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Everything posted by Les-Art

  1. Hi Dave, This is one of the most commonly faked badges as it is a standard 'Michigan Police' die offered by many of the leading and smaller manufacturers. The badge is offered in the cut out applied number version that you have and the blocked in panel with engraved numbers that you have seen. I would say this one is a bad fake as it is of poor quality. I would suggest that if you are not already a collector of U.S. Police Badges then don't start, it is a minefield for new collectors and you will get ripped off more often than you find a good badge. Best Regards. Les
  2. hi Brian, This is a good thread, looks like a proper discussion can be had by all. Here is my two cents worth from a collectors point of view. The title 'Custodian' helmet is used to describe the current 'Bobby' Helmet which are strenghtened inside with foam padding ,have fixed straps (integral to the construction and cannot be removed) and helmet plates fixed on by the manufacturer. These are the ones you see on the TV News during riots in London. The Helmet plates for these generally have fold over lugs to prevent damage to the wearer if the shell is breached by a blow, the older plates had three loops that stuck through the shell and held in place by broken matchstick ends. 'Custodian' Helmets are made in all three shapes you describe. The shape of a 'Bobby' Helmet is indeed taken from the design of a Prussian Picklehaube ,a style of which was adopted by the British Army as the 'home service pattern helmet' ,as mentioned in a post above. Over the years through general use the design has changed for various reasons to the shape you see today. Two of the styles you mention are descendants of this design - Rose top and Ball Top. The Ball top came about due to early Health and safety concerns that the spike on the Military Helmet was to dangerous to the public. The Police 'Home Service Pattern' helmets were the same helmets issued to the Army and only differered in the type of fittings, Blackened or Silvered (NO Gold or Gilt), one of the posts above has a good photo of one of these. The helmets have been variously described as follows: Rose Top - Home Office Pattern. Comb Top - Colonial Office Pattern, City Pattern, Coxcomb. Ball Top - County Pattern. The design on the top of a Comb Top is linked with the first Police Force to use this style, the CITY OF LONDON POLICE, it shows the 'Dragon Wings' taken from the coat of arms of the city. The Comb Top on an ESSEX POLICE (formerly Essex and Southend Constabulary)helmet has a 'Sea Shell' at the front reflecting the location by the sea. I Think Durham Constabulary have a shield with their Coat of Arms on theirs. The design on the top of the Rose Top is indeed a rose when viewed from above, normally in chrome or blackened metal. Some Scottish Helmets had a thistle design. On Colonial Helmets the rose was ,sometimes, replaced by a padded dome shape with three air vents, used by New Zealand, Australia and Canada ( the Toronto Police Mounted Branch still use them). The construction varied by manufacturer, location and age. There are many variations to collect but of special interest is the number of panels, none, two, four or six, knowing this can help to find out if you have the right helmet and badge configuration. Many countries Police have used 'Bobby' Helmets over the years but there is NO link to copying the British Helmet, it is more likley that they have develeoped through the use of military designs. Apart from ex-commonwealth countries- Switzerland, Italy, San Marino,Yugoslavia, Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Iran and Greece all used helmets over the years. Some also used the coxcomb style. Other Helmet designs are used but outwith the scope of this thread. Regarding the inside of helmets, someone asked about it above. The 'Home Service pattern' generally have a green lining, slightly shiny from the the ones I've seen and a leather sweat band adjustable witha thread throught the top part. The 'Home Office pattern' and the other designs made of cork with a cloth cover have the same. The 'Custodion' ones have white foam lining and leather sweat band. they are manufactured 4 or 5 shell sizes so not sure they have adjustable bands. Other variations are on the outside of the helmet ,the band, this can be metal in Black or Chrome, thick plastic, thin plastic or cloth. The Devon and Cornwall Constabulary have a chrome metal rose on either side of their ball top helmet. There are alos variations on the Ball top fixings. Well that's about all I can think of just now. Hope it is of some help. Best Regards, Les
