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Remembered Today:

Toby Brayley

Pre-War Cloth Shoulder Titles, Rank and Insignia photos.

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Dragoon
1 hour ago, FROGSMILE said:


Glad to help Chris.  Before the Edward VII cypher was issued the Victorian version was used for the field service cap.  Both were without crown on the FSC and I believe were probably originally collar badges coopted into use for headdress.  Only the Edward VII badge was used on the Brodrick.

 

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Thank you again FROGSMILE, I have said it countless times, how superb this forum is with its wealth of knowledge , always learning new things!

 

Chris 

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Richard Fisher
3 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:

Uncannily I had just ordered your book after discovering it online, so it’s quite spooky to read your post here.  My hope now is that similar photos for the Army School of PT can be found (I know they exist), and also the Cavalry School (Netheravon, then Weedon), as they too exist but I’ve only ever seen two.  I imagine these latter would be much more difficult to track down because unlike the other two schools it was long ago dispersed.  However, they are just as rich with dress details as those of the SofM.

 

The ones that I'm trying to track down at the moment are those from Netheravon as we have very few that would have come across in 1994 when it closed. The only range we have, almost in full, is that from Hythe. I'll be spending some time with Toby having a look through it in more detail and we'll hopefully take a look at the older pictures too as I know we have them back to 1865 for the officers' courses and there are some glass plates which are potentially earlier.

 

All the best, and I hope you find value in the book,

 

Rich

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FROGSMILE
On 03/12/2019 at 13:37, Richard Fisher said:

 

The ones that I'm trying to track down at the moment are those from Netheravon as we have very few that would have come across in 1994 when it closed. The only range we have, almost in full, is that from Hythe. I'll be spending some time with Toby having a look through it in more detail and we'll hopefully take a look at the older pictures too as I know we have them back to 1865 for the officers' courses and there are some glass plates which are potentially earlier.

 

All the best, and I hope you find value in the book,

 

Rich


I have a few from my time in Netheravon, which is where I spent my entire service in the SASC.  Unfortunately there did not seem to be any system there to retain photographs centrally (i.e. Wing HQ), and each of the Weapons Divisions (Mortar, Anti-Tank and latterly MG and Reconaissance) was left to do its own thing.  I was forever poking about whenever the opportunity arose, but I never saw anything of historical note apart from the complete collection of officers service dress bronze cap badges from WW1 that was retained on the wall of the officers’ mess.  I know that that collection has survived, but there was no central collection of photographs.

 

 I was always fascinated by the connection of the wing with the old machine gun school and I took every chance I had to look into that.  Overall I noticed three factors that affected the retention of historical information:

 

1.  The first was the relationship between Netheravon and Warminster (previously Hythe), which I would describe as to a degree antipathetic.  Warminster ran very much by rote to a rigid extent and the weapon training lessons (that at one point began and ended by a whistle blast) were dealing with small arms use at section and platoon level.  Netheravon focussed upon battalion level, medium weapons and taught handling skills within the context of the all arms battle.  This meant that teaching by rote was inappropriate and all soldier and officer trainees were taught in an integrated manner how their weapon was used at the tactical level, including full battle procedure.  In this way I would describe the culture of the two wings as very different and connected in a virtually unbroken way with their forebears at the Machine Gun School and the Small Arms School.  Ne’er the twain would meet.

 

2.  The Netheravon wing (erstwhile school) comprised of small corrugated iron huts directly converted from the stables of the old cavalry school.  Even the headquarters and its satellite buildings were merely asbestos clad wooden huts largely unchanged since WW1.  As such, space was at a premium, so there was only the most essential systematic archiving taking place, which did not include photographs in the period between WW2 and its final closure.

 

3.  Most significantly of all, the school at Netheravon closed completely for a few years between the two World Wars.  It was only the scare leading up to WW2 that caused it to be reopened as a wing and I strongly suspect that when the old machine gun school there had been closed, all photographs that there were had been either dispersed, or possibly even destroyed.  As previously mentioned there was very little communication, or sense of comradeship between the then schools at Hythe and Netheravon.  They might just as well have been wearing different cap badges, as indeed they had been until 1929.  Netheravon always seemed to be under threat of closure, especially during the periodic ‘basing’ reviews when each of the 3-Services had to declare what it would give up if pushed.  That situation led to what I would call a hand-to-mouth existence of running like a well oiled machine, but always with the anticipation of being closed at some point.  Sadly the closure occurred some years after I had moved on.

 

Regards,

 

FS

Edited by FROGSMILE

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