Jump to content
Free downloads from TNA ×
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Please identify this


pinevista

Recommended Posts

I was going through a drawer and found this badge and would like someone to identify it. It must have been my grandfather's since he was in the RFA during the war.

post-74822-0-29869000-1396445958_thumb.j

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was going through a drawer and found this badge and would like someone to identify it. It must have been my grandfather's since he was in the RFA during the war.

This looks to be the insignia worn on the cuff of the early RAF Officer's uniform jacket.

The backing plate would have been on the inside of the sleeve with the insignia mounted on the exterior.

This insignia was worn just above the Officer's cuff rank lace bands ( see attached photo ).

Regards,

LF

post-63666-0-02122300-1396446878_thumb.j

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for solving this mystery. I'll place it among my grandfather's military memorabilia.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for solving this mystery. I'll place it among my grandfather's military memorabilia.

An excellent original item, and not seen too often off the uniform, so a nice family keepsake.

Regards,

LF

Link to comment
Share on other sites

RFA40Battery. Would you like to come over here and find my Peace Medallion in our house :ph34r: , I had it to compare to an Ebay item 3 weeks ago and have searched now since Monday and cannot find it anywhere, you appear to be able to "find" things in drawers, wish I could do the same :blush: Nice item and DONT lose it. Ralph.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This looks to be the insignia worn on the cuff of the early RAF Officer's uniform jacket.

The backing plate would have been on the inside of the sleeve with the insignia mounted on the exterior.

This insignia was worn just above the Officer's cuff rank lace bands ( see attached photo ).

...

An excellent original item, and not seen too often off the uniform, so a nice family keepsake.

It is much more likely to be a WW2 era cap badge from an RAF officers sidecap. This used the exact same size and pattern badge as worn on the cuff in 1918, but typical WW1 examples usually have three fixing points on the reverse of the eagle, whereas normal WW2 examples feature only two:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/WW2-RAF-OFFICER-FIELD-SERVICE-CAP-BARATHEA-FORAGE-OVERSEAS-SIDE-CAP-SIZE-7-1-8-/151269370212?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_186&hash=item23385b6964#ht_135wt_1234

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That cinches it! It has three fixed points on the back. However, my grandfather served in both the RFA and RAF in WWI so perhaps it could be from either. I may be crossing the pond in June to give a talk to the London branch of the Western Front Association so perhaps I could help locate your missing item.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That cinches it! It has three fixed points on the back.

Only on the eagle, or divided between the eagle and the crown? The 1918 sleeve badges tend to have three fixing points (left, right, centre) on the body of the eagle itself as it helped keep them in place on the curved surface of a sleeve - this was never a real problem on the flat surface of the sidecap, hence usually only two fixing points on the body of the eagle (left and right). In both cases the seperate crown usually only had one:

http://postimg.org/image/fs3fyj0dj/

RAF_badge_comp_pic.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

WW2 era cap badge from an RAF officers sidecap.

Andrew,

I have no knowledge whatsoever of WW2 insignia, hence have only seen such a set on the early WW1 RAF officer's uniform jacket cuff.

Anyway, it is handy to know that a similar type of badge was also used on a WW2 RAF sidecap.

Regards,

LF

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a handed pair and have been told that they are early arm eagles by a collector who has some still insitu on uniforms, though one other stated they were the later cap eagles. did the later cap eagles come in facing pairs or are they for different types of caps?

post-91897-0-17404600-1396474231_thumb.j

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This used the exact same size and pattern badge as worn on the cuff in 1918, but typical WW1 examples usually have three fixing points on the reverse of the eagle, whereas normal WW2 examples feature only two:

Andrew,

I am not sure you are correct, that the RAF used the exact same badge on the WW2 sidecap as the insignia worn on the WW1 RAF Officer's sleeve cuff. Attached are photos of the front and back of a WW2 RAF sidecap badge, and as you can see, the WW2 sidecap badge is completely different to the badge shown in post # 1, particularly note the wing design.

