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Grenade insignia Sgt 7th Ox & Bucks combination ID


wulsten
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Does the combination of crossed swords on one arm above the Sgt stripes and a Flaming bomb patch on the other arm (Grenadier type patch) denote a branch or qualification etc, soldier was a member of the 7th Ox & Bucks, any help appreciated, Geoff

See also image of the original badge from the image

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Crossed swords denotes a P.T.I or Physical Training Instructor.hope that helps a bit!!

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Thanks for the reply, i asked on a previous topic about the crossed swords and gained info about the PTI, but since then have obtained a further photo which shows the other rank insignia so was hoping to gain the significance of both insignia in combination ??

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Am not sure, but do you know what regiment he was? If he was fusiliers or artillery it may be something a snco where's above their rank

Just re read ur post, he was ox and bucks!

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There is no significance in the combination of the two together. He is merely showing the subjects in which he was a qualified instructor, by the looks of it Physical Training and Trench Mortar.

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  • 3 weeks later...

So if correct the Grenade insignia relates to Trench Mortar qualification ??

Correct - "Light Trench Mortar". A Light Trench Mortar Battery was attached to each infantry brigade and personnel were provided by the infantry battalions serving therein. The Divisional Medium & Heavy T.M.B.'s had personnel supplied from the R.G.A. if I'm correct.

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How is everyone differentiating between the LTMB Grenade and Bombers Grenade?

Joe

The colour - blue for LTMB and red for bombers - that is if the grenade illustrated was originally displayed in the photo, which according to the post it was and appears to have a light blue flame.

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Graham, i can confirm this was the original insignia which was worn in the photo, it was kept by the owner after he was commissioned into the West Ridings from 7 OX & BUCKS, Geoff

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Reading from John Bodsworth's book on British WW1 Uniforms, he describes the ' grenade ' badge above the Sergeant's chevrons worn by most Cavalry and a few Yeomanry Regiments as denoting NCO and WO rank.

He lists and shows examples of these NCO and WO arm badges.

For the Royal Artillery this NCO and WO arm badge worn above the arm chevrons was the artillery gun, and for the Royal Engineer's the NCO and WO arm badge was a ' Grenade '.

Attached are 2 photographs of the NCO and WO arm badge in use.

One photo shows a Royal Engineers Serjeant having an embroidered grenade NCO/WO badge above his chevrons and the other photograph shows a Lothian and Borders Horse Serjeant having a ' Wheatsheaf ' NCO/WO badge above his chevrons.

Also attached are photographs of examples of various NCO/WO rank badges worn above the chevrons, which came both in gilt metal and embroidered versions.

Perhaps in Geoff's original photograph, the crossed swords is the Gymnastic Instructors badge worn on the upper right arm ( crossed swords as a qualified swordsman was worn on the lower left arm ) and the ' Grenade ' badge above the chevrons is the NCO/WO rank arm badge ?

LF

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Geoff,

I think I'm a bit color blind--The photo of the original badge looks BW to me and maybe a slight red hue on the bomb? Can you confirm that the grenade is Blue?

Also, the wear of Proficiency Badge about NCO chevrons denoted he was qualified in that field, worn per Clothing Regs, and not necessarily an Instructor--It only identifies Qualified in LTMB and probably possess a PT Certificate (or is part of the Gymnastics staff)--the only thing not IAW Clothing Regs is that the badge was suppoed to be worn on the right sleeve above the Chevron--But the CR only addresses a single badge. This looks to be a case of two badges and positioning in logical places.

Joe

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Reading from John Bodsworth's book on British WW1 Uniforms, he describes the ' grenade ' badge above the Sergeant's chevrons worn by most Cavalry and a few Yeomanry Regiments as denoting NCO and WO rank.

He lists and shows examples of these NCO and WO arm badges.

For the Royal Artillery this NCO and WO arm badge worn above the arm chevrons was the artillery gun, and for the Royal Engineer's the NCO and WO arm badge was a ' Grenade '.

Attached are 2 photographs of the NCO and WO arm badge in use.

One photo shows a Royal Engineers Serjeant having an embroidered grenade NCO/WO badge above his chevrons and the other photograph shows a Lothian and Borders Horse Serjeant having a ' Wheatsheaf ' NCO/WO badge above his chevrons.

Also attached are photographs of examples of various NCO/WO rank badges worn above the chevrons, which came both in gilt metal and embroidered versions.

Perhaps in Geoff's original photograph, the crossed swords is the Gymnastic Instructors badge worn on the upper right arm ( crossed swords as a qualified swordsman was worn on the lower left arm ) and the ' Grenade ' badge above the chevrons is the NCO/WO rank arm badge ?

