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Remembered Today:

Brodie helmet with unknown Unit insignia


Paddy 60th

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I have in my  collection a British made Brodie with two painted badges. So far I've been unable to find out to what Unit the insignia relates and I'm hoping someone may be able to help. Pics hopefully attached !

With thanks in advance

Roger

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With apparent markings on both sides it could just as easily be between the wars, when marked helmets were often used.

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The diamond shape marking appears to be the 74th (Yeomanry) Division  sign - a broken spur in white superimposed on the diamond shape, if the diamond is dark green it's from 231 Brigade or black was 229 Brigade.

Can't turn up anything on the rectangular marking.

 

Mike

Edited by Mike_H
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Many thanks Frogsmile and Mike. I'll have to have a closer look at the diamond but I think it's black.

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I've now had a look at the helmet and the diamond is black which identifies it as  229 Brigade.

It had been stored away by me  for a while and on looking at it again I had completely forgotten that I had uncovered a name and service  number under the rim. When I first got the helmet it was quite grubby as it had been stored in a loft. I decided to give it a clean with a damp cloth and after applied some WD 40. On wiping off the WD 40 the name and number began to appear. With a little more careful cleaning they appeared more clearly.

The  name is Oddy but the number is less easy to decipher - it's probably 235867 or 225867. Pic attached.

I haven't managed to do any research on the soldier as yet.

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  • 11 months later...

I "think" its the 16th (R1stDY & RNDH) Bn, The Devonshire Regiment. The black diamond broken spur is the "Divisional" badge for the 74th Yeomanry Division. I think the underlying flash is the combination of the "Pagri" badges used by the Royal 1st Devon Yeomanry and the Royal north Devon Hussars who were both at Gallipoli and then onto Egypt/Palestine where they amalgamated to form the 16th Battlion Devonshire Regiment.

 

This is what it would have looked like...

16thBtnDevonUniformNWE1.jpg

 

The regimental number inside the helmet belongs to the blue rectangle that was painted over the top of the original flash..... I think. The number is not a 16th Bn number (345***) or a Yeomanry number .

 

NB:- The 74th Yeo Division Brigades had their own coloured diamonds.... 229 Bde = blue, 230 Bde = Red, 231 Bde = Green and Divisional Troops = Black

Edited by GriffMJ
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Brilliant analysis GriffMJ, I think you’ve nailed it.  It’s amazing and cheering to see such an evocative artefact emerge from obscurity after cleaning.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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A further bit of evidence that might confirm this.... the modern stablebelt colours of the Royal Devon Yeomanry, the amalgamated regiment.

DevonColoursCombined.jpg

Edited by GriffMJ
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On 06/02/2018 at 16:32, Paddy 60th said:

 

The  name is Oddy but the number is less easy to decipher - it's probably 235867 or 225867. Pic attached.

 

 

Is this your man?

 

 

 

 

ODDY.jpg

Edited by 14276265
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The SLI should be a blue rectangle then? Looks like he transferred....

 

I have turned up the contrast on the number to bring it out.... looks like he is the man. "Pure" Devon Regiment number (43534).... not an original Yeoman within the 16th Bn,.... to be expected in 1918 really.

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Edited by GriffMJ
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Drapery Apprentice in 1911, barrack Road Exeter - ideally placed for the garrison batt of Devons where he is first  listed on VM Roll

Beacon Lane Exeter, St Thomas' in 1939 - Model Engineer 

Dies October 1983 , Beacon Lane, Exeter with Probate to £40000

 

 

Literally a model maker (ships).  Picture of him featured here with warship started in the 1930s and a mini biog 

 

"Ernest Oddy worked as a press photographer in the 1920s and early 30s. He then joined the Co-op Dairy until war broke out. During the war, he was a full time air raid warden for Whipton. He also made models of anti-personnel bombs, for use in training. After the war, Mr Oddy became involved in the Starcross Yacht Club as the flag captain. He continued to make models, and was brought back for running repairs to the model of HMS Exeter, from time to time. When the Type 42 Destroyer, HMS Exeter was launched in1978, he announced that he was to make a model of City's newly adopted ship"

 

Makes sense that he's the sort of chap who would hold onto bits and pieces like a helmet and put his name to it in the careful script we see. 

 

http://www.exetermemories.co.uk/em/_misc/hms-exeter-model.php

 

 

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Edited by docchippy
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Looks like ODDY transferred to the 12th (West Somerset Yeomanry) Bn, SLI, within the same Division (and Brigade)..... that would explain why the Divisional diamond has not been painted over. So it appears that we have a "Two for One" on the helmet decals. The 12th Btn SLI numbers start 295*** . I would suggest that ..... this is a valuable helmet.

 

NB:- The blue rectangle makes sense as well, as that is the colour of the 229 Brigade within the 74th Yeo Div.

 

12th (WSY) Bn, SLI, in France & Flanders 1918.

