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London Regiment cloth shoulder titles and patches


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1/15th Bn., 140th Bde, 47th Division



1-15th Bn. w. coy bars. III.png

"two shoulder titles with CIVIL SERVICE RIFLES in red on khaki cloth, four company badges of blue, green, red and yellow rectangles, yellow spade and blue, green and red bands".


'A' Coy.

'B' Coy

'C' Coy

'D' Coy



L/Cpl wearing yellow spade patch and company bar. Also he may be wearing a cloth shoulder title- evidence that they were all worn together.  

From my own collection




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Rfn F C Mill 15th Lond.jpg

Rfn Frederick Charles Mill


F.C. Mill close-up.jpg 1.jpg



Major H Warrender.jpg

Major H. Warrender



I think Major Warrender is wearing an example of the 'C.S.R.' title.


CSR title.png

15th London Rgt.

'C.S.R.' Posted by John Gregory in the Postcards thread (Post #994)

'Civil Service Rifles' shoulder title, posted by Tocemma in the Postcards thread (Post #1225).


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2/15th Bn. 

2-15th BEF.png


2-15th Salonika.png

Information on colour of flash from 'Infantry Divisions, Identification Schemes, 1917', By Mike Hibberd & Gary Gibbs.


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1/16th Bn. 

16th IMG_9865.JPG

Rfn. Harry Edward Burnham


1-16th Bn ii.png


1/16th Bn. shoulder title and patch

*Updated with information from post #91. Many thanks to Mark Holden

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2/16th Bn., 179th Bde., 60th Division





Red circle




Red & white rose officers

With thanks to Orasot and Mike_H for information on this patch from the IWM. 


green and white tape 

Two descriptions on the GWF and the BCMB Forum seem to describe this tape as shown below. My thanks to MikeH and Orasot


*Confirmed 23/10/17. See BCMB Forum link above.


I would love to know if the QWR title was worn in Salonika or Egypt & Palestine. 

2-16th Bn....png


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1/17th - 1/20th Battalions


1-17th - 1-20th Bns.png

I believe that many battalions of the London Regiment must have changed to another patch when the brigades were reduced from 4 to 3 battalions. I have not managed to confirm this yet, though I am working on it. However, a number of photos seem to point to this, and it makes sense. Compare above and below for the 1/17th battalion: 


47th (2nd London) Division, 1918


See also post #83


1/17th Bn. London Rgt, patch posted by High Wood in the Postcards thread on the GWF (post #723)

1/18th Bn London Irish, embroidered shoulder title posted by Tocemma in the Postcards thread (post #1224). 

1/18th Bn London Irish, patch posted by Tocemma in the Postcards thread (Post #1172)




Cpl. 1/18th Bn. London Irish

From my own collection




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The following excellent thread by Jelly Terror over at the British & Commonwealth Military Badge Forum illustrates the above nicely:

Poplar & Stepney- cloth title ID

Another member, Orasot, has posted some great information to identify the unit. 


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2/17th - 2/20th Battalions

2-17th - 2-20th Bns..png

Sources: Cloth Insignia thread, GWF, Infantry Divisions, Identification Schemes, 1917, The Second Twentieth, by Capt. W. R. Elliot, M.C.



Flash/Patch2/17th Bn- Infantry Divisions tells us that this was a black inverted triangle worn on the back, and that it was worn apex upwards on the pagri. The 2/20th History shows us the pagri flash although the one on the soldier's back cannot be seen.

2-20th close-up.jpg


Cloth Shoulder Title- I have no evidence to show that the 2/17th cloth shoulder title shown above was worn in Egypt or Palestine, but I include it here as a suggestion, and since the black colour seems to fit that of the flashes. In addition, the 'buff' colour seems more appropriate in these theatres rather than in F&F. The postcard I posted of the 2/23rd Bn soldier previously, might imply that these cloth shoulder titles were at least worn in Salonika.

2-23rd close-up ii.png

2/23rd Bn (See post #76)

Alternatively, they may have worn a rectangular cloth patch (see 2/18th Bn. details below) 


2/18th Bn.

Flash/PatchDark green envelope, No idea what this refers to. Possibly similar to the picture above.

Flash/PatchInfantry Divisions, Identification Schemes, 1917 states that they wore a dark green triangle, but says that there is no more information as to where it was worn.

Cloth Shoulder Title- As with the 2/17th Bn., I wonder if the cloth shoulder title with the buff lettering on was worn in Salonika and/or Egypt and Palestine.