LF

Which I would regard as totally unreliable and in which both Army Orders and Army Council Instructions have not been consulted regarding the use of the grenade in the Infantry - there was a further use of the brass grenade above crossed rifles on the lower left arm - this I'll leave as a teaser, because if the above mentioned book has no reference to it's wear then it's definately unreliable.

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Which I would regard as totally unreliable and in which both Army Orders and Army Council Instructions have not been consulted regarding the use of the grenade in the Infantry - there was a further use of the brass grenade above crossed rifles on the lower left arm - this I'll leave as a teaser, because if the above mentioned book has no reference to it's wear then it's definately unreliable.

Graham,

Many thanks for the reply.

I do not know if you have a copy of Bodsworth's book, or have read it ? I generally find it reliable with good period photographs.

The question still remains - could the ' Grenade ' badge shown in Geoff's photograph be an NCO/WO rank badge, rather than a ' Mortar ' badge ?

Regards,

LF

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Graham, i can confirm this was the original insignia which was worn in the photo, it was kept by the owner after he was commissioned into the West Ridings from 7 OX & BUCKS, Geoff

Geoff,

Perhaps you know this man's service history - as there is a question still to be answered, which is, could the ' Grenade ' badge be his NCO/WO rank badge rather than a ' Mortar ' trade badge ?

Regards,

LF

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Graham,

Many thanks for the reply.

I do not know if you have a copy of Bodsworth's book, or have read it ? I generally find it reliable with good period photographs.

The question still remains - could the ' Grenade ' badge shown in Geoff's photograph be an NCO/WO rank badge, rather than a ' Mortar ' badge ?

Regards,

LF

I'm afraid not in the Infantry as it's a "skill at arms" qualification i.e. you can be a Pte and still wear the grenade on the upper right arm, but with either red or blue flame. I've even seen the cloth badges substituted with the brass grenade and in one case a friend had been given one with the brass grenade flames painted red. I have Grumpy's book which is a comprehesive guide to that sort of thing

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I'm afraid not in the Infantry as it's a "skill at arms" qualification i.e. you can be a Pte and still wear the grenade on the upper right arm, but with either red or blue flame. I've even seen the cloth badges substituted with the brass grenade and in one case a friend had been given one with the brass grenade flames painted red. I have Grumpy's book which is a comprehesive guide to that sort of thing

Graham,

Many thanks for the follow up explanation as it relates to Infantry

I do not know this man's previous service history, and could this still be an NCO/WO rank badge from another previous regiment, which was then transferred to the 7th Oxs and Bucks ?

Perhaps Geoff knows his previous service history ?

Regards,

LF

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Right fella's, does this help enlisted 7th OX & Bucks Pte 9/9/14,

posted Pte 26/9/14

appointed La/Cpl 5/10/15,

promoted Cpl 15/11/14,

promoted Sgt 11/8/15,

appointed acting CSM 3/10/16, this appears to be whilst serving CSM was admitted to hospital Salonica as he reverts to Sergt 30/11/16 when CSM returns from hospital.

Depot 27/1/17 prior to Cadet candidate training 3rd Cadet School Bristol,

discharged commission West Riding Regt 25/9/17,

does this help the CSM appointment would have been i presume in the field hence would not relate to the photographs which show the details of rank insignia whilst a Sgt in 1915 & 1916

As for the colour of the flames i would be presumed as blue, however as the colour appears as tan is this due to fading ??

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and the other photograph shows a Lothian and Borders Horse Serjeant having a ' Wheatsheaf ' NCO/WO badge above his chevrons.

LF

Which I would regard as totally unreliable and in which both Army Orders and Army Council Instructions have not been consulted regarding the use of the grenade in the Infantry - there was a further use of the brass grenade above crossed rifles on the lower left arm - this I'll leave as a teaser, because if the above mentioned book has no reference to it's wear then it's definately unreliable.

I'm treading water here. Is LF (forgive the informality) saying the Wheatsheaf is indicative of an NCO/WO in the Lothians (and thus presumably and by extension the Yeomanry and perhaps Cavalry in general) which seems absolutely logical as there is obviously no skill at arms to which this badge relates, whilst Graham is saying that in the Infantry the Grenade is indicative of purely skill at arms ? Are we therefore looking at different use of the same insignia for different arms (again as the RA/RE are separate arms, hence the respective gun and grenade) ? i.e blue grenade = LTMB skill at arms in the infantry but above chevrons (without colour) in RE = senior NCO .

Also, still can't see the attribution of blue for the coloured grenade in Post 1.

As I said, treading water.

