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On 16/10/2022 at 22:31, FROGSMILE said:

Super photos, thank you for sharing them.  I especially like the group.  It’s relatively unusual to see drab puttees worn with scarlet home service frocks.  There’s a shortage of insignia with only a few wearing collar badges and several without cap badges too.  Also the front row are showing their military inexperience by folding their arms, something that in a regular army unit would generally only be done by sports teams.

Hi there. As an addition to same. It is really striking how many men have buttons missing. At least one man has only the top and bottom in place. It appears as a problem with both styles of uniform (of course the buttons were the same). There must have been some temporary fix to prevent gaping.

img729_zpsfpgb3k8t.jpg~original.jpg

Edited by Raster Scanning
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1 hour ago, Raster Scanning said:

Hi there. As an addition to same. It is really striking how many men have buttons missing. At least one man has only the top and bottom in place. It appears as a problem with both styles of uniform (of course the buttons were the same). There must have been some temporary fix to prevent gaping.

img729_zpsfpgb3k8t.jpg~original.jpg

Extraordinary, I’ve never seen that before with any previous unit photos.  I’m surprised that the battalion’s quartermaster didn’t order a system of which buttons to leave out uniformly, which would’ve been possible with the 7-button pattern of home service frock, but access to a devoted unit tailor was needed to do that.  

Edited by FROGSMILE
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On 16/10/2022 at 17:31, FROGSMILE said:

Super photos, thank you for sharing them.  I especially like the group.  It’s relatively unusual to see drab puttees worn with scarlet home service frocks.  There’s a shortage of insignia with only a few wearing collar badges and several without cap badges too.  Also the front row are showing their military inexperience by folding their arms, something that in a regular army unit would generally only be done by sports teams.

I've wondered about the missing capbadges in this 1914/1915 photograph of the first overseas service contingent of the Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps training at Warwick Camp in Bermuda for the Western Front. Though badge-free helmets were also worn in Bermuda, the khaki service dress peaked caps had been on issue to the unit for years before the war, and the cap badge with it, so the lack of cap badges would not have been down to recent introduction of service dress caps.

 

My assumption is that the contingent, having been rapidly formed in December 1914 by volunteers already serving on local-service terms, and either former soldiers who re-enlisted or civilians with no prior service (other than perhaps the cadet corps) who enlisted specifically for overseas service, the overall strength of the BVRC must have been rapidly increased and they simply did not have enough cap badges on hand to meet the demand.

 

You note something similar during the Second World War with uniforms, with photographs showing personnel of the local territorials, which were rapidly brought up to war-time strength, and were further boosted by the introduction of conscription, wearing khaki drills (with shorts) year round...even when regular army personnel in the same photograph are wearing serge uniforms (with long trousers). Normally, serge uniforms were worn during the cooler months and cotton drills during the summers. This came on the heels of the introduction of Battle Dress, and the local service units did not receive Battle Dress 'til about 1942/3. I have seen contemporary correspondence on the issue of the lack of availability of Battle Dress in Bermuda at the time.

P1160347.JPG

Edited by aodhdubh
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3 hours ago, aodhdubh said:

I've wondered about the missing capbadges in this 1914/1915 photograph of the first overseas service contingent of the Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps training at Warwick Camp in Bermuda for the Western Front. Though badge-free helmets were also worn in Bermuda, the khaki service dress peaked caps had been on issue to the unit for years before the war, and the cap badge with it, so the lack of cap badges would not have been down to recent introduction of service dress caps.

 

My assumption is that the contingent, having been rapidly formed in December 1914 by volunteers already serving on local-service terms, and either former soldiers who re-enlisted or civilians with no prior service (other than perhaps the cadet corps) who enlisted specifically for overseas service, the overall strength of the BVRC must have been rapidly increased and they simply did not have enough cap badges on hand to meet the demand.

 

You note something similar during the Second World War with uniforms, with photographs showing personnel of the local territorials, which were rapidly brought up to war-time strength, and were further boosted by the introduction of conscription, wearing khaki drills (with shorts) year round...even when regular army personnel in the same photograph are wearing serge uniforms (with long trousers). Normally, serge uniforms were worn during the cooler months and cotton drills during the summers. This came on the heels of the introduction of Battle Dress, and the local service units did not receive Battle Dress 'til about 1942/3. I have seen contemporary correspondence on the issue of the lack of availability of Battle Dress in Bermuda at the time.