2/19th Bn.

Flash/PatchBlue/Grey Rectangle, Is this the same as the 2/18th envelope above, and in the picture of the 2/23rd soldier? I am starting to wonder if the 60th Division wore these rectangles in Salonika. The sequence here may be 'rectangle/envelope' flash in Salonika, followed by 'triangle' flash in Egypt. However, at this stage it is nothing more than a query.

Flash/PatchLight blue triangle 

Cloth Shoulder title- As with other examples above, the light blue lettering is similar to the colour stated for the flashes, and I cannot help but wonder about whether it was worn in conjunction with these flashes. 


I also have this postcard which just about shows the flash on the pagri:



2/20th Bn.

No details sent to the IWM in 1917, but good evidence from the Regimental History and from photographs held at the IWM. See Post #76 for pictures from the history. In addition there is this evidence from the dust jacket (My copy has no jacket so these culled form google!):

2-20th dust jacket i.png

2-20th dust jacket iii.png


There are also the following photos taken by Major F. C. Bentley in Salonika. Another wonderful collection from the IWM:


'A' Company Officers



Three Officers of 'A' Company


The history also tells us about the flash worn when the 2/20th Bn. transferred to the 185th Bde in the 62nd (2nd West Riding) Division:


20th Londons 186th Bde....JPG

20th Londons 186th Bde.JPG

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Just to reiterate from post #76, the flash for the above battalions when in the BEF is said to have been worn, "...on each side of the steel helmet, and by officers also on the back of the jacket just below the centre of the collar. The colours of the triangle worn by the 2/17th, 2/18th, 2/19th, and 2/20th Battalions were respectively black, green, blue and vermillion..."  Note that the flash on the back is said to have been worn by officers only. 

180th Bde, B.E.F.

180th Bde BEF.png

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From what I can see in the following two photographs of many men of the 2/19th in Salonika, it is significant that flashes seem to be conspicuous by their absence. I came across these photographs while searching the IWM website for information on battalions of the 180th Brigade.


2-19th Salonika i.jpg

2/19th Battalion at rest in Macedonia


2-19th Salonika ii.jpg

Preparing a bivouac

See also, discussion in posts 67 & 68 of Cloth Insignia

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It is interesting to compare the very famous photo of the two 2/19th soldiers and the mayor of Jerusalem, with the postcard I used in post #82. The back of the postcard tell us that it was based on this famous image. 






It is of note that the flahses are more visible in the illustration, though I think one of them can just be seen on Sgt. Hurcombe (?).


(Perhaps the light blue flash has been interpreted as dark blue/black by the artist because the photographic film processes of the time have made it appear darker in the photograph). 

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1/21st - 1/24th Bns.

1-21st - 1-24th Bns..png

IWM links:

1/21st Bn.

1/22nd Bn. ? (Actually labelled by the IWM website as 2/22nd). 

1/23rd Bn.

1/24th Bn.

Information on 21st Bn. shoulder title being worn with patch from Infantry Divisions, Identification Schemes, 1917 By Mike HIbberd & Gary Gibbs


23rd London Rgt, Bn. patch and coy bar,posted by Neil Baxter (post #22). 

Unknown 24th Londons MM winner, posted by John Gregory in the postcards thread (post #21).



From The Lambeth and Southwark Volunteers, by J. M. A. Tamplin.

The patch is here described as a "red heart", but I think it should say, "red spade". 


Authentic badges GWF thread which shows actual colour picture of red spade and company bar on tunic. Post #3


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21st London Regiment, unknown Rifleman

"Happy Days, Yours, W. H."

From my own collection





The Saleroom



A mixed group of 21st and 23rd London Regiment soldiers stood outside the "Old Hut". From my own collection. 

"Just a few of the present day soldiers. You can pick out the old 'uns can't you. Best of luck. Tom"

It is interesting how quite a few of the 'older' soldiers have metal shoulder titles and stiff caps, whereas the younger looking recruits have the cloth shoulder titles and trench caps.




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23rd Bn cloth shoulder title



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On 03/01/2017 at 06:20, Drew-1918 said:

1/16th Bn. 

16th IMG_9865.JPG

Rfn. Harry Edward Burnham


1-16th Bn..png

1/16th Bn. patch



These patches belonged to Pte Martin of 1/16th Londons.


All the best Mark


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Wow! What a wonderful collection. Thank you very much indeed for your generosity in sharing it here. I will amend the previous post.