Suddery

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I'm treading water here. Is LF (forgive the informality) saying the Wheatsheaf is indicative of an NCO/WO in the Lothians (and thus presumably and by extension the Yeomanry and perhaps Cavalry in general) which seems absolutely logical as there is obviously no skill at arms to which this badge relates, whilst Graham is saying that in the Infantry the Grenade is indicative of purely skill at arms ? Are we therefore looking at different use of the same insignia for different arms (again as the RA/RE are separate arms, hence the respective gun and grenade) ? i.e blue grenade = LTMB skill at arms in the infantry but above chevrons (without colour) in RE = senior NCO .

Also, still can't see the attribution of blue for the coloured grenade in Post 1.

As I said, treading water.

Suddery

Suddery,

Based on what I am understanding from Bodsworth's book and the 2 period photographs, the ' Wheatsheaf ' NCO/WO arm rank badge was used by the Lothian and Borders Horse, and the other NCO/WO rank arm badges posted were used by various other regiments.

Graham has pointed out that such NCO/WO rank arm badges were not worn by Infantry regiments ?

I am just not convinced that the ' Grenade ' arm badge shown in Geoff's original photograph is in fact a ' Mortar ' trade badge, but could in fact be a NCO/WO rank arm badge ?

If it was not an Ox & Bucks issued badge, could he/ did he get it from another Regiment i.e the West Riding Regiment ?

I am also treading water,

Regards,

LF

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Right fella's, does this help enlisted 7th OX & Bucks Pte 9/9/14,

posted Pte 26/9/14

appointed La/Cpl 5/10/15,

promoted Cpl 15/11/14,

promoted Sgt 11/8/15,

appointed acting CSM 3/10/16, this appears to be whilst serving CSM was admitted to hospital Salonica as he reverts to Sergt 30/11/16 when CSM returns from hospital.

Depot 27/1/17 prior to Cadet candidate training 3rd Cadet School Bristol,

discharged commission West Riding Regt 25/9/17,

does this help the CSM appointment would have been i presume in the field hence would not relate to the photographs which show the details of rank insignia whilst a Sgt in 1915 & 1916

As for the colour of the flames i would be presumed as blue, however as the colour appears as tan is this due to fading ??

Geoff ,

If you know around when the photo was taken would help with his service timeline--Right now its limited in usefullness.

I do not see the Blue on that Grenade and don't think it is a LTMB grenade--I actually think it is a Bombers badge, but not quite the one introduced in 1915 or changed in Oct 1917.

The picture beowl is of Bombers badge as introduced in 1915--After Oct 1917 the grenade was all red.

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.

For comparison here is a LTMB Badge on jacket as introduced to BEF in Jan 1916.

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.

Note that in both cases the issue Grnade is not as fancy as the one shown in your photo.

This looks privately purchased Bomber badge and may actually be the rare mythical Red Bomb with white flames that many of us have been searching for (original)

Note on the original post card the contrast of Flames over bomb.

Also for general interest could you post a scan of the entire image?

Thanks

I'm treading water here. Is LF (forgive the informality) saying the Wheatsheaf is indicative of an NCO/WO in the Lothians (and thus presumably and by extension the Yeomanry and perhaps Cavalry in general) which seems absolutely logical as there is obviously no skill at arms to which this badge relates, whilst Graham is saying that in the Infantry the Grenade is indicative of purely skill at arms ? Are we therefore looking at different use of the same insignia for different arms (again as the RA/RE are separate arms, hence the respective gun and grenade) ? i.e blue grenade = LTMB skill at arms in the infantry but above chevrons (without colour) in RE = senior NCO .

Also, still can't see the attribution of blue for the coloured grenade in Post 1.

As I said, treading water.

Suddery

LF/Suddery,

In my opinion this badge does not designate an NCO/WO. The 3 chevrons designate NCO and both badges are just Trade badges.

Graham has synosized the usage of insigia such as the Grenade for Infantry very well. However, the wear of badges is very complicated.

Per 1914 Clothing Regs NCOs were to wear trade badges in v shape of the chevrons. There are a few minor exceptions.

There are only limited cases for Infantry to wear Grenade badges--Prior to the war, and during, the Grenade was also worn by Grenadier Guards and Fusilier Regiment pioneers. Worn normally on lower left sleeve, but presumably moved to the Chevron with an NCO (the 1914 Regs are not specific in this case)

Niether of those units fits with 7th OX and Bucks.

The 2nd case is the LTMB and Bombers Badge.

This fits.

There were also limited use of other rank identifying badges put up above the Chevron.

A good example for this is prior to, and into, 1915 the CSM (and others) wore a crown above the Chevrons. This scheme was dropped in 1915 for CSM, but remained for some of the others I believe.

