Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

Matlock1418

Four inverted chevrons - on both sleeves

Recommended Posts

Matlock1418

4 inverted chevrons on each sleeve - Badge of rank?

An example of such on 8 uniforms on a group photo/extract copied below:

IMG_9428 (4 x chevrons).jpg

WO??? - Thinking they must be as all seated on same row as the officers [And not just for good service ??].

Cap badged mainly like him - KSLI I think, Also a Welch Regiment too [perhaps].

Seems older than many in uniform, incl. others wearing same four inverted chevrons.

This chap is wearing medal ribbons too - QSA, KSA, ?? but none of the others are.

???

 

Have ruled out overseas service chevrons as those were smaller and of different style.

 

My later thoughts have now moved towards they they were chevrons for Long Service Good Conduct - two years each I believe [which I think were normally worn on left arm] - but as these chaps seem to have so many (8) perhaps to stop them being 'wing low' with 8 on the left only when marching they have been shared out ;-) ???  Trouble is I might think that they would be WO or senior NCO but don't recognise any badges of rank on their arms above [or is that them on his shoulders? - or just a shoulder title??] = ???

 

Your thoughts please ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gunner Hall

Quartermaster Sergeant  rank badges.   KSLI or Ox and Bucks.  My eyesight isn't up to much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FROGSMILE

Yes he’s a QMS, probably the Orderly Room QMS, who occupied a senior position, working in the battalion HQ but who in the pecking order was below the unit QMS, who worked for the Quartermaster and who was specially marked out by an 8-pointed star above his 4-inverted stripes.  Other appointments like the music majors generally also had a special badge above their 4-stripes, although it was less common for the pipe major until after the war.

 

Can you post the whole photo?

 

NB.  Pre-war TF battalions had an Acting Sergeant Major and a number of  regular instructors who also wore a variety of 4-bar chevrons with additional badges.

Edited by FROGSMILE

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Matlock1418

Thanks to Gunner Hall and Frogsmile = QMS - So not LSGC after all - was confused about those I will admit.

3 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:

Can you post the whole photo?

Not all, but perhaps a bit more of the main photo anyway [I don't want to run into any Copyright issues here] - here are three extracts from Officers and Staff of No 1 Infantry Record Office, Shrewsbury May 1918 - You should be able to see most of the main row of Officers and the WO/OR QMS {or whatever} together. =  Available from Shropshire Archives, Shrewsbury [it's a long panoramic photo of all the staff - military and civilian] - so many cap badges

2123159907_IMG_9426(b).jpg.794790e4e477c0536b468ef66ef99d64.jpg

Officers and Staff of No 1 Infantry Record Office, Shrewsbury May 1918

652603962_IMG_9433(b).jpg.b77cb60d1ceb72e4fb0c8aa5555052d6.jpg

Officers and Staff of No 1 Infantry Record Office, Shrewsbury May 1918 - Think it looks like the CO was above the Boy Scout here

1641665705_IMG_9428(b).jpg.2ee7b5fa0fa7d6884275c9bc3d800102.jpg

Officers and Staff of No 1 Infantry Record Office, Shrewsbury May 1918

 

The singular extract was originally in the Thread: Shrewsbury Record Office ???  - I'm seeking an address or two for the RO [took it from there so as not duplicated] but know a whole/larger picture often provides more context] and also hope to possibly identify any individuals - I suspect the Officers will be easiest (if not easy) so that such might help with the the RO address search

 

I agree with a OR sort of position for this man, and an infantry role, as Shrewsbury was an Infantry RO and that position/role seems very plausible [especially when the RO later went on to demob so many men in 1918/19]

Edited by Matlock1418
Added another photo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FROGSMILE

They are all (those with 4-inverted stripes) QMS Clerks but not warrant officers.  It was a transitional period at the time (1918) and there were some sergeant majors and QMS who were warrant officers (1st and 2nd class) and some who were not.  The badges used made it clear which was the case.  Badges with 4-stripes had ceased in regular battalions apart from the music majors (drum, bugle, etc), but continued in administrative units like MROs.  After the war the latter were phased out and replaced as they retired.