  3. Hi Ed, Regarding the first photo of the Air Police with the Harleys, presumably, do you know when it was taken ? What model and year of motorcycle are they? Are the riders wearing the olive drab flight jacket with the standard issue Air Force Blue uniform ? Do you have any other dates for the photos you have shown ? If you happen to come across photos of the uniformed riders to go with the shots of the bikes on their own I would be interested to see them. It's a good thread and I'm looking forward to seeing any other photos you and others have to post. Best Regards, Les
  4. Hi Ed, Thanks for the additional info on the 'Official' nature of some of these coins, it's appreciated. So ,you know what the next question is going to be , yes ,you guessed it . How do you know which coins are 'official' and which ones are made up for the collectors market? I don't know anything about the collecting of these items as they don't fit with any of my collecting interests, but just wondered if there is a way to tell. One last question, why would you want to have a section on a Military related Forum for all challenge coins that aren't related to the Military? I would have thought that there must be a general collecting Forum out there somewhere, but maybe not as I can't find one that just deals with Police insignias:) Regards, Les
  5. Hi Foofighter, Why create a Special Section for Police ,as a collecting subject within a military based forum, then post military subjects on it, it doesn't make sense. Civil and Military police are two seperate entities and collecting fields IMHO. I would be interested to know why you think they are a linked collecting interest Regards, Les
  6. Hi 2XVeteran, I don't understand your comment can you clarify please:) What do you mean by 'dual roles', do you mean you collect Military and Police items ? When you say you received your FBI coin while serving in Iraq as a soldier, do you mean that it was issued to you by the FBI Field Office as a piece of identification or were you given it by an FBI Agent for helping them out in some way? Military Police would fall into the Military category as they are a Military Unit and NOT a Police department . If you look in many of the sections of this site you will notice that Military Police items are discussed. Some of the threads on this section already are not Police related. like the 'AIR POLICE' which was the Military Police of the USAF, Naval Department Security which is part of the USN, etc. Some exceptions would be the French Gendarmerie and Italian Carabinieri which would fall into both categories as they have both types of units. Coin and Commemoratives have a thread of there own, so you are correct that they could be put in there. Best Regards, Les
  7. Hi Mervyn, There is an appropriate section within GMIC for these coins, wether Police or Military related, it is in the Special Section two down from this one 'COINS and COMMEMORATIVE items' I think it is called. I don't believe you are correct, although always happy to be corrected, in your belief that these coins are being handed out by 'Official' organisations, I think they are really more like a fraternal item given to someone for their friendship or as a souviner. Anyone can obtain these coins at little or no money, just check out the US Ebay there are currently 313 listings for Police and Military Police related challenge coins at starting prices as low as $1.95, some very impressive designs on some of them. I didn't check the number of Military challenge coins but I expect it will be much more. They are not an aid to identification, unless you are trying to pass yourself off as something you are not, I could buy a NZ SAS challenge coin off of Ebay today and carry it around with me but I am not a member of that illustrious unit. However others may feel the need to do this. Having said this I do understand that some units do produce these coins specifically for their members and make sure that only members get them to use as unit identifiers from a cameraderie point of view, but how do you tell which is which when adding one to your collection. A retired Police officer in the USA and Canada gets a badge to show they have served and as an aid to identification should they need to show they are afiliated with the department . A retirement badge is not purchased by the former member of the department ,it is an official item presented at the end of their career by the department, normally with a photo ID card. So in this repect it is not like a challenge coin. Regards, Les
  8. Hi Guys, Just noticed this thread. Thought you might be interested to know that the Gendarme , Marechal-des-Logis, is wearing the standard uniform prior to the Vichy Regime, which changed the insignias on the Kepi and collar. He is wearing his issue belt, which could be worn with or without the pistol holster. Aigulettes would indicate an occassion of some kind as these were not worn on 'normal' duty. This would all indicate that the photo is taken after the 'Fall of France'. The Shako looks like the one issued to St Cyr cadets with a badge removed and the white helmet on the right appears to be the Colonial Helmet used by French forces overseas. So mnaybe they were 'liberated' from the local museum:) Don't know if this helps in anyway. Regards, Les
