Question about a British Insignia patch

Discussion in 'Higher Formations' started by DMcNay, Jan 21, 2007.

  1. DMcNay

    DMcNay Scotsman

    Apologies if this is posted in the wrong area.

    In trying to find out where myfather served in WW2, I remembered something from a number of years ago.

    I remembered as a child how he had oncebought a pair of cloth insignia from a militaria stall. He told me thatthese had been sewn onto his uniform, on the upper arm.

    Nowadays I assume they were some sort of divisional insignia. Only trouble is, I haven't been able to find any kind of reference work which show the insignia I remember.

    The patches he bought were red with a black horseshoe on them. Is this familiar to anyone on the forum?

    I've looked all over for some sort of "divisonal insignia" reference book, to no avail, so I thought I'd appeal to the kind folks on this forum.

    Any ideas?

  2. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Hi David
    The first bit of advice I would offer is that one should never trust one's memory.
    To explain......
    One of the Divs that I served in was the 78th British Infantry Division.
    It's flash was a golden battle-axe and I have both the flash itself (pasted in my Army Album) and photos of me wearing it on my epaulettes.

    On the BBC WW2 website someone once mentioned their father's service and spoke of the golden "hammers" that he remembered wearing as a Div flash. I was glad to be able to point the son in the right direction.

    Is it not possible that the Div you are looking for was the 56th Div, the famous "Black Cat Div" ?

    This was black on a red background and there is much to be seen on the internet about it's record of service.

    Just a thought........

    Good luck in your research

  3. Kyt

    Kyt Very Senior Member

    The only horseshoe patch that I know of is for the 39 Infantry Brigade (Northern Ireland)


    Unless it's a Farrier patch

  4. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Good luck with your research, David.

    Howard Cole in "Formation Badges of World War 2" lists a black horseshoe picked out in white on a red square for 13th Division which was raised in Greece in 1945-46 from the British element of the 4th Indian Division when that formation returned to India.

    The 4th Indian Division included 1st/4th Bn. Essex Regt., 1st Bn. Royal Sussex Regt. and 1st Bn. Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders. They fought at Alamein and then in Italy including Cassino and The Gothic Line before moving to Greece. Did your Father ever mention those theatres ?
  5. DMcNay

    DMcNay Scotsman

    13th Division sounds right actually. He served initially in Europe and then in Greece until around 1946 when he returned home as his father had died.

    I have his service record at home but I've not had the courage to try and decipher what all the numbers and letters mean! What I can understand makes for great reading though, in particular the assessor who notes that he would have made a "solid yet unremarkable officer"! Lucky he never got beyond Sergeant in the RE....

    Thanks for the information. I knew my memory wasn't failing me!
  6. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    There's nothing wrong with being an NCO, David, the backbone of the British army (and many others as well). Engineers could often reckon on being at the sharp end as well (ask Sapper on this forum !)

    This forum is quite a good place to get help with deciphering those records. Is there anything to indicate if he was part of a Field Company at Brigade level or if he was attached to Divisional HQ ?
  7. DMcNay

    DMcNay Scotsman

    I'll dig out the copy of his record I have and post some of what it says.

    The words "Welding Platoon" spring to mind, though.

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