I have looked at the wing design shown in post # 2 under a magnifying glass, and it looks the same as the wing design shown in post # 1, which is completely different to the WW2 sidecap wing design shown in the attached photos.

Regards,

LF

post-63666-0-80166200-1396479898_thumb.j

post-63666-0-85814400-1396479925_thumb.j

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The three points are as shown in the first photo on Andrew Upton's post - one on each wing and the third on the crown. Attached is a picture of my grandfather in his captain's uniform.

post-74822-0-81208300-1396490048_thumb.j

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a handed pair and have been told that they are early arm eagles by a collector who has some still insitu on uniforms, though one other stated they were the later cap eagles. did the later cap eagles come in facing pairs or are they for different types of caps?

attachicon.gifRAF eagles small.jpg

That's a beautiful example of a matched facing pair. Basically, the cap version should only face viewers right, so a matched pair like this would definitely have been for some role where both would have been worn together. They might be as early as WW1 and an exception to the typical three fixing points on the eagle rule, or as late as early post-WW2 for someone in a role that required a matching pair on a uniform (it is even still possible to get the same pattern eagle today brand-new in horrible staybright finish in matched pairs).

I am not sure you are correct, that the RAF used the exact same badge on the WW2 sidecap as the insignia worn on the WW1 RAF Officer's sleeve cuff. Attached are photos of the front and back of a WW2 RAF sidecap badge, and as you can see, the WW2 sidecap badge is completely different to the badge shown in post # 1, particularly note the wing design.

I have looked at the wing design shown in post # 2 under a magnifying glass, and it looks the same as the wing design shown in post # 1, which is completely different to the WW2 sidecap wing design shown in the attached photos.

The generic badge remained the same, how it was made by different makers at different times to different budgets will naturally vary considerably in the detail. The eagle on the example you have posted appears to be a relatively cheap and low quality example, the pair posted by Jerry are a beautiful example of the high quality end of the scale, but at the end of the day they are still simply representations of the same badge.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you Andrew for commenting and in some way clearing up the enigma regarding my pair. They are beauties and were picked up locally to me for a song, and I noticed similar examples with the same fixings are seen for sale on dealers sites as early RAf types for considerable sums, but often dealers get it wrong so I never took that as meaning my pair were 100% early, though as I mentioned a friend has some in situ and he was happy that they were early, but perhaps again not 100% confirmation as the type were used for a long time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The generic badge remained the same, how it was made by different makers at different times to different budgets will naturally vary considerably in the detail. The eagle on the example you have posted appears to be a relatively cheap and low quality example, the pair posted by Jerry are a beautiful example of the high quality end of the scale, but at the end of the day they are still simply representations of the same badge.

Andrew,

You will note that on both Jerry's superb quality insignia set, and the much lesser quality internet photo RAF sidecap set, that the top of the wings are the same design, and are completely different to the wing design shown in post # 1, and the photo shown in post # 2.

You seem to want to simply explain away this major glaring difference in the badge's design by attributing it to " different makers at different times to different budgets ", you know that the design of insignia was closely controlled, and although one may see differences in quality, as with the internet photo and jerry's set, you do not see major differences in the design of the insignia.

It is clear from the photographs, that the WW2 RAF sidecap badge was a completely different badge to the WW1 RAF Officer's sleeve cuff insignia, and you cannot simply try to explain that away by saying is is due to " different makers at different times to different budgets ".

It is obvious that the WW1 RAF Officer's sleeve insignia and the WW2 RAF sidecap badge, are two completely different badges, and that the badge shown in post # 1, is not a WW2 RAF sidecap badge, but in fact is a WW1 RAF Officer's sleeve cuff insignia.

Regards,

LF

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Perhaps this helps to look at all 3 at once. It would be good for me to have this decided one way or the other so I know what I have. an interesting debate on the finer points of such insignia.

post-91897-0-87856300-1396531484_thumb.j

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here are two photos which an RAF Collector posted on the internet showing details of two of his WW1 RAF Officer's jackets which had the sleeve cuff insignia, and to illustrate how the cuff insignia was fixed to a backing plate on the inside of the sleeve, he posted 2 photos of those fixings, and in both cases his WW1 sleeve insignia used just two fixings screws to the body of the badge, and one to the crown, a total of 3 fixings screws.

