Jump to content
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Upper arm insignia identification help please


Andrew70
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hello,

I'm hoping that someone more learned than I can assist me in identifying the insignia on this soldier's upper arm.

It looks to me like a 45 degree lattice cross (with similarities to a chemistry stick and ball model).  I don't think it's four separate shapes abutting each other as each arm appears to be sharing the nodes where they intersect with their neighbours.

I've established that he's a Sergeant Pioneer from the stripes and crossed axes but the upper insignia and indeed his regiment are a mystery to me.

The image was found in the collection of a Bedfordshire family (surname CLEAVER) but none of the living members recognise him.

He bears a resemblance to a civilian photo that was positively identified as ARTHUR PETT, the Petts being close family friends of the Cleavers.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Andrew.

 

279090124_2205083172977961_3743619641188933689.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, AOK4 said:

I agree.

Thank you both.

I had seen that symbol in my searches but being a fan of Formula One, I assumed both the black and white parts were parts of a patch.

I was never much good at magic eye pictures either....:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Andrew,

I don't know much about these things, so might well be off the mark...trousers indicate a mounted roll, and crossed axes, a pioneer? So possibly, 18th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers, or 2/4th Bn Somerset Light Infantry ??...Head down, waiting for incoming!

Is it possible to get a blown up/better image of the shoulder title?

image.png.96f0a8859f192b2dcd4bddd818dafd29.png

Regards
Chris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, clk said:

Hi Andrew,

I don't know much about these things, so might well be off the mark...trousers indicate a mounted roll, and crossed axes, a pioneer? So possibly, 18th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers, or 2/4th Bn Somerset Light Infantry ??...Head down, waiting for incoming!

Is it possible to get a blown up/better image of the shoulder title?

Regards
Chris

Yes he’s the battalion’s pioneer sergeant (there was only one) and, given wartime regulations forbidding facial hair after 1916, without beard.  I can’t see any sign of spurs so I cannot determine any rationale for what appear to be laced breeches.  See 34th Div checkerboard arm badges below.

The shoulder title is a curved county such as, e.g. SUFFOLK, or similar.  Fusiliers and Light Infantry soldier’s would usually have a ‘device’ of grenade or bugle horn above the title, so I don’t think it’s Somerset.

D9DBEF1B-D86D-4C61-8998-B4247666AF72.jpeg

Edited by FROGSMILE
Link to comment
Share on other sites

He is also sporting regimental rather than general service buttons on his jacket but I’m not sure if that’s significant in narrowing down his unit ?

Pete

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, Pete_C said:

He is also sporting regimental rather than general service buttons on his jacket but I’m not sure if that’s significant in narrowing down his unit ?

Pete

It would certainly narrow down the options Pete.  Examining all the regiments in 34th Div would give us a list that could be cross referenced with the shape of both, the title, and the design on the buttons.

Edited by FROGSMILE
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looks to me as if the Bedfordshire Regiment is quite likely on both counts.

A19644DA-3BF2-446B-A616-64C9C9534C05.jpeg

C11581E9-E657-42A8-B0C1-F6E7A270A329.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A E Haswell Miller has the 6 Bn, Bedfordshire Regiment serving with 34 Division.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, KENDO said:

A E Haswell Miller has the 6 Bn, Bedfordshire Regiment serving with 34 Division.

Thanks Kendo, I reckon that’s very likely to be the unit of the man pictured in the original post. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can't find a Cpl/Sgt Arthur Pett, Bedfordshires in an - admittedly fairly cursory - sweep of MICs and medal rolls on Ancestry or FMP. May have missed a candidate, or his medals were issued by another regiment or corps, or could Arthur have had a brother? Forum pal Matlock1418 might well do better, though. 

(weird, can't seem to alert Matlock via this post)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mm Long, Long Trail does not put any Bedfords in 34th Div?

