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Hi Leigh,

no is the simple answer. I got this one from a friend/collector in London. I will ask him when he is online again (changed ISP).

Can you recommend reference material for flashes? I received today a book on Australian flashes even though that is not a real area of interest for me. Is there a British one?

Stuart

Edited by Stuart Bates
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Stuart,

Flashes on these type of helmets are a minefield, but at the same time you'll find units which had a particular flash on a 'FSH', would continue to wear it on the new pattern helmet. There may have been an Army Council Instruction or Army Order, which would lay down designated flashes, but todate there's no reference books. There may also be records in Dress Regulations of individual units, which may be held in regimental museums, but you would have to contact each one individually. As for Armoured units, try the Tank Museum at Bovington, as I believe they do have references to flashes as it's a very strong part of their history.

Graham.

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Stuart,

Correct any School flashes would differ from active units, but it's parent unit would control dress. In this case I'm slightly confused as to why it's called the Royal Armoured Car School, should it not just be the "Armoured Car School", which at this time I suspect was run by the Royal Tank Corps, from which two of the colours on the flash derive.

The Royal Armoured Corps wasn't formed until 1939 and and the Royal Tanks Corps became the 'Royal Tank Regiment' at the same time(A.O.58/1939).

Also I've found a decent reference regarding flashes in 'British Army Uniforms & Insignia of WWII' by B.L.Davis all of which are taken from ACI's and AO's. If you haven't got this them let me know and I'll forward it to you via e.mail.

Graham.

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Graham,

you can guess where I sourced the helmet and that was the description that came with it. I knew that the RAC was formed in 1939 with the RTC becoming a component but essentially, I did not attempt to check partly because I know that information on flashes is so difficult to come by - especially here in Oz.

The ACIs and AOs would be most welcome.

Stuart

P.S. I emailed Bovington with a photo and am waiting for a response.

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Graham,

are you familiar with Uniforms of the Royal Armoured Corps by Michael Dawson and, if so, would you recommend it? I presume that you would recommend Brian Davis' book. Talk about opening a Pandora's box of worms! :)

Stuart

Edited by Stuart Bates
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Stuart,

To be honest 'no', it's one I've never touched on being interested mainly in infantry. The Brian L. Davis, book I've had since it first appeared on the market in 1983 and today this it's still regarded as a 'bible' among WWII uniform enthusiasts. The lad did something that many authors fail to do and that was go through every ACI and AO regarding dress/ranks and insignia - the end result being a first class record of what was 'in' and what was 'out'. I think it'll only ever be surpassed if Joe Sweeney publishes a book on British Army service dress taking us up to WWII, as I believe he's recently gone through the same sources covering dress/rank & insignia, so I keep my fingers crossed.

Recently at a Militaria fair I saw one of those books which make you 'gasp' and although modern by many standards, I wished every regiment had put one into print. It was a 1960's publication regarding dress and accoutrements for the 3rd Carabiniers, which was stuffed with line drawings of every item worn by the regiment. Absolutely fantastic and left on the shelf because no-one was interested.

Graham.

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One of the major New Delhi military tailors just closed after the death of the father of the family/shop after some 80+ years (three generations) in the trade. I recall that he had had a large wall display of the various pre-1947 Indian Army flashes (they aren't in use today, of course), as they'd apparently always been confusing. I might ask his son what became of it (I never bothered more than a passing glance myself), but as it is Indian Army (not British Army in India) it may be of little interest here.

Edited by Ed_Haynes
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The colours of the Royal Armoured Corps were red and yellow so that explains Leigh's question.

Looking at my Australian book on flashes, Light Horse Regiments were converted to mechanised units and one, the 6th L.H. became the 6th Australian Armoured Car Regiment (shown as such in the Order of Battle, October 1942) whose flash was red and green.

Stuart

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Ed,

If you can find out where the flashes are, then I think it would be of great interest to our friends here who collect or research our Indian connections, certainly if they were pre-1947, as you would certainly be looking at the Indian Home Divisions and possbly mixed Indian/British Brigades. Might be worth checking if they have any catalogues recording regimental pagaree flashes too.

Graham.

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Here is the reply that I got from the Tank Museum, Bovington:

Thank you for your enquiry.

The Topee Flash which is attached to your Khaki (Wolseley) Helmet, more commonly known as the Pith Helmet, would appear to be correct. Unfortunately, we do not have an exact reference to work from but the red/yellow colour Flash combination would only have appeared when the Royal Armoured Corps was formed in 1939. I would think that the RTC Centre and Schools would have had had the red/green flash as opposed to the brown/red/green flash to differentiate them from the Armoured Car Companies. The Topee Flashes worn by the Armoured Car units would have had the RTC/RTR colour flash (brown, green and red) and would have contained numerals or letters on the red field. The RTC Centre and Schools would have worn the topee flash (without numerals or letters) on the left side of the helmet and would not have exceeded 3 x 2 inches as stated in Indian Army Order 558 of 1925.

So that is a good result for us all. It is however not a Wolseley :)

Stuart

Edited by Stuart Bates
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My contact at Bovington told me:

'However, with regard to the RTR and RAC we do use a privately published cd "Tanks Again" by Peter Payne (who is ex RTR and someone who has been an avid collector of RTR uniforms, equipment, memorabilia for years) as a comprehensive reference source.'

I will post details on how to source this CD when I get them.

