Jump to content
Free downloads from TNA ×
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

names on equipment or service numbers


coffmanb17

Recommended Posts

a simple one, did officers and service men mark there clothes, and equipment with there names and service numbers to help id them in case of death ?, i would like to see some photos please , i am starting with a pair of binoculars. also i have seen a few spoons with service numbers on,  and how easy is it to id B.C.Allen ?. please ? thank you    

IMG_9656.JPG

Edited by coffmanb17
to add words
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In this case, if there are no other markings, it's most likely a private purchase marked up with the owner's name - probably to prevent it being mistaken for army or anybody else's property, rather than id-ing his corpse!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The binoculars in question are french made, and in a 1918 English case marked with broad arrow . thank you for your reply. 

IMG_9658.JPG

IMG_9688.JPG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

27 minutes ago, coffmanb17 said:

a simple one, did officers and service men mark there clothes, and equipment with there names and service numbers to help id them in case of death ?, i would like to see some photos please , i am starting with a pair of binoculars. also i have seen a few spoons with service numbers on,  and how easy is it to id B.C.Allen ?. please ? thank you    

IMG_9656.JPG

The simple answer is yes soldiers did mark their equipment with service numbers but not primarily to identify them in case of death more to ensure that they did not 'lose' their kit to other soldiers. Officers leather equipment was often impressed with initials or name, canvas kit similarly marked with indelible pencil.  

 

Regards

 

Mark  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It was and still is essential to mark kit with names or numbers (or both) to mark issue/ownership. Great War officers do not have service numbers.

 Kit has a remarkable ability to evaporate !

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The photos in post #3 change the situation. From the broad arrow and S.3 grading (= Special, Galilean binoculars, first grade), these must be a civilian glass officially adopted for military service in the emergency from autumn 1914 onward, and thus WD property even if expected to be temporarily on loan. The registration number would link to a record of their source and type of acquisition.

 

It raises an interesting question as to whether the engraved name

i) is that of their original civilian owner left in place to aid their theoretical return, or

ii) records their service allocation to a specific officer

 

There are possible objections to either answer. Anybody have a better one?

 

The case is almost certainly a later addition.

Edited by MikB
typo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, MikB said:

The photos in post #3 change the situation. From the broad arrow and S.3 grading (= Special, Galilean binoculars, first grade), these must be a civilian glass officially adopted for military service in the emergency from autumn 1914 onward, and thus WD property even if expected to be temporarily on loan. The registration number would link to a record of their source and type of acquisition.

 

It raises an interesting question as to whether the engraved name

i) is that of their original civilian owner left in place to aid their theoretical return, or

ii) records their service allocation to a specific officer

 

There are possible objections to either answer. Anybody have a better one?

 

The case is almost certainly a later addition.

I have an identical set of requisitioned Binos similarly engraved to an officer who was later KiA. I would suggest the name relates to the owner rather than an official.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, mark holden said:

The simple answer is yes soldiers did mark their equipment with service numbers but not primarily to identify them in case of death more to ensure that they did not 'lose' their kit to other soldiers. Officers leather equipment was often impressed with initials or name, canvas kit similarly marked with indelible pencil.  

 

Regards

 

Mark  

Not just in case they were taken. Things like this were on an officer's or man's slop chit. He lost them, he paid, unless he had a very good excuse. Still the case today.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If it is an officer's pair of binoculars, there is one officer called B C Allen.

image.png.01e9382568ef8aea0905767bef5a31f2 (2).png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, mark holden said:

I have an identical set of requisitioned Binos similarly engraved to an officer who was later KiA. I would suggest the name relates to the owner rather than an official.

 

Maybe I'm wrong, but I'd've expected a rank and/or unit with the name. In most circumstances where there's a Broad Arrow, the actual owner would be the WD. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a variety of named officers kit which has from rank initial name and regiment through to just the initials. There was no convention it was up to the individual. I would go with Jools' research.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, mark holden said:

I have a variety of named officers kit which has from rank initial name and regiment through to just the initials. There was no convention it was up to the individual. I would go with Jools' research.

 

That's a useful clarification - thanks. Names seem pretty unusual on service issue (as distinct from private purchase) binoculars and even more so on telescopes IME. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not binoculars... But my Great Grandads Royal Scots ToS has his service number 49109 stamped on the inside

DSC_0256.JPG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

On 04/06/2019 at 02:07, MikB said:

 

Maybe I'm wrong, but I'd've expected a rank and/or unit with the name. In most circumstances where there's a Broad Arrow, the actual owner would be the WD.  

Mike,

the ultimate owner may be WD but if the soldier (OR or Officer) to whom an item of kit cannot produce it when required or if it has been "illegally" modified (such as cutting great coats short due to the mud in the trenches) then they are required to pay for it.  

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...