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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Uniform help please.


GWF1967

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Hi,

 can anyone please date this uniform?  There's a surname on the back of the card, Gibson-Watt, which offers the following two choices, Great War era - S.W.Borderers or Second World War Welsh Guards.

Is the ribbon the K.S.A or M.C?

Scan_20180627.jpg

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Cuff rank for a Captain says Great War era. Cap badge appears to be the Royal Arms for the General List (ie not regimentally specific as such). Collar tabs and cap band would suggest he is a Staff officer.  

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I agree with Andrew, the combination of general list badge and coloured gorgets (tabs) and seemingly matching cap band suggest a member of Intelligence Staff, who wore that combination. The colour was green.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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Looks to me like the MC ribbon - bit wary of orthographic tone contortion, though!

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41 minutes ago, Pat Atkins said:

Looks to me like the MC ribbon - bit wary of orthographic tone contortion, though!

 

Yes it does appear like an MC, well spotted.  He is quite elderly for a captain but does not look like an ex-ranker.  Perhaps a wartime commissioned officer.

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Captain J. M.Gibson-Watt, 3rd Batt. South Wales Borderers was severely wounded at Elandslaagte Near Kiierksdorp on 25 Februaruy 1902.

 

Dave

 

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Captain James Miller-Gibson Watt, 3 South Wales Borders. 1875-1929. Disembarked 9.10. 1916. Of Doldowlod, Rhayader, Radnorshire. Died 4 August 19129 at Oakhurst, Midhurst, Sussecx. Probate records show hw was a wealthy man £105, 514  72 4d in cash and settled land valued at £269, 078d

 

TR

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34 minutes ago, HERITAGE PLUS said:

Captain J. M.Gibson-Watt, 3rd Batt. South Wales Borderers was severely wounded at Elandslaagte Near Kiierksdorp on 25 Februaruy 1902.

 

Dave

 

 

London Gazette Issue 28912 (Suppl), published 22 Sep 1914, p. 7576 (here) has Captain James M GIBSON-WATT, 3rd Bn., South Wales Borderers, promoted Major effective 25 Sep 1914.

 

No post nominals for any gallantry or merit award. 

 

Gibson-Watt also appears in the LG from 1908 covering the conversion of the Militia to the Special Reserve.  He is listed as Captain, 3rd SWB.

 

3/SWB were formerly the Royal South Wales Borderers Militia (Royal Radnor and Brecknock Rifles)

 

Further Gazette hunting failed to throw up an MC for him however.

 

Mark

 

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7 minutes ago, Terry_Reeves said:

Captain James Miller-Gibson Watt, 3 South Wales Borders. 1875-1929. Disembarked 9.10. 1916. Of Doldowlod, Rhayader, Radnorshire. Died 4 August 19129 at Oakhurst, Midhurst, Sussecx. Probate records show hw was a wealthy man £105, 514  72 4d in cash and settled land valued at £269, 078d

 

TR

 

Refs in the LG to Captain James Miller Watt GIBSON-WATT, of Doldowlod, becoming Sheriff of Radnorshire (1900 appointment, 1903 renewal under new monarch)

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Obit from The Times ...

1567859714_GIBSON-WATTMajJM3-SWB-obit(TheTimesTue13Aug1929p.12).jpg.471b35c32a441955b035e307cacbd754.jpg

 

[ © Times Newspapers Limited, The Times, Tue 13 Aug 1929, p.12]

 

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The Memorial Books for both Eton and Cambridge only mention SWB service and neither records an MC.

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Major Gibson-Watt appears under 10/SWB in the Feb 1917, Feb 1918 and Nov 1918 Monthly Army Lists, on attachment from 3/SWB.

 

All his Great War entries have him marked as having passed through the Staff College, but it looks like his time in theatre as a Major was all spent without red tabs.

 

Edited by MBrockway
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24 minutes ago, MBrockway said:

The Memorial Books for both Eton and Cambridge only mention SWB service and neither records an MC.

 

That ribbon doesn't look KSA or a QSA (still not fully retracting my "orthographic tint" hedge yet, though); if there's no mention of an MC I'm stumped, then. At 6 or 7 years old he'd've been awfully young for a Cape of Good Hope General Service Medal... the Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee medal, light and dark in the ribbon weirdly reversed? Oh, I dunno.