Stuart

Edited by Stuart Bates
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Some more information on the RTR and Amoured Car units.

"In 1920, twelve Armoured Car Companies were set up as part of the Tank Corps, absorbing units from the Machine Gun Corps and in 1923 it was officially named Royal (making it the Royal Tank Corps) by Colonel-in-Chief King George V."

The colours of brown/red/green are interesting - "The official regimental motto is Fear Naught while the unofficial motto (signified also by the colours of the tactical recognition flash) is "From Mud, Through Blood to the Green Fields Beyond."

Stuart

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I've got one that is private purchase with a bunch of documents stuffed in the liner which relates to some English officer who was responsible for some sort of engineering during the events of 1947. I'm not entirely sure what the documents are anymore, one or two has been in the liner for so long that its gotten all smudged.

But, where do you get all of these beautiful pith helmets? I am looking for some kind of Wollesly (it could be ugly as sh*t or have a really strange flash) for my collection and I can't find a single one!!!! :speechless1:

Any advice?

~TS

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TS,

I just this week got a real beauty of a Wolseley to the Royal Corps of Signals on eBay and they are frequently to be found there. I have sourced my Wolseleys from dealers, eBay and fellow collectors. There is a Naval Wolseley on www.MilitaryAntiques.com. You can also ask dealers to keep and eye out for you but you will pay top dollar. Check www.regimentals.com and www.blunderbuss-antiques.com from time to time or simply email them expressing your interest.

They may even be offered for sale on this forum so check out that section. Have you checked out the topic dedicated to Wolseleys?

Will you post your Wolseley in the dedicated topic? I am assuming that you have a Wolseley and not a Cawnpore or Bombay Bowler as if one of the latter then please post a photo in this topic.

Stuart

Edited by Stuart Bates
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Sadly, it is not a Wolseley. I'm looking for one, though. Even if it was, I usually take a few months to get photos of anything done.

By the way, I assume you meant http://www.militaryantiques.co.uk, militaryantiques.com isn't a normal militaria site. One of those miserable advertising things.

I'm wondering, though, what do Wolseleys sell for? I've never actually seen one for sale, and I'd like to know since I'm looking for one and would hate to pay too much. I know that later piths seem to be dirt cheap, and the earlier ones are ridiculous, I wonder which one The Wolseley is closest too? I'd prefer one for the Royal Camel corps or one without a flash, but I could imagine the former being quite valueable.

~TS

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TS,

sorry about the .co.uk, on all of the sites I mentioned, you are quite right.

A Wolseley in good condition can cost anything from US$150 to US$750 depending on whether they come from eBay, a dealer or a friend/forum member/collector. You can find them cheaper but the condition is normally not so good or they may have badges, spikes etc which just are not correct. This is the link to the one I got this week http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vie...A:IT&ih=010 unfortunately it is costing US$52 for expedited delivery.

One to the Camel Corps will be extremely difficult to locate and since the units of this corps were drawn from many British regular and Australian regiments I'm not sure that there would be a distinct badge. I do know that there was an unofficial Rising Sun badge with a camel on it for an Anzac unit. A Wolseley with a flash is always going to be more desirable and, therefore, more expensive than one without.

If your helmet is not a Wolseley what is it? Will you not post a photo to this topic?

Stuart

Edited by Stuart Bates
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Well, I know that most of it was from Australian Light Horse troops (probably all hoarded away in Australia, and expensive to boot). There were also a bunch of Yeomanry and some forces from, I think, New South Wales.

I could have sworn that I read they had their own flash. I guess it is good though, that the unit didn't have one, as it was provisional and this gives me a few more options.

What would be a good reference for the Yeomanry and Australian flashes?

~TS

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The reference book for Australia is DISTINGUISHING COLOUR PATCHES of the AUSTRALIAN MILITARY FORCES 1915 - 1951 by Keith Glyde and you can source it easily from http://www.jbma.com.au/reference-books/default.aspx

As you will have gathered from this topic and others there is no definitive work on British flashes.

You would be surprised as to how little militaria, at least in the way of helmets, has survived here in Australia. In my collection, admittedly British 'only', I only have 2 Australian helmets.

The Imperial Camel Corps (and I guess that you know this) were formed from British, Australian and New Zealand units with the bulk being Australian. This site is a good one for badges, flashes &c http://www.diggerhistory.info/00-pages-top...x.htm#all-sites

Stuart

PS. Exactly what helmet do you have?

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Same style as yours, as in the one of this thread. The condition isn't as nice though.

I can't get pictures, like I said. I would if I could.

I don't really specialize in piths, my interest is in American items from the same era. I'm big on the Great War as well.

There's really that little militaria in Australia? I just assumed with the Light Horse being so seemingly 'popular' that it would be more commonly found in its native country.

~TS

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Here is a Cawnpore Tent Club helmet of the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders, dating from 1938. It was made in India, of sola pith, a Bengali spongewood, by the Peninsula Hat Company of Calcutta, a leading Indian hat maker. This model has its origins as early as 1860. They entered service with British imperial officers from the late Victorian era, and the Great War saw the first extension into the rank and file supply chain in India. Appearing in Indian Dress Regulations of 1931, as the 'Indian Pattern pith helmet', by the late 1930s they had entirely superseded the cork Wolseley, which was officially obsoleted by India in 1937.

Chris. :catjava:

2005-11-02032.jpg

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