Uniform Help Please

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by Alan Watson, Mar 1, 2021.

  1. Alan Watson

    Alan Watson Member


    I was wondering if anyone could help me.

    This is a picture of my Great Grandfather (bottom right). He served right at the end of WW1 and then went to Northern Ireland where he served, I think, with the KOSB’s.

    This picture is from much later (est. 1944) but I’m struggling to figure out the uniform. Does anyone have any ideas?

    I had thought civil defence/ARP given the sash cord but they seem to have worn berets?

    Any help much appreciated.

  2. Alan Watson

    Alan Watson Member

  3. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Others will know better than me but for 100% clarity you should obtain his service records and they are only to be found for WW2 at the MOD - forms you need are here Request records of deceased service personnel - if your parents are alive then aske them to sign the forms, i.e. fill them in on their behalf - you will need a copy death certificate

    If you provide his name and date of birth we should be able to find his WW1 details

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  4. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    He is in army uniform, jacket is "Battledress, Serge" introduced in 1937 but used all through WW2 - he has a coloured FS cap but the unit colours/badge aren't clear - the lanyard doesn't really tell us much as a lot of different units wore them in various colours (and I have heard of at least one photographer providing them to subjects as a bit of colour)
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  5. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    It could well be a forage cap for the Royal Signals - it has the intermediate line (piping) through the cap

    Sig Joseph Sydney Smith | In Memoriam Page 853 | Royal Corps of Signals Memorial Book

    It would depend on colour as much as anything for example:


    Seems from what I can find is that ARP or Civil Defence wore dark blue uniforms, as AB64 says that uniform in the photo is normal army - perhaps at this point he was in Home Guard, but service records will identify that
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2021
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  6. Alan Watson

    Alan Watson Member

    Thanks all.

    Yes, time to get the service records I think. We’ve only just finished sitting through his son’s (in the picture), which included Malaya, the SAS and several court martials!

    Hopefully great grandad’s is as interesting!

    Thanks again

  7. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    As mentioned though if you provide his name and date of birth we should be able to find his WW1 records as they are publicly available, its only his WW2 ones you need to send off for

    Up to you

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  8. Alan Watson

    Alan Watson Member

    Apologies, I totally missed that!

    Thanks for the help.

    John Black, born 18 August 1900, Murray Street, Annan.

    From what I think I know, he joined up right at the end but I don’t know if he ever set foot in France. I’m sure I saw that he went straight to Northern Ireland. Thanks
  9. Pat Atkins

    Pat Atkins Patron Patron

    In the absence of his records: agreed, RCoS is a possibility for the cap (have a photo of my uncle Den, 44th Div Signals, in what looks like an identical one) - but not sure about the badge though? I bet someone on here will be able to ID it, though.

    Cheers, Pat
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  10. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    UK, British Army World War I Service Records, 1914-1920
    Name: John Black
    Gender: Male
    Enlistment Age: 18
    Birth Date: abt 1900
    Marriage Date: 11 Jul 1919
    Marriage Place: Dumfries
    Document Date: 1918
    Residence Place: 5 Murray Street, Annan
    Military Date: 1918
    Relationship to Soldier: Self (Head)
    Regimental Number: 48306
    Regiment Name: Highland Light Infantry
    Number of Images: 17
    Form Title: Record of Service
    Other Records: Search for 'John Black' in other WWI collections
    Family Members:
    Name Relation to Soldier
    John Black Self (Head)
    A Halbert Spouse

    Blimey you are a very lucky boy
    miuk1914e_125275-00600.jpg miuk1914e_125275-00601.jpg miuk1914e_125275-00602.jpg miuk1914e_125275-00603.jpg miuk1914e_125275-00604.jpg miuk1914e_125275-00605.jpg miuk1914e_125275-00606.jpg miuk1914e_125275-00607.jpg miuk1914e_125275-00608.jpg miuk1914e_125275-00609.jpg miuk1914e_125275-00610.jpg miuk1914e_125275-00611.jpg miuk1914e_125275-00612.jpg miuk1914e_125275-00613.jpg

  11. Alan Watson

    Alan Watson Member

    Thanks, that’s fab. Just need to try and make out the writing now!

    Much appreciated.

  12. Alan Watson

    Alan Watson Member

    Do you mean lucky as in there isn’t usually that much?


  13. Waddell

    Waddell Well-Known Member

    Lucky that the Luftwaffe didn't destroy them- many were burnt.

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  14. Alan Watson

    Alan Watson Member

    Ah okay - thanks. Appreciated

  15. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

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  16. Alan Watson

    Alan Watson Member

    Thanks. I do recall that now actually as we drew a bit of a blank with my great uncle who was killed in 1917 at Arras.

    We managed to find out a fair bit about him from local press as he got the MM but that was about it I think.

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