 pm

Hi all very interesting topic indeed. Could the notation read "saddle Rigg" ?
Cheers
Ciroferrara
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help!   Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help! EmptyTue Nov 30, 2021 8:27 am

ciroferra
And 'rigg' would mean?
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PostSubject: Re: Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help!   Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help! EmptyTue Nov 30, 2021 10:59 am

Possibly "Saddlery Rings"

A saddle ring is a metal ring attached to the receiver of a carbine, rifle, or shotgun allowing it to be tied to a saddle or used with a specialized sling.The idea behind using the saddle ring, and its carbine sling, is to allow the mounted soldier to never be separated from his weapon.
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PostSubject: Re: Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help!   Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help! EmptyTue Nov 30, 2021 11:42 am

Admin
I don't think so.
The first word is definitely 'Saddlery' not 'Saddle'.
P and R are usually formed in the same way to start with but the R ends with an extra downward stroke. Look at 'Policeman'; the P is different to the first letter of the second word. It can't possibly be an R. Compare it with the K of 'Killed in action' and you'll see it's the same
Similarly the last letter cannot be an s. look at the s at the end of 'Charles' and 'Meares'. It bears no comparison.
Lastly the value of this object is about £10. It has to be more valuable than just a saddle ring or two.
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PostSubject: Re: Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help!   Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help! EmptyTue Nov 30, 2021 11:51 am

I Put Saddlery?

Just out of interest relating to Saddlery rings. This from "The Rorke's Drift Men: Heroes of the Zulu War By James W Bancroft"

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ciroferrara

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PostSubject: Re: Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help!   Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help! EmptyTue Nov 30, 2021 2:52 pm

My partner is a “horsey” type and says rigg is sometimes used as an abbreviation of saddle rigging meaning saddle and other accoutrements
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PostSubject: Re: Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help!   Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help! EmptyTue Nov 30, 2021 5:15 pm

Admin
Sorry, so you did! It was cirrofera who wrote 'saddle'.
cirrofera
Interesting suggestion. It does resemble two 'g's. The value of saddlery 'rigging' might be about right at £10, though still on the expensive side. The OED has no meaning for 'rigging' in connection with saddle accoutrements. You'd have to verify that what your partner suggests was also current in 1879.
Perhaps it's worth looking at other Death notices to see if something similar appears.
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barry

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PostSubject: Kit losses, NMP   Unknown Uniform Zuluwar Era - Pietermaritzburg. Plz help! EmptyYesterday at 5:38 pm

The NMP had a prescribed reimbursement rate for the various items of kit lost including chargers. The detail of all of this is contained in a NMP booklet  which I have. Once to hand I will post here, and working backwards perhaps the answers will become a lot clearer. Terminolgy used too could be a further guide.

Regards

Barry
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