Badge Help

Discussion in 'General' started by Dieppe, Mar 8, 2005.

  1. Dieppe

    Dieppe Senior Member

    View attachment 510 Hi All - Can anyone tell me what colour the patches on my great uncle's (Percy Bradbury) uniform would have been, please?
    He was in the 5th Suffolks, was captured at Singapore and died in captivity.

    Many thanks,
    Lee :)
  2. Dieppe

    Dieppe Senior Member

    After having a second look at the enlargement of Percy's picture I've noticed that the Suffolk shoulder title looks like it is a slip-on type, am I correct in that assumption and if so would it have been a khaki colour?
  3. Dieppe

    Dieppe Senior Member

    Just bringing this back to the top in the hope of a little help....please :rolleyes:
  4. Kieron Hill

    Kieron Hill Senior Member

    Hi Lee,

    Unfortunately unable to help with the colour
    of the badge, but the following link is to a site
    that is related to the 5th Suffolk Regiment and
    a veteran who is still alive maybe you can contact
    the sites webmaster who maybe able to ask the
    veteran...long shot I know but may get you

    5th Suffolk Regiment

    Hope its been of some help.


  5. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    My best mate served in 1st Suffolks in Normandy I presume it will be the sae cclour. The Diagonal badge is very similar to mine,Third British Infantry.
  6. Dieppe

    Dieppe Senior Member

    Kieron & Sapper - Thanks for the link and help :)
  7. chief_chum

    chief_chum Junior Member

    Hi Lee,
    The insignia on your Great Uncle Percy's battledress blouse show that, at the time the picture was taken, he was serving with 1st Battalion The Suffolk Regiment.
    The picture was almost certainly taken in 1941 - after the introduction of Divisional insignia but before the adoption of the red 'arm-of-service strips' for infantry.
    As you say, he has the khaki worsted slip-on shoulder titles with "SUFFOLK" embroidered in black, the badge of 3rd Infantry Division (A black equalateral triangle with an inverted red one in the centre) and, beneath, the 'Minden Flash'.
    The red and yellow Minden Flash was the Suffolk Regimental patch; made from two 1" squares, one in front of the other. In the case of most battalions the red square was always worn to the front with the yellow to the rear. The known exceptions being 70th (Young Soldiers) Battalion who wore their Minden Flash upright with red above yellow and the 5th (Territorial) Battalion who wore their patch with the yellow to the front - probably as they were brigaded with the 4th (Territorial) Battalion and it was a handy was for Officers and Regimental Policemen to tell them apart!
    The Suffolk Regiment were issued with the block of numbers which commenced 5819001 in 1920 when the Great War veterans were reissued with individual numbers. It may well be that Percy had served with 1/SUFFOLK in France, 1940. Following Dunkirk the regular battalions were made up to full strength again -often taking specialists (signallers, etc) from the TA battalions. However, as 18th (Eastern) Division (TA) were off to Singapore in February 1942 (the 1st Battalion would not leave the UK again until D-Day) it became necessary for men from the regular battalion to make up the numbers for the TA battalions. Therefore, many men who had survived Dunkirk found themselves captured at Singapore and had to endure appalling conditions before release or death caught up with them.
    I hope this is helpful.
    With best wishes,


    Taff Gillingham
    The Suffolk Regiment Museum
  8. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    I am glad the Suffolks came in here, for as I said, the picture looked exactly the same as the 1st Suffokls that I served with in the Third British Infantry Division.

    That was in the Eighth Brigade that landed first on Sword. The Third div was called "The Iron Division" or more often "Monty's Ironsides" The triangular badge is made up of a red triangle on a black, or dark navy background. I have one somewhere in the house. The badge itself is supposed to represent Black for Iron, and Red for blood. My best friend (Still going) served in 1st Suffolks on D Day.

    The Third div served valiantly during the Dunkirk withdrawal, It was Field Marshal Montgomery's old Division when he was a div commander.

    So in that Picture. When that was taken he served in Monty's div; hope that is of interest.
    Sapper :D
  9. chief_chum

    chief_chum Junior Member

    Hi Sapper,
    What is the name of your mate who served with 1/Suffolk in Normandy?
    We are currently trying to track all our 'unknown' veterans down as we only know of a handful of Normandy survivors now and it's always good to track down more! We have just produced a Questionairrefor former Suffolks too which is proving to be an excellent way of recording old soldiers memories for the future.
    Every year we still have a large 'Minden Day' reunion at the former Depot at Gibraltar Barracks, Bury St Edmunds, and all former Suffolks and their families and friends are always made welcome.
    This year will be a special occasion, being the 60th anniversary of VE/VJ Day, and we have the Band of The Irish Guards along with The Minden Band of the Queen's Division and much more. Bring your mate along!
  10. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Hi Taff.

    Richard Harris, I will send you a PM with his address, he is a great friend and we shared lunches in the summertime, and talked over old battles, sadaly, like me, he was wounded, though he is far more active than me.
    Cheers Sapper
  11. chief_chum

    chief_chum Junior Member

    That must be the Richard Harris who wrote a superb account of his time in Normandy (from memory he was one of the support cadre who were left out of the assault owing to their age but came ashore a few hours later. His account goes into great detail right up to the time he was wounded - I think at Vire but I may be wrong). To be honest some of the other 1/SUFFOLK Normandy veterans thought he had passed away so I am delighted to hear he is still going strong and I will certainly write to him.
    Thank you very much for that!
    With best wishes,
  12. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Thats my Pal. he did write a wonderful account of his time in Normandy, He was wounded advancing behind the Falaise pocket. I always have to be careful when we shake hands as he has a bit of his missing. You are right he was one of a group that was LOB "left out of battle" A very nice Gentleman, he is due to come to my home for lunch when the weather improves.

  13. Dieppe

    Dieppe Senior Member

    Taff - Thank you so much for such a detailed account of the badges. 1st Bn? I never knew he'd been in with that lot.
    So, the chance is that he could have been at Dunkirk? I'll have to ask my dad about this, he has never mentioned Percy being at Dunkirk before. I was always interested to know why Percy joined the Suffolks when he lived in the Southall/Acton area of Middlesex (where all my family come from).

    Once again, many thanks for the help.
  14. chief_chum

    chief_chum Junior Member

    Hi Lee,
    That's a pleasure! His non-Suffolk background doesn't surprise me at all. I believe that there was a deliberate policy (probably the lesson learned by the use of 'Pals' Battalions in The Great War) to make sure Battalions were made of of soldiers from all over the country. For instance whilst 1/SUFFOLK had a very definite Suffolk backbone there were men from all over England, Scotland and Wales who landed with them in Normandy. One old warrior, Taffy Lewis, is, as you would expect, very Welsh - but even 60 years on always says he is a Suffolk first and foremost!
    With best wishes,
  15. Dieppe

    Dieppe Senior Member

    Taff - Good point! I hadn't thought about the 'ghost' of the Great War casualty figures causing a change in deployment of recruits etc.

    Many thanks for the assistance!

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