12thBtnSLIUniformNWE.jpg

 

If you want to see my attempt on the 74th Yeo Div insignia also covering the Yeomanry in Gallipoli and the Canal defence in Egypt see here http://www.paoyeomanry.co.uk/DHY74thDiv.htm (its a work in progress)

Edited by GriffMJ
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What an amazing story from an old helmet.  It seems obvious when looking again that the blue rectangle was painted over the top of the previous one, the overlay is clear.  Brilliant detective work by all.  The forum at its best. I agree that with this provenance the helmet must be worth rather a lot.  I wonder if any of his family survive.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Only just back on the Forum after a while. Been rather busy with our first granddaughter just being born !

Thank you to everyone for the amazing results on the recent research on my helmet. As Frogsmile says ' The Forum at its best '

I coudn't agree more.

 

All the best  and thanks again to all concerned

Roger

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  • 8 months later...

EPGO081.jpg.96fe2f7acf8c21ab33866a1f33648127.jpg

ERNEST Percival George ODDY was my grandfather. He had five children: Barbara, Berenice, Sonia, Ann and David, all now deceased. There are ten grandchildren and currently about 6 great grandchildren and 3 great-great grandchildren.  As mentioned above, EPGO was a press photographer in the 1930's and about 3500 of his glass plate photographic negatives are held at the Devon Heritage Centre, Exeter and listed as part of the National Archive. He served in Egypt during WW1 and I've attached a picture of him there wearing a helmet which may be the one which is the subject of this post. The second photo shows him in military uniform with his wife Della and baby Barbara, born September 1915.

EPGO083a.jpg

Edited by FERC
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I continue to be absolutely stunned by the story that has emerged from this old helmet.  It just goes to show that if a serviceman marks a piece of his equipment with his name and unit details it can become a mine of information for historians in later years.  Who would have thought that a family member would emerge just in time to put the icing on the cake.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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WOW!

Just read this.

Fantastic! What great detective work chaps!

And then have a relative come onto the forum and have a photo of the man himself!

Brilliant!!

I have said it many times, this is a fantastic forum!

 

Chris

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Ernest Oddy was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) in the Civil Division Honours 1957 for his WW2 service as "Post Warden and Staff Officer to Chief Civil Defence Warden, Exeter". The Supplement to the London Gazette, 13 June 1957 p3400, lists the award to Ernest Percival George Oddy M.C. but I've not been able to locate the citation for his Military Cross.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi all,Sorry i haven't replied to recent posts. I have been very unwell and this is the first time I've been back on the Forum for some time. Hopefully will be back on again in the New Year.

Thanks everyone for their replies to my original post and great to have a picture  of  Ernest.

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2 hours ago, Paddy 60th said:

Hi all,Sorry i haven't replied to recent posts. I have been very unwell and this is the first time I've been back on the Forum for some time. Hopefully will be back on again in the New Year.

Thanks everyone for their replies to my original post and great to have a picture  of  Ernest.

Good to have you back Roger👍

 

Chris

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On 13/11/2019 at 12:00, FROGSMILE said:

I continue to be absolutely stunned by the story that has emerged from this old helmet.  It just goes to show that if a serviceman marks a piece of his equipment with his name and unit details it can become a mine of information for historians in later years..

 

I have a WW1 belt which belonged to Ernest Oddy; it may be the one he's wearing on the short trousers in the photo above. Interestingly though it doesn't have his name on it but is stamped "AUSTRALIA" on the front and "GREGORY D. O'NEIL 2859  A8 BAT" on the rear, with the W^D mark and  "B.ROSE  MIA" behind the buckle. I'm wondering if there were Australian troops serving alongside the Somerset Light Infantry in Egypt and whether they swapped kit?

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There were certainly Australian troops alongside British Army units in Egypt during WW1 and they spent time together both, off-duty and during operations subsequently.  Equipment might well have been swapped, and insignia too.  Leather and canvas web belts containing souvenir badges are quite well known.  The belt you have is from the 1903 pattern (leather) Bandolier Equipment that was worn by quite a number of units in that theatre of operations, especially those of the Territorial Force (TF).

Edited by FROGSMILE
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And we we are off again!

 

 

Gregory Dowling O’Neil

 

Service number 2859
Rank Sergeant
Unit 48th Australian Infantry Battalion
Conflict/Operation First World War, 1914-1918
Enlistment Date 01 April 1916
Fate Killed in action
Fate Date 20 September 1918

SergeantO'NEIL, GREGORY DOWLING

Service Number 2859

Died 20/09/1918

Aged 26

48th Bn.  
Australian Infantry, A.I.F.

M M

Son of George Dowling O'Neil and Adelaide Emma O'Neil, of 105, Ocean Rd., Cottesloe Beach, Western Australia. Native of St. Kilda, Victoria, Australia.

 

Buried at BELLICOURT BRITISH CEMETERY

Location: Aisne, France 
Number of casualties: 896

Cemetery/memorial reference: IV. T. 8.

 

Edited by johntanner
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3 hours ago, johntanner said:

https://discoveringanzacs.naa.gov.au/browse/records/372232/7

 

65 pages of service record here but doesn’t look as if he served in Egypt. 

 

 


It seems that the belt was probably exchanged in France & Flanders then. 

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