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Terrisb

Is this an Army or a Navy Uniform please

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Terrisb

Hi, I am a first time poster (and have never posted to other forums) so hope I do not make any terrible mistakes.

I am trying to research my husband's family tree and we have a photo of either his Grandfather, or Great Grandfather which we believe was taken in WW1.  I have attached a photo and our ancestor is the man seated in the front row in the middle of the photo.  What I would like to find out is whether anyone could confirm whether he would have been in the Army or the Navy.  I had assumed he was in the Army, however another family member has suggested he was in the Navy given the type of cap he was wearing

 

The other odd thing about the uniform he is wearing is the armband on his left arm and also it looks like he was wearing a cravat.

 

I appreciate any help and if I have not followed proper process if someone could advise me where I have gone wrong and how to fix I will.

 

Many thanks

 

 

Badcock photo.jpg

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The Inspector
Posted (edited)

Hi Terrisb,

Welcome to the forum.

If you give us the names of your husband's great g/father and g/father then I am certain we will be able to give you a great deal of information. Any family info. as well as d of b , place etc, as much as you have and you will be amazed. In the meantime read the Long, Long, Trail top left of home page for advice on searching etc..

Regards Barry.

Edited by The Inspector

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Old Owl

Definitely Army and the badge looks very much like South Staffordshire Regt., they appear to be a rather mixed bunch and probably WW1 period.

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Michelle Young

Was he taken prisoner of war? Might explain the mixed bunch in the photo.

Michelle 

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Old Owl

The chap to his immediate left appears to be wearing a Northumberland Fusiliers cap badge although there are another couple which follow the same outline being the Inniskilling and Royal Munster Fusiliers.

The chap standing to his left rear has the appearance of a Cossack--but that is only a guess.

I agree that your relative does appear to be wearing what appears to be a much darker hat and uniform which could suggest a Naval connection--the badge still looks like South Staffs though.

If it were possible to see a full shot of the whole group then this may clarify things a little and also a name would be enormously helpful.

Robert

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Old Owl

Also the chap to his right rear looks to be wearing an army officers uniform.

The overall suggestion as Michelle has already mentioned is that this could possibly be a group of POWs?

Robert

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George Rayner

Back left has a goodly sized cigar in his right hand-resting on shoulder!

 

George

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)

I think Old Owl has cracked this.  They are POWs in typical motley outfits, the dark ones provided by the camps.  I agree too with the South Staffordshire Regiment ID.  The men right rear and left front (partial view) are Russians.  The mixture suggests a camp in Silesia, East Prussia.

A31BDAAE-45C6-4E31-96AF-43576D931CCD.jpeg

Edited by FROGSMILE

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Tom K
Posted (edited)

Easy to see why there may be confusion about whether the uniforms are Naval or Army.

 

The three on the left (including the Russian at the extreme left) are wearing the issue British POW greatcoat.  It was dark blue wool with a mid-brown cotton panel sewn into the right arm (looks like an armband in the photo) and there was also a large circular mid-brown cotton panel sewn into the back.  The cap was blue with a mid-brown cotton band.  The garments were made in such a manner that the cotton panels could not be removed without leaving a gap.

 

There was an issue tunic (cut like the old scarlet tunics but with flapped waist pockets) in black with yellow piping. The matching trousers had yellow piping on the outside seams and no pockets - otherwise they were similar to the khaki trousers.

 

The uniforms were made in Britain and supplied to the POWs in Germany (I assume through the Red Cross).

 

Tom K.

Edited by Tom K
clarity

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)

These photos from the Australian War memorial and Scottish museums show the uniform you describe very well, including the rather broad yellow stripe on the outside leg.

 

3C9D10E8-6AB7-4C27-9252-97BF4A55BC57.jpeg

224679E6-6350-41E8-BEC3-7974C78BE9F2.jpeg

Edited by FROGSMILE

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Terrisb

Wow that is some amazing information  and I did not expect to get so much so soon - thank you all.

The names of my husband's ancestors are:

Great Grandfather Benjamin Lorne Badcock, born in 1871 in Somers Town Middlesex.

Grandfather Benjamin Lorne Badcock, born in 1898 in St Pancras, London -  believe he was in the KRRC (Kings Rifle Regt).  He also had a twin brother Henry Richard Badcock who was also in WWI in the Essex Regt.

 

Now the confusing thing about these 2 men is this.

1.  They looked very similar and have the same name.

2.  We have a photo of one of them in a Boer War uniform which husband had believed it to be his Grandfather, however the Boer War started in 1899 (I think) so it could not have been his Grandfather, so it must be his Great Grandfather.  I have not been able to locate any records for a Benjamin Lorne Badcock born 1871 in the Boer War, but that is another story.