LF

post-63666-0-82416400-1396533762_thumb.j

post-63666-0-52645800-1396533779_thumb.j

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Perhaps this helps to look at all 3 at once. It would be good for me to have this decided one way or the other so I know what I have. an interesting debate on the finer points of such insignia.

Jerry,

Firstly, your set is of superb quality.

I know nothing about WW2 RAF sidecaps, so the first question to be decided, is did a WW2 RAF side cap have matching left and right badges ?

If the answer is no, then your set are definitely not side cap badges.

Also to be determined, is did the WW1 RAF Officer's sleeve cuff insignia start with the design shown in post # 1 and post # 2, and then change to the design shown on your badges ? which was then carried over to WW2 ?

To further complicate matters, the RNAS also used the same sleeve cuff insignia.

When these questions are answered, we may then know the origin of your badges.

Regards,

LF

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jerry,

Firstly, your set is of superb quality.

I know nothing about WW2 RAF sidecaps, so the first question to be decided, is did a WW2 RAF side cap have matching left and right badges ?

If the answer is no, then your set are definitely not side cap badges.

Also to be determined, is did the WW1 RAF Officer's sleeve cuff insignia start with the design shown in post # 1 and post # 2, and then change to the design shown on your badges ? which was then carried over to WW2 ?

To further complicate matters, the RNAS also used the same sleeve cuff insignia.

When these questions are answered, we may then know the origin of your badges.

Regards,

LF

LF,

I am fairly certain that my pair are sleeve insignia, but as you mention, as to when they date is the unknown here. I know that handed pairs were worn in the later period on I think OR's jackets higher up the sleeve and not as cuff insignia in such a manner as the early examples were worn.

The quality of my pair always left me thinking that they were unlikely to be standard issue for OR's and it is that which makes me thing that they were likely to officers priavte purchase and therefore were more likely to be from the earlier period, but I freely admit that the RAF and its uniforms and insignia are not an area of the British armed forces about which I have spent much time studying and I am happy to listen to any informed opinions on them. I do hope this discussion is not seen as straying outside the time period to which this forum is focussed, though as yet we do not know which period we are discussing in regards to these, hopefully all is well. I previosuly posted them on the Brit badge forum and elsewhere and the majority opion was if I remember correctly that they were from the early period.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Close up of a WW1 RAF Officer's sleeve cuff insignia, note the design of the wings, and how they match the wing design shown in post # 1.

LF

post-63666-0-33114300-1396542327_thumb.j

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here are some photos of the WW2 RAF Officer's sidecap, which clearly show the WW2 sidecap eagle insignia, which has the same wing design shown in post # 11, and is completely different to the WW1 insignia design shown in posts # 1 - 2 and post # 20.

Also, the insignia on the WW2 sidecap is on one side of the cap only, it is not double-sided.

LF


WW2 RAF Officer's sidecap, with insignia on one side of the cap only.

LF

post-63666-0-35635500-1396552909_thumb.j

post-63666-0-61247100-1396552941_thumb.j

post-63666-0-29434000-1396553060_thumb.j

Link to comment
Share on other sites

LF,

I am fairly certain that my pair are sleeve insignia, but as you mention, as to when they date is the unknown here.

Jerry,

I think we are getting closer to knowing the origin of your badges, as we now know the design of the WW2 RAF Officer's sidecap badge, and we know that it was only fitted to one side of the cap, not both sides.

Also, whilst you have a right facing badge and a left facing badge, if you closely examine both badges, you will see that there are some major differences in the design castings on each badge, which makes me think they could possibly be from two different makers.

If you look closely at the head and beak areas shown in your photos in post # 10, you will note that there are major differences in the design casting on each badge for the eagle's head and beak.

Also, if you examine the right wing in the left photo, you will see an area below the top of the wing where there are no feathers, whereas in the corresponding left wing in the right photo, there is no gap in the feathers at the top of the wing ?

