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

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For some reason my write up never attached itself to the last post so here it is;-

Now a nice mystery SD jacket. Obviously he's NF, but the SD jacket is a bit of a mystery as it's not a 1902 pattern or any of the patterns introduced thereafter. This appears to be a foreign service pattern and probably worn during the Boer War itself or even before. Whats interesting here are the rank badges, which aren't what you'd expect on SD. They're the gold and coloured thread rank badges normally found on full-dress. So what rank is he? 100 points for the correct answer.

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Taken by W. Kent this CDV shows a Northumberland Fusilier of the 2nd Battalion who were stationed in Chatham c.1878. The pattern of tunic worn is the 1871 pattern and was the pattern worn prior to the introduction of the 1881 pattern with 'jampot' cuff.

Edited by Graham Stewart

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introduced 1881 - started to phase them out c.1902. For non-Royal regiments they were always white, but when coloured facings were reintroduced 'jampot' cuffs became coloured but seemingly for a short time only. Very little information is forthcoming regards full dress and undress thereafter, but at least two other patterns were adopted by regulars, the final one being the 1913 pattern.

In 1902 undress was abolished in favour of khaki SD.

Yeah, should have said "go out" rather than "come in".

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For some reason my write up never attached itself to the last post so here it is;-

Now a nice mystery SD jacket. Obviously he's NF, but the SD jacket is a bit of a mystery as it's not a 1902 pattern or any of the patterns introduced thereafter. This appears to be a foreign service pattern and probably worn during the Boer War itself or even before. Whats interesting here are the rank badges, which aren't what you'd expect on SD. They're the gold and coloured thread rank badges normally found on full-dress. So what rank is he? 100 points for the correct answer.

Looks rather young, but CSM / CQMS at that time?

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The back of the photo bears the hand written inscription "R. Compton A. Surtees & a nurse, looking after Richie Surtees just before he died".

Andrew Surtees was kiled in May 1917 at Vimy, as a member of the Canadian army.

Upon enlistment in the Canadian army, he stated that he had served in 4th Bn NF between 1909 - 1912, so this is presumably a photo of him as a member of the newly formed 4th NF.

This link leads to a thread about Andrew Surtees:

http://gmic.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=3221...mp;#entry303654

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Looks rather young, but CSM / CQMS at that time?

Ah a common error. The ranks you mention are ranks which weren't designated until the beginning of the Great War prior to that the rank wherebye three chevrons with a large crown above worn on Service Dress of any pattern was that of Colour Sergeant. No badge of rank was adopted for wear on SD which reflected that as worn with full dress as seen in your photo showing Colour Sgt Surtees showing the crossed union flags.

There were eight "Colours" per battalion on an eight company basis and when the new ranks of CSM and CQMS for the new four company organisation were introduced it would appear that the four senior 'Colours' became Company Sgt Majors and the junior 'Colours' became CQMS.

On top of which the rank of 'Sergeant Major'(rank badge being a very large crown) was abolished and he became the 'Regimental Sergeant Major'(new badge Royal Arms)

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I can never remember the ins & outs of those ranks at that time, always have to check the books - which are'nt to hand. Off the top of my head - Warrant Officer created 1915? Short lived WO cl 3 1938?

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Know exactly how you feel as it became a bone of contention on another forum I'm a member of. We did eventually discover that the rank of 'CSM' was to be found amongst Mounted Infantry units, who operated on a four company basis and we wondered if this was the model on which the four company reorganisation looked to. The same order also revealed that men promoted to CSM while serving with the MI had to revert to their old rank on returning to their old battalion.

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I have the medals awarded to Lieutenant-Colonel Bertram Robert Brewin MC, together with a great deal of copied paperwork, including a copy of his WWI diary, the original of which is in the National Archives. In his abbreviated biography I have recorded the following:

Commanding Officer (Acting Lieutenant-Colonel), 27th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers (Tyneside Irish) (34th Division), 26/4/1917.

As a result of intemperance, he was relieved of command on 18/6/1917.

Reverted to Captain (ex 6th West Riding Regiment) 0n 20/6/1917.

Brewin was awarded the MC while serving in the 1st Battalion, Gloucester Regiment, at Passchendaele on 10/11/1917.

Most of his military service (1890 - 1902 & 1914 - 1920) was in units other than the Northumberland Fusiliers, so it isn't relevant to the subject of this thread. If anyone is interested in receiving a 3-page copy of his abbreviated biography, please pm me giving your e-mail address.

Regards

Brett

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Thanks for that Brett, as per previous PM.

This is the sort of thing that was still being touted around barracks for squaddies to buy as late as the 1970's (& perhaps still is), albeit by then the embroidered design had given way to cheap & nasty stencilled versions.

Decorative hankies, whatever, a souvenir of the regiment, in this case the Northumberland Fusilers (from the pre 1930's "non - Royal" cap badge design.

Edited by leigh kitchen

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Here's a query that I'm hoping Leigh or Graham can help me with.

A friend of mine has the following 3rd Vol Bn pipers badge. It has the name J.Stewart on the back and he would like to know more about him... can anyone supply any info?

Edited by tynesideirish

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Hi lads,

Still in the land of sand and camels I'm afraid. Anyway thanks to TI for reproducing the 3rd V.B.,N.F. pipers plaid broach. Sadly I haven't come across a list of pipers in 3VB and so can't give you any further information on J.Stewart, who may have left prior to the formation of the TF in 1908, as he doesn't appear in any WWI lists. Apparently there were no more than half a dozen at any one time. Attached hopefully is a photo showing the Pipe Major among 3VB's Sgt's taken Ripon, 1907.

Edited by Graham Stewart

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Going back to TI's query here is a photo of the Pipers and Band of 3rd V.B.,N.F. taken c.1909. On enlarging the photo there seems to have been 9pipers only.

Edited by Graham Stewart

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Another interesting piece of ephemra to come my way a Sgt's Mes invitation for St.Georges Day Concert, 23rd April 1915 from the 15th(Service)Bn, Northumberland Fusiliers then based at Darlington, Durham. The 15th Battalion were later designated 15th(Reserve)Bn,N.F.

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Once in awhile something will come along and just leave you puzzled and this is a typical example. Got this off an auction site and was the only bidder. Other bidders probably stayed away thinking it repro, but is it? In all my time collecting to the Northumberlands I've only seen this badge appear three times - the first time was on the genuine helmet cover of a steel helmet. The second time at a militaria fair over ten years ago. My honest belief is if it was repro there would be boatloads around, but as said previously it's only the 3rd example I've come across.

Any ideas lads as it doesn't appear in Denis Woods book on NF badges?

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Any ideas lads as it doesn't appear in Denis Woods book on NF badges?

Nice badge Graham, it sometimes pays to take a punt. As we all know Dennis' book isn't complete and though still an outstanding work isn't gospel either. I reckon your one of the few NF collectors out there that could be classed as almost an authority, so if you think it's a good un, I'll keep my eyes peeled.

Cheers for the help with the 3rd Vol Bn Pipers.

Mike

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Thanks Mike - it is a curiosity and certainlly has features that are hard to reproduce these days, especially the worsted cotton used for the grenade and N.F., which isn't as fine as modern cottons found on later S/T's. On the revers side, nothing shows, as it's all hidden by fine white hessian(?), but there's no tape to show it could have been a shoulder title.

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