The photograph was taken in August 1888. The British Army has used Dartmoor as a military training ground since 1870.
The troops may have been training before being sent to South Africa as the local hero, General Sir Redvers Buller, was posted to South Africa during 1889 to take up the appointment of Commander-in-Chief of the Field Force for Natal.
Sir Redvers Buller was born at Crediton in Devon. The Buller family and their immediate ancestors have been lords of the manor of Crediton from the late seventeenth century.