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Remembered Today:

Sapper's uniform


TEW
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Looking for any further info on these two photos. The solitary man and the man sitting are one and the same George John Vail. 25369 Sapper with 5th Signal Coy. RE. Born 20/8/1895, Enlisted 21/10/1913. Too young to go to France with his unit on 14th Aug but went on 15th Sept. His MIC shows 1914 star with clasp & BWM, Victory. I assume this makes him an 'Old Contemptible'??

As I have a war diary of his Aug 14 July 18 (actually copied by a descendant of his) I'd be interested in gleaning anything extra from the photos.

They both look very informal, does this suggest taken in France?
Anything stand out about the uniforms, extra pocket in greatcoat mean anything?
Arm bands in the solitary photo must have a significance.
In the same photo he may have his 1914 Star ribbon sewn on?

Vail survived the war and transferred to the Royal Corps of Signals until discharged 22/10/1925 having done 6 years with colours & 6 with reserve?
Thanks in advance
There seems to be a thread HERE from Dec 2003 (before my time here) regarding Vail when I had his diary online.
TEW

 

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Edited by TEW
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The (blue and white) brassards are that of a signaller, and I have seen here recently the assertion that one on each arm was the hallmark of a despatch rider.

The 'extra' pocket is a ticket pocket; and a standard feature of the first pattern greatcoat. The two men on the right are wearing the mounted services pattern greatcoat. They are all bearing PH bags, pretty much only worn on active service and these suggest the photo is 1915-16.

Cheers,

GT.

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In the first pic he is wearing an economy pattern tunic which would fit in with the 1914-15 timeline. In the first photo he looks younger and less time worn than in the second.

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The puttees tied at the ankles suggest a mounted role as well.

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The puttees tied at the ankles suggest a mounted role as well.

Yes, dispatch rider, or more likely (at that early time) a 'Linesman'.

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Thanks for that so far.
From his diary I know he varied between - Linesman, Dispatch rider, Flag Waver, Buzzer Operator.
His diary if anyone's interested is [Edited 8/7/14, not available at present, will be back] It is in a partially edited version but in sequence and in order. Some original spellings are bit off and I'm trying to make comparisons to the 1st Bedford's diary which is available online.
TEW

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