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Gentleman's Military Interest Club
Paul L Murphy

Briish Army skill at arms badges & trade badges

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"It's probable that they were being worn by TA Hotchkiss Gunners, the Hotchkiss was phased out of the Regular Army by 1940, the Regulars had adopted LG in wreath in 1921, it's likely that the TF adopted the "LG" without wreath as it now stood for Light (Machine) Gunner."

Would I be correct in saying that the primary heavy weapon's of the TF/TA infantry would be either a Maxim, Vickers or Lewis Gun rahter than the Hotchkiss? The only photo I have of infantry with the Hotchkiss is members of the Volunteer Force in 1918 and there again I believe the qualification badge was "HG" in the wreath? As far as I'm aware the Hotchkiss was primarily used by the cavalry and yeomanry due to the weight of the Maxim and Vickers, which in infantry battalions had to be carried on specially adopted carts drawn by horse.

Yes, I was surprised, thinking in terms of cavalry using the Hotchkiss, "It's probable that they were being worn by TA Hotchkiss Gunners" etc is from Edwards & Langley's "British Army Proficiency Badges".

They refer to "HG" in a wreath as being for 1st Class Hotchkiss Gunners, replacing the previously worn "MG" in wreath, AO 80/1917.

Intended for cavalry, British & Indian, & worn by MGC (Cavalry). The Hotchkiss continued in use with the cavalry after the demise of the MGC until the cavalry lost their horses.

Officially discontinued in 1921 when "LG" in wreath was intended for all machine gunners, the "HG" in wreath badge was possibly still worn as late as 1940.

Perhaps sloppy wording that should have referred to yeomanry rather than "TF"?

Somebody posted a photo a little while ago of what looks like a Hotchkiss instructors course, here's the link:

http://gmic.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=39034&view=&hl=&fromsearch=1

Edited by leigh kitchen

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The crossed rifles as worn in khaki worsted on Battle Dress, superceded about 1960 with the introduction of a version about 2/3 rds this size & in predominantly white thread on khaki, although this larger pattern continued in use in the Guards.

The smaller, post 1960 version in the colours of the Parachute Regiment.

Edited by leigh kitchen

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The Special Services Section Volunteers Apointment Badge - 2 slight manufacturers variations, or just a slight variation between examples by the same manufacturer?

The Special Services Section of the Volunteer Force was composed of members of the Volunteer Corps who were returned as "efficient" & who offered to serve on coast defence duties "at such places in Great Britain as may be specified in their agreement, and whose services are accepted by His Majesty the King" (Volunteer Regs 1901).

The Section appears to have discontinued around WWI.

The badge was embroidered in worstsed in the units facing colour on the colour of their garments, in drab on khaki for Service Dress & there was a version in white metal, itwas worn on the upper right arm according to "British Army Proficiency Badges) by Edwards & Langley, but the photo they show of it in wear shows it worn on the lower right arm.

The 2 badges shown are embroidered in the dark blue of a "Royal" regiment, on scarlet.

Edited by leigh kitchen

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Talking of the crossed rifles badge, I was given a set for gaining a distinguished pass in the Infantry Skill at Arms Instructors course at Aldershot which were of identical pattern to the standard issue but about three quarter size. They were to be worn above the Sergeants chevrons, however on returning to Battalion I was informed in no uncertain terms that they were not worn in The Coldstream Guards and were consigned to a drawer and now sadly lost. :speechless1:

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Just thought you'd like to know David Langley is currently writing another book on rank & profficiency badges and I've supplied some photo's from my NF photo collection, which may be produced as illustrations. He's been through copies of AO's, WOI's and ACI's as well as various other forms of regulations to update the lastest work.

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Talking of the crossed rifles badge, I was given a set for gaining a distinguished pass in the Infantry Skill at Arms Instructors course at Aldershot which were of identical pattern to the standard issue but about three quarter size. They were to be worn above the Sergeants chevrons, however on returning to Battalion I was informed in no uncertain terms that they were not worn in The Coldstream Guards and were consigned to a drawer and now sadly lost. :speechless1:

Ah, so is this a case of the post 1960 "white" crossed rifles being issued instead of the Guards large size "coloured" version? As an Instructor, you'd wear crosed rifles above chevrons, would'nt you?

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Just thought you'd like to know David Langley is currently writing another book on rank & profficiency badges and I've supplied some photo's from my NF photo collection, which may be produced as illustrations. He's been through copies of AO's, WOI's and ACI's as well as various other forms of regulations to update the lastest work.

Good, I'll have one please - last book I bought from him was some years ago, a history of one of the WWI NF battalions which was surplus to his requirements.

The WWI Infantry Bombers badge,

Army Order 403/1915 refers, a Skill at Arms badge worn on the upper right arm.

"Brtish Proficiency Badges" notes that the Liverpool Scottish & possibly other regiments had their own distinctive Infantry Bomber' sbadge made of brass, a grenade similar to theat of The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers wbearing the Liverpool's white horse & the regimental title on a scroll above the horse.

The Bombing Officer's badge had white flames, the Trench Mortar Gunner's badge was an all blue grenade, the Trench Mortar Officer's was blue with white flames, the blue cloth grenade was sometimes represented by a blue painted grenade metal collar badge.

