RA Uniform Question

Discussion in 'General' started by Reid, May 15, 2019.

  1. Reid

    Reid Historian & Architectural Photographer

    Good evening all.

    I thought I'd ask the brains trust here a question which has puzzled me for over 30 years. I have an image of my grandfather from 1941, which clearly shows his RA collar badge, however, his side cap has his Loyal Regiment badge attached.

    An earlier image (?) shows his dress cap with the Loyals badge and a later (?) image the same cap with the RA gun.

    Is the side cap with the regiment badge and RA collar badge typical? I understand the dress cap examples, however, the mix of the two has always had me stumped.


    GWC_01.jpg GWC_02.jpg
  2. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member


    I’d say he was in 4th Royals (Territorial Battalion) converted to Royal Artillery Unit -

    From Wikipedia -

    The 4th Battalion had been converted to the 62nd Searchlight Regiment, Royal Engineers before the war. In 1940, it was transferred to the Royal Artillery. In 1943, it became 150th (Loyals) Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery and, in March 1944, joined the 9th Armoured Division until it was disbanded and the regiment later served with the 55th (West Lancashire) Infantry Division from August 1944 until March 1945 when it was sent to North-west Europe to join the British Second Army.

    Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire) - Wikipedia

    All will be confirmed if you obtain a copy of his service records -

    Get a copy of military service records

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  3. Reid

    Reid Historian & Architectural Photographer

    Hi Steve,

    Yes that is correct, but I was wondering as to why the side cap has his regiment badge and not an RA badge? Is this due to it being a TA unit that transferred to the RA? And if so, why would he then be wearing his dress cap with the RA badge?

    He transferred to DEMS shortly after this image was taken, so didn't experience the change to the 150th.

  4. idler

    idler GeneralList

    I think it's unusual for a converted infantry unit to have kept its identity, but this may be early days. Certainly many of the converted yeomanry regiments continued to keep their old badges up.
  5. chrisgrove

    chrisgrove Senior Member

    141 Royal Armoured Corps, converted from 7 Battalion The Buffs in November 1941,retained its original (Dragon) cap badge throughout the war. I would surmise that many units, converted from infantry battalions, did the same. Actually it would appear that the 7th and 8th Battaions of the Loyal Regimment were also converted to LAA regiments RA in 1941, though these battalions were only formed in 1940 and perhaps did not have quite the same loyalty (pun not intended) to their former cap badge.
  6. tmac

    tmac Senior Member

    My father was called up in July 1940 and drafted into 7th Battalion, The Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire), a newly-raised infantry unit of the Loyals.
    In November 1941, the battalion was converted to 92nd (Loyals) Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery. But to recognise the regiment’s origins, the red rose of Lancashire was included on the men’s shoulder badges (see attached). And, of course, the name ‘Loyals' was incorporated in the LAA title. 92nd LAA later became the LAA unit of 3rd British Infantry Division (triangle badge).

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  7. Reid

    Reid Historian & Architectural Photographer

    That's really interesting tmac. I've often wondered what shoulder badges my grandfather would have worn - the RA flash and stripe I was aware of, but as to any others, I haven't been able to find any information.

    I only have 3 photographs from his service - 2 with him in dress uniform and one that I believe was probably taken when he was in the TA (1935?) but each member of the group is in shirtsleeves and braces and the only badge to be seen is on their dress caps (Loyals).

    idler & chrisgrove, your explanations are helpful as well and seem pretty plausible, and the "loyalty" pun may be much closer to the truth than we think. :D

    Thanks to everyone who has chipped in, you've all been extremely helpful. I can always count on this group to help out whenever anyone finds themselves in a pickle about a myriad of things related to WW2.
  8. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    this is a photo of my Father who joined the 92nd LAA in Dec 1944

    Last edited: May 16, 2019
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  9. Derek Barton

    Derek Barton Senior Member

    It was not at all unusual for infantry and yeomanry regiments to retain some or all of their insignia when transferred to the RA. Often this was done officially but also unofficially, to which the authorities usually turned a blind eye. Many units, including some who started out as RA, had their own regimental badge usually worn below the Arm of Service strip. Converted units retained some or all of their original distinctions including headdress in some cases.
    In some units it was difficult to tell they were RA at all, only the red/blue AoS strip giving it away. Some units even wore items that were against dress regulations all together. For example, still wearing the brass shoulder strap designation when it was changed to a cloth slip on and even wearing them post 1943 when they were supposed to be replaced by the cloth title at the top of the arm. Also wearing regimental collar badges on battledress.
    Scottish units could retain their traditional headdress, coloured side caps from the original units were worn for walking out and more than one self propelled regiment adopted the black tankers beret. Very little of this is documented, you have to rely on photos and unit histories to give you some clues. Of course, badges were seldom worn in action or on tropical clothing making the task of identification even more difficult. I am trying to include as much of this information as possible on the new version of my site which I hope to have up later this year.
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  10. tmac

    tmac Senior Member

    I think perhaps for soldiers of the converted units, there was a lasting link of pride and affection with their original regiments .

    When 7th Loyals became 92nd LAA in November 1941, the Colonel of the Regiment told them: ‘I know you will live up to your old motto: Loyaute M’Oblige.’ (My Loyalty Compels Me)

    And when 92nd LAA left 3rd British Infantry Division in Germany in June 1945, the divisional commander, General Lashmer ‘Bolo’ Whistler, told them: ‘You are proud to be Loyals and the division is proud of you.'
  11. Reid

    Reid Historian & Architectural Photographer

    Thanks Derek; your website was my original port of call when I started researching my grandfather's RA service - looking forward to the new one!:cheers:

    Ah, yes. Their motto - definitely some pride shown in both those examples, tmac. :D

    CL1, sadly I don't have any shots showing shoilder flashes or any other insignia; think much of it may have been left behind when my mother's family emigrated or it has been lost over time. The three photographs that have survived have been copied and the originals stored safely - precious memories for my mum and myself.

    Great info from all of you - appreciate it all very much.

    As an aside, any ideas where I might find further information on the 62 SL Regiment? I have the war diaries, but wondered if anyone has come across anything else in their travels?
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  12. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Have you tried the RA Museum Archives? They do data sheets on a lot of the RA Regts. For my Dad's Regt it contained a lot of information that was not in the War Diary.
    Email for the Archivist:

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  13. Reid

    Reid Historian & Architectural Photographer

    Cheers, Tim. I contacted the old Firepower Museum but never heard back, so this is a new line of enquiry. :)
  14. Reid

    Reid Historian & Architectural Photographer

    Just a quick update, the FP museum responded to my enquiry and it has garnered some additional inofrmation that I didn't know about.

    Thanks Tim - your suggestion to contact the archivist directly was brilliant, she was extremely helpful. :)
  15. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Pleased for you and agree the archivist is very good.


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