Perhaps, the maker knowingly made the right facing eagle different to the left facing eagle ?

Attached is a section of your photos showing those differing design castings.

Regards,

LF

post-63666-0-54794800-1396564559_thumb.j

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You will note that on both Jerry's superb quality insignia set, and the much lesser quality internet photo RAF sidecap set, that the top of the wings are the same design, and are completely different to the wing design shown in post # 1, and the photo shown in post # 2.

You seem to want to simply explain away this major glaring difference in the badge's design by attributing it to " different makers at different times to different budgets ", you know that the design of insignia was closely controlled, and although one may see differences in quality, as with the internet photo and jerry's set, you do not see major differences in the design of the insignia.

It is clear from the photographs, that the WW2 RAF sidecap badge was a completely different badge to the WW1 RAF Officer's sleeve cuff insignia, and you cannot simply try to explain that away by saying is is due to " different makers at different times to different budgets ".

It is obvious that the WW1 RAF Officer's sleeve insignia and the WW2 RAF sidecap badge, are two completely different badges, and that the badge shown in post # 1, is not a WW2 RAF sidecap badge, but in fact is a WW1 RAF Officer's sleeve cuff insignia.

LF - I have been deliberately studying the 1918 RAF uniform regulations recently as part of a project to replicate one for living history purposes. This has involved me collecting as much information as possible, and one of the things I have made a close study of is images of as many surviving originals as I can. As I type I am even looking at part of a small pictoral guide I made for myself simply devoted to the variations in both the rank braid, eagles and crowns between FIVE original jackets ALONE.

All vary in minor details, wing styling, number of feathers, some are highly curved whilst others are noticably flat, some are high relief whilst other low, etc etc. And those from a sample that all must have been produced within a few months of each other in 1918. And I can tell you with absolute certainty that the same sort of variations ARE found in WW2 produced examples. You cannot simply use one known WW2 example and say that because another example does not conform in every respect that it must be a WW1 example. It might be, it might not. The only cast iron guarrantee would be the provenance, which is ambiguous in this case. You only need to look at the similar problem with the multitude of supposed WW2 RAF Pathfinder badges to realise the difficulty in trying to differentiate the same badge that was used for many years (and is still in use) by the RAF into neat categories that simply do not exist.

So I will happily state again - any right facing eagle (in gilt brass, wing span about 5 - 5.5 mm, with or without the Kings Crown above) on its own without any provenance to the contrary is, simply on the balance of probability, far more likely to be of WW2 vintage than of WW1. To illustrate the simple variety that can be found in WW1 originals alone, I have linked pictures of just some of the examples I have seen below:

http://postimg.org/image/ejk0lzzst/

T2e_C16h_yg_E9s7_HLc_TIBRk_PMv_Gc_60_12_

http://postimg.org/image/yajermehj/

04b4564effc4bbe7d4df1e92cc62081e_image_7

http://postimg.org/image/kj4lfqsjj/

60200d_1.jpg

http://postimg.org/image/6foauclkd/

RAF_5.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here are some photos of the WW2 RAF Officer's sidecap, which clearly show the WW2 sidecap eagle insignia, which has the same wing design shown in post # 11, and is completely different to the WW1 insignia design shown in posts # 1 - 2 and post # 20.

Also, the insignia on the WW2 sidecap is on one side of the cap only, it is not double-sided.

WW2 RAF Officer's sidecap, with insignia on one side of the cap only.

Incidentally, that is a non-standard RAF officers sidecap badge of the WW2 period, being neither the typical seperate two-piece construction, or indeed the correct right-facing eagle that should be worn, and thus even more different than is usual. The example I linked in my original post is a much better illustration of a typical WW2 worn example. The third picture above of an original 1918 jacket is an excellent match to a known WW2 cap eagle in my posession.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

a known WW2 cap eagle in my posession.

Andrew,

What would be very helpful to the discussion, is if you would kindly post a photo of the front and and back of your known WW2 sidecap eagle ?

Regards,

LF

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...