  9. Hi Mervyn, You stated 'Since thay are almost an official ID is it actually permitted to have them ?'. I agree that Challenge Coins are a collectable field, however they are just collectibles, they hold no 'official' standing as far as Police Departments are concerned, don't know about the military. Anybody with money can have them made up in any design they want to sell into the collectables market place, just think of them in the same way as the collectable lapel pins. I think there is at least one design for the London Metroplitan Police and would expect to see them for all the European countries that have dealers who make up insignias to make money out of collectors. Can I just ask that if this is going to be a thread in the Police section, can we keep it to just Police/Sheriff related coins and put the military ones in the appropriate section. Here is another 'acceptable' use for a challenge coin. When a group of Police Officers, off duty of course, go on a pub crawl the last guy to put his coin on the bar pays for that round of drinks:) This is not a collecting interest of mine as I only collect issued and authorised items, but I'm quite intested to see the designs available. Check out Ebay , there are a few on there. Actually ,I just noticed the heading of this Special Section is 'POLICE MEDALS & COLLECTABLES', would you know why Police related items are more collectable than military ones? I can't see this terminology used in any of the Military Sections, unless I missed it. You have to keep up with the new trends in collecting, Mervyn :0) Best Regards, Les
  10. Dan, The two Sergeant stripes, not a pair, you have are just the 'bog' standard issue used by many forces throughout the U.K. I think the Scottish Police still use them on the dress uniform today. The back view may show more on what age they are but from the front I'd say they are from the 1960's and 70's. Hope this helps, Regards, Les
  11. Hi Mervyn, Yes ,time just flies by nowadays, like yourself I have of loads of projects to get on with but don't have enought time in the day to get any of them completed. Healthwise I'm doing O.K. at the moment, wasn't too good over Christmas which Is why I wasn't surfing the site, just getting back to look now I'm feeling better. Maybe this year I'll work out how to post pictures Look forward to seeing what other caps you have and of course commenting on them:) And for Foofighter, what French Gendarmerie stuff are you looking to see ? Do you have a specific interest ? Best Regards. Les
  12. Hi Mervyn, I haven't seen any new posts from you on the POLICE OF THE WORLD threads ,with the caps you were getting in. Are you still waiting for more caps or are the ones you showed all you got ? Look forward to seeing more soon. Best Regards, Les
  13. John, I think that is the right place for your new thread on UN Military insignias, some great stuff there. Here is the final identification on the bottom row of your photo, left to right; PREVOTE - FORPRONU 1st type. PREVOTE - FORPRONU 2nd type GD PREVOTE - FORPRONU 2nd type GM PREVOTE - FORPRONU local - un-official , no other information available There is an official 3rd type design for this unit, so quite a few more badges are around if you wanted to expand on your French Gendarmerie collection. Look forward to seeing any other Police related insignias you have. Best Regards, Les
  14. Hi John, Some more info on you gendarmerie badges. Third form left on top row; UNIFIL PREVOTE - Escadron Parachutiste d'Intervention. The lower part of the design represents a parachute canopy. Haven't been able to find any details on the design of the badge on the right of the bottom row, so it is possibly a local one. If I find out anything else I'll let you know. Best Regards, Les
  15. Dan, What size is this badge? Did you realise it was damaged, it's missing the screw post on the reverse. Regards, Les
  16. Johnny R, The badge you show as the 4th version does not conform to any official design of the Identification Badge. However it could be an official retired badge, but I don't see this as being likely for the simple reason that they would not go to the expense of producing another badge, when all they need to do is replace the number with RETIRED. Further if it were an official retired badge ,it would be an old one as they are no longer called the RCMP. The VETERAN badge is close to the current design of members I.D. badge. This design is the 4th version. I'll have another look through my source material for other designs other than official ones. The two shown earlier in this thread may be fake as well, maybe a serving RCMP member that has visited the Museum could answer the question on what the I.D. badge looks like. Les