Joe Sweeney

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There were also limited use of other rank identifying badges put up above the Chevron.

A good example for this is prior to, and into, 1915 the CSM (and others) wore a crown above the Chevrons. This scheme was dropped in 1915 for CSM, but remained for some of the others I believe.

Joe Sweeney

Joe

Thanks for a clear posting in what has been a rather confused thread, none more so than my own contribution.

Your above quote is at the crux of my particular query.

I have always understood that the crown above the three chevrons in the infantry indicated a CSM or senior sergeant, I also thought (now I believe erroneously) that a trade badge above indicated a sergeant instructor; having expected to see chevrons on upper arm and trade badge on lower for a sergeant with trade. My point (put very badly I'm afraid) was that where, for example, in the Lothians or Artillery a wheatsheaf or gun are shown above the chevrons are they in effect supplanting the crown used in the infantry to signify some degree of seniority in the sergeant wearing them? After all a wheatsheaf of a gun do not represent a trade.

I concur with all of your comments about grenade colour and they agree with my previous knowledge.

One other point I would like to make concerns the use of the brass grenade above chevrons in the RE. I had always though this was indicative of their "Ubique" Grenade and thus served an equal function to the wheatsheaf or gun detailed earlier.

Regards

Suddery

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I come late to this feast: more like a mezze, as it is a bit of a mishmash served in little bits.

Where to start?

I think we have established wearer was Ox and Bucks and therefore infantry? I proceed on that assumption.

The chevrons are a Great War issue variant.

They denote sergeant or lance-sergeant, no way of distinguishing between these.

Wearing badges other than rank above chevrons in the infantry definitely signified instructor/ assistant instructor or appointment. Examples of the latter include Scout and Pioneer. Examples of the former include signaller, PTI and, yes, bomber or LTMB. The distinction between instructor and appointment was blurred, especially in war.

As to which of the latter two grenades is in the illustrations, I cannot be sure ......... the odds are on bomber [therefore scarlet or scarlet and drab] even if only because there was a need for an understudy for the established bombing officer, and, additionally, every platoon had a bombing section under an NCO ......... and where else could an NCO wear a grenade except in the official position?

As for Bodsworth's book, it is both an excellent overview and regrettably flawed. I doubt if it is possible for one man to have the encyclopaediac knowledge across the complete uniform spectrum to pull it off to the satisfaction of the lesser mortals who excel in sub-sets, such as rank and or "trade" [how I hate the useless one-size-fits-all word!] badges.

Now, specifically, a quote from Suddery:

I have always understood that the crown above the three chevrons in the infantry indicated a CSM or senior sergeant, I also thought (now I believe erroneously) that a trade badge above indicated a sergeant instructor; having expected to see chevrons on upper arm and trade badge on lower for a sergeant with trade. My point (put very badly I'm afraid) was that where, for example, in the Lothians or Artillery a wheatsheaf or gun are shown above the chevrons are they in effect supplanting the crown used in the infantry to signify some degree of seniority in the sergeant wearing them? After all a wheatsheaf of a gun do not represent a trade.

I concur with all of your comments about grenade colour and they agree with my previous knowledge.

One other point I would like to make concerns the use of the brass grenade above chevrons in the RE. I had always though this was indicative of their "Ubique" Grenade and thus served an equal function to the wheatsheaf or gun detailed earlier.

MY Grumpy comments:

Infantry: the crown over three chevrons signified colour-sergeant RANK in 1914. Colour-sergeants were APPOINTED as CSM [small extra pay], CQMS, or CSgt Instructor Musketry, or CSgt Orderly Room Clerk etc. In May 1915 the Warrant Officer RANK was extended to WO I and WOII ........ all the old WO were graded WO I, and the RQMS [hitherto with RANK of QMS] and the CSMs were graded WO II. An additional complication was the existence of generic staff sergeants ......... not a RANK but a collective grouping of sergeants [and indeed some CSgts] employed outside the Company structure and clothed [in full dress] with superior uniforms. These included: drum/bugle/pipe major, band sergeant, CSgt Instr. Musketry, Orderly Room Sgt, .......... the list varied with time, place, and regiment.

Infantry: badges lower arm were usually to signify skill-at-arms such as for left arm musketry, signalling, MG or LG, or for right arm distance judging.

Non-infantry badges other than crowns above chevrons denoted full sergeant [as opposed to lance-sergeant] of RA [gun], full sergeant of RE [grenade], or appropriate regimental devices for most cavalry.

As always, there are exceptions. These are perhaps for a master-class, but they can be found in Grenadier Guards, HAC, and the Household cavalry to name but a few.

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