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Remembered Today:

German 55 Epaulet


Crunchy
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Attached is a German epaulet handed to me by a friend. Originally taken by an Australian soldier in the Great War.

Grey epaulet with white border and red 55 numerals.

Can anyone please advise what unit it is (55IR or 55 RIR), where it was raised, what Divisions and Corps it was with and where on the Western Front it served in the period July 1916 - Oct 1918?

Many thanks in anticipation.

Chris

post-14124-1210481721.jpg

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Hi,

as for to what unit it can be attributed: both (IR & RIR). Only a few (active) units retained their coloured 'vorstoss' (piping), of which IR55 wasn't one, so there's no way of telling if active or reserve.

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Hi

55RIR served with 2 Guard Reserve division until the end of 1916 then went to 220 Division.

It was in the Pozieres Thiepval Bazentin le Petit sector with the former division and in the Arras area with the latter

55IR was in the 13th Division they were up against the French until 1918 when they were on the British front for some time.

I guess it depends on when the shoulder strap was taken that will tell you tthe regiment.

regards

John

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Eparges and John,

Thank you for your replies.

Not sure when it was acquired. Pozieres or Moquet Farm are possibilities if the piping (vorstoss) was phased out during the war. If I can track down where the two Regiments fought and match that with the Australian actions we might have an idea.

When the "vortoss" was worn, did both the active and reserve regiments wear the same colour or was there a distinction between them?

Cheers

Chris

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Have done some tracking down.

IR 55 was the 6th Westphalian Regiment from Detmold and in 1914 was with 26th Brigade, 13th Division, VII Corps. Thanks John. Can find no information on 220 Division

RIR 55 was raised by 4th Guard Grenadier Regiment. Would this mean it would have a different epaulet than IR 55?

Regards

Chris

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A quick reply: prior to the introduction of the M1915 shoulderstrap (yours), infantry regiment straps had a strap (M1910) piped in the color of the army corps. So for IR55 would have been VII Korps - light ('cornflower') blue. RIR 55 came from VIII Korps, which is also light blue. So in this case no distinction betwen the 2. End 14 an 'vereinfachter' (simplifed) strap was temporarely intruduced, with no vorstoss. In 1915 a new strap was introduced, with white piping for (nearly) all inf.units. this type of strap began to be distrubuted towards the end of 1915, mainly to reinforcements etc, the M1910 was worn till late in the war. it is possible that a M15 straps was (allready )worn at Pozieres. So no way of telling, as Chinaman says, depends were it was 'captured'.

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Eparges,

Many thanks. Very useful information. Much appreciated.

Cheers

Chris

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