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bsap10535

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  1. As a matter of interest, Col. Hickman's son, Lt. Gen. J.S.V. Hickman CLM MC, was Commander of the Rhodesian Army from 1977 to 1979.
  2. "Inspector" in the "Regular" force, and "Lieutenant" for a Reservist. My father, a former Army officer, commanded the Riot Police in Dar-es-Salaam. "Regulars" wore the Giraffe Cap Badge on a peaked Cap, Reservists wore it on a navy blue beret.
  3. My late father (a former wartime British Army officer and later, in the 1970s, a regular officer in the Rhodesian Army) served as commander of the Riot Police detachment in Dar-es-Salaam in the 1950s. I had his uniform, a KD Bush Jacket and shorts virtually identical to the photo you posted, until it got stolen from a “secure” bonded warehouse (along with other items of my own uniform & militaria collection) when we moved from Zimbabwe to the UK in 2000. Thieving swines....may they rot in Hell! The two pip insignia denoted an “Inspector” (standard UK police rank structure) in the REGULAR police. My father was a “reservist” and I remember him saying that his rank designation (with the same insignia) was “Lieutenant”. I'm sorry I don't remember the style of the shoulder title with any certainty, but I THINK it was two curved lines "Tanganyika" above "Police". Full-time “Regular” officers in the Tanganyika Police wore the white-metal badge with the giraffe on a peaked cap (I think black or Navy Blue, as per the neighbouring Kenya Police). The Riot Police wore this same badge on a Navy Blue Beret. I remember the manufacturer was “Kangol”, who (I believe) are still going. The Bush Jacket & shorts were worn with blue-topped khaki "stockings" (long socks)......a standard practice among Colonial Police Forces which we also followed in the BSAP. Alternatively, in the BSAP, leather leggings were worn with drill boots by junior ranks.
  4. Agreed, they are British Police rank badges for ranks above C/Supt. Used elsewhere in the Commonwealth as well. The Met calls the rank wearing only the "Crossed Tipped-staves" device "Commander, and the provincial forces use a different title, but then I'm a "Colonial" and not overly knowledgeable on the issue. I think the "Chief Constable" of most UK forces wear the Tipped-staves with a Crown above......as did the Commissioner of Police in Rhodesia, before the "Republic" was declared in 1970. After "Republic" the BSAP adopted gilt rank badges for officers, the crown on top of the tipped-staves became a "Zimbabwe Bird" and the Crown worn by Superintendents and C/Supt was replaced by the Rhodesian Lion-and-Tusk atop a slightly larger diameter laurel-wreath. Until 1975, "the Inspectorate" retained the white-metal "pip" until they too were "commissioned" and their "pips" too became gilt. A pity the photo is upside down!
  5. Looks damned stupid to me. Even pathetic. Gorget patches - whether worn by senior Police or Army (or Royal Marine) Officers - replace "collar dogs" when that class of rank is attained....you don't see Colonels, Brigadiers, or General Officers retaining their Regimental/Corps insignia beyond the rank of Lt. Col, just "because they feel like it". There must be "Dress Regs" for these Forces - either specified by the "Home Office" or "codified" by the Individual Forces. One wonders whether the Chief Constables pictured amended them to suit their personal sartorial styles or if they simply ignored them?
  6. Only Superintendents and above were members of the Officers Mess in the BSAP, and they would have had Mess Dress. In 1975, the Ranks of Inspector and Chief Inspector were elevated to "Commissioned" status, primarily to give them a degree of "clout" when dealing with junior Officers in the Army (and to a lesser extent the Air Force) as the intensifying Bush War required ever increasing co-operation between the different branches of the Security Forces. As "the Inspectorate" - irrespective of their significant experience and responsibilities - were were not, technically, "Officers" they were theoretically outranked by even the most junior "one-pip" graduates of the School of Infantry, and the perfectly sensible decision was taken to commission them. In the hierarchy of the BSAP however they remained very much "JUNIOR" Officers, and were excluded from the Mess.
  7. POSSIBLY a distinction between "Regular" members and "Reservists"....... Jeff, but it's only a theory!
  8. The probable (or at least practical) reason for this is that our Rank Structures are composed of individual rank badges worn in combination - unlike the US pattern where each rank has it's own specific badge. For instance, a US Captain's two Bars are in a single piece (British pattern three "Pips") a Lt. Col. has a silver Oak Leaf device (Brit Pattern a Crown above a "pip") and a "Bird Colonel" an Eagle (Brit pattern Crown above two "pips"). Accurate and "uniform" placement of these rank badges, were the holes not pre-placed on epaulettes or shoulder-straps, could well prove a pain-in-the-ass"! And whilst, in the US, General Officers and Admirals have "combination" rank insignia it seems likely that "Two Star" ranks and above (Major General/Rear Admiral upwards) would almost certainly have "someone" to make sure their insignia was correctly positioned on their fresh uniforms!
  9. The cap is authentic, although the pattern of the "Cap Strap" is incorrect - we didn't have the small "buckles" on it. I suspect it was a replacement made by the seller so the item wasn't "incomplete". The correct pattern of "cap-strap" is shown in the attached photo of a BSAP Other Ranks cap. A BLACK leather strap signifies a member of the force is a member of the Support Unit Branch. Duty Uniform Branch (along with "Techs", "Staff Branch", and other uniformed members) wore BROWN leather-work - cap-straps, belts and footwear. The uniforms of the ZRP initially derived from those of the BSAP, with the insignia being replaced as and when the new patterns became available for issue. As I remember, the first items to be replaced were the BSAP shoulder title, followed by the Other Ranks cap badge.
