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wf789

British Army Uniform identification

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Hello all.

These are two photos of firstly my great-grandfather James Henry Murphy born 1892 (or at least I think it is... I will have to double-check with my Grandparents, sorry :P).

Second is my great-uncle James Henry Murphy born 1920. I was told he was a chef? I'm hoping anyone can identify the uniform or cap badge that he appears to be wearing. 

I don't see much insignia in either photos so I'm doubtful anyone will be able to help but thought I would post this anyway. Any help is appreciated. :)

1.

epyshYP.jpg

2.

[Imgur](https://i.imgur.com/Du1x0nW.jpg)

 

Hopefully a moderator can add this to the first post and delete this one. Sorry, I screwed up the format of the code.

Du1x0nW.jpg

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A little more information on where these men lived around the time of their service would be helpful towards identifying the units based on some visual clues... 

At first glance the first man's 1903 Leather Bandolier indicates a cavalry, artillery or mounted infantry unit. 

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10 minutes ago, SemperParatus said:

A little more information on where these men lived around the time of their service would be helpful towards identifying the units based on some visual clues... 

At first glance the first man's 1903 Leather Bandolier indicates a cavalry, artillery or mounted infantry unit. 

Thanks for the reply SemperParatus. I know where they lived Colchester, Essex for the first picture and Southend-on-Sea, Essex for the second. I understand the lack of information, I tried to find service records but could not find anything for either online.

Ok RE the belt, I did not know that, that's a start!

Will

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I was able to find the service record for the first man, he was my Gt Uncle. and his name was George. It says his reg. name was HC Divl Signal Co RE. I'm not sure what that means, I assume Signals.

He was born in Brighton, Sussex and the title of the form is Territorial Force 4 years' Service in the United Kingdom.

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'Divl. Signal Co. RE' means that your first man was in a Divisional signalling company  of the Royal Engineers. This was  before  the separate Royal Corps of Signals was formed in 1920 . The evidence of mounted service suggests he was either a driver of the company transport or perhaps  involved in the more specialist role of line laying and checking. Less likely as that required fitness and agility and he doesn't look in the first flush of youth. I may be doing him an injustice but  the stripes on his arm, (not my comfort zone) seem to  indicate a certain length of service. The star records efficient service  in the Volunteer Corps, after 1908 the Territorial Army

Your second man seems to have a grenade emblem on his Field Service cap. If so, that suggests either the Grenadier Guards, or a fusilier regiment. I  am not sure but I believe the Guards wore a khaki Service Dress cap (i.e.1914 style) rather than the khaki 'Cap F.S', when not in the field.  If I am seeing right, the  emblem  does closely resemble the grenade badge of the Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment). So that might be a possibilty.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, jf42 said:

'Divl. Signal Co. RE' means that your first man was in a Divisional signalling company  of the Royal Engineers. This was  before  the separate Royal Corps of Signals was formed in 1920 . The evidence of mounted service suggests he was either a driver of the company transport or perhaps  involved in the more specialist role of line laying and checking. Less likely as that required fitness and agility and he doesn't look in the first flush of youth. I may be doing him an injustice but  the stripes on his arm, (not my comfort zone) seem to  indicate a certain length of service. The star records efficient service  in the Volunteer Corps, after 1908 the Territorial Army

Your second man seems to have a grenade emblem on his Field Service cap. If so, that suggests either the Grenadier Guards, or a fusilier regiment. I  am not sure but I believe the Guards wore a khaki Service Dress cap (i.e.1914 style) rather than the khaki 'Cap F.S', when not in the field.  If I am seeing right, the  emblem  does closely resemble the grenade badge of the Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment). So that might be a possibilty.

Hi jf42. Thanks for taking the time to write this up, I appreciate it.

Can you explain why you say he was a driver of company transport/or specialist role? He was born before 1890 and was 26 when he joined in 1913 according to his TA 4 years form so you are probably right about the fitness part. I'm not sure about the stripes, I thought they meant rank in the army? Also where it says "Have you ever served in the Army...? etc" it appears to say "1st Sussex RE." "Completion of Volunteer service", so that must be for the star you are mentioning.

His reg.no. was 1115 which matches with these lines in a document I found online.

   00001_1115th Mechanical Transport Company Royal Army Service Corps
   00001_1115th Motor Transport Company
   00001_1115th Motor Transport Company Indian Marine Transport
   00001_1115th Motor Transport Company Royal Army Service Corps

The second man is the Nephew of the first man, he was born in 1920 and we know he did something in WW2, my Grandma says he was a chef but I'm not sure if she is correct or not - I'm still trying to find out. Maybe he was Grenadier Guards or Fusilier regiment in WW2? If those existed during that period, that is.

Edited by wf789

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Posted (edited)

wf-  Hello  again.

I suggested driver because he appears  dressed for mounted service and those who rode the draught horses  for whatever horse drawn vehicle were, as far as I know, termed 'drivers' at this date.]

Badges of rank. Chevrons indicating rank would be larger and on the upper arm. For other ranks, all marks of service were on the forearm but that is an area in which I am otherwise almost wholly ignorant, although I believe  a star is for five years service as a Volunteer.

'1 Sussex RE' , strongly suggests 1st Bn Sussex Regt, but for the fact  that it was a Regular Battalion , the regimental title was 'Royal Sussex' and that the battalion had been abroad since 1896 and did not return till after the Great War.

Perhaps there was a territorial Royal Engineers company affiliated to the county of Sussex, but that takes me far out of my comfort zone.

If you would like to invite comments of those who know a great deal  more about the Volunteers and Territorials of that time, try http://www.victorianwars.com/index.php  where there are some very knowledgable and helpful folk. Failing that,  there is also a Facebook page, if you want to go doen that route,  with many connoisseurs of  the uniforms of the period between the Boer War and the outbreak of war in 1914: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1885482761668080/?multi_permalinks=2138065349743152&notif_id=1530699564521045&notif_t=group_highlights
 

The second man falls out of the scope of both those communities. The Grenadier Guards and the Royal Fusiliers were indeed around in 1940. For the reasons I stated, I think the  Royal Fusiliers may be the better bet (assuming I am right in the first place, about the grenade badge)

Good luck!

Edited by jf42
typo

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