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He definitely had QSA and KSA - here's his war services history from the 1919 Q4 Army List ...

 

329648240_GIBSON-WATTMajJM3-SWB-warrecordQ41919ArmyList.jpg.b96f712714cbd6a1e3cebab61a473680.jpg

 

He gains the 'p.s.' passed through School of Instruction marker between the 1909 and the 1910 Annual Army Lists.

 

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21 hours ago, Andrew Upton said:

Cuff rank for a Captain says Great War era. Cap badge appears to be the Royal Arms for the General List (ie not regimentally specific as such). Collar tabs and cap band would suggest he is a Staff officer.  

Many thanks. It confirms my initial thought and still leaves me confused. 

 

10 hours ago, MBrockway said:

The Memorial Books for both Eton and Cambridge only mention SWB service and neither records an MC.

Thanks for your help. I could find no award of an M.C. either.

10 hours ago, daggers said:

Probable connection to a Member of Parliament of a few years back.

D

Indeed.

And here stems my confusion.  - *Maj. James Miller Gibson-Watt served 1916-1918 with the S.W.B. awarded B.W + V.M.  No M.C. ( + Boer War service )

 His eldest son, Maj. James David Gibson-Watt, B. 11/9/1918 served with the Welsh Guards during WW2 and was awarded an M.C and 2 Bars, later M.P, P.C. D.L. Baron Gibson-Watt.    D. 2002. Doldowlod, Radnorshire. 

 

 Assuming the picture to be 1914 or earlier, by the rank of Captain and lack of S.W.B. badge, any other suggestions for the medal ribbon would be very welcome.

 

 

 ( When I first moved to Wales I went to view a house to rent. Due to a late showing by the landlord I spent most of the morning killing time in a cafe, drinking tea. The house was poor and the viewing short. On the way back to where I was staying I hitched a lift with Baron Gibson-Watt who invited me for a cup of tea at Doldowlod. I politely declined telling him I'd spent most of the morning drinking tea. His reply, " what a perfectly delightful morning")

Edited by GWF1967
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The Regimental History indicates that G-W was at the Depot in 1914: when Special Reservists left for France in November 1914, he remained in command of the remainder at the Depot. he joined the 10th Battalion in France in October 1916 and was invalided home in October 1917.

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All of these posts have been interesting in tracking the background of this gentleman who did his bit in the two significant conflicts of his generation, but I remain puzzled as to why he is dressed as a junior staff officer and wearing a general list cap badge, none of which tallies with a battalion of the SWB.

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I agree - we have yet to connect the original picture with Gibson-Watt.

 

Despite Gibson-Watt being a prominent public figure, my attempts to find a picture that definitely is him have so far failed.   Loads of images of his Welsh Guards son though!

 

 

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4 hours ago, Steven Broomfield said:

The Regimental History indicates that G-W was at the Depot in 1914: when Special Reservists left for France in November 1914, he remained in command of the remainder at the Depot. he joined the 10th Battalion in France in October 1916 and was invalided home in October 1917.

 

He seems to have been under some stress - this from the Brecon & Radnor Express of 02 Sep 1915 ...

176334352_GIBSON-WATTMajJM-BreakdownBreconRadnorExpress02Sep1915.jpg.20ec7e2911109470a6f15fc78d8a5dad.jpg

 

... but the same title reports his recovery in its edition of 10 Feb 1916 ...

593968433_GIBSON-WATTMajJM-RecoveryBreconRadnorExpress10Feb1916.jpg.095660e03abecb4e47bbf1107ae2d8f9.jpg

 

Still no luck with a picture yet though.

 

Anyone got access to The Tatler or the ILN for 1911?  His wedding to Marjorie Ricardo might be covered and include a photo of bride and groom.

 

The wedding was at Minchinhampton, near Stroud, Glos., on Thu 20 April 1911.

 

Mark

 

 

Edited by MBrockway
Exact details of wedding added
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22 hours ago, daggers said:

Probable connection to a Member of Parliament of a few years back.

D

Yes, that's what I thought:

MP for Hereford 1959-1974:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/1384646/Lord-Gibson-Watt.html

 

Edit: apologies to all who have already made the link. Not seen this thread till now.

Edited by Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
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