 

The Infantry manning and records office (IMRO) system is familiar to me because it still existed in the pre-computer day’s when I first joined my unit (an infantry battalion).  The IMROs were always aligned with the geographic location of regimental HQs and depots, all of which were allocated to an administrative ‘district’ usually aligned with a point of the compass, e.g. ‘Western’, ‘Northern’ Districts, etc.  Each man had a paper file and these were administered with coloured card indexes in alphabetical and numerical order.  I can still remember the rows of pink and green cards in buff files in banks of filing cabinets, a kind of crude, mechanical system of computing data.

The IMROs were smaller at the time that I saw them, reflecting the size of the Army (number of infantry regiments and battalions, etc) at the time of the Cold War, and there were proportionately more civilians than military clerks.  Nevertheless, every single infantry  regiment had a serving officer (usually at the end of his career), as OIC, and retired officers, and a number of military and civil clerks manning the ‘regimental MRO’ (i.e. one for each cap badge) The most senior NCO was generally either a staff sergeant (Colour Sergeant) most commonly, or in some cases a WOII.  Increasingly, these men were on the ‘long service list’, taking them beyond the usual 22-year engagement.

 

Wind back to WW1 and the organisation was essentially the same, but with far more officers, NCOs, military clerks and civilians, all reflecting the largest British Army ever put into the field.  Your photo gives some inkling of that scale and depicts the situation very well.  By 1918 most men and officers were either more elderly, or unfit for arduous service (in many cases recovered, but permanently debilitated wounded).  All the cap badges that you see are those regiments and/or battalions whose depot and RHQ were located in the administrative ‘Western District’ (or its then equivalent) in 1918.  This would have been different to later due to the sheer number of units, including especially the war-raised Service Battalions.  There would also have been some officers from other regiments on temporary attachment for a variety of reasons, including recovering wounded living locally and undergoing rehabilitation.

 

In the early 1990s the IMROs were all closed and an embryo staff sent to Glasgow, where a pan-Army, computerised manning and records office was set up.  It remains there still and is tiny by comparison with the old individual IMROs.  There is only a very small nucleus of military staff, just a few of which are on the active list.

Edited by FROGSMILE

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Matlock1418
13 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:

They are all (those with 4-inverted stripes) QMS Clerks but not warrant officers

Etc. etc. ... your reply ... Great reply Frogsmile - thank you.

 

But, just to clarify for me where does a QMS / QMS Clerk sit in/around Serjeant, Colour Sergeant and WO2? (I am mixing spellings of Serjeant/Sergeant to reflect different eras and possibly units too I suspect)

Who is he working for - a Quartermaster? {an officer normally more to do with stores etc. I would think - not exacttly sure of that role), and/or OIC for a RO - which I think are different ???  [latter who is not a Quartermaster ???]

I would guess there would also be WO and other officers between.

 

And as for officers would there be an example of an officer from every regiment in Western District? Or just an adequate selection/number?

 

As for the original panoramic photo it is really great - so many cap badges and types of male and female clerks, Boy Scouts [I'm guessing as Runners] etc. - as is the other one for No2 RO at Shrewsbury in 1918.

Do you think there would be any sort of graduation and/or difference in role for military versus civilian and/or males versus female clerks given the period doesn't seem to have been quite as equal opportunity in those days. 

Working for a civilian equivalent and/or a QMS Clerk no doubt - I'm interested to see where a young civilian female [main POI (19yo)] might sit in the hierarchy later in 1919 [for example against a young Lance-Corporal/Acting OR Serjeant - a second POI (20yo) - just where would he sit?] - young lovers, later married.;-)

 

Edit: just a personal/human interest extra snippet - I think the soldier was chosen for this OR/RO role due to his pre-service occupation as a clerk [good handwriting and organisational skills no doubt], his reliability [he had been a Bn/Coy runner with 1SWB through most of 1918] and due to his age a case of last in = last out.  But it seems he didn't waste his time in Shrewsbury ;-)

 

Am still looking for address(es) for the Shrewsbury RO(s) {see other thread - "Shrewsbury Records Office ???"}

Edited by Matlock1418
Small persoanl note added

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FROGSMILE
On 12/09/2019 at 21:31, Matlock1418 said:

Etc. etc. ... your reply ... Great reply Frogsmile - thank you.