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As i recall Leigh we did'nt wear crossed rifles even after passing the SAA instructors course. The set given to me were the small white rifles as you mention and until now I had'nt even considered that they may be the standard sized set. I guess I just got used to those big Guards badges.

When I completed my Brecon course the Army were supplying the 'Bayonet' course completion badge for that and again I'm sure that we were not allowed to wear it.

Glen J can you refresh my memory, it all seems so long ago :whistle:

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There was also "Rifle Grenadier", the title of which caused some problems with the Brigade of Guards. I've only ever seen one photo of a likely candidate and on his lower left arm was your crossed rifles in brass and in between the barrels of the rifles a small brass grenade, as worn by Fusiliers on S/T's and RE's. Both ACI's and AO's refer to such an appointment.

"Bombers" if not obtaining the cloth version are known and seen to be wearing the brass grenade mentioned in the last paragraph, with the flames painted red.

Edited by Graham Stewart

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Interesting, I'd never heard of the Rifle Grenadier badge.

I suppose it follows that if brass collar badges were sometimes painted blue & used in lieu of cloth, they would be painted red / khaki as well.

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The Sniper's badge was worn lower left arm, & on upper right by Instructor (Small Arms Training Volume 1 1942).

Semi-official badges were worn prior to 1942, including by the Liverpool Scottish during WWI.

This is the post 1960 pattern, green on maize, worn, I think by the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry & by the Somerset & Cornwall Light Infantry?

The Sniper's badge is worn only by infantry, & was originally awarded in the field by Commanding Officers who considered that recipients had reached the required standard.

It can be worn by Sergeants & above, it's not worn if the Marksman's badge of crossed rifles without the "S" is wornrs

The Guards continued to wear the rather different "S" over crossed rifles which preceded this style - a taller, narrower affair with the barrels & butts of the rifles closer together than on this badge.

Apparently a version of the Gurads badge without the "S" is known, as is a poor brass fake which is neither one version or the other.

Edited by leigh kitchen

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Two examples of what I understand to be a drivers badge, the first in red and black.

Yep, the steering wheel on its own without crown or star is a Skill at Arms badge for Skill at Driving, refering to mechanised transport, not horse drawn.

It was introduced to the Army Servivce Corps during the latter part of WWI, worn as a "general" badge, in 1927 (ACI 311/1927) it became the badge of winners of 2nd, 3rd, & 4th prizes in <echanised Batteries of the RA, under conditions laid down in Artillery Training Volume 1.

Clothing Regs 1936 allowed for 2 per mechanised unit of RE & Royal Signals in addition to the 2 already allowed for mechanised Batteries RA.

Discontinued as a Prize Badge, it continued in use through WWII until it was superceded by a star badge.

Worn lower left arm.

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A heavily mothed example this time with crown.

Here's my one of these - a Skill at Arms (Prize) badge, ACI 311 / 1927 decreed that it was to be awarded to Mechanised Batteries RA as a 1st Prize, the steering wheel without crown being 2nd, 3rd & 4th. prizes.

Clothing Regs 1936 extended its use to RE & Royal Signals, 1 per unit.

No longer to be prizes for competitions during WWII, they were, semi officially, used to designate Driving Instructors, including ATS personnel.

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I'd typed up the text for these photos & tried to post, but the site threw a go slow & bounced me off, so I've lost it all.

I'll retype the text when I have more time, here are the No2 & No 1 Dress versions of Army Standard Diver, what used to be the badge for Advanced Diver:

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I'm not sure what members think but I wondered if we should start showing these badges in wear, it would allow us to show irregularities and oddities aswell as standard issue.

To start here is a Queensman with brass signallers flags and brass crossed rifles.

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Leigh

Would the RASC have worn the black on red driver badge or would units have adopted colours to suit their regiment or corps?

Black on red was, I think, KRRC the 2nd Ghurkas also wore black on red, & possibly Junior Soldiers?

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Believe this one came from the QVR so am guessing the rifles colours would have been used, thanks Leigh.

Ah, another one of that QVR series you've been showing they are lovely badges, those bullion ones.

Here are a few Signals badges, as you've shown the photo -

Telegraphists RE now Qualified Signaller & also Assistant Instructor in Signalling (Clause (ie an ammendment) 33 of Clothng Regs 1881.

Prize later Skill at Arms, worn lopwer left arm, Instructor worn upper right arm.

An Army Order of 1887 awarded it & 15 shillings (75 pence) per annum.

Signals Sections of the RE wore it during WWI, the early metal ones being enamelled. Also produced in plain brass, white metal, & blackened.

Clothing Regs 1898 stated that an instructor of Colour Sergeant rank , who would be wearing crossed Union Flags above chevrons as part of his rank insignia would wear the crossed signals flags on lower left arm.

A photo in "British Army Proficiency Badges shows men of the Linolnshire Regiment in Poona, 1909, with a Lance Corporal Instructor wearing the flags above chevrons on both upper arms, asignaller on lower left arm & a Lance Corporal who is not an Instructor wearing them lower left arm.

These badges - bullion on scarlet, bullion on dark blue for No. 1's:

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These confuse me a bit - large badge but with "white" poles for the flags - a pre 1960 type badge? I'm, inclined to think it's a post 1960 one.

A slightly smaller badge but with brown poles on the flags, embroidered on khaki flannel - pre or post 1960 type?

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