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Greatcoat and cap badge advice


Ruthie81
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Hi all. I’m looking for advice on the great coat pictured, or indeed the cap badge. Does anyone know what issue this greatcoat might be? The photo was likely taken early in WW1, 1914 or 1915. Would this greatcoat have been issued by any other than the British Army? We’ve been trying to find out about this soldier for years. We’ve turned to DNA to identify him. He’s my great-grandfather but due to a hidden pregnancy and family secrets, I’m not sure exactly who he is, but he’s a ‘Morrison’.  I fear he died in the war as DNA reveals no descendants but instead reveals his Morrison family routes, from Fife in Scotland. There is a suggestion that he was a Canadian solider, suggesting he or his father emigrated there but returned to the UK in wartime. The photo was taken at a studio in England.  I don’t know exactly where he met my great grandmother, but she was based in Newark, Nottingham at the time of the war. If the coat or cap badge can give any clues to the community here, I’d be so grateful. 

 

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Edited by Ruthie81
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I think the cap badge is Notts and Derbys Regiment. Apologies, forgive my manners, I didn't welcome you to the forum. 

 

Michelle 

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Definitely Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby) Regiment and he’s wearing the standard dismounted pattern drab serge great coat of the British Army during WW1.

E7AB9F00-47EE-49B4-BBEC-2E9B25F848D9.jpeg

Edited by FROGSMILE
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20 hours ago, Ruthie81 said:

Would this greatcoat have been issued by any other than the British Army?

 

If the coat .... can give any clues to the community here, I’d be so grateful. 

 

 

The coat is the pattern current between 1909 and August 1914, although stocks would continue to be issued after this date until exhausted. 

 

The pattern was modfied after August 1914, and again prior to February 1915, with huge orders for the simplified type being placed in late 1914.

 

Cheers,

 

GT.

 

 

 

Edited by Grovetown
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The two men look a lot like brothers, or first cousins.  There’s no reason why the man in uniform might not have returned home from Canada and enlisted with the local regiment for Nottingham (and Derby), the Sherwood Foresters.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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1 hour ago, FROGSMILE said:

The two men look a lot like brothers, or first cousins.  There’s no reason why the man in uniform might not have returned home from Canada and enlisted with the local regiment for Nottingham (and Derby), the Sherwood Foresters.

Thank you all so much. We thought Sherwood Foresters seemed likely too.  Also in Canada the Grey and Simcoe Foresters bear a similar badge?  My family also think these two look like brothers. I appreciate the advice on the greatcoat too. 
 

Researching on Sherwood Foresters as yet results in no ‘hits’ which  connect with the  DNA matches, and I’ve been quite critical in all lines of enquiry but I will continue. Thank you all! Ruth 

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2 hours ago, Ruthie81 said:

Thank you all so much. We thought Sherwood Foresters seemed likely too.  Also in Canada the Grey and Simcoe Foresters bear a similar badge?  My family also think these two look like brothers. I appreciate the advice on the greatcoat too. 
 

Researching on Sherwood Foresters as yet results in no ‘hits’ which  connect with the  DNA matches, and I’ve been quite critical in all lines of enquiry but I will continue. Thank you all! Ruth 


Yes, it’s true that the Grey & Simcoe Foresters had a very similar badge.  There was a period in the 1890s through until just before the beginning of WW1 when Canadian Militia units tended to adopt insignia whose outline design was invariably associated with a similar British regular unit.  This was a reflection of a relationship that went back centuries to the American War of Independence and that led to deep ties between the British military and Canadian militia.  As just one example, there were musketry competitions each year, first at Wimbledon and then Bisley, where Canadian teams always attended, and were invariably highly placed.  With Canada’s position only just across the Atlantic, geography too played a part in the close ties.  When the Canadian Expeditionary Force came to Britain they were still in Canadian supplied uniform and it was not until their arrival in France that for practical, logistical reasons they adopted full British uniform, including greatcoats.  Unfortunately, unless you are 100% certain about the identity of the individual in your photo you are very wise to be cautious about making an ID based purely upon a cap badges shape.  However, on balance, as the photo does not appear to be taken in France the wearing of British uniform along with the insignia does suggest British Army provenance.

 

 

800E88F1-5836-4640-8B7F-2CDA452DC712.jpeg

Edited by FROGSMILE
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The Canadian Grey and Simcoe Foresters and the associated badge did not exist until 1936. 

 

There is no Canadian connection apparent in the photo and I cannot recall a CEF badge of similar form (certainly not in the early war years implied by the great coat).

 

Tom K

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6 hours ago, Tom K said:

The Canadian Grey and Simcoe Foresters and the associated badge did not exist until 1936. 

 

There is no Canadian connection apparent in the photo and I cannot recall a CEF badge of similar form (certainly not in the early war years implied by the great coat).

 

Tom K


That’s useful to know Tom and certainly adds to the sense of British Army provenance.

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On 23/11/2020 at 20:10, Dai Bach y Sowldiwr said:

If you search the CWGC database, you'll find 3 Morrisons in the Sherwood Foresters.

Two have links to Aberdeenshire.

Another observation: two of these men were in 11th Bn Sherwood Foresters and shared previous Royal Engineers service: 76270 John S. Morrison was previously number 664, H.F. Company RE; 76859 Charles D. Morrison was previously number 584 in the same unit. The numbers look like possible Territorial numbers (not pre-War Regular numbers I think, given the young age of Charles Morrison). I think 'HF Company' might be one of the six (Highland) Field Companies of the Territorial Force which later became 400-405 Field Companies.

 

CWGC shows they were not brothers; Soldiers' Effects records doesn't add anything re possible family relationship (John left everything to his mother, Margaret; Charles to his wife). Could just be coincidence, it's a common Scots name of course.

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