  17. Johnny R, The Veterens badges are for members of the RCMP Veterens Association, like the VFW in the U.S. , some collectors consider them an issued item and others don't, as all these guys are no longer employed by the RCMP. The fact that you don't have to join makes it a Fraternal Organisation. So it would be up to you as a collector to figure out wether there badges belong in your collection. I would think that it would not be as big a problem to get a Veterens badge. If your photograph is of the current I.D. badge ,then it is more important that you get details of the back of the badge. This would be the 5th design of I.D. badge and the easiest to fake to an acceptable standard, which would be a negative to the collectors of issued items. What website has the image of the current I.D. badge ? I am always interested in new info. Regards, Les
  18. John, Accrued knowledge on most of them. Occassionally come across info in books and the internet, but unfortunately no single source. 'Ambassade' refers to the Embassy. 'Beyrouth' = BERUIT. I don't know exactly the duties of the gendarmerie personnel but as they are GM then I would think they would be Compound defense, personal security for the Ambassador and staff and escort off the compound. If you have seen the movie 'Bourne Identity' then what the Marines do in the US Embassy is basically what the Gendarmes would do. In Lebanon the GM would have Armoured cars available also. Since 2004 when ' National Service' was abolished in France, the Homologue for those doing service in the 'Gendarmerie Auxiliare', has been re-assigned to regular Gendarmes doing duty at the French Embasses around the world. Talking about Auxiliare, two of the badges on the top row of your photo are for this type of unit, Ecu is Light Blue top with Grenade and Tree and lower half French Flag, it is the '1er Escadron Marche Gendarmerie Auxiliare, Beyrouth' . Looks like you have two different qualities of construction the one with hard enamel will be the issue one and if the other is poorer quality it will be locally made. If you have an interest in other French insignias then check out the book 'FRENCH AIRBORNE TROOPS, WINGS AND INSIGNIAS' by Jacques BALTZER and Eric MICHELETTI. Published by Histoire & Collections. This is the English cersions of the book and covers as it states ' there are more than 1.000 present day insignia in this work, 100 from WW2, 150 from the indo-china period, 30 particular to the Algerian conflict, 200 from non-TAP units, 550 from Overseas operations, 150 from the classes. 200 concerning the Lebabnon (of which 150 are of Local manufacture) and 80 which reached us in less than two months during the making of the book' It does cover some Gendarmerie Units but not all, each items is photgraphed in full colour from the front and some have photos of the reverse if it has interesting markings. I'll post more info as I find it on the other badges in your photo. Do you have any other UN police brassards in your collection ? Best Regards, Les
  19. Johnny R, Have you tried contacting the Press Office of the RCMP for a photo of their current I.D. Badge, I have found them very helpful with info and photos in the past, however with the current problems in the world they may not be willing to provide the information from a security point of view but it is worth asking. It is difficult to value these badges as Canadians value them higher than anyone else, which is probably understandable. I have seen them offered in the past at about the same value as an LAPD series 6 badge, so it really does come down to how much you want to pay. Can the seller not provide you with a photo of the back of the badge before you get there? Regards, Les
  20. Hi Johhny R, I think that the badge you have is of one of the many reproduction/fake badges that have been made over the years. Originals are almost impossible to find as the Retired guys are pretty proud of the fact that they were in the force and once they pass away the family tends to hang on to the badge as a family keepsake. What is on the reverse of the badge you have ? Any hallmark or fixings? All designs of the 'Official' I.D. badges have been faked to varying dagrees of quality ,from really poor to even better than an original. Regards, Les
  21. John, I have looked at your additional pictures and agree that the ONU Ecu is a locally made piece of poor quality, compared with the issue piece. The manufacturers ARTHUS BERTRAND and DRAGO are the ones that turn up most often as they have been in production the longest. Other manufacturers have made them but more recently . Just as a matter of information these metal badges are no longer used on working uniforms ,but are now reserved for the Dress uniform and occasions when a smart appearance is required. All Ecu are now embroidered arm patches worn on the left arm, attached by velcro, gendarmes assigned to U.N. duty wear the military shield in the colours of the french flag with 'FRANCE' above. I have not seen any of the UN Ecu as arm patches. The 47 designs I mentioned cover all the French Departments(counties), specialist units, HQ staff, Air, Maritime and overseas units. Added