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Remembered Today:

Royal Marines - gaiters & equipment.


Dan Morton

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I've been seeking uniform and equipment photos of RND during the defense of Antwerp in 1914. Thought some of you might be interested in this photo provided by a friend, Jon Smith, that shows RM in Belgium cleaning and preparing to fill canteens (water bottles).

All the best,

Dan Morton

post-4473-1134836719.jpg

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Not really. Jon couldn't tell me for certain where he picked it up or bought it, but it is a photo, not a web site print. It may have come from the Imperial War Museum originally, but it isn't listed in their online collection, or at least I couldn't find it. I certainly have no intention of violating their copyright (if they have one??), etc., and the only reason I posted the photo was because I had a couple of offline questions about RM and Royal Naval Division uniforms and equipment.

I requested assistance from curators (photo and uniforms) at both the Imperial War Museum and the Royal Navy Museum, looking for uniform information including a clear photo of the gaiters, especially. Although both tried to help and the IWM photo curator sent me several photocopies of photos to choose from, nothing helpful turned up. I've just recently found out how to contact the Royal Marine museum staff. They've offered some assistance, but we're still working thru what that would be exactly.

To further complicate matters, I live in Omaha, Nebraska, USA - a few miles the other side of the pond from all these sources, thus...an eyeball to eyeball visit with the museum curators is out of the question at this time.

If you have a specific question or issue, please e-mail me. Thanks!

All the best,

Dan

Edited by Dan Morton
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Dan,

It is a bit hard to tell from your photograph, but would the gaiter be like the one below? Is there any chance of getting a large view of the gaiter in your image?

post-6040-1135151519.jpg

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This photo is also reproduced in Martin Middlebrook's "Your Country Needs You".

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Grant - As near as I can tell, it is almost exactly like the one in your excellent, clear pic! The significant difference being the bottom buckle. A blow-up of just the gaiter from the RM pic indicates only a single strap and buckle at the top of the gaiter. Thanks for posting it. Is that a reproduction or original? Please e-mail me directly at dpzpmorton@cox.net and I'll send you the largest view of the pic I have.

All the best,

Dan

Edited by Dan Morton
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I think the photo shows RMLI Reservists, they are wearing the Broderick cap. I've seen it before in a book but can't remember which one.

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Squirrel -

Could you (or anyone) tell (or better show) me the significant differences between the Broderick cap and the RN cap? In the photos I have, the differences don't look dramatic. Obviously the RM cap badge or emblem and no RN cap tally, but other than those differences, what else?

All the best,

Dan

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Dan,

The legging is real. I picked up about three pairs about, er, 100 years ago, can't remember. Some were WW1 dated and some were up to 1924. No date on this one, which I can see.

The image below is of a leather legging without a lower strap, I am not sure of its providence. I suspect it may have been worn by South Australian infantry around the turn of the century, but I could be wrong, it may be Naval, as most photos tend to show soldiers wearing a shorter leather legging.

post-6040-1135168896.jpg

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Grant - Thanks again! The second one is much closer to the one on the RM in the 1914 Belgium pic, I think. Major difference is that the one the RMLI and RN wore was described as canvas in several of the references I've seen and it looks like canvas in the photos. Also, I agree, gaiters worn by Naval personnel generally were shorter. The leather one particularly looks more suitable to cavalry, maybe?

If you know it, could you give us the background of the first gaiter you posted?

All the best,

Dan

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  • 8 years later...

I think these are circa Edwardian or WWI in date for the RN. Any one have any thoughts?

post-91897-0-12742200-1406051978_thumb.j


Another pic.

post-91897-0-51190900-1406052088_thumb.j

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  • 1 month later...

Ayup Dan..... as an ex-RM (22.yrs service), I think I can answer a couple of your post questions.

Firstly, the header pic you show is of a group of RMVR on their way to Antwerp during the 1914 campaign. Its actually quite a well known image, and has been used over the years in many publications, including those series:- Men-at-Arms, and Osprey.

The difference between the Broderick cap, and RN Mitre Cap are as follows:-

1) The RN Mitre Cap has a blue lower band with a white upper portion above.

2) The Broderick Cap was overall Blue Serge, and in use by all Regiments of the British Army from the early 1900's to around 1915. The RM's continued its use till the mid 1920's. Upon the front of the Broderick was a red elongated patch (curved upper portion).

Unfortunately, I have not as yet mastered the posting of pictures to this site, otherwise relevant illustrations would be used. I can however forward the relevant illustrations to you via email... if wished!

Seph.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi

read the posts with interest , saw a bootneck got there first with a comment.

The WW1 and Edwardian naval cap was of blue serge stiffened with what looks like straw from the ones in my collection. A white cover was stretched over the top of the cap for foreign and summer rig. Later in the war the caps started to be manufactured with a white canvas top stitched to the lower part. Originally they were stiffened by a hoop around the rim but from photos many salts and badgemen (men with sea service experience over a couple of years) removed the hoops in their working caps thus the floppy appearance seen in photos of the period. I have caps dating from end of the Vic period to the 1920's and gradually the shape starts to get like the ones in WW2 but not as wide topped as now. It was a shame those in power made us wear the beret in the mid-70's but as many a jack folded his cap in his pocket when working on a windy deck...

Canvas gaiters - I've an example from the "new" 1919 issue, there is a large "N" and a pussers arrow stamped inside. Most naval equipment has at least the arrow if it is official issue - the Admiralty does hate their stores going AWOL. The RND in 1914 made use of 1901 leather issue gaiters for landing party and gunners as seen in some photos of the RND at Antwerp.

Regards

Owlman

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  • 6 years later...
On 21/12/2005 at 07:52, grantsmil said:

Dan,

It is a bit hard to tell from your photograph, but would the gaiter be like the one below? Is there any chance of getting a large view of the gaiter in your image?

post-6040-1135151519.jpg

This is a great image. Does anyone know where I can get a pair? Repro or original? Or even the pattern?

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To make your search a little easier those are the leggings associated with the 1919 Mills Naval Accoutrements set.

 

They continued production into WW2 and you can find them from time to time on various online auction platforms. 

 

The leggings in the original photo are most likely the 1901 pattern Naval leggings (some ones as Jerry B posted July 22 2014 above) - you can find Australian made versions of these dated into WW2 on the same platforms. 

 

Tom K

Edited by Tom K
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Here is a photo from my own collection of similar gaiters. The only information on the photo is the date May 1915.

IMG_20201128_115607[3754] (2).jpg

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  • 5 months later...

The original photo at the start of this thread is from the IWM Archives, ref. Q53230. It was taken during the Ostend Expedition in 1914.

 

The gilding metal 'R' behind the collar badge of the man kneeling marks this man out as a member of the Royal Fleet Reserve (see GO 100/1903). Originally in red worsted, the badge was changed to gilding metal in 1906.

 

Rgds,

 

Alex.

 

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