3.  The Grandfather was in WWI and we have located some records that prove this, but sadly not his service/attestation papers.

4.  We had no knowledge that the Great Grandfather was in WWI, however my husband's sister has just come up with the above photo and she has said that it is the Great Grandfather.  If that is true, then the Great Grandfather would have been approx 43 years old at the beginning of WW1 and at least that age in the photo. - did they enlist men of that age?

5.  The Great Grandfather's occupation was Fishmonger and on the 1911 census his occupation was shown as "Fishmongers assistant to Army & Navy Stores, Westminster", so he did have some connection with the military - would it have been in a civilian capacity.

 

I will try and get a better copy of the photo.

 

I forgot to mention that I have no knowledge of the military at all so this is all quite new and I do appreciate any and all help provided.  Also I am in New Zealand so limited to online access to try to resolve.

 

 

 

 

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seaJane

FreeBMD https://www.freebmd.org.uk/cgi/search.pl has Benjamin Lorne Badcock dying, age 43, in St Pancras (the parish where he was born) in the March quarter of 1915 - corroborated by results in https://www.familysearch.org/.

 

He doesn't appear on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website https://www.cwgc.org, so it seems that his death wasn't attributed to any military service.

 

Regards

sJ

 

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)

The Army & Navy Stores was just a Marks & Spencers or John Lewis type department store of that time which specialised in supplying colonial officials/administrators and military and naval officers with requisites required by them for their duties, especially when deploying overseas, but also at home. 

Edited by FROGSMILE

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Tom K
10 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:

These photos from the Australian War memorial and Scottish museums show the uniform you describe very well, including the rather broad yellow stripe on the outside leg.

 

3C9D10E8-6AB7-4C27-9252-97BF4A55BC57.jpeg

224679E6-6350-41E8-BEC3-7974C78BE9F2.jpeg

Those are great photos and are showing the trousers that have the mid-brown cotton panel down the outside of the pants leg.  These are the matching items to the dark blue Greatcoat and Caps pictured in the OP.  I've heard of these but never seen them in a photo  before so thank you for posting them.   The idea of these panels was to make it difficult for a potential escapee to modify their uniform to look like a civilian outfit by removing the distinctive identifying POW Outfit characteristics (they would be left with a gap if removed).  

 

There were different patterns that appear to have devolved from something quite ornate like the tunic and trousers I had also mentioned (which were a different pattern that had narrow piping down the seams - the IWM has a pair photographed in their online collections), to something that looks a lot like "Kitchener Blues" and further on to an outfit that was similar to the standard SD uniform in dark blue serge - with "escape proof" features.  

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Tom K said:

Those are great photos and are showing the trousers that have the mid-brown cotton panel down the outside of the pants leg.  These are the matching items to the dark blue Greatcoat and Caps pictured in the OP.  I've heard of these but never seen them in a photo  before so thank you for posting them.   The idea of these panels was to make it difficult for a potential escapee to modify their uniform to look like a civilian outfit by removing the distinctive identifying POW Outfit characteristics (they would be left with a gap if removed).  

 

There were different patterns that appear to have devolved from something quite ornate like the tunic and trousers I had also mentioned (which were a different pattern that had narrow piping down the seams - the IWM has a pair photographed in their online collections), to something that looks a lot like "Kitchener Blues" and further on to an outfit that was similar to the standard SD uniform in dark blue serge - with "escape proof" features.  


I’ve found it interesting to learn about the make up and variations to the PoW issued clothing.  The larger photo came from Scottish museums, but the Australian War Memorial has several other excellent photos of WW1 POWs that I’m sure you will find interesting.

Edited by FROGSMILE

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MaxD

The medal award roll record for 201314 Benjamin Badcock is on the KRRC list but is annotated posted 1/9th London Regiment  so this does look like the grandfather, year of birth and location all match with the POW.

 

Max

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mancpal

Frogsmile,

In post 8 you think it may be a camp in Silesia. I'm simply wondering what draws you to this conclusion, or more directly what have I missed.

 

Simon

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travers61
Posted (edited)

A posting from KRRC to 1/9th Londons (Queen Victoria Rifles) is not unexpected.  Before the 9th Londons came into being as a Territorial Force Battalion in the reforms of 1908, they were a battalion of the Middlesex Rifle Volunteer Corps & also a Vol Battalion of the KRRC. From mid WW1 the link between the two returned, and transfers & postings to & from would have been common.

 

As such both had similar badges in the design of a maltese cross.

Edited by travers61

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, mancpal said:

Frogsmile,

In post 8 you think it may be a camp in Silesia. I'm simply wondering what draws you to this conclusion, or more directly what have I missed.