to this are the areas of French Technical Assistance in Africa, I think 9 countries, the former Colonies of Algeria,Tunisia,Morocco, Indo-china, then there are new Ecu for the Caribean Islands and the Comoros isands. Then we have to add the official designs for the UN, IFOR, KFOR, etc and I think it shouldn't be far of of 100. Some additional info on your badges , the 'FINUL PREVOTE' is the 3rd design, many Ecu have the same title but designs have changed over the years. The one in your previous photo second from top left is 'EGM Prevote Ambassade de Beyrouth' 1st type, the second type had Blue arabic writing and on the flag, this unit was the defense for the Embassy in Beruit. EGM = Escadron Gendarmerie Mobile. I have found some more info so will collate it and hopefully be able to tell you what all your badges represent, if you need this info. Best Regards, Les
  22. Hi John ( Irish). Here is some additional info on the French Gendarmerie pocket badges. The official designs are called 'Homologue', this is the registered design for the Gendarmerie Nationale , if you check the reverse of your badges you will find 'H 696' behind the Knights Helmet, in raised lettering. This is the design registration number for the 'backplate', sorry don't know it's official title, sometimes refered to as the 'plaque'. The backplate comes in three different types of plating - Argent (shiny silver), Vieux Argent (antique silver) and Or (Gold). You have examples of each in your photo. The 'Argent' and 'Or' are issued by the HQ and the 'Vieux Argent' is purchased by members from the equivilent of the US 'PX' stores, although all three types can be purchased if the members require extras for trading, collecting, giving to relatives, etc. The centre shield, 'Ecu', originally had a design number on the back which corresponds with the 'Official' design created by the Gendarmerie HQ. This number normally takes the form of 'G' followed by 4 numbers in raised lettering on the reverse of the shield at the top. Currently I don't think they appear as it is an extra mould cost to have them included. As with the 'Plaque' these 'Ecu' can be purchased at the PX stores. There were 47 official designs in 1982, however several more have been added since then and I'll have to do a little research on which ones are currently used. The badge you have with ONU maybe a locally made private purchase, as it looks to be a one piece badge, and the ONU badge is more normally fully enamelled with hard enamel yours has soft. If you are interested I will try to find out which UN designs are official and which are local. Best Regards, Les
  23. Mervyn, There is a suitable sub-forum for the NON-POLICE U.N. badges and insignias it is REST OF THE WORLD - Militaria and Histroy It already has a thread on U.N. Medals, so don't see any reason why it couldn't have a thread for U.N. badges. Personally, I would like to see the Military items moved out of the Police Sub-Forum, as most of the Website is FOR Military items, and with this small area designated for the discussion of POLICE items I don't think it would be unreasonable to have it available purely for the discussion of Police subjects. This sub-forum is the reason I joined this Forum, if it is going to get cluttered with talk about military matters then there seems little point in logging on except to look at the pictures without taking part in the discussions. Best Regards, Les
  24. Irish, John, regarding your question on why some of the French Gendarmerie badges are silver and some gold. Silver - GENDARMERIE DEPARTMENTALE - This is the 'Normal' units that police metropolitan France and overseas areas governed by France. Gold - GENDARMERIE MOBILE - This is the 'Military' units that are used for 'Maintenance of Order' and have full infantry capability including armoured vehicles.They also work in Metropolitaine France and Overseas territories The issuance of these badges is a minefield with all the variations produced, some are private purchase and others are issued. The background piece is normally issued and the centre is issued when required, in other words just before you leave for the area. A general 'rule of thumb' is the more crowded the design the more likely it is a private purchase item. Example - top left of your photo IS an official design for 'PROVOST in LEBANON' it has a design number within regulations and bottom right IS NOT an official design, so it would be a private purchase as a souvenir. I have seen many ,many designs and I would not be surprised to that it has reached a hundred by now. Is this any help? Best Regards, Les
  25. Hi Irish, Nice collection of UN pocket badges. It's difficult to tell ,but which ones are for Police Units ? Is the little gold badge applied to the Senegal, Ghana, Indonesia and Chad badges the UN badge ? Look forward to seeing more photos of your collection , especially cloth Police Insignias. Best Regards, Les
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