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wbremner

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Can anyone help identify this old BEF man's regiment, as depicted in Fergus Mackain's "Sketches of Tommy's Life - At the Base" postcard?

The chevron on his lower left sleeve is (I think) a two year Good Conduct stripe, but with the point downwards, which apparently means that he is a Guards Drummer.

The cap badge looks like he could be in the Grenadier Guards, although it is not that clear.

The complete postcard can be seen here. Mackain crossed to France some time between March and June 1916, if that helps.

LT_AB01-Ga-600%2520-%2520extract.jpg

Thanks!

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I'd say it's a caricature and as such doesn't reflect any specific person or regiment. The cuff chevron is too low to be a rank and the wrong way to be a Good Conduct Badge, and the cap badge could be any of half a hundred regiments.

Love the picture for what it is: an excellent representation of a Tommy of his time.

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Thanks, Steve. I was starting to think the same thing, but then I recently came across this post that mentions the upside-down GC stripe used by Guards Drummers:

http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=191507

The cap badge used by the Grenadier Guards in WW1 is the closest I have found to the one depicted in the postcard.

Grenadier%2520Guards%2520WW1%2520Cap%252

In his postcards, Mackain was quite specific in accurately depicting other badges and insignia of the time (based on his own experiences), but this one has me scratching my head.

Thanks again for replying.

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I agree with Herr Burstfeld - the character is a generic "Old Bill" type.

Drummers wear their GC chevrons point down only on Home Service Dress (the scarlet tunic) to avoid being lost in the several rows of fleur-de-lys braid which are arranged in upward-pointing chevrons on the sleeve. In other forms of dress where GC badges may be worn, they are worn in the conventional point-up configuration.

As a matter of interest, Mr B, Guards NCOs when in HSD Greatcoat order wear the rank chevrons on the lower sleeve (right) so that rank can be seen when a cape is worn.

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As a matter of interest, Mr B, Guards NCOs when in HSD Greatcoat order wear the rank chevrons on the lower sleeve (right) so that rank can be seen when a cape is worn.

I never cease to be amazed at the things you think I don't know. Tcha!

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Thanks for the clarification, SD. Very helpful.

Is a chevron on the lower left sleeve always a GC badge, or were there other instances of its use?

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I never cease to be amazed at the things you think I don't know. Tcha!

We are not at home to Mr Snippy !

Come to think of it, I never cease to be amazed at the things you think you do know.

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I'll take that as a compliment. :unsure:

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  • 3 months later...

Thanks for the clarification, SD. Very helpful.

Is a chevron on the lower left sleeve always a GC badge, or were there other instances of its use?

Wish it were that simple!

From 1889 at the latest, Regulations for the Militia prescribe badges, ‘re-enlistment stripes’ to be worn on the left arm below the elbow, point upwards. By the regulations of 1893 their use had been extended to re-engagement, which implied continuity of service, four years at a time. This arrangement was continued in 1896 but ended in 1901 when the ledgers of the Royal Army Clothing Department recorded that this use was to be superceded

Then of course there were multiples of four good conduct badges that could masquerade as a quartermaster sergeant up to 1915, or a "music-major" without the music badge. [not that bagpipes count as music .............]

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