 

Simon


Nothing more than me musing on the presence of Russians Simon.  I’ve (rightly or wrongly) gained the impression that whereas the Germans regularly moved British prisoners to the Eastern regions of Germany, they were less inclined to move Russians that far (West) from where they were captured.  Ergo the presence of Russian and British prisoners together (as opposed to just British, French and Belgian) suggests a camp in the East.  

Edited by FROGSMILE

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Terrisb

I am so thankful for all of your input and you have confirmed my suspicions - it is the Grandfather as I thought, and it also crossed my mind about the POW thing given the other people in the photo had mixed uniforms some of which did not appear to be British even to my untrained eye!

 

Finding him in the 1914-1918 Prisoners of the First World War ICRC historical archives was a big bonus and confirms it - I didn't even know these existed.

 

Confirming the Great Grandfather's death in 1915 (which we knew about) was not related to the War - again though I had heard about the Commonwealth War Graves Commission I didn't even think to check it.

 

Thank you also for the information on the Army & Navy Stores - I thought it sounded like a civilian role, however my husband's family were adamant it was proof he was in either the Army or Navy.  The information given about uniforms was very interesting and will be most helpful going forward - valuable information for people like me who are now distant to the UK.

 

I have one last question and I guess that means the Grandfather was part of the Kings Rifle Regt and then transferred to the 1/19th London , so do both of these regiments have badges, or coloured striped ribbons which identify them.

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FROGSMILE
Posted (edited)
53 minutes ago, Terrisb said:

I am so thankful for all of your input and you have confirmed my suspicions - it is the Grandfather as I thought, and it also crossed my mind about the POW thing given the other people in the photo had mixed uniforms some of which did not appear to be British even to my untrained eye!

 

Finding him in the 1914-1918 Prisoners of the First World War ICRC historical archives was a big bonus and confirms it - I didn't even know these existed.

 

Confirming the Great Grandfather's death in 1915 (which we knew about) was not related to the War - again though I had heard about the Commonwealth War Graves Commission I didn't even think to check it.

 

Thank you also for the information on the Army & Navy Stores - I thought it sounded like a civilian role, however my husband's family were adamant it was proof he was in either the Army or Navy.  The information given about uniforms was very interesting and will be most helpful going forward - valuable information for people like me who are now distant to the UK.

 

I have one last question and I guess that means the Grandfather was part of the Kings Rifle Regt and then transferred to the 1/19th London , so do both of these regiments have badges, or coloured striped ribbons which identify them.


Glad to help.  Here are the badges of the King’s Royal Rifle Corps and the 19th Battalion of the London Regiment.
 

The former was an all regular unit with a long history (originally the 60th (Royal American) Regiment of Foot) and the latter a Territorial Force, part-time (citizen soldier) unit that evolved from ‘Rifle Volunteer Corps’ that were raised in London around 1859, when there had been a scare of invasion from France.  
 

As well as in brass, the badge appeared with a blackened finish too.  Both regiments wore the distinctive black buttons of rifle regiments.  
 

Men were often transferred between regiments, either after arriving in France and sent to another unit in dire need of immediate reinforcement, or after wounding, recovery, and a return to the front and whichever unit needed them most.

 

8CA09C75-2EE6-43F4-8456-44C0A56F1029.jpeg

1C589E06-2FCC-4C55-B97B-655C29D28F4D.jpeg

0A6962BF-C996-4E32-92FA-206273326E46.jpeg

6BC0810C-4121-4336-B565-22E617C1C3F5.jpeg

 

 

 

B697BF48-F2BD-4DD9-B32D-48C797AEB59A.jpeg

36093300-314B-43C0-A6D8-81FA55E94339.jpeg

Edited by FROGSMILE

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MaxD

I don't know whether you have looked at the POW records, if not herewith.

 

Both Parchim and Gustrow camps were in Mecklenburg in the center of what was then Germany:  There are some photos of Brits in the lick to the photo gallery from Gustrow.

 

Max

 

 

 

 

201314 Pte Benjamin Badcock 1.pdf

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mancpal

There were certainly Russian prisoners at Gustrow and I think Gettorf. I would class both of these as Northern rather than central, Gettorf being about 10 miles North of Kiel and might possibly be the most Northernof all WW1 camps. There was also a contingent of Japanese prisoners.

 

Simon

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MaxD
Posted (edited)

Have a look for interest at the Gustrow photos, many Russians and Belgians among others.

 

Central in longitude terms in the land area that was Germany in WW1 in fact nearer to the far east of the German Empire than to the west but yes in the north..

 

Max

Edited by MaxD

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