Many thanks,



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Thanks very much again to Mark for another excellent contribution to the thread. I have updated post #80 accordingly. 


As an aside, it actually got me thinking about the colour of patches. Bearing in mind the possibility of different lighting when the modern photographs were taken, the differences in ageing of the original material and also possible mistakes in my own interpretation, there does sometimes seem to be a difference in colour between various different patches of the same brigade/battalion.

I think Forum Pal Squirrel has suggested in a thread (sorry, I can’t remember/find where I read it), that these differences could be due to cloth available at the time and other similar factors. (I apologise to anyone if my memory is incorrect here. Any mistakes are my own). I just thought it is good to bear this in mind when thinking about the colour of these patches. See below for an example.

colour of patches iii.png

colour of patches ii.png

Edit: Re post #94


Edit: After a visit to the IWM to see the cloth shoulder title collection, I noticed that many of them appeared to have faded with age. It looked like some of them had definitely been on display at some point. Each title was separately bagged and many of them also came with a little wooden plaque with screw holes in it and which gave the details to which regiment it belonged. Consequently I would say that it is highly likely that the LRB title on the right is not the original colour and that the colour variation is much less than that suggested, at least by the picture, above. 31/05/17


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My patches (LRB and QWR) are probably a slightly lighter than my photos suggest.





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This tray from the Middlesex VAD has 1/19th and 1/21st London Regt ACE Clubs under the glass.






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Thanks very much, Mark. I'll lighten the colour a bit.


That's a great set of patches. Very good of you to post them. By my reckoning then, the 19th Bn one must be from before Jan/Feb 1918, whilst the 21st Bn one must be after that date? Are the other two patches also London Regt? I seem to remember that one of the London Regiment Royal Fusilier battalions had patches like that.


I really appreciate your contributions. 

Many thanks,




Edit: after further research I would conclide that the 1/19th Bn club could also be from 1918. 

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On 11/30/2016 at 00:19, MBrockway said:

AO 250 of 1916 published 12 July 1916 affiliated the London Scottish to the Gordons and the Liverpool Scottish to the QOCH ...


Army Order 250 - 1916 (Affiliations of London Regiment btns) - London & Liverpool Scots.jpg


Similar AO 250 London Regt battalion affiliations to the KRRC and RB made little difference to the day-to-day running of the battalions, as they were, IIRC, still administered by local TFA's in London rather than the rifle RHQs at the Rifles Depot.  There were lots of transfers between the LR and KRRC/RB units (in both directions), but that had been the case before July 1916 anyway.


These KRRC and RB re-affiliations certainly made no impact on LR shoulder titles during the Great War that I am aware of, so I think your conclusions about the Gordons ST are still likely to be sound.


You'll know better than me, but I think there was also a history of the London Scottish sending men to the Gordons in the Boer War despite being at the time 1st Volunteer Battalion of the Rifle Brigade!





Mark - thanks. For some reason I'd not seen this before so apologies for seeming ungrateful.

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Battalion patches

21st - 24th Bns..png

IWM Link:

21st Bn.


Photographic evidence of the 2/23rd Bn wearing this patch on the pagri though I am still not sure of the colour. From the photo album of Sjt. Guernsey. 



Sjt. Guenrsey close up sun hat.png



Some evidence of the 2/22nd or 2/24th Bns wearing a pagri patch. 


2/22nd or 2/24th Battalions, London Regiment resting on Hill 1070 before the main attack on Beersheba, 31 October 1917









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28th Bn.

Major Innes.jpg

Major Charles Gordon Deverell Innes

(Thanks to Voltigeur over at the BCMB Forum for finding this one for me). 


Unknown soldier.jpg

Unknown Rifleman, from my own collection. Possibly wearing the darker type of embroidered title. 


Aritsts close-up.jpg


An advanced post.jpg

An Advanced Post, Day, by John Nash

You can see the blue square patch from when they were with the Royal Naval Division. Also see below a detail from Over the Top which shows the title and patch being worn together. 

Edit: Nash was in "B" Coy and this patch seems to be one showing company colour. 

Over the top ii.png


I am not quite sure what the following refers to, "Regimental ribbon of grey flanked by white and black stripes." Perhaps it was something worn on the back by officers. 

Regimental Ribbon

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1-28th Bn.png

Edit: This blue square represents  "B" Company. 




Battalion patch/ribbon of regimental colours. Worn by Officers, RSM & RQMS 


*Updated with information from Mark Holden & Orasot. See post #114 


Edited by Drew-1918
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