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The Royal Northumberland Fusiliers - (***MODERATORS' CHOICE)

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The pointed cuff of the sleeve and 'two' medium size R.N.F. officers gilt buttons finish off the jacket and despite it's age is in superb condition and a welcome addition to the collection.

Since starting this post, I have now discovered that 96891 Lieut(Hon. Capt) A. Berriman(note spelling) was transferred from the T.A. Reserve of Officers, Royal Artillery and became a Captain in the R.N.F.(T.A.), as of the 7th May 1952, but I have yet to find which Battalion.

Further to my last he was promoted Major on the 16th June 1953. He was removed from the Active List of T.A. Officers and placed on the T.A. Reserve of Officers on the 28th February 1955 and then removed from T.A.R.o.O. and seconded to the Staff on the 23rd August 1955. On the 10th January 1958 he was awarded the Territorial Decoration and 1st Clasp.

He resigned his commission on the 21st August 1961,

Edited by Graham Stewart

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The collar is complete with the bullion and silver collar badges of the R.N.F., but worn horizonitally, with St.George and the Dragon aligned to be worn as a pair.

Arranged around the interior of the collar is a series of five small metal studs, one of which can just be seen, the purpose of which is unknown, but which must have been very uncomfortable for the wearer, as this studding arrangement is not found on the collars of O/R's No.1 Dress 'bues'.

The metal studs are almost certainly to hold a white linen collar worn inside the neck. The collar is just a straight strip of white linen, no points. It shows about half an inch of white above the tunic collar. We had a similar arrangement with our Naval Academy Full Dress, and surprisingly, it wasn't particularly uncomfortable.

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Earlier on I posted photo's of an unknown Volunteer/T.F. Majors 1881 pattern scarlet jacket of the Northumberland Fusiliers and earlier this year I was lucky enough to purchase a second jacket, but this time to a named officer - Honorary Lieutenant & Quartermaster William Suthren of the 6th Bn, Northumberland Fusiliers(T.F.), whom was commissioned as such on the 19th May, 1908.

I also made mention that the hue of the Gosling Green facings was somewhat different to what I've normally come across and the facings on this jacket show the Gosling Green as normally seen.

Edited by Graham Stewart

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A close up of the N.F. Volunteer/T.F. collar badges which are of the same quality of silver bullion grenades, with gilt St.George & Dragon as found on the other jacket, but here the facings are distinctly Gosling Green as mentioned above.

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A close up of the beautifully manufactured grenade and silver lace mounted on the collar..

Edited by Graham Stewart

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A feature of the jacket which wasn't show last time is the piping on the rear of the skirt and arrangement of the six large silver plated buttons.

Hon. Lieut & Quartermaster William Suthren eventualy transferred to the T.F. Reserve of Officers and as such was recalled to duty on the 18th November 1914, just after the outbreak of the Great War in August 1914. He served once again with the 6th Bn, Northumberland Fusiliers and again in the capacity of Quartermaster and hopefully I'll be able to find more on his service.

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The metal studs are almost certainly to hold a white linen collar worn inside the neck. The collar is just a straight strip of white linen, no points. It shows about half an inch of white above the tunic collar. We had a similar arrangement with our Naval Academy Full Dress, and surprisingly, it wasn't particularly uncomfortable.

That is to say, the metal studs were not uncomfortable. On the other hand, the collar was starched to the consistency of cutlery steel, and sliced into your neck every time you moved your head.

Haven't thought about that for fifty years, and I still get a twinge.

Edited by Hugh

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The metal studs are almost certainly to hold a white linen collar worn inside the neck. The collar is just a straight strip of white linen, no points. It shows about half an inch of white above the tunic collar. We had a similar arrangement with our Naval Academy Full Dress, and surprisingly, it wasn't particularly uncomfortable.

Thanks for that Hugh and I'll have to look through my photo's of R.N.F. officers wearing 'blues' to see if there are any tell-tale signs of the linen collar being worn, although I have a sneaky feeling most may have had them removed by their tailors.

Edited by Graham Stewart

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IN theory, the linen collar was removed regularly and washed and STARCHED! In fact, we weren't quite so punctilious.

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The pointed cuff of the sleeve and 'two' medium size R.N.F. officers gilt buttons finish off the jacket and despite it's age is in superb condition and a welcome addition to the collection.

Since starting this post, I have now discovered that 96891 Lieut(Hon. Capt) A. Berriman(note spelling) was transferred from the T.A. Reserve of Officers, Royal Artillery and became a Captain in the R.N.F.(T.A.), as of the 7th May 1952, but I have yet to find which Battalion.

Further to my last he was promoted Major on the 16th June 1953. He was removed from the Active List of T.A. Officers and placed on the T.A. Reserve of Officers on the 28th February 1955 and then removed from T.A.R.o.O. and seconded to the Staff on the 23rd August 1955. On the 10th January 1958 he was awarded the Territorial Decoration and 1st Clasp.

He resigned his commission on the 21st August 1961,

Have since discovered he was originally commissioned into a T.A. Battalion of the Durham L.I. as a 2nd/Lt on 30th August 1940.

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Sometimes fate can accompany you in the collecting world and recently fate seems to have smiled upon me, when I saw an O/R's No.1 Dress 'blues' on a well known auction website. I bid on it and won it and then discovered to my surprise that the owner had also put his Battle Dress uniform on the same website and I won that too, along with a second BD uniform.