P1160347.JPG

They were a long way away off the beaten track from the main channel of Ordnance Supply Chains I think, and when compared with the other dependant forces overseas, I imagine that their scale for demands must have been relatively small by comparison.  They would probably have been better off if supplied by the Canadian government through some kind of agreement with Britain.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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3 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:

They were a long way away off the beaten track from the main channel of Ordnance Supply Chains I think, and when compared with the other dependant forces overseas, I imagine that their scale for demands must have been relatively small by comparison.  They would probably have been better off if supplied by the Canadian government through some kind of agreement with Britain.

I think they were relatively well-off and seem to have obtained new clothing and equipment quicker even than some TF units in Britain, which was due to their being funded and equipped by the War Office as part of the British Army rather than by local Government as auxiliaries...their uniforms appear to have been supplied from the regular garrison quartermaster stores...I know their first machine gun was certainly issued straight from garrison stores (a Maxim, or Vickers Maxim, on a wheeled carriage in 1899...it would not fit through the door of their armoury, requiring the door be widened). As long as there was a large regular component to the garrison, they benefitted from their supply chain...though cap badges were unique to the unit and there would be no such benefit there. After the war, as I'm sure all here know, the regular army was drastically cut back below its pre-war strength, and reserve units and forces in the Channel Islands and colonies also disappeared. In Bermuda, still being an Imperial fortress and main base and dockyard for the America and West Indies Station of the Royal Navy, they could not remove the defences entirely, but they followed the same pattern as in the British Isles where responsibility for the coastal artillery defences was removed entirely from regular RGA and RE fortress companies and transferred to the TA. The RA and RE companies were withdrawn from Bermuda in 1928, with the part time Bermuda Militia Artillery re-organised on TA lines the only artillery unit left, and the Bermuda Volunteer Engineers raised to take on the role of operating Defence Electric Lights, and later signals (though the Royal Engineers signal service had actually become a separate corps after the First World War). The regular infantry had been two battalions up to the Second Boer War, three during that war, cut back to one after that war, and reduced after the First World War to a wing, then a company. The post war cutbacks were exacerbated by the Great Depression. By the start of the Second World War, the military garrison in Bermuda was dwarfed by the Royal Naval and Royal Marine establishment, which was capable of fielding a battalion of marines as well as shore parties of sailors trained as infantry and artillery. The regular army establishment had been reduced to Command Headquarters, a company of infantry, and various atts and dets from supporting corps. Once embodied for full time service and brought up to war time strength, the three pre-war part-time units, with the addition of the Bermuda Militia Infantry (formed in October, 1939, and brought up to two companies by 1942), the local-service units would doubtless have outnumbered the regulars and so would not have been able to benefit much from excess kit lying around, though they were still funded and equipped by the War Office.

Edited by aodhdubh
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3 minutes ago, aodhdubh said:

I think they were relatively well-off and seem to have obtained new clothing and equipment quicker even than some TF units in Britain, which was due to their being funded and equipped by the War Office as part of the British Army rather than by local Government as auxiliaries...their uniforms appear to have been supplied from the regular garrison quartermaster stores...I know their first machine gun were certainly issued straight from garrison stores (a Maxim, or Vickers Maxim, on a wheeled carriage in 1899...it would not fit through the door of their armoury, requiring the door be widened) as long as there was a large regular component to the garrison, they benefitted from their supply chain...though cap badges were unique to the unit and there would be no such benefit there. After the war, as I'm sure all here know, the regular army was drastically cut back below its pre-war strength, and reserve units and forces in the Channel Islands and colonies also disappeared. In Bermuda, still being an Imperial fortress and main base and dockyard for the America and West Indies station of the Royal Navy, they could not remove the defences entirely, but they followed the same pattern as in the British Isles where responsibility for the coastal artillery defences was removed entirely from regular RGA and RE fortress companies and transferred to the TA. The RA and RE companies were withdrawn from Bermuda in 1928, with the part time Bermuda Militia Artillery re-organised on TA lines the only artillery unit left, and the Bermuda Volunteer Engineers raised to take on the role of operating Defence Electric Lights, and later signals (though the Royal Engineers signal service had actually become a separate corps after the First World War. The post war cutbacks were exacerbated by the Great Depression. By the start of the Second World War, the military garrison in Bermuda was dwarfed by the Royal Naval and Royal Marine establishment, which was capable of fielding a battalion of marines as well as shore parties of sailors trained as infantry and artillery. The regular army establishment had been reduced to Command Headquarters, a company of infantry, and various atts and dets from supporting corps. Once embodied for full time service and brought up to war time strength, the three pre-war part-time units, with the addition of the Bermuda Militia Infantry (formed in October, 1939, and brought up to two companies by 1942), the local-service units would doubtless have outnumbered the regulars and so would not have been able to benefit much from excess kit lying around, though they were still funded and equipped by the War Office.

