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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Uniform identification


Sandie Hayes

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I've recently been given this postcard. It was sent by a female, in Runcorn, to her brother. There is no address or postmark on the back of the card, it simply says "I think perhaps you have forgotten that you have a sister alive in Runcorn". The card was printed in England.

Is anyone able to tell me anything about the uniforms, worn by the 2 young men?

Many thanks. 

FB_IMG_1615055495731.jpg

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Sandie

The soldier on the right as we look is possibly Royal Engineers. Did the photograph originate in Cronton as far as you know. I have an interest in Sapper Arthur Houghton, one of your twelve Cronton men. He was number 83440 and he would have enlisted into the County Palatine (30 Div) RE in 1915. The Register of Soldiers Effects shows that he died of wounds on 08/02/1917. His death is recorded The Times Official Casualty List 12/03/1917 and shows that he was from Cronton. 

The only Arthur Houghton on the 1911 Census who lived in Cronton was 20 years old of Dragon House, Cronton. He is shown on the census with his parents and elder brother Harold 25 and younger sister Eva Martha 13

A possible for you 

Brian

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Certainly not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but my first thought is that the soldier on the left is an officer in the New Zealand Army. There is a darker patch above his left breast pocket that suggests something has been removed, and is that a Silver War badge above his right breast pocket?

 

Edited by Tawhiri
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Tawhiri

Thank you so much for replying. I had thought he might be Australian but, a New Zealander is just as plausible.

I have no name so, I can't even look him up on the SWB (NZ) list.

Many thanks for your thoughts.

Edited by Sandie Hayes
Didn't mention who reply was for.
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Brian Morris 547

Thanks for replying.

No, nothing to do with Cronton, sadly.

The postcard was bought, by a friend, from Ebay. He bought it because of the connection with Runcorn. He no longer wants it and asked if I would like it. 

 

I have photographs of Arthur Houghton's grave, if you would like copies.

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The badges above both breast pockets on the man at left suggest it’s not an Army uniform at all, as does the white shirt and dark tie (although worn before 1913).  I think it’s more likely to be an civilian ambulance unit or some kind of Boy’s organisation leader.  The young soldier at right is not in focus so his badge is not clear, but it looks too small to be RE.  Perhaps, ASC, but it’s impossible to be positive.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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Looks like Mother is wearing a sweetheart brooch, but I can't make it out.

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21 minutes ago, Michelle Young said:

Looks like Mother is wearing a sweetheart brooch, but I can't make it out.

Well spotted Michelle!  I see it too - at her throat, although I can’t make out which badge it is.

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2 hours ago, Michelle Young said:

Looks like Mother is wearing a sweetheart brooch, but I can't make it out.

 

It has the appearance of the Australian rising sun badge to my squinting eyes (I'm looking at the broach below the throat), the soldier is also sporting what may be a three tier shoulder title.

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6 hours ago, jay dubaya said:

 

It has the appearance of the Australian rising sun badge to my squinting eyes (I'm looking at the broach below the throat), the soldier is also sporting what may be a three tier shoulder title.

I think the separate brooch below her throat is in the shape of a flower head jay.  I see the tiered title too, so probably TF.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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11 hours ago, Sandie Hayes said:

I have photographs of Arthur Houghton's grave, if you would like copies.

Sandie

I would be interested in a photograph of Arthur Houghton so that I could post it onto the thread I started about the County Palatine RE. I did look for a report on his death in the local papers to see if I could find a photo to compare to your card but I could not find a paper that covered Cronton. The nearest I got was the Wigan Observer. I tried Widnes and St Helens but no luck, perhaps you could help.

I'm not sure that the cap badge is RE it was only a possible.

Brian

 

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12 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:

The badges above both breast pockets on the man at left suggest it’s not an Army uniform at all, as does the white shirt and dark tie (although worn before 1913).  I think it’s more likely to be an civilian ambulance unit or some kind of Boy’s organisation leader.  The young soldier at right is not in focus so his badge is not clear, but it looks too small to be RE.  Perhaps, ASC, but it’s impossible to be positive.

 

I'm with Frogsmile regarding the chap on the left......it's probably a Scouts adult leaders uniform.  These were generally cobbled together at this time, and this case is similar to the ones shown on the attached photo  .....right down to the puttees in one instance.  No large circular breast badge however. 

 

I'm thinking the the shoulder badge of the man on the right and see is a double curved title not dissimilar to the original Liverpool City Battalions and which seems a little too large and the wrong shape for ASC or RE?

Boy Scouts.jpg

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An excellent spot regarding Boy Scout leaders Tulloch Ard (the uniform was associated with the influences of the 2nd Boer War).  I’m thinking that the lapel badge on man centre rear is along similar lines to the badge above pocket in subject photo.

 

As regards Liverpool City Battalion, I think that’s quite likely, although it doesn’t quite seem to fit the apparent shape of the cap badge.

 

FABD7430-6B63-4EBA-975C-80F7EFDB4E7E.jpeg

514A82DF-95F5-4B99-B72E-FE8D22A33006.jpeg

Edited by FROGSMILE
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Regarding the circular badge ......... "Boy Scouts were awarded a War Service badge, to be worn above the uniform right breast pocket. The 1914 War Service badge was awarded for 28 days unpaid service. The 1918 War Service badge was awarded for 50 days unpaid service. About 80,000 War Services badges were awarded during the war."  (source: Boy Scouts in WW1 - Soldiers and their units - Great War Forum )  

 

Good old GWF once again! 

