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Remembered Today:

5th CMR Capt. John Wentworth Lewis MC (8th C.I.B; 3rd Division)


Peter Maxfield
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© IWM HU 124125 (Original photo here: https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205384550 )

A bit puzzled by the positioning of his sleeve patches. Why is his flaming grenade above the red stripe rather than on it? 

Those men assigned to Trench Mortars wore a proficiency badge of the flaming grenade in blue worsted on khaki. Otherwise - the French Grey with red stripe above is 8th C.I.B. HQ staff. French Grey with separate grenade above is 8th Heavy & Medium Trench Mortar Batteries. His Service Record only mentions Light Trench Mortar Battery (8 C/2). He was transferred to England, Detached to the Quebec Regimental Depot on 25th July 1918 'en route to U.S.A.' with a view to being a Light Trench Mortar Instructor. No mention if he actually got there in the Service Record. Back with the 5th C.M.R. on 11th October.

Originally a Private in 6th CMR (#111281) before 5th CMR at the reorginisation. Lieut. by June 1916, and Captain whilst commanding the 8th (C.I.B.) Canadian (Light) Trench Mortar Battery, Oct 2 1916.

8th TM patch from here: https://www.canadiansoldiers.com/insignia/brookerpdfs/Part 4 - 3 Artillery Trench & COC.pdf (thank you, Chris Brooker)

Service Record here: https://central.bac-lac.gc.ca/.item/?op=pdf&app=CEF&id=B5626-S006

(Colourised/Colorized by me - and yes, I am quite colourblind!)

5 CMR Lewis Best - Copy.jpg

8th TM Shoulder patch.png

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It looks to me like he’s either, incorrectly positioned his badge (it did sometimes happen), or his posting was changed from an originally intended medium/heavy battery to the light battery after he’d had his badge stitched on.  My bet would be on the latter. 

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As a collector of these things I must try not to base my ideas of the position of badges, especially worn by Canadians, on books written 80 years after the War. The image you have is a period picture and the patch shown from the modern book is a composite. I think you should use the postion of the patch in the original picture as a reference not the other. Pictures of Canadians in trench mortar batteries show them wearing one blue grenade or two and sometimes none. They are worn on the sleeve in many positions even in unit photos.

 

Edited by Ypres1915
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Lovely - good reply, thank you. I like the spacing in the photo, and I think he did too! Perhaps those with two 'grenades' had red and the blue as Bombers and Trench Mortar qualified?

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On 23/02/2022 at 08:20, Peter Maxfield said:

Lovely - good reply, thank you. I like the spacing in the photo, and I think he did too! Perhaps those with two 'grenades' had red and the blue as Bombers and Trench Mortar qualified?

No sorry, I wasn't quite clear. I meant to convey, worn on one or both arms.

 

Edited by Ypres1915
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Ah, - understood. Thank you. So nice here to get the benefits of knowledge and experience!

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