Very interesting.  It was really just insignia then that might have proved difficult, so hence your WW1 era photograph showing a few men initially without. 

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23 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:

Very interesting.  It was really just insignia then that might have proved difficult, so hence your WW1 era photograph showing a few men initially without. 

I'm sure I recall reading one BVRC contingent member's memoir in which he wrote that his cap badge went missing while he was in hospital in France. Evidently, a rare badge already prized by collectors at the time.

Edited by aodhdubh
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Royal Engineers. Father and son?

The "Lock family" brothers.  Trained Scout of an unknown regiment.

Scout. (3).jpg

Scout. (4).jpg

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Manchester Regiment group, including "John Cottam, 23 Zion St. Burnley, Lancs"

The 2nd Lieutenant wears 2 overseas service stripes, and the ribbons for a 1915 trio.

Manchesters...jpg

 

Edited by GWF1967
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16 minutes ago, GWF1967 said:

Manchester Regiment group, including "John Cottam, 23 Zion St. Burnley, Lancs"

The 2nd Lieutenant wears 2 overseas service stripes, and the ribbons for a 1915 trio.

Manchesters...jpg

Manchesters...jpg

If he’s wearing a 1915 trio then the setting might perhaps be in Rhine Area.  There were three battalions of the Manchester’s there, 51st, 52nd and 53rd.  He and his men have a post hostilities look to them. 

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56 minutes ago, FROGSMILE said:

If he’s wearing a 1915 trio then the setting might perhaps be in Rhine Area.  There were three battalions of the Manchester’s there, 51st, 52nd and 53rd.  He and his men have a post hostilities look to them. 

Thanks, unfortunately there's no photographers name to help. I'm not sure how I posted the picture twice, after posting it in the wrong thread too!

General Service cap badge? His buttons feature a quartered shield with lettering below.

General Service (2).jpg

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2 hours ago, GWF1967 said:

Thanks, unfortunately there's no photographers name to help. I'm not sure how I posted the picture twice, after posting it in the wrong thread too!

General Service cap badge? His buttons feature a quartered shield with lettering below.

General Service (2).jpg

A nice portrait of a Volunteer Training Corps (VTC) auxiliary circa mid 1916.  Wearing a VTC pattern jacket and unit buttons, but having just received his new GS cap badge marking the taking under command and administration by the War Office.  The GS badge was worn for around a year (1916-1917) with standard SD issued, as the units were converted wholesale into a resurrected (literally) Volunteer Force by using the ‘Volunteer Act’, which had never been removed from the statute and was still lying dormant.  The VTC units subsequently all then became volunteer battalions of their local regiment, from 1918 adopting standard regimental badges or special insignia of their own.  The war ended before the latter arrangement was completed.  It’s quite a snapshot in time, transitional type of photograph.

The quartered shield button design sounds like it might be associated with the City of London.  Shields of various designs were an especially common feature of early VTC unit insignia.  There had been a Herefordshire VTC with a city arms badge that was similar from a distance to the GS badge, but I don’t think it’s what is seen in your photo (see cap below). 

05961936-0D15-41D0-8C8F-DFFAF62A3423.jpeg

1F705DBC-E3E7-4CA3-B7F0-ED30425ABA56.jpeg

Edited by FROGSMILE
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17 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:

There had been a Herefordshire VTC with a city arms badge that was similar from a distance to the GS badge, but I don’t think it’s what is seen in your photo (see cap below). 

 

1F705DBC-E3E7-4CA3-B7F0-ED30425ABA56.jpeg

Thanks, the Herefordshire badge looks like a good fit for what I can see, do you have an image of a button to match?
 I had decided on a G.S.badge over Manchester Reg, which was my first thought, but it looks more symmetrical than the G.S. 

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10 minutes ago, GWF1967 said:

Thanks, the Herefordshire badge looks like a good fit for what I can see, do you have an image of a button to match?
 I had decided on a G.S.badge over Manchester Reg, which was my first thought, but it looks more symmetrical than the G.S. 

I know it’s not a perfect view, but on balance it looks more like a General Service badge to my eyes.  You need to be careful also of symmetry in the sense the wider cap badges were often bent by soldiers into a curve conforming with the shape of the cap.

Here is an officer’s pattern Herefordshire Regiment button, the other ranks would usually wear the GS button. 

142FB4EE-5DB3-4559-ACB3-9C0034167D7B.jpeg

Edited by FROGSMILE
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L/Cpl. Evan Hodder. 21044, Royal Welsh Fusiliers.   Does anyone know what a P.B. Battn. is? (Pioneer - Bantam?)