 

But, just to clarify for me where does a QMS / QMS Clerk sit in/around Serjeant, Colour Sergeant and WO2? (I am mixing spellings of Serjeant/Sergeant to reflect different eras and possibly units too I suspect)

Who is he working for - a Quartermaster? {an officer normally more to do with stores etc. I would think - not exacttly sure of that role), and/or OIC for a RO - which I think are different ???  [latter who is not a Quartermaster ???]

I would guess there would also be WO and other officers between.

 

And as for officers would there be an example of an officer from every regiment in Western District? Or just an adequate selection/number?

 

As for the original panoramic photo it is really great - so many cap badges and types of male and female clerks, Boy Scouts [I'm guessing as Runners] etc. - as is the other one for No2 RO at Shrewsbury in 1918.

Do you think there would be any sort of graduation and/or difference in role for military versus civilian and/or males versus female clerks given the period doesn't seem to have been quite as equal opportunity in those days. 

Working for a civilian equivalent and/or a QMS Clerk no doubt - I'm interested to see where a young civilian female [main POI (19yo)] might sit in the hierarchy later in 1919 [for example against a young Lance-Corporal/Acting OR Serjeant - a second POI (20yo) - just where would he sit?] - young lovers, later married.;-)

 

Edit: just a personal/human interest extra snippet - I think the soldier was chosen for this OR/RO role due to his pre-service occupation as a clerk [good handwriting and organisational skills no doubt], his reliability [he had been a Bn/Coy runner with 1SWB through most of 1918] and due to his age a case of last in = last out.  But it seems he didn't waste his time in Shrewsbury ;-)

 

Am still looking for address(es) for the Shrewsbury RO(s) {see other thread - "Shrewsbury Records Office ???"}

 

A QMS was above all other sergeants, but below all warrant officers (WOs), including those regular WOs who were filling QMS roles (appointments).  For example a regular battalion QMS would be a WOII and wear a crown badge of rank (soon to be changed to a crown within a laurel wreath).  The QMS shown at the records office were not WOs and so wear the old badge of rank (pre-1915) for a QMS, of 4-inverted stripes.  He was thus inferior in rank.  As explained above this was a transitional period.

 

There was generally a commissioned officer known as ‘OIC Records’ for each individual regiment (categorised as a ‘section’), as well as an overall, officer commanding the Records Office.

 

There were two Records Offices in Shrewsbury in 1918.  One in the Square as you have already identified in your other thread and the other which was addressed as ‘The Riding School’ and close by the Coleham Drill Hall.  The closeness of these latter two is mentioned here: http://www.shropshireremembers.org.uk/arthur-allwood-shropshire-rha-and-ksli-1912-1919/

It seems that the riding school was commandeered as an expedient site for a temporary records office in the years after 1914.  Also see: https://www.greatwarforum.org/topic/121736-record-offices-regimental-district-numbers/

 

1.  There was indeed an official, formal arrangement for Boy Scouts to act as runners.  They did this in offices, railway stations and some hospitals.

 

2.  Many female clerks were employed, initially as unpaid volunteers but after about the first year of war a formal employment was set up.  In pay offices the first paid women came on attachment from the post office, but later these became supervisors to oversee large numbers of girls and women who joined as ‘temporary civil servants’.  There was a grading system for these, but it was not viewed quite so seriously as the rigidly hierarchical system of military rank. In general the military clerks took precedence, not least due to the contemporary attitudes towards gender and paid employment.  