  10. Rhodesian BSAP police uniform

    Having come across your threads on Rhodesian, colonial, and SAP uniforms, I’m happy to answer a couple of your queries. I served in the BSAP (and the successor force ZRP) , in both “Duty Uniform” and “Support Unit” Branches, from 1978 to the end of 1981, leaving as a Section Officer (S/O). BSAP – GREY SHIRT & KHAKI SHORTS. The shirt is a standard issue Police Grey Shirt worn with khaki shorts (as shown) or with “Trousers, Riot Blue” – “combat” style trousers in Navy Blue worn in Riot uniform and as “Drill Order”. The slightly “mottled” material is of a type used in the 60’s and early 70’s, although it could well have been worn later in the 70s. By the time I attested into the BSAP (1978), the shirt material was different more uniform grey, although it was of the same overall colour and style. There are, though, a few “issues” I would have with the way in which it is presented. Rank badges are those of a Section Officer. I would comment that the irregular spacing of the bars is strange – and not what I would expect of a uniform prepared by the “Ordnance Depot” tailor. Standard of uniforms and turnout in the BSA Police was always expected to be immaculate.....and "God Help You" if it wasn't! Bars were worn with brass “backing plates” under the epaulette. Depending on circumstances - for example on "Riot Standby" duties - khaki “slip-on” rank slides (printed in black for O/Rs and embroidered in blue for commissioned officers – Inspector and above) would frequently have been worn instead of the anodised bars and shoulder titles. The badge on the left shoulder, a Bateleur Eagle, is the second pattern badge for the Support Unit Branch of the BSAP. It appears genuine, and is correctly placed on the shirt. (The first pattern S.U. Badge, which is comparatively rare, was a side-on silhouette of a Bateleur). “The Unit” was an independent branch of the force, with a full time COIN role. By 1978/9, following a reorganisation from smaller "Troops" of approximately 30 men, it comprised 12 x independent infantry companies (ironically, for political reasons, re-designated as “troops” in 1980) which were virtually identical in strength, organisational structure, role, training, and equipment to an Army infantry company. There was also a half-company-sized “Mounted Troop”, with the “fighting” units being backed up by a HQ Company, Provost Company (base security and “MP” role) Training Troop, and MT, Medical, and other support elements. Each company had a distinctive lanyard, in company colours. The black lanyard in the photograph is that of Headquarters Company. The medal ribbons are incorrect for the uniform. As viewed, they are (from Left to Right) the Police Reserve Long Service Medal and the Rhodesia General Service Medal. The ribbons are upside down – the RGSM has “precedence” over the PRLSM (i.e. it should be be to the centre of the photo, and (viewed from Left to Right) the colours of the RGSM ribbon are Red (Army), Blue/Gold/Blue (Police), and Light Blue (Air Force). The rank badges are for a Regular S/O – who would NOT have been wearing a medal issued only to Police Reserve members. The "cloth belt" with the shorts is COMPLETELY wrong. It is the belt from the short sleeved Summer Uniform tunic (as per your ZRP Superintendent’s uniform). It was ONLY worn with this tunic – and NEVER with shorts. The removable buckle was also worn on the "cloth belt" of the "No' 2 Dress" (winter uniform) which was virtually indistinguishable from the British Army's khaki "Service Dress". The shorts would have been worn with a web belt (blackened and polished with boot polish in the case of Support Unit members) or the standard issue brass-buckled leather belt (black in the case of the Support Unit branch, brown in the case of “Duty Uniform” Branch, Technicians (e.g. Signals) and any other uniformed members of the force. All leatherwork for S.U. was black, for others branches brown - which accounted for the unit's nickname of "The Blackboots". Commissioned Officers (Inspector and above) wore a “Sam Browne” with cross-brace over the right shoulder instead of the “other ranks” leather belt. Throughout the 1970s, up until the installation of the New Zimbabwe government in 1980, standard working dress for Support Unit was standard Rhodesian Security Forces camouflage, when we switched to “Riot Blues” (Grey Shirt/Blue “combat” trousers. The grey shirt and shorts dress order was worn by Drill Instructors in the Support Unit and Uniform branch training depots, and also by Uniform Branch members in “Districts” (rural areas). TANGANYIKA POLICE My late father (a former wartime British Army officer and later, in the 1970s, a regular officer in the Rhodesian Army) served as commander of the Riot Police detachment in Dar-es-Salaam in the 1950s. I had his uniform, a KD Bush Jacket and shorts virtually identical to the photo you posted, until it got stolen from a “secure” bonded warehouse (along with other items of my own uniform & militaria collection) when we moved from Zimbabwe to the UK in 2000. The two pip insignia denoted an “Inspector” (standard UK police rank structure) in the REGULAR police. My father was a “reservist” and I remember him saying that his rank designation (with the same insignia) was “Lieutenant”. Full-time “Regular” officers in the Tanganyika Police wore the white-metal badge with the giraffe on a peaked cap (I think black, as per the neighbouring Kenya Police). The Riot Police wore this same badge on a Navy Blue Beret. I remember the manufacturer was “Kangol”, who (I believe) are still going. The Bush Jacket & shorts were worn with blue-topped khaki "stockings" (long socks)......a standard practice among Colonial Police Forces which we also followed in the BSAP. Alternatively, in the BSAP, leather leggings were worn with drill boots by junior ranks.
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