 

 

On War Service 1914.jpg

Edited by TullochArd
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You are quite right about the badges but that is not the Boy Scout version but one issued by government authorities for some other roles.  The Boy Scout badges were in cloth.

 

8D334722-8602-40E0-8D15-7F241F277E12.jpeg

5D83EFEA-7E49-42FB-8271-0B411DD324A7.jpeg

934D2F76-AF74-495D-8E12-D0B4CCE3C6D1.jpeg

073AF179-C71A-474F-99DE-6359A4E55AB6.jpeg

Edited by FROGSMILE
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40 minutes ago, TullochArd said:

Regarding the circular badge ......... "Boy Scouts were awarded a War Service badge, to be worn above the uniform right breast pocket. The 1914 War Service badge was awarded for 28 days unpaid service. The 1918 War Service badge was awarded for 50 days unpaid service. About 80,000 War Services badges were awarded during the war."  (source: Boy Scouts in WW1 - Soldiers and their units - Great War Forum )  

 

Good old GWF once again! 

 

 

On War Service 1914.jpg

 

That's the Admiralty version.

 

It's perhaps worth pointing out that the soldier in question's belt - Bandolier Equipment Pattern 1903 Web waist belt - makes him more likely to be Corps Troops, and it wasn't officially introduced until the end of April 1917.

 

Cheers,

 

GT.

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19 minutes ago, Grovetown said:

 

That's the Admiralty version.

 

It's perhaps worth pointing out that the soldier in question's belt - Bandolier Equipment Pattern 1903 Web waist belt - makes him more likely to be Corps Troops, and it wasn't officially introduced until the end of April 1917.

 

Cheers,

 

GT.

I did spot that narrow belt, but wondered if it might’ve been a modified shoulder strap, albeit that seemed a long shot?  I recall something about them being precursors to the issued narrow belt, but it’s not an aspect I know much about.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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4 hours ago, Grovetown said:

That's the Admiralty version.

 

......... agreed ....... and this is not a boy Boy Scout cloth badge as kindly offered by Frogsmile .......  

 

We have a photo of a Scout Leader in uniform wearing, within accepted Scout Dress Regulations (in the correct position above the right pocket) a War Service Badge of some type.  I've not got the eyesight to confirm or deny (only suggest) this is an "Admiralty" Badge awarded to Shipyard workers "whose services were indispensable" (and aged over 14) from the plethora of similar issued badges but would offer that Runcorn, Liverpool suggests a credible link.  

 

Do you see something different?

 

Edited by TullochArd
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In this particular case I think that the badge in the subject photo is larger.  The Admiralty badge would most likely only show its centre part, as light coloured, in the type of black and white film used.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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12 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:

In this particular case I think that the badge in the subject photo is larger.  The Admiralty badge would most likely only show its centre part, as light coloured, in the type of black and white film used.

 

....... I see your point.  Thanks.  

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15 hours ago, TullochArd said:

 

Do you see something different?

 

 

To put it another way, I can't see anything that resembles an OWS badge of the issued kind, although it may, of course, be one of the factory/ manufacturer specific unofficial ones.

 

18 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:

I ... wondered if it might’ve been a modified shoulder strap, albeit that seemed a long shot? 

 

Possibly, but it looks a bit skinny for that to me.

 

Cheers,

 

GT.

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3 minutes ago, Grovetown said:

 

To put it another way, I can't see anything that resembles an OWS badge of the issued kind, although it may, of course, be one of the factory/ manufacturer specific unofficial ones.

 

 

Possibly, but it looks a bit skinny for that to me.

 

Cheers,

 

GT.

Yes it’s difficult to be sure I agree.  I’m not sure what the difference in width was between the shoulder strap and the later issue narrow waistbelt.  It’s probably shown on Karkee Web.

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21 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:

I did spot that narrow belt, but wondered if it might’ve been a modified shoulder strap, albeit that seemed a long shot?  I recall something about them being precursors to the issued narrow belt, but it’s not an aspect I know much about.

 

2 hours ago, FROGSMILE said:

Yes it’s difficult to be sure I agree.  I’m not sure what the difference in width was between the shoulder strap and the later issue narrow waistbelt.  It’s probably shown on Karkee Web.

 

I agree with GT's original identification - although the difference in width between a modified 1908 pattern brace (2 inches wide) and the web version of the 1903 pattern belt (1 3/4 inches wide) is fairly minimal the noticeably thickened edges combined with the distinctly different brass end pieces and keeper clearly mark it out as the latter:

 

http://www.karkeeweb.com/patterns/1903/components/1903_belts_straps.html

 

1903_belt_web_big.jpg

 

Edited by Andrew Upton
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Thank you Andrew, I can see the stitched edge too.  That's a useful reference to bear in mind in future.

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4 minutes ago, FROGSMILE said:

Thank you Andrew, I can see the stitched edge too.  That's a useful reference to bear in mind in future.

 

It is worth noting it's not a stitched edge - like the standard wider 1908 pattern belts it is a physically thicker piece of webbing woven into the edge of the material when it was made to help take up the wear and tear better without fraying.

 

Edited by Andrew Upton
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