 

image.jpeg.e057613b02aa365dc2d852dc35f0416f.jpeg

Hodder (2).jpg

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1 hour ago, GWF1967 said:

L/Cpl. Evan Hodder. 21044, Royal Welsh Fusiliers.   Does anyone know what a P.B. Battn. is? (Pioneer - Bantam?)

 

image.jpeg.e057613b02aa365dc2d852dc35f0416f.jpeg

Hodder (2).jpg

Permanent Base I think, which was a medical category of men who could be quite young and capable, but who had certain limitations that made them unsuitable to deploy forward.  Working in the General Hospital as general duty men would have been a good use for them. 

Edited by FROGSMILE
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11 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:

Permanent Base I think, which was a medical category of men who could be quite young and capable, but who had certain limitations that made them unsuitable to deploy forward.  Working in the General Hospital as general duty men would have been a good use for them. 

Correct as ever - https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/soldiers/a-soldiers-life-1914-1918/common-british-army-acronyms-and-abbreviations-of-the-first-world-war/ - 'Permanent Base (medical)'

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1 hour ago, steve fuller said:

A battalion made up of such men is a phenomenon that I don’t think would’ve existed in 1914-15 Steve, but after the Army reached its full size 1916+ then its in a sense natural that it did.  Yet another case of pragmatism and a more square peg for square hole attitude.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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On 15/11/2022 at 23:26, FROGSMILE said:

Permanent Base I think, which was a medical category of men who could be quite young and capable, but who had certain limitations that made them unsuitable to deploy forward.  Working in the General Hospital as general duty men would have been a good use for them. 

Many thanks, and apologies for the late reply. 

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Lt. John Archibald Durling.

B. 1894, Snodland - D. 1963, Fulham. 

6th Battalion East Kent Regiment.

Wounded, 9pm, 6/3/1916.   GSW/Amputation, L/Arm.  Admitted to Millbank Hospital, London, 3/4/16 - 10/7/16. 

B.A. Emanuel College, Cambridge.   Ordained. September,1919.

Durling. E. Kent .jpg

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11 hours ago, GWF1967 said:

Lt. John Archibald Durling.

B. 1894, Snodland - D. 1963, Fulham. 

6th Battalion East Kent Regiment.

Wounded, 9pm, 6/3/1916.   GSW/Amputation, L/Arm.  Admitted to Millbank Hospital, London, 3/4/16 - 10/7/16. 

B.A. Emanuel College, Cambridge.   Ordained. September,1919.

Durling. E. Kent .jpg

I notice he is wearing a left-hand collar badge on his right collar. tut-tut!!.        Pete.

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4 hours ago, CorporalPunishment said:

I notice he is wearing a left-hand collar badge on his right collar. tut-tut!!.        Pete.

Unfortunately we can’t see the other lapel to determine it’s badges profile.  I suspect that some bright spark might have told him (erroneously) just buy 3-badges with blades as they can then be used for both purposes, not realising collars were in facing pairs. 

Edited by FROGSMILE
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2 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:

Unfortunately we can’t see the other lapel to determine it’s badges profile.  I suspect that some bright spark might have told him (erroneously) just buy 3-badges with blades as they can then be used for both purposes, not realising collars were in facing pairs. 

....... or a matching pair in the wrong position - we'll never know.  I see he's wearing an early Russian braid Wounded Stripe which I believe was only introduced in AO249 on 6 July 1916 which suggests Millbank Hospital was quick off the mark with that one.  In his case, for very understandable reasons, he's wearing it on his right sleeve.  His jacket also seems to lack the usual pointed cuffs?

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1 hour ago, TullochArd said:

....... or a matching pair in the wrong position - we'll never know.  I see he's wearing an early Russian braid Wounded Stripe which I believe was only introduced in AO249 on 6 July 1916 which suggests Millbank Hospital was quick off the mark with that one.  In his case, for very understandable reasons, he's wearing it on his right sleeve.  His jacket also seems to lack the usual pointed cuffs?

Yes you make a good point about the quick sourcing of Russia braid wound stripes.  I don’t think the brass ones were ever issued at public expense, or at least I’ve seen no evidence in PVCN.

The mitred cuff was only provided at that time on uniforms not designed for cuff rank (general officers) so I suspect his jacket originally had cuff rank that he’d taken off and added shoulder straps.  The Foot Guards and Household Cavalry had their own special pattern.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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  • 3 weeks later...

Pte. George Pitt.  10884, A Coy.  6th Border Regiment.   B. Hulme, Manchester.   "Frensham Camp, Surrey. Nr Farnham 1914" 

"Killed in Action, Sept. 28th (27th) 1916"   Aged. 21.

 

George Pitt.10884.jpg

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