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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Cadet uniform 1916


Jon_B

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The attached photo is of my grandfather, Jack Bailey (on the right) as a cadet aged 15, with his friend Edgar Lee, taken in 1916.

Is this a CCF uniform? Curious about the white belt and swagger sticks.

Thanks

Jon

post-46354-0-88890100-1408351622_thumb.j

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The white belts look to me like the shoulder straps from a respirator case. Swagger sticks were a normal accessory for walking out in uniform at that time[ also i would have thought more so for boys as it keeps their hands out of their pockets]

John

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Not respirator, but haversack straps. The haversack was a very old item of personal equipment used for carrying 'ready-for-use' rations and even today a packed lunch, when isssued, is still called a haversack ration. Cadet units were formed in the late 1890s and early 1900s and during WW1 a great deal more attention was paid them by the War Office. If not already formed in battalions the various detachments were grouped, formed as battalions, and affiliated with regular regiments. The waist belts are narrower versions of the 08 pattern web belt that began to be issued late in the war and the boys are dressed meticulously for 'walking out', complete with swagger sticks, as required by unit standing orders. The cap badges are Middlesex Regiment.

You can see a film of 2nd Cadet battalion boys marching, here: http://www.britishpathe.com/video/presentation-of-banners-2nd-cadet-battalion-of-mid/query/ceremonies

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Thanks, that's very helpful.

Jack adored his elder brother, Eric, who was enlisted in the RNAS, became a pilot and was killed in August 1918 (I have a comprehensive history of his wartime service).

We have a letter from Eric to Jack in which he thanks Jack for sending him this photo, saying that he has "..quite the Piccadily swagger...". They lived in Enfield, so the Middlesex Regiment of course makes perfect sense.

For pure trivia's sake, the lad on the left is the son of Edgar M Lee, later of Belling and Lee electrical.

Jon

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Thanks, that's very helpful.

Jack adored his elder brother, Eric, who was enlisted in the RNAS, became a pilot and was killed in August 1918 (I have a comprehensive history of his wartime service).

We have a letter from Eric to Jack in which he thanks Jack for sending him this photo, saying that he has "..quite the Piccadily swagger...". They lived in Enfield, so the Middlesex Regiment of course makes perfect sense.

For pure trivia's sake, the lad on the left is the son of Edgar M Lee, later of Belling and Lee electrical.

Jon

It's a great image that to me personifies the importance afforded, belatedly, to cadet units during a war of National survival. The war office funding soon dried up after the war and many (albeit not all) of the battalions of cadets withered. Thank you for posting the photo.

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Fantastic picture.

Slight off topic, Frogsmile do you believe it was a case of lesson learnt for the War office as WW2 the then reformed ACF had funding and access to current weapon/doctirne and intergrated with reg/TA units(I have a cracking picture from 1942 of glamorgan cadets in a Bren carrier)?

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Fantastic picture.

Slight off topic, Frogsmile do you believe it was a case of lesson learnt for the War office as WW2 the then reformed ACF had funding and access to current weapon/doctirne and intergrated with reg/TA units(I have a cracking picture from 1942 of glamorgan cadets in a Bren carrier)?

Yes I do, although it was all thrown away again by Clement Atlee's administration to save money after WW2.

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