Anyway, Cleavers in Bedf. R. from ancestry Medal Index search:

  • Charles 14929
  • Frederick J. 43118
  • Frederick W. Sjt 4193/200497 Balkans
  • George F. 240535
  • Harry Cpl 3204 or 3207 TFM
  • Albert E. 4192 Balkans
  • Sidney C. RE Spr / Bedf. TF 203455 Balkans
  • Walter 2/Bedf 13082
  • William 4524 TF Balkans
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think we need to look again to match a curved county title of around 7-letters with regimental buttons that might match the apparent shape in the 34th Div photo.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, FROGSMILE said:

I think we need to look again to match a curved county title of around 7-letters with regimental buttons that might match the apparent shape in the 34th Div photo.

Hi Frogsmile. Could it be Beds and Herts? The buttons had a circular design and the shoulder titles would fit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Queen's, R Sussex, Cheshire and Hereford all served with 34 Division in 1918.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 minutes ago, Gunner 87 said:

Hi Frogsmile. Could it be Beds and Herts? The buttons had a circular design and the shoulder titles would fit.

They are post-WW1 buttons.     Pete.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And a plea to the OP @Andrew70 to post a high resolution scan of the original black & white image, not the colourized image. Colourization software, especially online, smooths and denoises the original image, stripping out vital data.

Scan of a button, shoulder title, and whilst you're at it, the divisional insignia for completeness will give you a far higher chance of success.

Edited by Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, KENDO said:

A E Haswell Miller has the 6 Bn, Bedfordshire Regiment serving with 34 Division.

Then AE Haswell Miller is wrong, I can find no evidence of a Bedfordshire battalion having ever served with the 34th Division during the Great War. 

Its a bit of a conundrum this one. We all agree it's a 34th Division patch on his upper arm and he's a Pioneer Sgt with a county regiment. The Pioneer battalions of the 34th Division were 18th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers (July 1915 - June 1918) when they were replaced by 2/4th Bn Somerset Light Infantry. The shoulder title doesn't really fit with either of these battalions as we'd expect to see a grenade or a bugle above the curved title.  Could he have served with the Pioneer section of an infantry battalion? I note 10th Bn Lincolnshire and 11th BN Suffolks were also part of 34th Division.

Having some background information on the two names Cleaver and Pett may also throw further light over the thread.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, KENDO said:

Queen's, R Sussex, Cheshire and Hereford all served with 34 Division in 1918.

The Royal Sussex and Herefordshire shoulder titles seem ostensibly too long (too many letters) to match, but it’s difficult to be sure without a better scan, as there is some blurring.  It does appear as if the distinctive circlet on the buttons in the OP photo are relatively close to the edge of the button rather than its centre, i.e. as with the Queen’s.  The Herefordshire Regiment button seems quite a good match, albeit with our limited view.

E95328EE-F554-472B-80CB-09E8B9CCBF9B.jpeg

8616E819-EA00-462D-BDFD-775EDC8A9575.jpeg

4E3A63B5-972A-47EE-ADA5-402BFCFFCF40.jpeg

B6F366D1-D210-4A47-980D-39ACB6648125.jpeg

788A17B2-6A5E-42E0-833D-D9044B607A45.jpeg

DD27917D-E1C9-4FC5-BD4F-DA9678443F90.jpeg

239F6D36-A22A-45E6-849F-FB47F9852D7E.jpeg

753567DA-3058-4905-B7D9-CD64968C3AEE.jpeg

Edited by FROGSMILE
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just a thought regarding the laced up breeches - 34th Division Cyclist Corps

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, jay dubaya said:

Just a thought regarding the laced up breeches - 34th Division Cyclist Corps

A good thought Jay.  I’m not sure if cyclist battalions had pioneer sergeants, but I suspect not.  Here is the insignia, the title seems a tad short and the circular centre to the button too small in comparison.

D1272A1D-EE24-42FF-8A69-A33E3D4A28A3.jpeg

60371DC6-5FB2-4EAB-B016-CA235E8F6E94.jpeg

Edited by FROGSMILE
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...