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Any uniform experts about?

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Community Veteran
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Any uniform experts about?

Attached is a photo:

It is the uniform I am interested in and which armed force and or unit it is from.

But for the record, the child is thought to be my late wife, at maybe 1 to 2 years old (sorry I'm very bad at judging these things), the man is thought to be her dad. The approximate date would be probably 1942 or 43. She was born in 1940, so would definitely be during WW2.

The uniform has no apparent shoulder flashes, there is just visible the edge of a cap badge. The belt is of a strange design. There are thigh pockets.

He would probably be on a charge for having a jacket pocket unbuttoned.

Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
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Pro
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Re: Any uniform experts about?

I'm no expert, but I like a puzzle.

Looks like standard WW2 era battledress to me.

Cap badge looks to have a very large top part, and a fairly round lower part.

Grenadier Guards?

https://www.army.mod.uk/who-we-are/corps-regiments-and-units/

 

I've seen the belts before but I don't know if they're specific to anything.

 

I'm sure somebody will know more. Good luck! 

 

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Seasoned Champion
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Re: Any uniform experts about?

Send copy of photo to British legion, imperial war museum or even MOD and ask them - actually if you give them the name of a serviceman they can tell you which regiment they served with....

 

Maybe a site like this one

 

https://www.forces-war-records.co.uk/search-military-records-for-free?SE=Bing&adID={creative:AD}&KW=...

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Re: Any uniform experts about?


@petlew wrote:

 

...The belt is of a strange design.


@petlew 

I'm no expert, but if you're referring to the buckle, I'm not sure it's a strange design.  It looks like one of the type where one half 'locks' into the other half (quick to buckle and unbuckle ?), with size-adjustment probably done separately via an overlapping loop arrangement. I've no idea how common they would be though.

Remember those 'snake' belts when you were a kid? If so, different, but a broadly similar principal.

 


He would probably be on a charge for having a jacket pocket unbuttoned.


I've got a WW2 era photo of a relative, sat in a pub, wearing a broadly similar tunic (but wearing a peaked cap tilted back at probably an unapproved angle) also with at least one top pocket flap unbuttoned, which I guess would have been a rebellious fashion statement at the time!  All I know is that he was in the British army so can't help with a unit.

 

Good luck with your investigation.  Smiley

 

 

 

Edit:  typo

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Hero
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Re: Any uniform experts about?

I think there's something about the cap he's wearing. The rim looks like it could be braided rather than plain, and I think to ward the back of his head could be a bobble of some kind. During my NS I saw similar IIRC. Is it likely he could have been drafted to a scotd unit?

No one has to agree with my opinion, but in the time I have left a miracle would be nice.
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Re: Any uniform experts about?

The Home Guard? The chap certainly looks old enough.

As for the belt the buckle it looks the same as was on my Dads Army belt, but he belt itself was a type of canvas known as webbing.

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Re: Any uniform experts about?

I'm thinking that belt is the key here.

A check on line found this where it is described as a Home Guard belt - although why they should be different to the regular army webbing belt I have no idea.  

World war one surplus?

DSC_0560.jpg

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Re: Any uniform experts about?

Thank you gents for your interest, wasn't sure it would get any replies at all.

So just to add a little more to the mix; if (and it remains an if) it is my late wife, and her dad, I have his birth certificate born in 1909, which, lets be charitable would make him in 1942 (a later bit of information is that the baby is likely younger than my estimate of 1 or 2, nearer 1) would make him around 33, he suffered with one of the worst of human diseases Huntingtons. So even if he was too old to be called up (?), he might well have been medically unfit, but only have had relatively mild symptoms then.

I have already checked British army records, and nobody of his surname (I'm not giving it here, but it is very unusual) served in the armed forces at or around WW2.

I rather like minimanvans suggestion of the Home Guard (I hadn't thought of that). He died in 1955 from complications of Huntingtons I have his death certificate as well. That would have been around the right age for Huntington sufferers to pass on.

I'm happy to say, my wife didn't get Huntingtons, it run's through families, but his father, and brother did, as did my wife's sister, her two children did also. My wife got the unrelated Multiple Sclerosis instead. It seems my wife didn't carry the faulty Huntington's gene on, none of her four children, eleven grandchildren and so far five great grand children show any sign. So its hoped that terrible disease has died out for this family at least.

Does the Home Guard have searchable records does anybody know?   

Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
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Re: Any uniform experts about?

The national archives Home Guard personnel  might be the best place to start.  

An added thought is that forage cap as I think they were standard issue for the home guard at that time whereas the regular army would have worn berets?

Good luck in finding out more. Thumbs_Up

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Re: Any uniform experts about?


@petlew wrote:

 

I have already checked British army records, and nobody of his surname (I'm not giving it here, but it is very unusual) served in the armed forces at or around WW2.

 


@petlew 

IME at least some of the online military records appear to be incomplete as several times when I've searched for relatives etc. who are known to have served in one or other of the world wars I've been unable to find them.

