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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Uniform Help


gwentpal

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Can anyone please identify this uniform in pic and on certificate please. My take on certificate reads "Sergeant 20236 (his S W Borderers no) attached to 20? 28? Reserve Btn Loudon? London? Regeiment. I cant even decipher the last word. Ive tried researching reserve bttns but neither the 20th or 28th start with L. Any advice gratefully received.

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I think 20th Reserve battalion London Regiment (which, according to the LLT would date the pic to after April 8 1916 see: "8 April 1916 : became 19th and 20th Reserve Bns. Moved to Chisledon in November 1917; 19th went to Blackdown and 20th to Flixton and March in 1918."

I can't make out the last word either.

The cap with a white band on it looks like the sort of thing that an officer cadet would wear, was the sergeant perhaps commissioned and this was taken during his training? I don't think the open collar and tie would usually be worn by a Sgt. unless he held some special appointment, so my guess is he is in officer training here.

Chris

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Looks like a SWB cap badge.

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Some more info I should have put up sorry, he served with 10th Battalion SWB, won MM as stretcher bearer at Pilckem on 31.7.17 . The next time I track him down was on his wedding certificate where this rank/profession picture comes from, the wedding cert says he is living in Colwyn Bay which is why I found it really strange that it seems to say London Reg.

I think the lieutenant he rescued from no mans land at Pilckem pressed him to try as an officer, so perhaps this is post July 1917.

Although thinking about it the picture of him on his wedding day April 1918 sees him wearing just a Sergeants uniform so this flat cap picture could be post April 1918.

Apart from service record is there any other way of finding out. His medal index card just mentions him as a Sergeant no other rank.

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I think 20th Reserve battalion London Regiment (which, according to the LLT would date the pic to after April 8 1916 see: "8 April 1916 : became 19th and 20th Reserve Bns. Moved to Chisledon in November 1917; 19th went to Blackdown and 20th to Flixton and March in 1918."

I can't make out the last word either.

The cap with a white band on it looks like the sort of thing that an officer cadet would wear, was the sergeant perhaps commissioned and this was taken during his training? I don't think the open collar and tie would usually be worn by a Sgt. unless he held some special appointment, so my guess is he is in officer training here.

Chris

Agree with Chris - that the white band around the cap usually defines an Officer Cadet.

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Many thanks guys. I did hear that he may have started NCO training but I thought it would have mentioned change of rank and regiment on medal index card. Does anyone know how I can find out more details without a service record. Thanks

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If he was commissioned, I think it would normally say so on the Medal Index Card but may be worth running a search on the London Gazette website to see if anything comes up?

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Hi Yes ive tried the Gazette he is mentioned just twice, once in the London and once in the Edinburgh both times for winning Military Medal. Medal index card makes no mention of transfer, what if hed only been "attached" to different Reg would it show up then. Really puzzled now.

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I can't decipher the last word either - I thought the last letter might be d or t, but the other final ds and ts above it are quite different.

If you post all of the certificate, we can compare the rest of the writing on it with the mystery word.

Edit: I've just looked at the word again. Could it be Miner?

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Thanks Wainfleet

Miner, this is the only word I can possibly make it out to be too. This makes sense in the respect that he was a miner before and after the war, what would a miner be doing in the London Regiment though, I thought miners would be in pioneer battalions. I'll see if I can post whole certificate.

Just to go slightly off topic, ive found another medal card for this relative, this second card states he is a corporal and is entitled to the 14/15 star. It also says under remarks section "reserves 25.3.19". Does this mean he finished in the regular army and went straight to serve in the reserves. I know prior to the war men did so many years under colors and then were in the reserve for a number of years but didnt think this applied to New Army enlistee's.

Many thanks to all you guys who are trying to help newbies like myself.

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Gwentpal

RE: "reserves 25.3.19"

Like many of the "war only" soldiers, he would have been discharged to Class Z Reserve (scroll down to near the end of this page) as the Armistice in November 1918 was only a ceasefire and there was a possibility that hostilities could break out again.

Glen

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Thanks SPOF

so basically he was just classed as being in the reserves he wasnt actually still in uniform after the ceasefire.

Just to go back to the two picture attachments that i started the thread off with, I should have been a bit clearer, the writing is from marriage certificate and his wedding photo shows him in an ordinary sergeants uniform, tunic with three stripes. I dont know when the flat cap was taken, thinking later. Would the be any records for junior nco's.

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I think that Graham has it spot on and the photo shows an officer cadet badged SWB. The white cap band was used universally to mark out officer aspirants.

Not all those who attended the courses were approved as officers and some were returned to the ranks, generally with a commendation for having tried.

Of those who passed, some were recommended for front line infantry service (where casualties were heaviest) and others decreed suitable only for support services and Labour Corps.

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Thanks FROGSMILE, what would be my next step trying to trace info about SWB officer cadets, any advice welcome.

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Thanks Jules, yes I tried the museum many years ago but had no joy, unfortunately they dont even employ an archivist at the current time, budgetary contraints I suppose.

Its always surprised me that the museum never had any records or even a register listing men who served. How did they manage on active service, surely they must have had a list for roll call purposes, did they not check who was present every morning to see if anybody hadnt gone awol??

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Thanks Jules, yes I tried the museum many years ago but had no joy, unfortunately they dont even employ an archivist at the current time, budgetary contraints I suppose.

Its always surprised me that the museum never had any records or even a register listing men who served. How did they manage on active service, surely they must have had a list for roll call purposes, did they not check who was present every morning to see if anybody hadnt gone awol??

Muster rolls are held by the National Archives Office (NAO) and few regimental museums have troubled to maintain copies. They have been scanned by various profit making genealogical websites who paid the government for the privilege and then sell us back our own history. Welcome to capitalism and the wonderful system that our soldiers died to defend. You can either search via the seemingly Byzantine like NAO Portal, which is less than user friendly, or seek out a friend who has a subscription to one of the genealogical websites. It is extremely unlikely that a list of attendees for officer cadet courses will have been retained. It was simply very small beer in the great scheme of things.

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Many thanks FROGSMILE I have membership of ancestry so I'll try on here. Cheers everyone.

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Many thanks FROGSMILE I have membership of ancestry so I'll try on here. Cheers everyone.

Good luck with that.

The flat cap with white band, and the stepped, open rever of the jacket with a collar and tie is officer style dress, but it is significant that he has no collar badges. This latter was the case in a number of photos that I have seen showing groups of officer aspirants. It meant that they were awaiting successful completion of the course (by no means a given) at which point they would be allocated to a regiment and could then set about getting the correct insignia, including collar badges, where worn.

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