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About AndyGPR

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    England & Scotland
  • Interests
    Militaria (obviously) Motorcycles, Music, Wildlife, Arts/Crafts

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  1. So, you really are just starting out then my friend. It's going to be a long and winding road and you may encounter a few pot-holes along the way; empty wallet syndrome is highly possible, enjoyment is a certainty As I'm sure you'll know from your time spent collecting German militaria Jim, knowledge is everything. Being up-to-speed regarding current market values is a must. Save lots of pics to a folder on your PC, having plenty that show the good, the bad, and the ugly has served me well over the years. Visit some of the more well-known websites of those who specialise in reproduction items, just to get a feel for what is being reproduced these days.... remember, to save a few pics of what you find. First pattern Denisons; there's often at least one for sale somewhere. Quite a few will have the full-length zip conversion; not sure if that's something that bothers you or not. The airborne helmets with leather chin straps are a wise choice; they're considered a better investment. Something like a 1943 dated G&S helmet would be cheaper and easier to find than one with a fibre-rim. Maroon berets; naturally, the earlier the date the more desirable and expensive they become. You should be able to pick-up a '44 dated one wthout too much difficulty though. Many Brit Airborne collectors have a fixation with 1944, a bit like RAF collectors have with 1940 (BoB year). This obviously stems from the famous Airborne Ops that took place that year; do remember though, the largest Airborne Op of WWII ('Varsity') took place in '45. Best of luck. Andy.
  2. I don't suppose the old water spray test would work on leather?, it can work wonders when it comes to revealing worn dates on cotton beret liners. Just a thought Here's a photo of one :-
  3. Welcome in fella, good to see another Airborne collector here. Wish I could help you in your quest to build-up your collection but my spares situation isn't what it used to be. Have you got a wants-list?. ATB, Andy.
  4. Looks like edits to posts can only be made in a limited time-frame here?. I was going to change the diagram on my first post but will add the amended version to a new post instead. Anyway, thanks to Dan for the heads-up on the 1st Canadian Para Bn loop; if anyone knows if the 12th Devons wore these and what colour they used, please chime in and I'll add that one too.
  5. Dan, I'm not sure what book the original diagram was featured in; it was sent to me a long time ago, I thought it might be a handy thing to have and so I saved it. The original did indeed mention the colours; I decided to omit them however as my own drawing was just intended to be a visual guide. Also, the 8th Para Bn "blue", looks decidedly purple to my eyes!. Good call on the Canadian coloured epaulette loop; I'll see to it that the diagram is updated. Incidently, I've just see an original example of the 12th Para Bn loop with 'Yorkshire' embroidered in black, not white as shown on the original diagram. As for the 12th Devons, I have no idea what colour loop they wore, or if indeed they wore one at all. Information on these is difficult to come by; I've been trying myself for years to discover the colours worn by the various GPR Squadrons. So far, I can only confirm green used by 'A' Sqn for Normandy, Arnhem and the Rhine Crossing operations. The only other colours I've seen on original uniform have been maroon and yellow. Those three colours account for just three of the seven wartime Squadrons, so it's possible not all were issued with them. ATB, Andy.
  6. Wise words my friend, the very same thing applies to GPR insignia
  7. Thanks for the confirming that Jerry. Judging by the quality of items in CCJ's collection, I'm pretty sure that particular badge will be a good original post-45 example
  8. Thank you gentlemen for posting such an incredible story... just goes to show the importance of forums like this.
  9. Not sure if I'm sticking this type of info in the right place If not, my apologies to the Moderators; please feel free to move Another little gem hidden away in the darkest corner of my hard-drive; this drawing depicts the different coloured epaulette loops worn by 6th Airborne Div. in 1944. I've re-drawn this, rather than risk breaching copyright by uploading the original
  10. PM sent I thought only moths had a penchant for shoulder titles?. I do agree about the need to attract some youngsters into collecting. Maybe if some of us got organised into local groups and visited nearby cadet detachments, that might be a start. Not sure if the same would work with schools, cadets on the other hand already have an interest. Not a bad thing to check through rails of vintage clothes, wouldn't be the first time a wartime denison smock or nice battledress jacket has been found in such places. Talking of headgear, I struck lucky the other week and found a bargain near-mint black kangol beret on ebay; despite being clearly marked "1944", it was listed in the "militaria - date unknown" category .
  11. What a cracking collection Rob; great to see a young chap like yourself showing such an interest in History too. I don't have much time to read through the thread in one go so have bookmarked it for reading in stages. Incidently, after 11 years worth of research into my Dad's service, I've only just recently discovered the fate of the two passengers he took to Arnhem in his glider. Both were serving with the King's Own Scottish Borderers and were captured at some point in the battle. So, I'll be doing a little P.O.W research myself soon. Thanks for sharing photos of your collection with us.
  12. Haha, I will have to PM you about the book; it's all very cloak and dagger.. mustn't alert the competition!. Nothing wrong with buying something that you like but that doesn't fit the collection, I could drift off into collecting RAF insignia and uniform very easily. Specialising just works better for me. Damn shame about the Scots Guards cap but 10/10 for pup's efforts, I'm sure he/she was just trying to save you a little money It's good to see someone who doesn't match the stereotypical collector profile - male, over 40 e.t.c. We need more people from "the other side", oh and youngsters too.
  13. Greetings and salutations! That's the best militaria-buying excuse I've heard in ages, "sorry Mr Bank Manager, but I was on auto-pilot at the time" . I tend use that old chestnut, "my dog hit the buy-it-now button, honest", no-one ever believes me though... wonder if it has anything to do with me not having a dog?. To focus, or not to focus, that is the question. I've tried both approaches to militaria collecting. As a youngster, I'd buy whatever I could and was able to build-up a collection very quickly (and for not a lot of money). Apart from the odd star item though, it was just a load of old junk, with no real value or direction. Fast forward 35 years to the more specialised collection I have now, and I can honestly say that I find collecting much more rewarding. It can be expensive at times and items can take months, even years to find, but it is a real buzz when I'm able to add something to the collection that I don't have. Personally, I would stick to your Guards and Fusiliers interest; maybe restrict yourself even further by only collecting stuff from a particular time-frame. If you enjoy picking stuff up on your travels, then you can still do that; but then sell those items on as a way of funding your main interest. Sound like a plan?. Regarding my lurking on the BBF, is it just me or does that term make my absence sound all very dark and seedy?. I'm just very busy with one thing and another right now. I'm trying to write a book so taking part in discussion can lead to a conflict of interests. Ha, I sussed out who you were as soon as you mentioned being a member there; don't worry, your secret's safe with me... even if you are a fugitive
  14. Just found this tucked away on my hard-drive, thought it might be useful for someone who collects inert ordnance; it appears to have been taken from a wartime publication so I assume no issues with copyright .
  15. Thanks my friend, PM incoming!. Hopefully the beret you sold was indeed a post-war one . One trick way to reveal worn markings on these is to spray a little water on the liner.
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