Have you checked the Medals section of the records? (Although I don't know if that covers WW2)

Also I believe some records are being updated all the time, so while a name may not appear when you first search a later search may find it, which I appear to have just confirmed for myself.  Out of curiosity whilst typing this I put it to the test with my Dads name which I last searched probably 2-3 years ago with no trace found.  There's now a record of him dated 1943, confirmed by his RAF service number (so I think I'll try a few more which have been missing previously!).

Have you tried variations of his surname?  The reason I ask is that someone somewhere had to write or type his name on a document and somewhere along the line it may have been corrupted.  Even at the final digitisation stage mistakes will have occurred in transcribing the records.

Many of the UK online records you have access to (though I'm not sure about the military ones) have been digitised by the Mormons (who are now making money from that enterprise) and it's not uncommon to see 'Americanisation' type mistakes, one particular one I've noticed cropping up is to see an adress recorded as 'street name, town, Cornwall, Devon' which anybody should know is incorrect, i.e. Cornwall and Devon are separate counties, one is not located within the other!

 

Remember the old wartime joke about passing a message quietly along a line of troops.  It started as "Send reinforcements, we're going to advance", ending up as "Send three and fourpence, we're going to a dance".

 

Edit:  Update on the ongoing updating of military service records.   Just found my Mums record dated 1941, also confirmed by her RAF service number.

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Re: Any uniform experts about?

Thank you again for your suggestions.

Its not as if his surname had never been heard of in the British army, there was a return of two in a listing, but they would have been in the early 1900's some time before he was born.

I checked the home guard site minivanman without luck. But even their own website recommends visiting their archives at Kew. Not an impossible task as Kew is "only" about 35 miles from me. Far enough to make it almost an all day job though.

Next will be the Royal British Legion.

Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
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Re: Any uniform experts about?

Nobody so far has asked me why I have an interest in this.

Actually I don't other than a natural interest in my late wife's family.

No, the surname without giving too much away is German. His family was in the UK at least three generations before him and maybe more, so those entries in the army listings might well have been related.

But at this time my step son and daughter in law are trying to establish a dual nationality for gulp!! Brexit. As they live part of the year in Spain in their property there.

Don't ask me to elaborate on that please, I only have some of the more recent (post WW2) birth/marriage/death certificates. 

Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
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Re: Any uniform experts about?

@RobPN 

@petlew 

There is also the cost...

I was going to check out records for my biological father (long story) in order to 'get the measure of the man' as I never knew him, but I'm sure they wanted something like £30 ( see here) with no guarantee how much information there would be as the records office where many forces files were kept burnt down back in the 70's.

I only sort of knew this because of doing family research and what army records I obtained from the first world war consisted only of one small piece of paper - so quite expensive for just showing name rank and serial number all of which I already knew in order to get the information in the first place!

The other thing to bear in mind for anyone looking for such records is because of those especially from the second world war, there is a date restriction so either the person in question would have to apply or you would need to provide a death certificate without which in my case I would not have been able to obtain those of my biological fathers until something like 2030.

Crazy I know.

Ah yes those Mormon records. They were doing that in order to baptize those they obtained and recorded. Seriously. Crazy2

 

 

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Re: Any uniform experts about?


@Minivanman wrote:

@RobPN 

 

There is also the cost...

I was going to check out records for my biological father (long story) in order to 'get the measure of the man' as I never knew him, but I'm sure they wanted something like £30 ( see here


@Minivanman 

I was intending to do that a few years ago via a different site but never got round to it.  Regarding the (£30 ?) cost, perhaps there's a concession you could get due to Pension Credit?  Might be worth enquiring.

 


... with no guarantee how much information there would be as the records office where many forces files were kept burnt down back in the 70's.


I'm not sure about UK records being burnt, although I do seem to recall something about a fire.  That link you provided seems to be about a fire in the US.  Wink

I also recall reading something about a break-in at an RAF records office somewhere in the UK where computers containing veterans service records were stolen.

 

 

Ah yes those Mormon records. They were doing that in order to baptize those they obtained and recorded. Seriously. Crazy2


I didn't know that, what a cheek!

I remember several years ago when I first came across the Mormon-digitised records that they used to give a period of free access if you signed up for a trial.  I can't remember if it was 14-days free, perhaps longer, but you just had to remember to cancel before they hit your credit card.

Sometimes you can still get free access to newly released records such as the latest UK census for a very limited short period before they start charging.

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Re: Any uniform experts about?

@RobPN 

Oops yes, will check again as I'm sure they were lost which was why I had so much trouble. Thumbs_Up

Here you go, I was getting my wars and countries mixed up - not a good idea!

 

When war broke out in August 1914, the British army numbered just over 730,000 men. Unlike the other major European states, where conscription allowed huge numbers of men to be rapidly brought under arms, Britain relied on a small, professional defence force. But the scale of the conflict between the Allies and the Central Powers demanded massive increases in Britain's military manpower resources. By the end of the war in 1918, more than seven million men and women had seen service in the British army.

Unfortunately, more than half of their service records were destroyed in September 1940, when a German bombing raid struck the War Office repository in Arnside Street, London. However, an estimated 2.8 million service records survived the bombing or were reconstructed from the records of the Glossary - opens new windowMinistry of Pensions. This means that there is a roughly 40% chance of finding the service record of a soldier who was discharged at some time between 1914 and 1920.