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Remembered Today:

Information from photos


IanBee
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Can you please help?

My Grandad served with the 1st Bedfordshire Regiment from 17th July 1913 until his medical discharge on 13th Sep 1916. He served in France from 11th November 1914 and sustained a shrapnel wound to the face, probably sometime during 1915. No service record survives for him; this information has been extracted from his Medal Card. His name was William Charles Fish.

I have 2 photos of my Grandad and I would like to find out as much information as I can from them. With the kind help of Steven Fuller this is what I have managed to get from the pictures so far.

In both pictures my Grandad is wearing corporal’s stripes.

1st picture

I’m told his lanyard suggests he was in the Transport section but also could be a machine gunner but this is normally accompanied by a proficiency badge which cannot be seen.

According to the photographers stamp (bottom right) the photo was taken at “United Service studio of Ipswich and Felixstowe”. We therefore think this photo may have been taken while he was retraining in the Harwich garrison after recovering from his wound. I think I can see a wound stripe on his left sleeve but it’s not very clear.

2nd picture

Grandad is on the left and we believe he is wearing Hospital Blues. So, this must have been taken while he was recuperating from the wound to the left side of his face. His colleague seems to have a scar on the left side of his face too.

Questions

  1. They are both wearing armbands; what do they signify?
  2. My Grandad has a badge on his tie; does anyone know what it might be for?

Any information you can give me about these photos would be greatly appreciated.

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Hello Ian,

Photo #1 (standing) appears pretty standard and his cap badge looks like the Bedfordshire Regiment badge, I am sorry I don't see a wound stripe.

Photo #2 (seated) are definitely hospital blues uniforms, the tie badge may be a 'red cross appeal' badge for donations it has that look to it. His cap

badge angled as it is is hard to recognise, but suggest that its has arms that the Bedfords does not, it may well be a MGC cap badge. Sorry

I don't know much about armbands but others do.

regards

khaki

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The lanyard he is wearing in picture 1 signifies no particular unit or proficiency. A lanyard was issued to all troops after the outbreak of the war.

In picture 2 they are wearing "hospital blue" dress. The blue arm band on the great coat indicates that they are hospital or convalescent patients.

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Many thanks for both your responses.

Regarding the wound stripe; I agree it is dificult to see in the picture as I had to reduce the definition to include it in the post. I have scaled up the part of the photo that shows what I believe to be a wound stripe and included it in this post. It looks like it's in the right place, what do you think?

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Also, I have scaled up the tie badge in the hope it might make it clearer to identify.

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Regards

Ian

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Hi Ian,

Thank you for the enlargements, sometimes they raise more questions than providing answers. What I thought was a red cross badge now look different, the best I can say about the 'wound stripe' is that it could be. Interesting that the same picture shows what appears to be a leather finger sock on his small finger. They were/are a leather sock that slipped over a bandage and had a thong which ran up the wrist and was then fastened around the wrist by another length of bandage. They were designed to provide comfort and to keep the bandage clean. When i was young we always had one in our household 'first aid box'.

khaki

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Hi Khaki

I did notice the object near his hand and I think you are right it probably is a finger sock. I too remember them being used to protect bandaged fingers but we don't see them any more. I guess we have better ways of dealing with wounds nowadays.

I keep looking at the badge on his tie and the more I look at it the more it looks like a Bedfordshire's badge, perhaps enamelled? Do you have any suggestions as to where I might go from here to try to identify the tie badge?

Many thanks

Ian

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Hello Ian,

When I reexamined the photo following the enlargement, I realised I had been wrong, it crossed my mind that the badge on the tie may be a 'sweetheart regimental badge' mounted by a brooch clip, maybe the center has been voided to include a photo of his sweetheart?

I remember a posting on 'Militaria displayed' where a member had a very nice collection framed up, you may wish to contact him for his advice as to whether he is familiar with what I have suggested or he may refer you to a badge book etc.

regards

khaki

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Hi Khaki

I'm inclined to agree with you. I too think it's a sweetheart badge mounted on a bar. The basic shape looks very much like the following example but I think the one my Grandad is wearing is silver and/or enamel.

I'll check out the members post at 'Militaria displayed'. Many thanks for the suggestion and all your help.

Regards Ian

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