The reason I bid on the BD uniforms was that I recognised that they had belonged to a man who had served with 43rd Royal Tank Regiment post 1947. The unit itself was a pre-WWII Territorial Army conversion, when the 6th Bn, Royal Northumberland Fusiliers was converted to an armoured unit and became 43rd Battalion(6th(City)Bn,R.N.F.),Royal Tank Corps on the 1st November 1938, becoming 43rd Bn, Royal Tank Regiment, Royal Armoured Corps on the 30th April 1939, and redesignated as a 'Regiment' rather than a 'Battalion', within the R.T.R.

It was placed in suspended animation after WWII and on the recreation of the T.A., was once again resurrected as 43rd, R.T.R.(T.A.). After the War a young Tynesider named William Gould enlisted into 43rd, R.T.R as a trooper, who would eventually rise through the ranks to eventually become Company Sgt Major of 'A' Company, 4/5/6th Bn, R.N.F.(T.A.). - and it's in his memory and on behalf of his son Paul that I now display them over time.

This first BD blouse has even to me come as a complete surprise due to the fact that we clearly see that it belonged to 22516383 C.S.M. William Gould, 'A' Coy, 4/5/6th Bn, R.N.F.(T.A.), but that even after the formation of this Battalion on the 1st April 1967, CSM Gould continues to wear the insignia of 43rd, R.T.R..

Edited by Graham Stewart

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Neither BD were complete on receiving them from Paul, but it was quite clear what badges were missing and luckily I happened to have a number of spares in my collection, which have gone on to completely restore one BD blouse.

Here we see the shoulder strap 'flash' of 43rd, R.T.R.(T.A.), unique to that unit, as once again the 'gosling green' of the Northumberland Fusiliers prevails. It has to be said that all 'Regiments' of the R.T.R., whether Regular or T.A. wear flashes to distinguish the inidvidual units.

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The famous 50th(Northumbrian)Division double 'T' cloth patch was found on one BD blouse, but has been cut from the other. However being an ex-'Tanky', William was entitled to wear the cloth 'Tanky' badge on both BD blouse's, but only one of them had it sewn on. A closer examination of this blouse showed two small horizontal holes below the 50th Div patch and a faint outline showing that William had infact worn the gilding metal 'Tanky' badge with this BD blouse and luckily for me I had a spare one to fit.

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Both BD blouse's also had something, which I had never seen before and that is this curious scarlet cloth circle behind the anodised alumimium, CSM's badge. Having looked through photo's of R.N.F.(T.A.) Battalions prior to the amalgamation of the 4/5th and 6th Bn's in 1967, I can find no circles being worn by any other senior ranks behind their rank badges and wonder if it unique to the 4/5/6th Bn, R.N.F.

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And the lower right sleeve. Both blouses were also complete with the medium sized anodised aluminium Regimental buttons on the external surfaces, which replaced the composite material ones normally found on BD blouses.

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The left side of the BD blouse, this time showing the black lanyard of the R.T.R. and the medal ribbon of the Territorial Efficiency Medal, which was awarded to William in 1963.

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Also given to me by Paul is this 43rd, R.T.R., mounted tank pennant, which on the reverse has written - "To Bill Gould - 'A' Sdn - 43rd RTR".

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Group photo of the Senior Ranks, 6th(City)Bn, R.N.F.(T.A.), after it was converted back to the infantry role on the 1st November 1956. In the rear rank to our left is Sgt William Gould. As you will note many of the SNCO's still wear the 'Tanky' arm badge.

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Promoted to Colour Sgt, William was part of the Colour Party for the St. Georges Day Parade of the 6th(City)Bn, R.N.F. in 1961 and following years and I'll be displaying his No.1 Dress 'blues' later on.

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Now for C.S.M. Gould's No.1 Dress 'blues' and more puzzles. When picked up this jacket had no insignia attached, but old stitching traces were still visible. Thanks to his son Paul Gould the relevant badges were found at his fathers old home and forwarded to me for re-attaching to the jacket, making it a lovely addition to the collection.

However I'm actually puzzled by the 'pattern' and quality of the jacket and am wondering was there a No.1 Dress 'blues' pattern, that was specifically for Warrant Officers??

Certain feature's on this jacket aren't generally found on No.1 Dress jackets for other ranks, but I'm unsure if there was a pattern upgrade generally to give it a much smarter appearance.

Edited by Graham Stewart

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Again tailored and labelled by "ISAAC WALTON & CO. LTD - London, Watford, York & Newcastle", the inside pocket label has written "29187 - 2.4.60 - Sgt Gould". This is a puzzle in itself as that isn't William's regimental number - so is it a manufacturers pattern book number? Also hidden in the same pocket is a slightly smaller label with typed wording "M2422 - 8306 - 29187 - Patrol Tunic Slacks". As you can see '29187' repeats itself and therefore must be to do with the manufacturing, but can any of our members enlighten me as to exactly what it means?

Note also the addition of a much smaller 'ticket' pocket, just above the flap of the skirt pocket, something which isn't even featured on the officers pattern No.1 Dress 'blues' jacket that I already have.

Edited by Graham Stewart

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Both the 'Tanky' arm badge and C.S.M.'s Crown have had to be re-attached, and you'll also note the 'gosling green' piping on the shoulder strap. The most interesting feature being the C.S.M.'s bullion crown, which I now know also had a 'gosling green' backing and must have been unique to the R.N.F., when it came to No.1 Dress for senior ranks.

I knew that the R.S.M.'s bullion 'Royal Arm's' badge was mounted on a 'gosling green' backing, as were the gold Sgt's stripes but was unaware this also included the large crown.

Edited by Graham Stewart

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