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Remembered Today:

Identify uniform as possibly RNAS


JohnB98
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I would be grateful for any information or suggestions on the identity of this man.

From another forum I've had the suggestion the uniform could be that of a Petty Officer in RNAS based on similar appearance in this picture

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/401699877981

Thanks and Regards

JohnB98

 

Unknown 3.jpg

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Yes he is an RNAS PO, Flight Engineer I think.

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Certainly an RNAS rating but the absence from the left sleeve of 'crossed anchors' insignia (Petty Officer) or single anchor (Leading Rate) - these cannot be seen in the image - would rule out these rates.

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I think he might be an Electrical Artificer, who (rated 1st through 4th class) also ‘ranked as’ chief petty officers, and wore Class I uniform without specialty badges, but also absent the horizontally aligned 3-button cuffs (instead two smaller vertical cuff buttons that can just be seen on the right arm in subject photo).

NB.  However, I can’t make out if those are brass or black buttons, or whether the cap badge has a purple backing.  If the buttons are black then my above theory is null and void.   RN uniform of that time was immensely complex, which I think is well explained here: https://uniform-reference.net/insignia/rn/rn_ww1_ranks_enlisted_1.html

Edited by FROGSMILE
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3 hours ago, horatio2 said:

Certainly an RNAS rating but the absence from the left sleeve of 'crossed anchors' insignia (Petty Officer) or single anchor (Leading Rate) - these cannot be seen in the image - would rule out these rates.

I agree, looks to be an RNAS rating in best fore & aft rig. The eagle on his arm signifies he is in the RNAS not necessarily aircrew. The anchor on the cap badge means he transferred from the RN & did not enter from civilian life. Apart from the lack of rating badges if he was a PO then his cap badge would be gold & silver but it looks to be red to me, and also the buttons don't look to be gilt which would be the case if he was a PO.

ARABIS.

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10 hours ago, ARABIS said:

I agree, looks to be an RNAS rating in best fore & aft rig. The eagle on his arm signifies he is in the RNAS not necessarily aircrew. The anchor on the cap badge means he transferred from the RN & did not enter from civilian life. Apart from the lack of rating badges if he was a PO then his cap badge would be gold & silver but it looks to be red to me, and also the buttons don't look to be gilt which would be the case if he was a PO.

ARABIS.

I agree that it seems more likely to be Class III uniform.  The cap badge puzzled me a bit and I wondered if the buttons might be dull brass, as otherwise I didn’t think the two cuff buttons I mentioned would be visible if black, although the reflected light is showing them up well.  The following extract from the link I made above seems relevant:

”Class III was worn by petty officers and lower rates of the Shipwright, Accountant, Medical and Naval Police ratings, as well as those of the Royal Naval Air Service.”

“Engine Room and Electrical Artificer 5th Class was the petty officer-level ‘probationary’ rate for those who had completed their training ashore as Boy Artificers and were serving afloat for the first time. They wore Class III uniform with no badges and brass, rather than gilt, buttons on the long jacket, and black buttons on the working dress. After serving at sea for one year and reaching 21 years of age, they advanced to Engine Room or Electrical Artificer 4th Class and the Class I uniform.”

In summary then I think he’s possibly an Artificer 5th Class.  Would that fit for the cap badge?  If not then which RNAS junior ratings would wear a fore and aft Class III long jacket?

NB.  I’ve been impressed by the accuracy of the details at the link, which have been painstakingly compiled by the author from the two seminal reference sources of clothing and dress regulations, the Navy Lists of WW1 and WY Carman’s and WE May’s “Badges and Insignia of the British Armed Services”.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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14 hours ago, RNCVR said:

Yes he is an RNAS PO, Flight Engineer I think.

 

Amending this post as I was in error......  might clear up some of the confusion regarding this RNAS rating...

Taught me something I should have known!  If in doubt consult your references.....

"General Branch badge ......  An eagle embroidered in red on a dark blue rectangular patch, worn on the right arm."

From "Badges & insignia of the British Armed Services" -  RN Section - Cdr W.E. May

 

He appears to me to be wearing black buttons, Deffo wearing Class 3 uniform (men not dressed as Seaman), red embroidered cap badge.

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32 minutes ago, RNCVR said:

 

Amending this post as I was in error......  might clear up some of the confusion regarding this RNAS rating...

Taught me something I should have known!  If in doubt consult your references.....

"General Branch badge ......  An eagle embroidered in red on a dark blue rectangular patch, worn on the right arm."

From "Badges & insignia of the British Armed Services" -  RN Section - Cdr W.E. May

 

He appears to me to be wearing black buttons, Deffo wearing Class 3 uniform (men not dressed as Seaman), red embroidered cap badge.

Can we ascertain what his rating was Bryan, is he possibly an artificer or not?

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There were no RNAS artificers. I agree with@RNCVRthat he is most likely an RNAS General Branch (i.e. non-technical) junior rating .

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44 minutes ago, FROGSMILE said:

Can we ascertain what his rating was Bryan, is he possibly an artificer or not?

He was not an Artificer. 

There were two RNAS 'Artificer' (or skilled tradesmen rate badges - 

"Artisan - Trained Craftsmen wore a badge on their right sleeves in red on blue & in gilt, of an eagle over a crossed axe & hammer."

"Engineers badge - Ratings who were qualified Mechanics or Engineers in the RNAS wore, on their right sleeves a badge, in red on blue(& known in gilt{gold wire}) of an eagle over a two bladed propellor."

From same source as I mentioned above.  

 

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36 minutes ago, RNCVR said:

He was not an Artificer. 

There were two RNAS 'Artificer' (or skilled tradesmen rate badges - 

"Artisan - Trained Craftsmen wore a badge on their right sleeves in red on blue & in gilt, of an eagle over a crossed axe & hammer."

"Engineers badge - Ratings who were qualified Mechanics or Engineers in the RNAS wore, on their right sleeves a badge, in red on blue(& known in gilt{gold wire}) of an eagle over a two bladed propellor."

From same source as I mentioned above.  

 

Thank you Bryan, understood, and very interesting.  It makes sense that there had to be technicians of some kind, but it wasn’t clear what their status was.

1 hour ago, horatio2 said:

There were no RNAS artificers. I agree with@RNCVRthat he is most likely an RNAS General Branch (i.e. non-technical) junior rating .

Thanks horatio2.

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36440494-BA14-4D01-8E06-93871683228F.jpeg

4F36A509-E936-4357-8968-768E95BEB924.jpeg

Edited by FROGSMILE
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Wow, what a complicated subject - to a civilian like me!

Many Thanks to you all and especially Frogsmile for that interesting link.

Now I just have to figure out who he is and what is his connection to my family. :-}

with much gratitude

John B (New Zealand)

 

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