 

3.  Junior military clerks worked with junior civilian clerks, but generally in different departments.  The vast majority of the females were filing clerks who did all the really laborious, repetitive work, the engine of the system, as it were.  See: https://rapc-association.org.uk/pay-services-history/ww1/pen-and-ink.html

 

4.  Military clerks were as you suggest generally selected from those who were more numerate and literate than the average. Men with previous experience, especially the older men less suited to frontline service were often employed as clerks.

 

NB.  The office at Shrewsbury pre and post war was responsible for all the Welsh infantry regiments (incl Monmouthshire’s), along with the Cheshire’s, KSLI, Herefordshire’s and South Lancashire Regt.

Edited by FROGSMILE

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Matlock1418
1 hour ago, FROGSMILE said:

Junior military clerks worked with junior civilian clerks, but generally in different departments.  The vast majority of the females were filing clerks who did all the really laborious, repetitive work, the engine of the system, as it were.  See: https://rapc-association.org.uk/pay-services-history/ww1/pen-and-ink.html

Perhaps as one might have expected for the time [Think this was an edit addition, but as for all your info - thank you.]

 

Very interesting article from the RAPC - thanks too.

As a brief aside and not an excuse for a massive off-topic excursion: I have a Dec. 1914 personal i.e. his family letter from the civilian brother of a RWR Reservist who had been recalled in August 1914 to said Reservist - in which the subject of the raising of a soldier's wife's/children's separation allowance is mentioned.

Sadly the letter was not received by the intended, and was returned to sender, as he had been killed in action.

Though it was variously reported he had not been buried as "blown to pieces" [nice report that made the local press - can't imagine how his close and wider family must have felt] and alternatively that he had been buried in an old trench [location not specified - originally recorded as 'missing' this is now lost (if he was ever buried) and he is formally 'missing, presumed dead' with no known grave so only commemorated on a CWGC memorial to the missing] I suspect that the uncertainty over his death and early classification [as well as later] of 'missing' might well have unfortunately added extra problems relating to pay/allowances etc. for his widow/family on top of their grief. Just an aside really but ... as so often - so often very hard and very sad for those left behind (before and/or after a soldier's death).

 

Think the four inverted chevrons now seems pretty solved for me - thanks to all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FROGSMILE
On 13/09/2019 at 12:04, Matlock1418 said:

Perhaps as one might have expected for the time [Think this was an edit addition, but as for all your info - thank you.]

 

Very interesting article from the RAPC - thanks too.

As a brief aside and not an excuse for a massive off-topic excursion: I have a Dec. 1914 personal i.e. his family letter from the civilian brother of a RWR Reservist who had been recalled in August 1914 to said Reservist - in which the subject of the raising of a soldier's wife's/children's separation allowance is mentioned.

Sadly the letter was not received by the intended, and was returned to sender, as he had been killed in action.

Though it was variously reported he had not been buried as "blown to pieces" [nice report that made the local press - can't imagine how his close and wider family must have felt] and alternatively that he had been buried in an old trench [location not specified - originally recorded as 'missing' this is now lost (if he was ever buried) and he is formally 'missing, presumed dead' with no known grave so only commemorated on a CWGC memorial to the missing] I suspect that the uncertainty over his death and early classification [as well as later] of 'missing' might well have unfortunately added extra problems relating to pay/allowances etc. for his widow/family on top of their grief. Just an aside really but ... as so often - so often very hard and very sad for those left behind (before and/or after a soldier's death).

 

Think the four inverted chevrons now seems pretty solved for me - thanks to all.

 

There was a very good system for widows, they continued to receive separation allowance for 26-weeks after notification of death, or ‘missing’ (an early example of the Welfare State in action) and then could apply for a war widows pension.  As you will understand the cost of the war was enormous both in blood and treasure and our economy was enormously diminished by so many residual commitments of all kinds long after the war was over.  The economy had not recovered to pre-war levels by the time WW2 broke out and as a world super power that war then pretty much finished us off.  Of course the greatest beneficiary of both conflicts was the U.S.

Edited by FROGSMILE

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...